Ask Me Anything and Panel Discussions

franksteiner79
Guide

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Screen Shot 2023-01-18 at 11.12.42 AM.png

Although the official AMA will run for one week starting on Monday, 23rd January; I’ll keep an eye on comments beyond this. 

 

Having been an active HubSpot user for nearly a decade, I think HubSpot Lists Tool might be the most underrated tool in the veritable swiss-army knife that is the orange, sprocketed, CRM platform. In this week’s AMA, I’m going to share my personal must-have lists, use cases, tips, and tricks and also invite all of you to share your “eureka” moment(s) and favourite HubSpot list that make slicing, dicing, and using your data easier. But before we dive in, let’s start with the “Why”.

 

Segmentation, Segmentation, Segmentation

 

Segmenting a database for marketing purposes allows a company to tailor its marketing efforts to specific groups within the database, rather than treating the entire database as a single entity. This can be more effective because it allows the company to speak directly to the needs and interests of each group, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.

 

There are many ways to segment a database for marketing purposes. Some common methods include segmenting by demographic information, such as age, gender, and location, as well as by interests or behaviours. For example, a company that sells outdoor gear might segment its database by activity, such as hiking, camping, or cycling, and then create marketing campaigns targeted specifically at each of those groups.

 

Segmenting a database can also help a company more effectively allocate its marketing resources. By targeting its marketing efforts at specific groups, a company can ensure that its marketing dollars are being spent on campaigns that are most likely to be effective, rather than spreading its resources too thin.

 

In summary, database segmentation is important for marketing because it allows a company to tailor its marketing efforts to specific groups within its database, making its marketing campaigns more targeted and effective.

 

FYI - these segmentation paragraphs are courtesy of ChatGPT, not a bad effort in my humble opinion.

 

Using HubSpot Lists in HubSpot

 

In order to highlight the important and central role lists should play in your HubSpot setup, let’s first look at the various features that “feed off” lists.

 

Email Lists

The most obvious and common one are your email distribution/subscriber/newsletter lists. Depending on your business and audience the details of those lists will inevitably vary but in essence you’ll be juggling a number of different lists to make sure your marketing emails reach the right inboxes.

 

Lead Scoring & Nurturing

With a Professional or Enterprise subscription you have the option to customise the existing HubSpot score property as well as build your own scoring properties. Lists are useful in two separate ways - one to actually set a score (i.e. a contact ends up on a product/service interest list = 15 points), and secondly to build lists based on the lead score (i.e. score between 50-100 warm leads) which in turn can be used for reporting and smart content.

 

Smart Content 

This is the part where having a broad list/segmentation strategy in place will really pay dividends. You will be able to use lists to create smart content options across various HubSpot “assets” such as landing pages, website pages, blogs, emails and CTAs - show existing customers different content than “fresh” leads.

 

Reports

franksteiner79_0-1674034408187.png

Lists don’t only come with their own performance tab which nicely charts a list's growth over time, and which can also be saved as a report. They are perfect as the data source or inclusion/exclusion filter when building custom reports in HubSpot.

 

Views

The more data you have in the CRM, the more important is the creation of useful views for the various users in HubSpot. One downside, at least at the time of writing this, is that view filters are limited - both in terms of the object properties you can filter by and the logic operators for filters, i.e. in a contact view you can only filter by contact properties and multiple filters can only be combined with an AND logic. Lists are more powerful and can be used as view filter criteria allowing for a bit more flexibility.

 

Workflow Automation

Workflows are another HubSpot feature where lists can be used in more than one way, three actually. The most obvious one would be to use list membership as an enrollment trigger, either on its own or in addition to other criteria. We also have a workflow action to either add or remove contacts or companies from a static list. The third, and in my opinion most powerful use of lists in workflows, is the suppression option in the workflow settings. It means we should have simpler workflow enrollment criteria that focus on “positive” triggers and handle exclusions and exceptions via the suppression feature.

franksteiner79_1-1674034537479.png

 

Ads Audiences

You can use contact and company list in order to create audiences for your connected ads accounts.

 

My Top 10 must-have “lists” for any HubSpot portal

Let’s look at some lists which I think should be in every HubSpot portal. I have to admit this list has been constantly growing since the first draft of this AMA and it is by no means a “complete” or “ultimate” list. I would love to hear from the community which lists you think are a must have.


1. Lifecycle Stage Lists - you might not need it for all lifecycle stages, but I highly recommend having individual lists for at least for the stages of lead, opportunity and customer. Assuming the HubSpot default setting for associated contacts and companies when a deal is created is active, associated contacts and companies will become an opportunity. We might want to exclude those contacts from some/all marketing emails or remove them from lead nurturing workflows to not interfere with ongoing sales negotiations.

