#Unpacked EP 2: HubSpot Lists

In this episode of Unpacked, Remington Begg and George B. Thomas Unpack the HubSpot marketing Hub List Tool. They share several things they love and hate about the List Tool as well as some strategies to help you along the way.

Tune in to unpack the real power of HubSpot lists.


About the Expert

Remington Begg

My passion is to help business owners succeed by helping them leverage the POWER of internet marketing. We work with clients to define their goals, and backwards-analyze what they need to reach those goals using everything available with the internet.


Full Transcript

George: So, we're live. We're on Sprocket Talk Unpacked, and I'm super excited to see what goes wrong with today's set up. Because, I'm trying something totally new, mic, camera, lights, all that fun stuff. So, something could go horribly wrong. But, you know what doesn't go horribly wrong, Remington, is, Lists, and HubSpot. Why don't you kick us off.

Remington: Yeah, so, I'm stoked to talk about Lists. Lists are probably one of my favorite things in HubSpot, like in general. And, that's a, like, pretty loaded statement. But, Lists are literally like the forefront of context that you can set of knowing who you have in your database. Like, there's just so much power, that, a lot of times, I think people just see the word, Lists, and just think that it's like; Oh, it's the same thing as, like, a CSV upload, when it's so much more.

George: Yeah, without a doubt. You know, when we get into this conversation around Lists, the first thing that I want to talk about, because there's some confusion, I think, in Hub Landia. And, that is, and, even at an agency level, I've seen, in different groups, I'm not going to mention which groups, people talking about this. The difference between a List, and two types of Lists, and actually filters. Right?

Remington: Yep.

George: So, when we're talking about a List of people, we're not really talking about just a general grouping of people, because that could be a filter. You could literally go into the tool. You could set some, you know, some... the word is escaping right now... some rules.

Remington: Criteria?

George: There we go, some criteria, some rules, and get a bulk amount of people quickly to do some quick adjustments. But, there's also, Lists, and that's what we're talking about today. And, that's Active Lists, and that's also Static Lists, although I think... didn't they change, like, the name of one of those Lists? Because, HubSpot loves...

Remington: Yeah.

George: ... HubSpot loves to change names. I just know this is a fact.

Remington: It used to be... yeah. It used to be Smart Lists and Static Lists.

George: Yeah.

Remington: And now, it's Active Lists, and Static Lists.

George: Yeah. And, I don't understand the name change, because, to me, Smart made sense, because you were setting these rules or these criteria, and it would smartly, not really probably a word. But, it would update itself. Right? And so, I love that. I've made it a word. So, we're not talking about filters, although we could probably do a whole episode on things that you can do with filters, and unpack that. But, we're unpacking Lists.

George: So, the round that we're going to play in is, Static and Active Lists. Now, when I think of Lists, the other piece of this, Remington, and I'm going to stop and we're going to start getting hacky and talk about things that I want everybody to pay attention to here is, most people, when they think about Lists, they think very high level. Right?

George: They think of, like, a lifecycle stage, or they think of a persona, or they think of, you know, a state, or something like that. And so, my call to everybody on this is, when we talk about Lists, or after we get done talking about Lists, I hope that you think of them in a very micro level. But, we'll get more into that. So, what can we start to do with Active and Static Lists inside of HubSpot, Remington?

Remington: Yeah, so, why don't you pare it down? Brand new HubSpot. We got HubSpot yesterday. What Lists do you think someone should make sure they have from the get-go?

George: Wow!

Remington: Let's just fire them off. Don't explain them. Fire them off.

George: Okay. So, you definitely have Lists for personas. You have Lists for the amount of page views that people are reading or looking at on your website. You have Lists for the amount of engagement. And, when I say that, what I literally mean is, a List for that ebook, a List for that guide, that check list. In other words, maybe it's based off the form conversion. Man, I... there's so many more, but, that's where my brain immediately goes is those.

Remington: Good. Yeah, yeah. So, perfect. So, like, most of your Lists are about engagement, which is really cool, because you were able to dig in and look at those filters. You also have whether they're customers, whether they're opportunities, whether they're, like, sales qualified leads. And, a lot of times, what we like to do in Impulse Creative is break down, like, map down the entire funnel.

Remington: So, we'll have anyone who has ever been anything from the top of the funnel, all the way on down, and make a series of Lists. I think it's like five or six Lists that literally show you the visualization of what you funnel would be. Because, those are huge, because then you get to know, like; Are we moving people through the journey? Or, are we just leaving them out from the top?

George: Yeah.

Remington: That's a really big one. Another type of List that, to your point, like blog subscriptions. They're actually the ones that come in by default, and you can turn on and modify things around as well.

