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  • Writer's pictureKelly Alica Liman

How to Upload and Use Customer Lists or CRM Lists in Meta Ads

The most valuable asset you can have as a marketer is, of course, data! If you've been building up your customer or CRM lists, then you've got a treasure trove of customer data; and there's no better way to use it than in your Meta Ads campaigns. In Meta Ads, you can create a Custom Audience out of your customer list, either prospecting or existing, and use it to engage with people who have already expressed an interest in your company or product. This easy, step-by-step guide (with screenshots!) will show you how to upload and use Customer Lists or CRM Lists in Meta Ads!


Looking for help or support on Meta Ads?


Before we get started, in case you find yourself in need of some video guidance, here's a quick 6-minute tutorial from XYZ Lab's Youtube Channel!

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How to Upload Customer Lists or CRM Lists to Meta Ads

Step 1️: Access your Meta Business Manager (Meta Business Suite)

Step 2️: Navigate to Audiences (under "All Tools" menu)

If you're unable to find the Audiences under the shortcut, then you can scroll down and it will be available at the bottom of the menu.

Step 3: Create a Custom Audience

Step 4️: Select "Customer List" and click "Next"

Step 5️: Skip the preparation by clicking "Next" and select "No" to Customer Value

There are a number of ways you can prepare your customer list, however, we will not be using the methods here so we can skip ahead by clicking "Next".

We don't want to upload information relevant to how much revenue we make per customer, so we will select "no" to the customer value.

There are two options to add to the customer list:

1. Download and fill in the file template and upload data relevant to the template. You don't have to include all the information, you can simply include email, phone numbers, and country code.

2. Paste comma-separated values

Step 6️: Choose "Paste comma-separated values"

Step 7️: Copy-paste your email addresses and click "Next"

Step 8️: Name your Audience and click "Next"

Step 9: Click "Import and Create"

The system will scan and map your data for import.

The system will go through a process called hashing, which will encrypt your data and upload it to the Meta Ads database. Then, it will match your email database with real users on Facebook and Instagram.

The uploaded customer list will appear in your audience list.

How to Use Customer Lists or CRM Lists to Meta Ads

Step 1: Navigate to Ads Manager

Step 2: When creating an Ad-Set, under "Custom Audiences" select the Customer List Audience you want to use as your ad set's targeting


So that's how you can upload and use your customer lists in Meta Ads!

There are a variety of ways you can utilize this data for your campaigns' targeting, such as:

  • Target lapsed or inactive customers to reactivate them

  • Target best customers for upselling

  • Target users who have registered for free but haven't subscribed to activate them

  • Target users who have attended an event and you want to invite to more events

  • Exclude people who have already purchased from your company

  • Exclude people who are already registered as paid customers

  • Create Lookalikes from your existing customers

  • and more!

As an additional note, we recommend uploading data that contains at least 5,000+ email addresses or email addresses with phone numbers. Anything below 5,000 will be less meaningful, as the more data you have, the better the campaigns are going to work.


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