 

franksteiner79_2-1674034688657.png

 

2. Lead Status - this very much depends on your use of the lead status property (I’ve held another AMA about this a while ago), but if your lead status options are well defined having a few lists will help with reporting and accountability of sales reps. 

 

3. Lead Scoring Ranges - in a nutshell, think about this like a traffic light approach to lead scoring. There is an ultimate threshold that will make an unqualified lead a marketing qualified lead, but happens on the way there? If we assume a score of 100 = MQL, we could have the following: 0-35 = cold leads, 35-60 lukewarm leads, 60-80 warm, and 80-99 hot leads. Having those lists would allow us to target specific groups, enrol them into lead nurturing campaigns, serve smart content and run reports, i.e. how is the size of these lists shifting, how long are contacts in those lists, etc.

 

4. Good Fit/Bad Fit lists - I’ve worked in B2B marketing for nearly 10 years, and I know one thing that is hard is ruthlessly weeding out bad fits. Whatever makes a really good fit, and more importantly, a really bad fit - create a list for it. A frequent conversation I’ve had with B2B customers was “what about students who sign up or download something”. By all means, keep them in the system but put them on a “bad fit” list because **bleep** will freeze over before they buy your six-figures per year IT solution.

 

5. Email Health Lists - I didn’t want to list all of these individually but having unsubscribed, bounced, bounced reasons, subscribed/opted-in lists for your subscription types should be the norm if you frequently send marketing emails via HubSpot. Of course HubSpot’s email health tool shows most of that information, having your own lists that grow or shrink over time will give you flexibility when it comes to reporting and building dashboards.

 

franksteiner79_3-1674034762089.png

 

6. DOI Confirmed List - Creating a list of those contacts who have their DOI status confirmed. This in turn allows the use of smart contact on a thank you page, if you are on the list you get the content for download, if not a prompt to check your emails to confirm your DOI status is presented instead. Thanks to @RomyFuchs1 for this recommendation

 

7. The Losing Interest List - Thanks to @Jnix284 who said “in addition to the unsubscribed, bounced, etc. lists to keep your CRM healthy, the "don't send to unengaged contacts" is a great feature, but having a list to warn you and automate workflows before they become unengaged can help you better classify your leads before you lose contact altogether. 

 

8. Data Hygiene Lists - from something as simple as all contacts without a phone number or postal address to something more complex like missing object ownership or object association. Creating lists for properties or data associations which are important to your business, simply means you start measuring the problem and easily create reports and dashboards based on those lists.

 

9. Product or Service Interests/Purchase - whether you sell services or products, you’ll want to capture and analyse what is the interest in those and who has bought what already. I feel this alone could be its own AMA - should interest/purchase be two different properties or one, how granular do I go, where and how do I set those values - but the bottom line is you will want to have some (even top level) segmentation and understanding of what products/services a prospect is leaning towards.

 

10. Personas - saving the best to last! You should be working with personas. Remember less is more. If you have more than half a dozen personas, this would be my reaction:

franksteiner79_4-1674034884167.gif

But all joking aside, you should have lists for your various personas. Of course reporting is the obvious choice but this is also the prime use case for smart content.

 

Now it is your turn! What do you think of my short list overview? Anything you wholeheartedly agree or disagree with? What are your must have lists that you can’t work without? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Frank

 

PS: I mentioned smart content a few times. Personally, I think it’s one of HubSpot’s most powerful features. But as we all know “with great power comes great responsibility”, so my advice on using smart content is this: start small. Maybe use a smart CTA in an email or landing page, or have a smart banner or paragraph in an email, and see how it goes.

Found my comment helpful? Great! Please mark it as a solution to help other community users.


Frank Steiner

Marketeer | HubSpot Expert | CRM Consultant

InboundPro

Let's Talk About Your Project
15 Replies 15
jolle
Key Advisor | Platinum Partner
Key Advisor | Platinum Partner

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

@franksteiner79 this is awesome! Thanks so much for the insights and pro tips!

 

I really like using lists within HubSpot reporting and in workflow enrollment triggers like you mentioned. The and/or logic is the easiest to navigate within the list builder, so I've saved a bunch of time pulling reports or triggering workflows based on a list instead of having to set individual criteria. It's also really cool to be able to easily access the applicable contacts at any time!

 

Suppression/exclusion lists are huge as well. I like having "master" lists by contact type (i.e., current customers, former customers, closed/lost leads, prospects, internal team members) to bulk exclude contacts from external efforts (emails, workflows). It's also helpful to see a list of every single customer or every single prospect at a given time!

