Your Email List + Facebook Ads // THINK DIGITAL

Your Email List + Facebook Ads

For years now, one of the staples of effective digital marketing has been building an email list. Small businesses often have a clipboard by the cash register. Larger businesses might have a pop-up on their website that offers a discount if you hand over the one thing they want — your email address. Building an email list has essentially been congruent with building your business in the 2000s.

It’s almost surprising how consistent email lists have been. As digital marketing has swayed from search engine optimization to social media to search engine marketing, emails have always played a big role.

In 2017, we can see that the world of digital marketing is going a new direction: Facebook ads. Does this mean your email list is worthless? Should you delete the Excel file that you have backed up 300 times on 12 different devices? No! Your email list is not worthless. In fact, there are incredible ways that your email list can help you get ahead in the game of Facebook ads. All of the time and money you have spent growing your list has not been in vain.

There are two great ways to start using your email list with Facebook ads: lookalike audiences and hitting every touch point.


If you have an email list, one area of Facebook’s Business Manager that you will want to be familiar with is the “Audiences” tab. In this area, you can create and save many audiences which you can later use to push ads to.

You are able to upload your email list as a .csv file or can even upload it directly from MailChimp. Facebook then connects the email accounts/names to the corresponding Facebook users. (Disclaimer: you do not then have access to a creepy list of their profiles to go and write on their walls about your promotions. This audience is only usable for ads).

One of the simplest and most efficient things you can do with this newly created audience is create a lookalike audience based on your email list. When you create a lookalike, Facebook analyzes the traits of your source audience (i.e. emails) and creates an audience of similar users all across the country. We’re talking millions of people. And since it is based on your current email list, it is an incredibly accurate audience of people who are likely to be interested in your business!

This lookalike audience can be used when targeting ads and can help your business reach entirely new customers from all over the country.

Hitting Every Touch Point

The second strategy for your email list is the exact opposite of reaching new customers across the country. This strategy is using Facebook ads to reach your current email list — on Facebook.

When you upload your email list as a Facebook audience, you can then target ads directly to all of the users who are already on your email list. Why would you want to do this?

When you send an email out, users most likely read it once and move on. Hopefully they click on some links or remember the content, but they are unlikely to come back and reopen it. Facebook ads are a great way to remind them of the important things in your email. For example: If you send out an ‘email-list only’ promo code, make a Facebook ad for the last 48 hours before the code expires.

Maybe some users on your email list have sent your emails to their spam folder for good. This is a way to get your business back in front of them and share the details they no longer get in their inbox.

Digital marketing is always changing, but don’t give up on that email list yet. As Facebook ads develop, keep looking out for more and more ways to reach and grow your list!

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