What is the difference between saved filters, smart lists, and static lists?

Last updated: November 1, 2017

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Within HubSpot, there are a few different ways to segment your contacts. Learn about the difference between saved filters and the two types of lists below. 

Saved Filters

Saved filters are available in all HubSpot Marketing and Sales accounts. They allow you to quickly view a segment of your contacts or companies database right from the contacts, companies, or deals (Sales only) dashboard. You can use any default or custom property in your HubSpot account to segment your contacts using saved filters. Contacts will be added or removed from saved filters automatically based on whether or not they currently meet the criteria you've set. Learn how to create saved filters here


Lists are available in Marketing Basic, Professional, and Enterprise accounts only. In addition to contact property values, lists allow you to segment your contacts by a variety of other filters, such as page views, form submissions, and email interactions. You can use lists to send marketing emails to a specific set of contacts or to enroll contacts in workflows (Marketing Professional and Enterprise only).  

The lists tool allows you to create two different types of lists: smart and static

Smart lists are dynamic, meaning that they automatically update. New contacts who meet the criteria will join the list even after the list has been created for the first time. So, for example, a smart list would be valuable when you have an email campaign to a particular subset of your contacts running over time, and always want the list to update with new contacts who meet the criteria. You may also use a smart list for reporting purposes. For example, you can keep track of the current number of contacts to date who filled out a particular form.

Static lists do not update as new contacts meet the criteria. Instead, they are a snapshot of a group of contacts who meet a certain set of requirements at a certain time. Contacts can be manually added and removed from static lists. A static list can be helpful to gain an understanding of contacts who met a certain criteria on a particular date. Then you will have the ability to look back at that static list later and see contacts who may no longer qualify for the criteria. A smart list, on the other hand, would always display the most updated information regarding which contacts do/do not meet the criteria.

Read about some common uses for each type of list here.

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