George: Yeah, without a doubt. By the way, if you're watching this now, or, you're watching the recording of this, we want you to leave an emoji. We got to play the emoji game. Today is going to be the nerd emoji. If you are using List, and if you are using List to what you think is a nerd level, put the emoji in the comment section. Also, if you have questions, make sure you ask your questions about Lists as we get into this. And, don't forget to share this, or talk about it, or let us know what pieces you love or your co-workers. And, like, look, you can be like; Hey co-worker, there's this awesome group, it's called Sprocket Talk on Face Group. You should join it. Like, everyone it helps...

Remington: Like Face Group?

George: ... Oh yeah, it's Facebook! But, it's all good! It's all good! They knew what I was saying! Bro, they knew what I was saying. On Facebook, it's a group. And, it's this community of people who are helping each other do this mastering of HubSpot thing that everybody's trying to do, because it's about ROI. So, remember, share the group with your co-workers, with your friends. Maybe not your family, because your mom will be like; What's this Sprockety Talkety thing? And, that would just get weird.

George: Remember, nerd emoji if you're using List. Remington, I want to talk about, before you actually get into a List. One thing that I feel, most HubSpot users should be doing it. And, that is, looking at the tabs or sections of information that you can see at a List view. Meaning, when I first go in there, am I seeing their email address? Am I seeing the average page views? Am I seeing the latest conversion.

George: And, here's the thing, most people, historically, when we've done these HubSpot audits, it's the default view that HubSpot sets up from the get-go. And, your company isn't built off of HubSpot defaults. So, you should literally look at the things that are important to you as a marketer or as your sales team, which by the way, you can customize this per person, so you could literally create a marketing view that you want. You'll have to have each individual do this, by the way. So, I don't want anybody to be like; How do I create that view?

George: But, you'll have marketing, like, here are the seven things we want to look at when it comes to our Lists. You can talk to sales, and be like; Here's the six, seven things that you want to look at from a sales perspective before you even dive into a List, or when you're in a List, that customize bar at the top. So, make sure you're customizing HubSpot to your needs. And, remember, lead questions. Remington, what's next?

Remington: Yeah, so, I think, one of the big things is, as you start looking at Lists is, remembering your criteria types. So, a lot of times, people will build out those said Lists. And, you know, and, you have to, especially with Active Lists, or Smart Lists, as they were previously called. Like, you've got to remember the power of them, because Lists are used for a lot of things.

Remington: It could be, Lists could be used to stop workloads. Or, it could be used to, like, from a reporting standpoint, which we'll get into in a minute. But, the big thing is that List is going to have a lot of criteria. So, remember, not just to put in the stuff that means that, like, they're in the List. But, also make sure to drop in exclusions for that List of things you actually wouldn't want.

Remington: For instance, for Impulse, we have, like, our All contacts, minus competitors. And, it's one of those things that we just update all the time with all the different competitors things. We also have that List as competitors. So, what we don't want to have happen is, we send out to a List of people, and, we're like, telling all of our competitors; Hey guys, this one looks like a neuro kimono.

George: Wee! Yeah. You know, it's one... before we got off of this, you should talk about, like, competitors and the whole BCC thing when it comes to Lists [crosstalk 00:08:52].

Remington: Oh, yeah.

George: Like, we should talk about that. But, when I heard you talking, Remington, what I thought of immediately was, Lists as triggers. Right?

Remington: Yeah.

George: So, let me paint the picture of this for a second. One of the things that we teach is, The Four Pillars of Super Sales Qualified Leads. And, we use this methodology, or the spring work, if you will, that is radar, research, and revenue. Because, a human needs to know exactly what they're supposed to do at a trigger point in the journey of the buyer. And so, let's just give you a little snippet of what we teach. It's called Information-ally Qualified.

George: And, we'll base it off of some Lists that are the page views that we deem for that portal, for that traffic, for the amount of content they're creating makes sense. So, let's just say, for instance, our Lists are 30, 60, 90 page views. And, at 30 page views, it's a radar. At 60 page views, it's research. And, at 90 pages, it's revenue. The mindset to the List.

George: Now, what I'm talking about is triggering off of when somebody arrives at that list. So, for instance, if we're waiting for them to trigger at the 60 page views... Right? ... that's research, there's two things that we can trigger. We can trigger an internal email, where we actually deliver an email to the marketing, or maybe it's even to the sales team at that point, depends on your company. But, we can talk about that on some more private meeting that you decide to contact me and Remington about.

