TAGS VS LIST! Here's What No One Tells You!

| October 11


I help my clients to manage their leads and nurture them (correctly), so they can become clients.


As part of the onboarding, I see over and over again people relying on lists instead of using tags.


So, I decided to first show you an example and educate you on why using tags is a much better solution in the long run and also when should you use lists.


So let’s say you have a funnel and you want to add people that signed up to ActiveCampaign. Many people will choose to add the contact to a list. Then they will use the trigger “Subscribed to List <name>”.


Here’s a list of issues with this setup:


  • If you have multiple funnels with different offers, you will need to have a new single list for each one of them, so the contacts land at the correct automations you create
  • If you need to add emails to your list, you will have a ton of lists to choose from
  • It becomes a nightmare to manage all those lists
  • It’s hard to segment the correct contacts when necessary
  • Every time a new contact is added to a list (maybe by mistake), it will trigger an automation to start


If you subscribe the contact to a list AND add a tag, this is what happens:


  • You can use the tag as the trigger
  • The tag will show where the lead came from
  • You will have historical data regarding what has been happening with the contact
  • It’s easy to segment contacts by tags
  • It’s a lot simpler to manage tags than lists
  • You can literally have 1 main list called Master List and rely on tags


Now, when should you rely on lists then?


The lists are extremely powerful when you need to seclude contacts that belong to different locations like offices, countries etc.


I always tell my clients to limit the number of lists. Among the listed concerns above, here are some other things to think about:


  • A contact can be part of multiple lists at the same time, this means they might be triggering multiple automations as soon as they subscribe to a different list
  • If a contact unsubscribes from an email sent by an automation, they will be unsubscribed from all lists, so no need to have them subscribed to multiple lists anyways
  • When you rely on tags, you can see what tags are being used by automations (contacts > manage tags)




Tags are a much better way to store and segment contacts. It’s also a safer way to trigger automations. It allows contacts to have historical data added to it.


Other ways you can use tags (endless possibilities):


  • Tag video visualisation
  • Tag Blogs or URLs visited
  • Tag emails open
  • Tag email clicks
  • Tag automations the contacts went through
  • Tag purchases
  • Tag webinar status
  • Tag Calendly and other integrations status