NOTE: This article was written a few years ago, Facebook has since tightened up the rules regarding Custom Audiences. Please, check the latest rules and guidelines before starting a Facebook Ads campaign using this strategy!
Do you have a stale email list? Or perhaps a large list with thousands of subscribers who are still non-paying customers? There is a powerful advanced feature with Facebook ads that you should definitely try out: Custom Audience targeting.
With Custom Audience targeting you can upload a list of email addresses (or phone numbers) and Facebook will match those with their user database so you can show ads to your chosen audiences (you can expect a 20-40% match rate).
It’s a similar concept to retargeting, except it allows you to specifically target those people that have shown extra interest in your product offering (beyond simply visiting your website).
How can your business take advantage of Custom Audience targeting?
Maybe they’ve been opening your emails but have never made the jump of pulling out their credit card? Present them with a truly irresistible offer to get them over the line.
Or perhaps you ran a conference a while ago, and want to start building up awareness of your next conference or promotion? Showing them ads on Facebook is a lot less intrusive than emailing them out of nowhere, and is a great way to build up buzz and generate a new early bird list.
What about those people that have clicked on your email’s unsubscribe link? By showing ads on Facebook you can continue to reach out to old subscribers, particularly ones who have never bought from you, with a special enticing offer that only they will see (Facebook allows you to use md5 or sha256 hashing when uploading your lists which should meet most corporate privacy policies).
Another very useful technique using your current lists to exclude a specific audience from seeing your ads – this is known as exclusion targeting. Let’s say you’re running a campaign to attract first time customers. You can create a specific audience based on email addresses of current customers, then prevent this specific audience from seeing your ads on Facebook.
Have you tried Custom Audience targeting on Facebook yet? Let us know how you got on!