George: But, it might go to marketing, it might go to sales. And, what happens is, it's literally a, like, a holy grail lead sheet that says; Hey, you know, Mr. Sales Rep, it's time to do research. Here's the person. Here's their website. Here's their social accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn. It's time to do some research and get some additional information that helps in the sales process, into your CRM. Boom!

George: But, there's also an external email that can go out at that trigger point that says; Hey, Mr. or Mrs. Customer, by the way, we love helping people solve their problems. And, one way that we can help solve your problem is having context to the conversation. If you don't mind, take this short survey, four to six questions, one to two minutes, so that we can help you better in the future with the content that you need. Oh my gosh, and that was based off of a List! It was two trigger points, because you're paying attention to data, and you're making smart conversations that are contextual to the point where they're at in the journey.

Remington: Yeah, I love that. So, my favorite filter for Lists is, Other List membership. Right? Because, when you can create that criteria, like, you're talking about whether they are in this List, this List, and this List to trigger off some of the amount.

George: Yeah.

Remington: Rather than trying to build that criteria into your workflow, create. Like, I'm a big fan, and this, like, goes back old school. Like, you never used to be able to trigger workflows other than manual or List membership. Right?

George: Yeah.

Remington: And, I think it kind of, like, sets a bad habit for people not to be thinking about who actually makes it through said Lists, or, you know, said areas. But, we're not talking about workflows today. We're talking about Lists. So, with those Lists, you know, you could have, if someone is a member of this List, your radar List, this List, the research List, and this List, the revenue List, like, they've made it through all three of those steps.

Remington: Like, that could be like; Let's just go ahead and ring the bell. Right? Because, they've made it through the whole process. But, the other thing that's really cool about those Lists is, you could have that List of, like, all of the context that you have. And, this is a fun pro tip, anyone who is a contact that an email is known, or not known, is literally everyone. Right?

George: Right.

Remington: You have to not know now, because, if that's everyone. But, if you're going to send an email to them, it could be that the email is known. But then, you can say; But, not my competitors. And, you could just pull the List for that competitor. So, you don't have to go duplicating things in 47 other places.

George: Love it. Love it, love it, love it. Hey, remember, leave...

Remington: Love Lists.

George: ... yeah, List is the best. Like, I base a lot of things off of List, which, by the way, leave a comment or a question in the comment area if you love List, or you have a question about List. Or, if you've ever tried to do something with List, and you couldn't achieve it.

Remington: Show me a List emoji.

George: Now, let me... Oh, ooh, there you go. So, Remington, you brought up workflows.

Remington: Yeah.

George: I talked about triggers. I want to circle back around and talk about Lists as a goal.

Remington: Yes.

George: In workflows, there is a place where you can set a goal. Right? And, I'd like to say, it's List membership. So, let me just go back to my radar example, my information-ally qualified example. And, we talked about 30, 60, 90 page views. So, if I do a workload that sends that trigger, I might put in the 30 page one that, the goal is that, they've reached the 60 page views. Why? Because, I want to know how many people that have read 30 pages, actually go on to read 60 pages.

George: And, if I use that List as a goal, then, I know that 25, 54, 67% of people who read 30 pages go on to read 60 pages. Plus, then, when I get to the 60 page one, and I make the 90 page goal, I know the same information. And then, then, what I want to do at the end of it, at the 90 page view one, I want to either set off of lifecycle stage, or, I could do, List Is Customer.

George: Because, then what I know is, the amount of people who read 90 pages, how many actually became a customer. And, that's all based off goals, based off Lists that are in your portal as well. I almost said HubSpot CRM, but it's so much more than a CRM. That would've been weird. So, what's next?

Remington: Yeah, so, for me, the next thing is, we can get into reporting a little bit.

George: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Remington: Because, a lot of times, and it's become more hidden than it used to be. But you... so, you build out this criteria for your List. And, over time, that List grows if it's an Active List. What's really awesome is, you can use that to segment down your reporting, and actually report on those goals, like you just mentioned. And so, you can do that by hitting the actions tab, if you have your List.

Remington: And, it'll show you the List growth over time, which can be great for showing subscriptions, subscription increases. But then, you can also show the source. You could show the lifecycle stage. And, there's one other. I forget. It's missing me right now.

George: I think it's, like, country.

Remington: Country. Okay. So, there you go, country, List size...

George: Not even in front of a computer, people. Just throwing that out.

Remington: ... Yeah.

George: I'm not even in front of a computer right now. I'm standing in front of my Canon DSL SL2, and I'm like; Number three, country, for 500, Pat! I'm just saying! Just throwing that out there!

Remington: So, yeah. So, that can be really useful, because it gives you some really easy screenshots you could screenshot for your boss, and that kind of thing. It also allows for you to wiggle it down. So, it could be that you only want people on that List to convert it on a form on said page.

