Are you trying to get a jump start on your new Facebook Page? Or maybe you feel like there’s a big disconnect between your current Facebook fan base and your current customer list?
The good news is that it’s easy to load a list of your customers or prospects into your Facebook ads account to advertise specifically to them.
*As of Fall 2018, you have to use Business Manager if you want to advertise using one of your email customer audiences.
How to Create a Facebook Custom Audience from your Email Contact List
From your Ads Manager account, click on the 3 bars/Ads Manager button on the top left. If you don’t see Audiences in the Frequently Used list that appears, click the blue All Tools link at the bottom of the drop down menu.
The Audiences tab is located under the Assets column towards the right.
Once you are in the Audiences view, click on the Create Audience button to reveal 3 options. Choose Custom Audience.
For our purposes, we want to choose Customer File from the 3 custom audience options given.
It’s great that Facebook makes it as easy as possible to upload your customer list into your Ads Manager account in order to create a custom audience to advertise to. You can import from MailChimp, upload a .txt or .csv file, or simply copy and paste your data into a field provided.
Often the most common data type businesses have would be the email addresses of their current customers or prospects. Facebook allows for up to 14 identifiers in your data file, however.
Visit this Facebook Help Center link to read more about best practices for improving match rate and to download a sample customer list .csv file.
We have the choice of uploading a .csv or .txt file or copying and pasting our email addresses. We’re going to choose to copy and paste. I did so straight from a single column in an Excel spreadsheet. Make sure to name your audience something that will be easy for you to remember and identify.
After clicking the Upload & Create button, keep in mind that you may have to wait for another 30 minutes for your custom audience to “match” and be ready for use. Expect the number in your custom audience to be less than the number of people in your original customer file. Facebook users need to have the data you are trying to match associated with their account in some way. In the case of email addresses, many people have more than 1 email address. And if your business is B2B instead of B2C, the match rate may be even lower; not as many people are as likely to have their email or address or phone for their 9 to 5 as part of their Facebook profile.
You may try matching by more than 1 identifier to see which generates a larger audience for you (for example, create 1 audience from email addresses and a different audience from phone numbers, and compare audience sizes).
If you view your Audiences, the red light will change to green/Ready once your new custom audience is ready to use.
Once you’ve created a custom audience from your customer list, you can create lookalike audiences based on that list. You do need at least 100 contacts in the same country before you can create a lookalike audience from that contact list, however.
For more on Lookalike audiences, click here.