Create and use lists

Last updated: April 21, 2021

Applies to:

All products and plans

The lists tool in HubSpot allows you to create a list of contacts or companies based on property values and other characteristics, including activities. A list can only contain one object type (i.e., only contacts or only companies).

Other HubSpot tools rely on lists to make changes to a specific group of contacts. Some uses of lists in HubSpot include:

The above uses are currently not available for company lists. However, you can still create a list to analyze the contacts or companies that fit a certain criteria.

Please note: the maximum number of lists you can create depends on your subscription. Check out the HubSpot's Product & Services Catalog for the number of lists you can create based on your HubSpot subscription.

Types of lists

There are two types of lists in your HubSpot account: active lists and static lists.

Active lists

  • Active lists automatically update their members based on its criteria.
  • Records will join the list when they meet the criteria and leave the list when they no longer meet the criteria.

Examples of when active lists should be used include:

  • sending unique marketing emails based on each contact's behavior and properties. If you send out a regular newsletter, an active list automatically manages the continually changing list of subscribers.
  • placing outbound calls to contacts based on contact behavior and property values.
  • grouping your contacts by lifecycle stage and to identify behavior and properties for contacts in each stage using up to date data.
  • segmenting contacts based on properties that change frequently over time, such as HubSpot score.

Static lists

  • Static lists are snapshots of the contacts who meet a set criteria at the point when the list is saved.
  • Static lists do not update automatically.
  • New records who meet the criteria will not be added to the list.
  • Records can be manually added and removed from static lists.

Examples of when static lists should be used include:

  • manually add contacts to a workflow.
  • send one-time email blasts, email campaigns that you don't run often, and for a list of contacts that doesn't change (e.g., event attendees, staff lists for an internal newsletter, or lists from a trade show). 
  • manually group contacts that may not have a shared list criteria.
  • segment contacts to bulk delete contacts from your account.

Set up a new list

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Lists.
  • In the upper right, click Create list.
  • In the left panel, select Contact-based to create a list of contacts, or Company-based to create a list of companies.
  • In the right panel, enter a name for the list and select if you want an Active list or a Static list.
  • In the upper right, click Next.
  • In the left panel, set the criteria for the contacts or companies you want to work with. Learn the list criteria available to you and how they work.
  • Once you've set your criteria, click Apply filter. Records that fit this criteria will populate in the table. This is a preview of the estimated number of records that will be added to your list.
  • To test if an existing record meets the filters:
    • In a contacts list, click the Actions dropdown menu in the upper right and select Test a contact.
    • In a companies list, click Test filters in the left panel. Click the Search dropdown menu and select the record you want to test. You will then see if the record you selected meets the filters.
  • In the upper right, click Save. Your list may take some time to process.

Once the list has finished processing, you can continue editing your list.

Access and edit a list

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Lists.
  • By default, you will be on the Contact lists library tab and access your contact lists. To locate a company list, click the Company lists library tab. You can also view the contact lists that are not currently used by other tools in HubSpot by clicking the Unused Contact lists tab.
  • In the table, click the list you want to access or edit.
  • To search for a specific contact in your list, use the search bar in the upper right.
  • In the upper right, click the Actions dropdown menu to perform more actions with your list:
    • Edit columns: select the contact properties to display for each contact in the table.
    • Export/Export list: download a copy of the list.
    • Test a contact: check if a specific contact meets the list criteria. This only applies to contact lists.
    • Move to folder: select a list folder to move the list to. This only applies to contact lists.
    • Clone: clone the list.
    • Delete list: permanently deletes the list. You can only delete lists that aren't actively being used elsewhere in HubSpot. Contacts in the list will not be deleted. Learn how to bulk delete contacts.
    • Create a report: build a custom report based on your contact lists.
    • View list performance: allows you to analyze your list's metrics, such as the list's size over time, and the breakdown, engagement, and activity of the list's contacts. This only applies to contact lists.
    • Resync list with Salesforce (Professional and Enterprise only): triggers a resync of the list with Salesforce if you're using the Salesforce integration for contacts.
    • Use this list to limit Salesforce Sync (Professional and Enterprise only): allows you to specify the list as an inclusion list for contacts that will sync to Salesforce, if you're using the Salesforce integration. Learn more about Salesforce inclusion lists for contacts.

  • In the table, you can sort the contacts based on their property values by clicking the headers.

Delete a list

If you have reached your account's list limit, you may want to delete a list without deleting its contacts or companies. Learn how to delete the contacts and companies in a list.

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Lists
  • To view only lists that haven't been used or updated in the last two months, click the Unused lists tab. You can also continue with your deletion in the Lists library tab.
  • To delete a single list, hover over a list and click the More dropdown menu, then select Delete list.
  • To bulk delete lists, select the checkboxes next to the lists you want to delete and click Delete at the top of the table.

  • In the dialog box, click Delete.

Learn more about why you may be unable to delete a list.