George: Yeah.

Remington: Like, you can pare that down. Or, between a certain time period. So, you can use List for reporting, just as much as a goal. Or, even a... you could use List as well for a way to stop... What do they call it, deferring Lists? So, where it actually will defer or stop the workflows.

George: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, so...

Remington: What else we got, George?

George: ... since you brought up reporting, I'm going to stay in that vain. It's in the same area. Did you know... and Remington Begg, that wasn't a question to you. That was a question to all the people who I'm still waiting to put, like, some type of emoji in the chat pane, or a question or comment in the chat pane, so we can engage with you. Because, that's what this is about. It's about you.

George: Same area, same location, same type of thing as far as reporting. But, are you, or can you, or should you be looking at two different Lists, and actually seeing which List is growing faster, which one has more churn? Because, there is a Compare Lists functionality in Lists. And, that's a lot of Lists. But, have you done that? Are you doing that? If you have questions of why you should do that, you can always reach out. But, definitely, you should have two different types of Lists that you might be like; I wonder. And then, all of a sudden, the wonder's gone! That's a short sweet one, but it's powerful!

Remington: That is super powerful, because you can be looking at, you know; Are my weekly subscribers, like, out-pacing my daily? So, you can know the kind of content, the cadence. Like, you can go crazy with a lot of different things on that. That's a lot of fun. Cool. So, the other thing I want to get into is, all of the other ... so, when we're talking goals, this kind of goes in a little bit into it.

Remington: But, if we go into the personas, and we're also slicing up that buyer... so, if we, like, slice persona along with, like, also doing a cross slice of their engagement, suddenly now, we're able to, like, set up a series of Lists that will allow for us to do smart content. Now, when a lot of times people do smart content, they think, like, the mail merge. Like; Hey, First Name! Right? And, you can drop that stuff in.

Remington: And, while that's totally, totally awesome, one of the things I like to try to teach people when we're helping them with HubSpot is, have a criteria that anyone who you're going to say; Hey, First Name, is actually, like, in the List. So, you can have the criteria that, they're in this List membership that says they have First Name. And then, show some more content. Because, that allows for you to have a lot more control over the message, rather than saying; Hey you. Are you having a good day? Like, you could really change the message based on what you know.

George: Yeah, yeah. All right. So, I'm going to get a little nerdy. You mentioned personas. And so, this is a; Got you. If you're new to HubSpot, and you're building personas, and you leverage the HubSpot persona tool, just so you know, they're not going to give you all the Lists that you need out the gate. They're going to give you a partial set of Lists, based on the lifecycle stage. Like, they're... you watch. Go create one, and be like; Hey! Hey! Where's my opportunity? Where's my SQL? Where's my...

George: You're going to find that there are some missing. You're going to want to go in and build out the full, you know, subscriber, lead, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, opportunity, customer. And, you could go way beyond that, by the way. But, make sure all of those are there. So, that's a little bit of, a; Got you. But, as I start to think about that, Remington, and think about, like, making sure that the tool is doing what you want with List, I also think about other tools that are not on, or not part of HubSpot.

George: So, for instance, and by the way, I hope the HubSpot god doesn't strike me down here real quick. But, you know, you might want to use a different popup tool than HubSpot's popup, aka, lead flows. So, you might use something different. And, typically, what you're going to do is, you're going to use... because I don't want to have to be the red-headed stepchild that we never mention on this episode. This is where we're going to talk about Static Lists.

George: So, using Static Lists for third party integrations that need to do that, that's something that you might want to pay attention to is, create that Static List. Connect that tool that you want to use. And then, know that, that's the source of knowledge when it comes to that piece that you're integrating. I have another one, but I'm going to let you go first, Remington.

Remington: Yeah, yeah. So, HubSpot's got this thing called, Unengaged Contacts. And, it's because of criteria that shows that some, like, there's a certain amount of people that have not engaged with the last 10 of your emails, and that kind of thing. What's interesting, we've come across this with a couple of our clients. That's really like, you don't have any report on that. You don't actually know who those contacts are, or why they're unengaged.

Remington: And, there's a treasure trove of info. And, you could totally build out a List on that as well, as well as using some of that reporting to go; Oh, for some reason, none of our customers are engaging in our newsletters, the last 10 that we sent. Like, what the heck's going on? Right? You could change your content strategy based on understanding the info. So, there's a lot of those things too. The other one is, they, and this one blew me away when I was, like, just giving it a peruse.

