A lot of companies work very hard to create an email database of existing and prospective clients by building up their client portfolio and capturing potential new client data at events or via online forms, often in exchange for information.
As these lists grow they become more and more useful for marketing teams to generate more business, as they are relatively warm leads – people that have shown interest in the brand by already using its services or voluntarily providing their email address.
However there are other (more clever) ways of targeting these people beyond your standard mailout / e-shot.
Google very recently launched Customer Match – the first way to target users by uploading a list of email addresses using AdWords. It allows advertisers to target customers when they’re signed into Google Search, YouTube, or Gmail, and show them ads promoting the brand or a new product being launched.
There is one huge drawback with Google’s customer match though; you have to have a list of over 1,000 Gmail associated email addresses to even be able to get an impression. This can make it harder for some of the smaller businesses unfortunately, and is something we hope Google will reconsider in the future.
You also can’t target these people on the Display network, it has to be a Search campaign – again making it limited.
When using Facebook advertising you can create custom audiences to target ads to a specific set of people. These lists don’t have to consist of just email addresses, but also Facebook UIDs, phone numbers, app user IDs, Apple’s Advertising Identifier (IDFA), or Android’s advertising ID.
In a similar way advertisers can use tailored audiences on Twitter Ads to target their customer lists whilst they are on Twitter. You can use lists to target specific users by uploading a list of email addresses or Twitter usernames (@handles) to target people.
All these methods are an extension of remarketing, and can be a good way to up- or cross-sell to existing customers and people that have shown interest in your brand by choosing to give you their email address, phone number, etc.
Just remember that these people already know who you are, so use these platforms to tell them something new. You can also create different lists for different campaigns, so make sure you are as targeted as possible to prevent wasting budget.