The Idea

Facebook allows you to create custom audiences with a list of email address. This allows you to pinpoint target potential customers, saving ad spend and adding another layer to testing capabilities. Facebook email address targeting is ideal because many countries forbid sending cold emails through laws such as GDPR and CASL. By using email addresses as a filter, you can take advantage of marketing databases without violating laws or invading your customers’ privacy.

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How to set up Facebook email address targeting

This guide goes over setting up email targeting with Facebook in detail. You’ll need to have experience with the Facebook Ad Manager to be able to do this without getting frustrated. If you haven’t already, it would be a good idea to take a quick online course or watch tutorials on YouTube to get up to speed.

Testing existing email databases

Email databases are a set of emails, often with other information about each person such as name, location, etc. They are usually large but can be as targeted as just a few names (e.g. CEOs of mining companies in Latin America). Because it takes time to gather emails and keep them up to date, they’re a valuable asset to marketing and sales teams.

If you have an existing database internally or purchased one from a third party, running a mailing list subscription campaign is a great way to validate the quality of the list. To do this you’d:

  1. Take a subset of the emails on the list
  2. Create a custom landing page with email capture and lead magnet
  3. Create a Facebook ad campaign to send the targets to the landing page
  4. Measure how many signups you get and how many email are the same as the subset list


  1. Use an existing database or find the email addresses of people you’d like to market through using LinkedIn or a tool
  2. If you have a mailling list, it’s worth testing custom ads for the people subscribed
  3. Reach your existing network, contacts and friends who may not know what you do or may have forgotten


  • Ease: Doable
  • Cost: $10+
  • Scope: Medium
  • Speed: Quick
  • Reach: Global