For better contact management in Ecomail, we recommend working within a single contact list and using segmentation to segment your contact into smaller groups.
First, let's review the basic terms.
Contact list = A list that contains all your contacts
Segment = A group of contacts that meet the same conditions. A filter that you can make within a contact list to filter your contact by conditions that apply for base fields, custom fields, preference groups, contact behaviour etc.
Preference group = An information that contacts themselves can manage. For example, the frequency of mailings, topics that they are interested in, etc.
Contact list vs Segment
Contact list contains your whole database. The segment includes contacts from the entire contact list that have met the defined condition in the segment settings.
Contact list vs Preference group
Contact list contains your entire database. A preference group is part of those contacts that, for example, selected in the preference settings that they wish to receive a newsletter only occasionally.
You can see a preference group "How often do you wish to recieve newsletters?" that exists within the contact list "Main List".
Segment vs Preference group
A segment is a filter within a contact list. For example, you can segment (filter) contacts that are in the "I want to send newsletters once a week" preference group.
Segment vs Custom field
Ecomail includes basic fields for working in the application - email, name, surname, city, etc. You can also keep the additional information that you wish to work within the custom fields. Based on the information kept in this field, you can then create segments and personalise your newsletters.
Custom fields vs. Groups
Custom fields and Preference groups keep additional contact information. Groups are selected by the contact (The frequency of newsletters). A custom field is your own internal field that you can edit.
Custom fields vs. Tags
Both Custom Fields and Tags are additional internal information for contacts. Tags are usually used to quickly tag contacts and segment them afterwards. They can not be edited or deleted in bulk. Custom fields can be edited and used as merge tags for personalization in the newsletter.
Custom field vs. Merge tag
A custom field is the additional contact information that can also be used with a merge tag in a newsletter. It is a very similar thing. A custom field serves to keep additional information for contacts. Merge tag allows you to overwrite it in your campaigns and automations with real information that is kept within your contacts.