How to ‘hyper target’ consumers with Facebook Custom Audiences

The drive towards insane ad targeting took another leap forward a couple of months ago, when Facebook quietly announced Facebook Custom Audiences. If you’re not salivating after reading this, it’s time for me to pack it in.

Facebook Custom Audiences allow you to upload your customers’ data into Facebook, which is then anonymously matched to the data Facebook has about its users. You can match your lists via:

  • Phone numbers
  • Facebook user ID’s
  • Email addresses

Probably the most useful to most of us is the email upload option.

You can take your email database and upload it into Facebook. At this point, Facebook cross matches your electronic direct marketing (EDM) list with the gazillion email addresses people use to log in with.

Why you want to use Facebook Custom Audiences

If an email address is matched, they’re added to your ‘custom audience’.

In a nutshell, this means you can advertise to your EDM list on Facebook using Facebook Ads.

We ran a test here at Reseo a month or so ago and uploaded about 60 email addresses to create a custom audience.

The team created an Ad that only the 60 people in the “audience” would see on Facebook. Here’s (embarrassingly) what it looked like:


What this means is you can extend or reinforce your EDM campaigns through Facebook Ads.

If your EDM list is highly segmented, you can also upload various EDM audiences into Facebook and show them much more targeted ads.

Here’s how we did this (and you can too)

First off, you’ll need Google Chrome installed because Facebook’s Power Editor App is required to create custom audiences. You can’t set this up through your Facebook Advertising account online. Grab the Facebook Power Editor here:


There’s a ‘Custom Audiences’ tab which you’ll need to click. Then simply agree to the terms and conditions and click accept:


On the next screen, simply name your list, upload your EDM file and wait a couple of hours for Facebook to anonymously wash your data against theirs:


Once that’s done, you can go in and create a Facebook Ad to show your EDM list. You’ll see that you have the normal Facebook targeting options, but now you’ll also see the ‘custom audiences’ you’ve uploaded.

Depending on the size of your EDM list, you can segment those audiences further by age, sex, geographic location, marital status and so on:


I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, but there are such a ridiculous amount of advertising options that I don’t even know where to start. I can’t wait to get some of our customers using this new retargeting feature.

Certainly early adopters are reporting extremely strong ROI on their Custom Audience campaigns, as reported recently by TechCrunch.

If you’ve a sizeable EDM list, give this a try; it can only help your online sales if you get it right.

Chris Thomas heads up Reseo, a search engine optimisation company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.


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