Categorizing contacts allows you send emails to the most appropriate audience. Relevant and personalized emails are key to high engagement and low unsubscribe rates.
List categorization settings
Tags: Internal categorization of contacts
Subscriptions: Content preference management by your contacts. Standard, private or mandatory subscriptions are available.
Segments: Create custom and dynamic lists based on a variety of conditions
Standard fields: These include email, address, phone, website, etc.
Custom fields: Store information specific to your organization.
Overview of tags, subscriptions and segments
There is no limit to the number of tags, subscriptions, segments and custom fields you can use with any billing plan.
Sending targeted emails
When you send emails you can select the recipient list based on tags, subscriptions or segments.
Visibility to contacts
Tags are not visible for your contacts unless you explicitly add them to forms, for example "Select your industry: financial, education, other".
Tags are primarily used for internal list segmentation. You can use unlimited tags and send emails to contacts based on how they're tagged.
Contact type = staff, volunteer, stakeholder.
Since tags are internal, they can also be used to create ad hoc lists or to temporarily mark a group of contacts even if you have no intention to sending emails to these temporary tags.
Tags can also be used as conditions for dynamic content in emails.
Tags can be added to contacts in bulk via import or the API, manually for individual contacts or by your contacts themselves as they submit forms.
Tags can be updated on contacts via import, in bulk from the interface, manually or using the API.
Organizing tags using folders
Tags can be grouped into folders. This makes it easier to manage a large number of tags and folders can also be used to designate tags as mutually exclusive.
The mutually exclusive setting ensures that only one tag can be assigned to a contact from that folder at any given time.
Visibility to contacts
Subscriptions are visible for your contacts on the Email Preferences page.
Subscriptions are how your contacts indicate what type of content they want to receive from you. You can send emails to contacts based on their subscription settings. You can have unlimited number of subscriptions or none at all, it's completely up to you.
Newsletter, event invitations, product news.
Mandatory subscriptions cannot be unsubscribed from. They are sent to everyone even if they are otherwise unsubscribed from other content.
Subscriptions can also be used as conditions for dynamic content in emails.
Subscriptions can be added by your contacts on forms and by you via import, manually for individual contacts or using the API.
Subscriptions can be updated by your contacts on the email preferences page or by you via import, in bulk from the interface, manually or using the API.
Private subscriptions can only be added by account administrators. It allows existing subscribers to unsubscribe but other contacts cannot subscribe on their own.
Let's use "tenant updates" as an example: Admins assign tenants to this subscription and tenants can unsubscribe but other contacts don't see this subscription and cannot subscribe.
The private subscription option is not available with the Standard billing plan.
Visibility to contacts
Segments aren't visible to contacts.
Segments are used to create custom lists based on multiple conditions when you need to select / send emails to contacts who aren't part of a single tag or a single subscription list.
Segments are dynamic: they are calculated/evaluated real time each time they're being used; there is no need to manually "refresh" segments.
You can have unlimited segments in your account with any billing plan.
Send email to contacts who are part of multiple tags / subscriptions at once.
Create exclusion lists.
Send re-engagement emails to contacts who didn't click in recent emails.
Create a custom list for reporting.
You can create "test segments" to send test emails to multiple contacts at once.
Adding and updating segments
Segments are managed on the segments page.
Tags 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 used in segments.