List segmentation options

The following list segmentation options are available:

  • Subscriptions: public lists, indicate content preference
  • Interests: private lists, used to tag contacts internally
  • Filters: dynamic lists including custom segmentation criteria
  • Custom fields: store data that is specific to your organization

Why is segmentation important?

Segmenting your list ensures that you can send the most appropriate content to your contacts:

  • Relevant content means higher engagement: more opens, clicks, sales, etc.
  • Irrelevant content can result in list churn due to unsubscribes. 

Before you import your contacts or create a sign up form or even send your first email you should determine how to segment your contact list.

Comparison between subscriptions and interests


Subscriptions are used to manage content preferences that your contacts can update on their own. 


If you don’t have different types of content that your contacts can choose from then there is no need to create any subscriptions. Be sure to also remove any default or sample subscriptions.

Contacts can choose their subscription options on sign-up forms

Sign up forms are the primary entry point for most contacts and on these forms they can choose to opt-in to various subscriptions.

Contacts can manage their own subscriptions

Subscriptions also appear and on the “subscription preferences” page: 

If you offer multiple types of content for your contacts to choose from - for example newsletters, product updates, event invites, special offers, etc. - then you should set these up as subscriptions on the subscriptions page.

Sending emails to subscription lists

You can send emails to contacts who are subscribed to a single subscription or you can combine multiple subscriptions in a single e-blast using filters.

Dynamic content

Subscriptions can be used as conditions for dynamic content in emails.


Unlike subscriptions interests don’t appear on the “subscription preferences” page. You may think of them as “tags” or “internal lists”.

Interests can be self-assigned by contacts when they fill out forms, for example: Industry = Retail or Demo requested.

Interest can also be assigned to lists as you import them, for example: staff only, July e-blast, current customers.

Sending emails to contacts who are assigned to interests

You can send emails to contacts who part of a single interest or you can combine multiple interests in a single e-blast using filters.

Dynamic content

Interests can be used as conditions for dynamic content in emails.

Filters (custom segments)

If you want to send an email to a custom segment (not to a single subscription list or a single interest) you can create filters that are made up of a combination of subscriptions, interests and other fields.

Custom fields

Interests and subscriptions are "yes/no" type fields with a finite set of pre-determined answers. They are commonly shown as checkboxes or drop down selectors on forms. If you want to store custom input with no pre-determined answers then you should use custom fields. Custom fields can be part of filters just like interests and subscriptions.

Adding contacts to the right segment

Each form should include fields to ensure contacts are added to the right segment. These fields can be visible or hidden.

Each time you import a list you should also tag them with the appropriate subscription or interest.

Common list segments and which field to use to track them

  • Geography: Use contact fields for country, state/province or city
  • Job title: Use contact field call "job title"
  • Content topic: Use subscriptions
  • Industry: Use interests
  • Lead details: Use interests

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