Facebook Customer Lists

If you have a database of customers or leads an effective way to market to them is to use Facebook’s custom audiences along with your customer list and let Facebook’s system build a similar audience. Facebook’s ads platform allows us to upload a customer list of emails, names, phone numbers, and addresses and build a custom audience from your existing list.

Using the new custom audience we can then build a similar audience to match the top 1% of users most similar to your original customer list with Facebook’s AI. This is a powerful way to expand your reach and find new customers that are likely to be interested in your products or services.

Types of Customer Lists

Your customer list can be a CSV (Excel) file or a TXT file. You should use as many identifiers as possible in your lists. For example First and Last name, emails, phone numbers and addresses. The more information you can provide to the system the more people Facebook will be able to match to existing users.

Since not every field will match up to a Facebook user the audience that Facebook creates after the list is uploaded will typically be smaller than your original list.

Information on how to format your list can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/2082575038703844?id=2469097953376494

Privacy Concerns

When uploading customer lists to Facebook the data is hashed before it is sent to their system. According to Facebook “The system will match the encrypted data against Facebook’s active users, and build a custom audience in your account with everyone that matches your list

Since the data that is sent to Facebook is hashed and encrypted the email addresses and data never actually exchanged between you and Facebook’s system.

Legality of Customer Lists

There are a few things to know about you customer lists before you upload them to Facebook:

  • You can’t keep people in your custom audience that have unsubscribed to the list.
  • The original list you upload must be from an opt-in email list that you have permission to use.

If you do not comply with above rules you risk having your account suspended.


Customer lists are a great way to build a similar audience and expand your reach without having to determine your customers exact demographic profile.

Typically the custom audience created from your list to do one of the following:

  • Build a Lookalike audience similar to your existing list.
  • Guide people through your sales funnel.
  • Up-sell to your existing customers.

Companies typically see good results with custom audiences that are built from customer lists. The results will vary greatly depending on the type of company and the offering.

If you have any questions or are interested in how this type of custom audience might work for your company please let us know and we would be happy to discuss all the options with you.