 

Thanks again for sharing your wisdom — I have this thread bookmarked!

Jacob Olle

Director of Marketing Technology

NgageContent

HubSpot Certified Trainer

emailAddress
jacob@ngagecontent.com
website
https://ngagecontent.com/
Create Your Own Free Signature
Dan1
Top Contributor

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Hi @franksteiner79 , 

 

Great post, thanks for putting it together!! I especially like number 9. 

 

Maybe this list type could sneak onto number 11 😊:  

 

Have you ever built a HubSpot list based on a unique Geographic location? Super helpful when you want to run campaigns based on events to drive attendance, plan business trips, run customer referencing campaigns to local prospects etc. 

 

Short video to show how its possible with GeoMapper and HubSpot combined, skipped to the right point:

franksteiner79
Guide

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Hi @Dan1 

Nice! I do like a good geomapper tool and the geo-based list is definitely a strong contender for the 11th spot! 😎

Found my comment helpful? Great! Please mark it as a solution to help other community users.


Frank Steiner

Marketeer | HubSpot Expert | CRM Consultant

InboundPro

Let's Talk About Your Project
JOpie
Top Contributor

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Love my lists but for anything other than contacts and companies views rule. Wish HubSpot would make lists available for deals! That is my view on the subject (pun intended).

On the serious side, we use static lists for contact and company management. For instance, we generate a static list of webinar participants for sales managers to follow up on; static lists are also great when you are creating an ad-hoc group of contacts you want to reach out based on something that is either not in the database or is not easily quantifiable, based on how well you might know your customer base. Sales managers can go through a generated static list of, say, all asset managers in a region, and then remove people they know won't be making a purchasing decision based on something not in the database.

 

While active lists are great to segment into more meaningful groups, static lists let you build specialised groups that don't easily fit into filtering. Say you want to reach out to contacts that come to your webpage and keep on looking at the same page even when there are no changes: add a counter of how many times someone comes to a web page between updates and use a workflow to add them to a static list when the counter reaches a set number.

In any case, lists are great for creating task sheets for your sales managers: find a property quality that needs to be changed, slice and dice according to the owner, then create a list based on each owner that is then sent to the owner, with instructions to clean that list up until it is empty.

 

Oh, and the most important static list: your christmas card mailing lists. Add all your contacts into one active list, then set up your static lists for christmas card versions (languages, for example), then go through your contacts and add them one by one to one of the static lists for different versions of your christmas cards. Send most out as marketing emails, but save a few for a sequence that lets you write something more personal. 

 

That's my list of lists, and I stand by my view... 🙂 

franksteiner79
Guide

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Thanks for sharing your view on lists (😂@JOpie!

 

Some great examples of static lists, definitely given me some food for thought.

Found my comment helpful? Great! Please mark it as a solution to help other community users.


Frank Steiner

Marketeer | HubSpot Expert | CRM Consultant

InboundPro

Let's Talk About Your Project
danmoyle
Thought Leader | Elite Partner
Thought Leader | Elite Partner

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

@JOpie lists for Deals and Custom Objects would be fantastic! Great idea. I found it here in ideas and have given it an upvote! 🙌 


Did this post help solve your problem? You can help others find answers when you accept a reply as a solution. (I also appreciate it!)


Dan Moyle

HubSpot Advisor

Impulse Creative

269-371-4753
dan@impulsecreative.com
https://impulsecreative.com/
Jnix284
Thought Leader | Partner
Thought Leader | Partner

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Thanks for sharing the idea for lists based on deals and custom objects @danmoyle , upvoted and excited! 😄


maka Agency
LSunstrum
Participant

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Hey Frank! Great post! I have a few questions:

1. Do you prefer using the custom HubSpot score over using predictive lead score? I've found predictive lead scoring to be not very accurate so far so was wondering your input.
2. What behavior active lists do you recommend? We have one for website visitors that we haven't contacted in over 7 days (see picture). Any other ideas? 

 

LSunstrum_0-1674601311492.png

 

franksteiner79
Guide

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Hi @LSunstrum 

 

Interesting question on the lead scoring, here is my 2 cents on it.

 

  1. Personally I prefer the manual lead scoring approach. In my view it is more flexible, and depending on your subscription you can have multiple score properties - either for vertical products / services (mostly B2B) or seasonal purchases (mostly B2C).
  2. Going manual lead scoring also means every contact will get a score, pretty much immediately after you defined and saved the scoring criteria. Predicitive Lead Scoring requires a longer warm up period. You need to have worked your pipeline, closed won/lost a few deals before it starts giving you results.
  3. What you could do is, start with manual lead scoring, and a few months into running with lead scores and having collected the full conversion path, start using predictive lead scoring as an additional source of information. For example you could have two leads with an equal manual lead score, but they might have a different likliehood to close - so prioritise the one with the higher likliehood.

