Are you tired of a .03% click-through-rate on your Facebook ads? Have you read my recent articles, employed ad rotation, optimized your ad images, and targeted and traced your ads to hell and back, but are still seeing disappointing Facebook Ad results?

Then let’s just cut to the chase. Let’s integrate your Facebook ads with your existing contact list. Let’s target your ad to a group of people who have engaged before, who have purchased before, and who you know are interested in your products or service.

This article will examine targeting your Facebook Ad to an existing email or phone number list. I’ll dive into why it’s awesome, how it works, and how you’ll need to change your ads based on your new targeted audience.

Tweetable Takeaways:

  • Did you know List-Targeting can increase E-Commerce ad conversion rates by 30-50%?
  • How to lower your Facebook Ad cost-per-click with List-Targeting
  • Skyrocket your engagement rates with Facebook Ad List-Targeting
  • Generate an ideal target audience for email marketing with a social sweepstakes

I’m going to assume your business already has an existing contact list of emails and phone numbers. I’m going to assume you’re already engaging in email marketing. If you aren’t, you should know that for every $1 spent, the average return on an email marketing investment is $44.25 (so get with it).

If you don’t have a contact list you’re happy with, your best option to build one is a social media sweepstakes contest. Sweepstakes:

  • Create incentivised engagement with a chance to win a prize you’ve set (like a gift card or product).
  • Generate large numbers of emails and phone numbers with optimized entry forms.
  • Give you demographic information to target your email lists even more specifically
  • Generate leads who you know are genuinely interested in your product

How does it work?

You provide Facebook with your list of emails or phone numbers stored in your CRM or email service. As most Facebook users have a registered email address and phone number within the platform, Facebook can match the details you’ve provided to their user.

This list is compiled and those users are targeted specifically for your ad. Note that it can take up to 24 hours if Facebook is busy.

Why is List Targeting Awesome?

Targeting your Facebook Ad to existing contacts allows you the most specific focus available.

No longer are you targeting by age group, gender or specific interest and hoping you’re right. Now you’re targeting by name, literally. You’re targeting people who have already engaged with your brand and encouraging them to do so again.

The numbers (thanks to

  • An ecommerce company who targeted their email list found a 43% conversion rate increase among sign-ups and a 30% decrease in cost-per-lead.
  • OpenSky targeted members who had either never purchased or not purchased within 30 days. They saw a 30% conversion rate increase.
  • SocialCode found that one campaign with a custom audience found a 15 percent lower cost per fan.
  • Another got three times as many engagements/post as standard ads and received two times as many viral engagements such as Facebook Likes, Shares and comments.

Four Steps of List-Targeting:

Both Facebook Power Editor and Wishpond’s own Facebook Ad tool give you the option of targeting by your existing email or phone number contact list. For the below steps I’ll be using screenshots from the Wishpond ads interface.


1. Importing your email lists:

Facebook Ad tools should allow you to import your email list from your own CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. Simply tick the target by ‘Email Addresses’ box within the targeting page of your Facebook Ads tool, copy your email list and paste it into the ad tool.


2. Phone number list targeting:

You should also have the option of targeting by phone number. Like emails, this information can be generated from a Facebook contest or from your own existing customer database.


Your ads tool should work with Facebook to automatically track down and target those Facebook users who correspond to the phone numbers you’ve provided. Cool, huh?

3. Importing from your CRM or Email Service:

Does your business use popular services like MailChimp and SalesForce for your contact management? Here’s how to integrate them with Wishpond’s Facebook Ads tool:

  • In the Contact Database tab of your Wishpond account you can connect your account with your external email service or CRM with a single click.
  • You can important contacts from any list or group into Wishpond.
  • From within your Wishpond Contact Database you can then select exactly which contacts to target with your Facebook Ad
  • Launch it!

Your ads manager will also allow you to save this imported contact list within its own CRM. This means you can come back and target to that list again and again with different ads, contests, and emails.

4. Targeting a Lookalike Audience:

A lookalike audience is exactly what it sounds like, an audience of users generated by Facebook that best-matches your imported contact list.

Facebook examines demographic similarities like age segment, gender and location as well as precise interests and broad categories. An algorithm within Facebook matches those demographic details with existing Facebook users and finds the best possible match for your next ad.

How to do it:

Tick the ‘Target similar people’ box within your ads manager. The tool will work with Facebook itself to generate a similar audience to the one you’ve already imported.


How Does This Affect your Ad Creatives?

You’ve been designing Facebook ads to be massively appealing. They’re colorful, have great Calls-to-Action and great images. Don’t stop now.

The only difference with targeting to an existing contact list is that you’re sure your audience is familiar with your brand (as they’ve engaged with you at least once before).

If you’re a mid-sized or large business, this means you can refrain from having your brand name as your ad’s headline. Instead, you can take advantage of that space for a great CTA or other eye-catching words:

  • Win $500! (enter to win…)
  • Need a Break? (Spa offer…)
  • Enter Here? (We’ll do your taxes for you…)
  • A/B Testing Works! (A/B Testing Ebook)


If you’re a small business, however, this means that your Facebook audience is aware of your logo, and including it in your advertisement (instead of an image or CTA), will increase your brand’s recognition. Your audience will say, oh yes, I remember engaging with that brand last month, and be encouraged to engage again.

Remember though, if you’re targeting a lookalike audience it is, by definition, an audience likely unfamiliar with your brand.

For the more advanced small business: I’d be tempted to run two ads to the same lookalike audience. Run a long-term ad with your logo as the image (to help with brand recognition) and another, shorter-term ad, with a more engaging CTA or offer.

Create an Exclusive Contest or Offer

Targeting based on an existing email list allows you to make offers exclusive – thereby increasing your likely engagement rates.

You can target recently-active customers, lapsed customers, customers who have recently wrapped up a contest or who have recently purchased a particular product. The image below is an example of an exclusive targeted Facebook Ad.


How you can do it:

  • Create an ad for entrants after a contest is over: ‘Consolation Prize! // Enter here for $10 free credit toward your next purchase with AcmeShades.
  • Give one more opportunity: Doing it again! // Invite your friends for one more chance to win a $500 gift card to AcmeShades this Christmas.
  • After purchasing: Thanks for buying! // Your purchase entitles you to a 50% discount on the AcmeHardRockCase. Enter here!
  • Exclusive to recent/frequent purchasers: Thank you! // We’re rewarding our most loyal customers with a chance at $250!


Hopefully you know enough about list-targeting your Facebook Ad to take advantage of it for yourself. If you have any questions about integrating lead generation with a Facebook advertisement I recommend you check out Wishpond’s Facebook Ad’s Tool or get in touch with our experts.Have you had successes or failures with list-targeting your Facebook Ads?

Start the conversation below!

By James Scherer@Wishpond