Putting Your Customer Data to Work
Marketing Strategy + Digital Marketing Optimization + Analytics

Putting Your Customer Data to Work


Nick Wunderlin
Nick Wunderlin

on 6/20/2023

What are Customer Lists?

Just about all major, self-serve ad platforms allow marketers to upload customer lists. These customer lists allow marketers to re-engage with past customers, show ads to newsletter subscribers, or even find new customers similar to their existing ones. Odds are, you already have a treasure trove of customer data residing in your sales reports and email subscribers.

The secret to these operations is your customer data. Many marketers have the data at hand but don’t put it to work. Learn how to utilize the data you already have on hand to improve your bottom line, acquire new customers, anticipate user needs, and elevate your marketing efforts past your competition.

Re-Engage Past Customers

Both Google Ads and Meta (Facebook & Instagram) allow marketers to upload contacts and create audiences based on these contacts. These audiences can then be used for ad targeting.

For example, your company is launching a new version of a popular product, and you believe that past purchasers might be interested in this new version.

Follow these steps:

  1. Export a list of users who purchased the past version of your product
  2. Upload the list to your ad platform of choice and create an audience
  3. Select the audience as part of your ad targeting

Voila! You’re now officially ready to announce your product to past users and encourage them to explore and purchase the new version.

There are thresholds that your customer list must reach to be eligible to use for ad targeting. On Facebook, the threshold is low, customer lists must be a minimum of 100 users, but recommend a minimum of 500 users for better results.

For Google Ads, the threshold differs depending on the medium you would like to use. For display campaigns, the threshold is 100 active users for customer match targeting. The threshold for YouTube and paid search remarketing ads are 1,000 active users for customer match targeting.

New Customer Acquisition

Customer lists can also be used for attracting new potential customers whose demographics and behaviors are similar to your existing customer list.

In Facebook Ads, after uploading your customer list, you can create “Lookalike” audiences that will seek out and target users who are similar to your original list. To create a lookalike audience, Facebook’s platform leverages information such as demographics, interests, and behaviors from your source audience to find new people who share similar qualities.

Facebook recommends a minimum audience of at least 1,000 users in your customer list for the best results from Lookalike audience generation.

When creating a lookalike audience, there is a percent range to choose how closely you want your new audience to match your source audience. The size you choose depends on your goals. Smaller percentages more closely match your source audience, but larger percentages create a bigger, broader audience. VIA Studio recommends selecting a percentage between 1-5% for Lookalike audiences.

Cross-Sale Opportunities

Not only can customer lists be used to target users to buy a new product, but customer lists can also be used to cross-sell additional products that complement the products they have already purchased.

For example, if you sell a high-value product and want past purchasers of it to follow up to buy a warranty, you can upload a customer list of purchasers who brought the original product and use that list to target a campaign that is focused on warranty purchases.

Additionally, if you sell companion products that go with an originally purchased product, a customer list of purchasers can be targeted to sell additional products to improve their experience with the original product. Companion products can be items like shoelaces or cleaning products offered to purchasers of sneakers, cases to protect tech devices, or even tickets to upcoming events offered to users who have attended similar events.

Using customer data in this way is a great opportunity to anticipate customer needs and even inform them of products that they might not be otherwise aware of.

End-of-Product Life Opportunities

Many products have a life cycle — these products wear down over the course of their usage and need to be replaced at regular intervals. Products like tires, athletic gear, or even filters for HVAC systems or water treatment are examples where end-of-product life can be an opportunity for marketers.

If you sell a product with an estimated lifespan, like brake pads, and you know they should be replaced roughly every 30K-35K miles, and you estimate that they should be replaced at least every 3 years, you can use your customer lists to target users who are due for a replacement.

Simply pull a list of customers who purchased brake pads 3+ years ago and upload them to the ad platform of your choice. Once uploaded to your marketing platform like Google or Facebook Ads, create a campaign specific to these users with a message encouraging them to replace their old brake pads.

Use this execution for any product you offer with an estimated lifespan. Many customers may not realize that it is time to replace it, and the nudge from your ads could be the catalyst for them to do so!

Partner With Us

Customer lists have a variety of uses even beyond the examples covered in this article. Many marketers are sitting on a vast collection of customer data that can easily be used in their marketing efforts.

If you have a customer list but are not sure how it can be used for your marketing efforts, contact VIA Studio today! Our strategy team would love to collaborate and find a way to put your data to work for you.

Let's figure out how your data can benefit your overall business strategy!

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