As for the behaviour lists, first of the list name "website creepers" is hilarious! 😉

Personally I have always been in favour of "active" over "passive" behaviours, and I'd class a "page view" as a passive action. The only excemption are pages with a strong buying intent, i.e. pricing page, get a quote, contact us. I've come across the following use cases:

 

  • Active list of who viewed the high intent page (pricing, quote, etc.) more than 3 times in the last 3/5/7 days, use that list as the basis for sales rep view called "hand raisers / hot leads" (assuming contacts get a sales owner assigned early on). Sales rep either work of that view to do contextual outreach, or enrol them into a sequence.
  • Define / identify / create high intend offers - if a lead downloads one or more decision stage assets that should flagged. List -> View -> Sales Rep notification and/or task
  • If you have a rough idea of your buyers journey, creating a list that covers some of the key steps, i.e. has downloaded content A, has signed up to newsletter, has booked webinar - maybe call it something like "ideal buyers journey".
  • I've used lists in the past for contacts who attended multiple events online and offline.

I hope that's a good starter for 10.

Frank

 

 

 

Found my comment helpful? Great! Please mark it as a solution to help other community users.


Frank Steiner

Marketeer | HubSpot Expert | CRM Consultant

InboundPro

Let's Talk About Your Project
danmoyle
Thought Leader | Elite Partner
Thought Leader | Elite Partner

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Some great points here @franksteiner79. I love how you set the bar with specific lists we all ought to have. It also gives some good fuel for brainstorming! 

 

I'm curious about how you think about active vs. static lists. Do you have thoughts on which to use for specific use cases? 

 


Did this post help solve your problem? You can help others find answers when you accept a reply as a solution. (I also appreciate it!)


Dan Moyle

HubSpot Advisor

Impulse Creative

269-371-4753
dan@impulsecreative.com
https://impulsecreative.com/
franksteiner79
Guide

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Thanks @danmoyle 

 

The good old static vs active list conundrum. With my former Marketing Manager hat on, I'd say 90-95% of my lists have been active and I personally have always struggled with good static list use cases. The one that springs to mind is a "confimed attendees" list for an event, or if for whatever reasons I need a snapshot of a certain status/property at a point in time. Other than that I'm coming up short to be honest.

 

Do you have any must have static lists?

 

Thanks

Frank

Found my comment helpful? Great! Please mark it as a solution to help other community users.


Frank Steiner

Marketeer | HubSpot Expert | CRM Consultant

InboundPro

Let's Talk About Your Project
danmoyle
Thought Leader | Elite Partner
Thought Leader | Elite Partner

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

We're in alignment for sure, @franksteiner79. Any event could use a static list (attended, didn't attend) to capture that moment in time. The only other option for me would be through a lead nurturing workflow, if someone ends up unengaged, adding them in the workflow to a static list for that specific effort/campaign. 

 

90% (or more) I'm in active lists. Good to know I'm not alone. 😊 

 


Did this post help solve your problem? You can help others find answers when you accept a reply as a solution. (I also appreciate it!)


Dan Moyle

HubSpot Advisor

Impulse Creative

269-371-4753
dan@impulsecreative.com
https://impulsecreative.com/
Reemabadii
Member

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

thank you for your support information 

kvonloesecke
Community Manager
Community Manager

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Hi @franksteiner79,

 

Thank you for these segmentation tips and must-have lists! I agree with you that lists are the most underrated HubSpot tool. The amount of things one can do with the lists tool is mind-blowing from cleansing the CRM to building reports from lists 😄 

 

I wanted to invite our fellow community members to see if they have any questions regarding segmentation or the lists tool in general!

Hi @danmoyle@chrisworqflow@jolle@Syeda_Fatima@Whathcock@ChristinaKay@BukunmiOdetayo@MuseDebbie@Josh - What are your must have lists? Do you have any questions or comments for @franksteiner79?

 

Thank you!  

 

Best,
Kristen


Did you know that the Community is available in other languages?
Join regional conversations by changing your language settings !
Jnix284
Thought Leader | Partner
Thought Leader | Partner

On Demand AMA with Frank Steiner: HubSpot Lists - the most underrated HubSpot feature?

Thank you for this excellent breakdown of the necessary lists to run your CRM effectively @franksteiner79, this is a really great summary/resource to have available when list questions arise!

 

and thanks for the mention, happy to have contributed in a small way 🙂


maka Agency