Remington: You can now, if you have quotes, and you're using, like, Sales Hub Enterprise, you got the quotes tool, and you drop products into your serum. You can actually pull Lists from the List, any contacts that have a List item associated. So, like, Line Item Support is essentially how, like, some nerdy people will probably hear about it. Right? If someone writes up a workflow, or work order that says; You get a website with 149 content pages written, you do that.

Remington: But, any-who, that List item of that content, you could pull a List of all of those pages, or all those contacts that have ever purchased content marketing from you. And, you can ask them how it was. So, the Line Item Support is pretty awesome. I didn't even know that was a feature to pull from a List. I knew it was a product, but I didn't know you could go that deep with it. So, there's a lot of stuff in that bar when you're going through all the contact details, and the Line Items, and stuff like that.

George: Yeah, yeah. We got like six minutes left, so make sure you leave your questions, your comments in the comment pane. As you're watching this, please let us know. And, by the way, if you're not watching this in a group, if you're watching it on YouTube, then, hit the subscribe, hit the bell for instant notifications, because we're going to be launching these out on this channel as well.

George: And, there is a plethora of information in these Sprocket Talk Unpacked episodes. Remington, I'm going to go a little bit crazy, because most of these, I like to List things that, ooh, that was no, that was a Floridian slip. No pun intended. But, I like to List things that typically anybody can use in, like, maybe free, or for sure, professional. But, when I think about enterprise, and I think about List, I have to go to, which by the way, there was just another recent update with this whole functionality. Anyway, I digress.

George: Lists as the tool for gated content, and using the HubSpot CMS. And now, your HubSpot blogs, whew, as gated content, based on List membership. So, you know, a lot of you are like; Man, I wish I could do a paid membership in HubSpot, or gated content for my customers in HubSpot. Or, like, give people that I'm going to go to an event, like, pre-event information, but not for anybody else. Now, you can leverage Lists to do that functionality. It's super dope. What else do you got as we close out, Remington?

Remington: Yeah, so, the final thing is, digging in to some of these Lists for Active Lists. Like, the times that you want to use an Active List versus a Static. Right? So, a lot of times, and, it goes back to reporting a little bit. But, you might want to grab a List of contacts that were in an Active List at one point in time. You can clone that List into a Static List, that would make it so that, that List would then never change from a new contact being added in. So, it's almost like Ground Zero, if you will.

Remington: You could also us Static Lists to add people to from workloads. So, maybe you have a certain path in your workload where you just want to add someone to a List that's questionable in the funnel, or a potential competitor. You can use Active, or Static List, rather, in that way, so that it's one of those things where, manually, a human has to place it in there.

Remington: And, it can be really helpful for you to, if you're doing any data testing, or, you have that conference List that you want to add certain people to, so they get access to information or announcements, you could totally do that. But, the Static List could be quite useful in that regard. Also, automatically, when you import, you have the option of creating a Static List, which I always think is a good idea, so you can go back and check things. So, if you import a List of contacts, there's a little checkbox now, where you get to name it, which, I love the fact you can actually name it now. Used to not be able to. It was like, List 147.5 times the date...

George: Which is so useful. Yeah.

Remington: ... like, crazy. So, it's super useful.

George: Great naming convention. So, okay. I'm sorry. I'm going to apologize now, apologize right now. Because, like, I'm just a guy who loves to add value. So, as we close this out, before we close this out, I'm going to say this to you. Think about snapshots. Use the folder functionality in List to bring together four or five Lists in a general area of thought, and immediately be able to see what is more powerful.

George: So, for instance, if you typically like to work with CEOs, SVPs, or CMOs, maybe you actually build this List that is job titles, or this folder, I'm sorry, that is job titles. Put three to five job titles that you think are coming to your website, that you want to pay attention to. And, immediately, you're going to get a snapshot of, there's 100, 200, 700, 600. And, you'll see that it's based off of that job title. And, you'll be like; Oh, actually, we helped these people more than we helped those people, and that's not what I thought.

George: Because, Lists, and HubSpot, and Marketing Automation, and doing inbound, is all about paying attention to the data, and forgetting what you think you know. And, seeing what the data's actually telling you that you know. By the way, when I think of Lists, Remington, I think of wanting to have a List that is just granular enough that, if I want to market to dairy farmers in Nebraska, who like purple goulashes, I got a List for that. Hey, I'm George B. Thomas. He's...

Remington: Remington Begg.

George: ... Yeah, and we're telling you, this is another episode of Sprocket Talk Unpacked, with HubSpot Lists. If you have questions or comments, let us know. But, that is a wrap, people. Make sure that you're using Lists. And, make sure you're being a happy, helpful human, and doing some happy HubSpotting.

Remington: Later!

George: Yay! We're out!