Each audience type is designed for specific marketing strategies. Below is a description of the advantages of each one and some examples of when and how to use them.

How to use Automation Center Audiences in…

How to use Segment Audiences in…

How to use Lookalike Audiences to…

Using Automation Center Audiences

Automation audiences are the easiest and most flexible way to use social media as part of a multi-channel customer engagement strategy. Because you can dynamically add and remove contacts from the audience via the respective Automation Center nodes, you can define exactly the window of opportunity for your highly targeted ads campaigns, ensuring that your social ads budget is spent in the most effective way possible.

Using audiences in the Automation Center

After you have created an Automation audience, it will become available for use in the Automation Center. Proceed as follows:

  1. Open your Automation Center program and place the Add to audience node at the point where you want your contacts to join the audience. This could be after a recurring daily filter, or a concrete action such as an email response or a data change.


  2. Double-click the node to open the properties and select the audience you just created.


  3. Place the Remove from audience node at the point where you want your contacts to leave the audience. This will typically be after a Wait node of a few days, or again after a concrete action by the customer such as a purchase.

Once you activate the program, it will begin to add contacts to the audience according to your specifications. As soon as the audience has reached the minimum size defined by the network (20 contacts for Facebook, 1,000 for Google), those contacts will begin to be targeted by the Ads campaign that you have launched to target this audience.

Below are some example of how to use Automation Center audiences.

Customer lifecycle marketing

In this image you can see three straightforward customer lifecycle programs that use CRM Ads to target customers on Facebook.


  1. In the first program, all new contacts in the Emarsys database are automatically added to a Lead Nurturing audience. For the next three days they can be carefully targeted with incentives aimed at securing that first purchase. After the third day, if they haven’t already converted they probably won’t, so they are removed from the audience, keeping the audience compact and relevant and ensuring that you don’t use up too much of the budget for that campaign on any one lead.

  2. In the second program, one a first purchase has been recorded in the database, the application removes the contact from the Lead Nurturing audience and adds them to the 1st-time Buyers audience, where they can be introduced to loyalty schemes, or simply welcomed as a new customer. Again, after three days they are removed from the audience.

  3. In the third program, a filter checks every day for new contacts who fit your profile for churning customers (for example, as defined in your Smart Insight ERFM scoring model). After adding them to the reactivation audience, you can target them with incentives aimed at winning them back.

Orchestrated multi-channel engagement campaigns

In this image you can see how a program can engage with new customers on three different channels, all triggered by a new contact entry in the Emarsys database. In this way you can take advantage of the strengths of each channel to send carefully targeted information and start your customer journey on the right foot.


In this image, a one-off promotional email campaign is followed up on Facebook according to the behavior of the recipients.


  • Contacts who failed to respond at all are added to an audience which can be targeted with the same content as the email
  • Contacts who clicked on a link in the Menswear section of the email are added to an audience which is targeted with offers in this category
  • Contacts who clicked on a link in the Ladies Shoes section of the email are added to an audience which is targeted with offers in this category

A/B testing for Ads campaigns

In this image, you can see how easy it is to validate the benefits of a multi-channel approach.


By keeping 10% of your first-time buyers in a control group targeted with email only, you can compare their conversion results with the rest of the contacts who are targeted with a mix of email and CRM Ads.

Using Segments Audiences

When you base a custom audience on one of your existing Emarsys segments, all contacts in the source segment whose email address matches a profile on the network are automatically added to the audience. This audience is synchronized with the source segment every 15 minutes.

One-off, batch campaigns

The simplest version of this is a one-off CRM Ads campaign where you simply create an audience from a segment and launch the campaign from the network. Examples of such CRM Ads campaigns could be reactivation of inactive customers, seasonal offers or ‘back in stock’ campaigns, or a follow-up for everyone who showed an interest in a recent promotion. Such campaigns are typically of limited duration.

Brand awareness campaigns

You don’t always want to use a marketing campaign to sell products. Especially on social media, brand awareness campaigns are often better received and more successful than more commercially-oriented ones. For example, by segmenting for contacts who have responded to an email or visited your website in the last three days, you can keep a Facebook audience permanently filled with ‘hot’ contacts.

After no interaction for three days they are no longer in the source segment and therefore (as long as the synchronization is active) removed from the audience.

Lookalike audiences

Lookalike audiences are created by the network based on the shared characteristics, rather than the contacts, in the source segment you choose. The network first creates an audience from your segment, then analyzes the preferences, browsing habits and purchase history of these people and finds similar profiles among its own database.

This is a great and very cost-effective way to acquire valuable new leads. Please note that lookalike audiences are static, not dynamic. That is, they are created once, from the combined characteristics of the contacts in an audience at that moment, and are not updated afterwards.

You should also be aware that although the networks will exclude any of their own contacts who were in your source audience, they have no way of knowing whether the other contacts it finds are also your customers. To avoid targeting existing customers with campaigns aimed specifially at leads, you should use the network’s own filtering to exclude any other audience you may already have.

Finding new ‘platinum’ leads

Your best customers all share some characteristics in common: high spenders with an affinity with your brand, a desire for your products, and the will to spend with you rather than your competitors. Create a segment from your most lucrative contacts and the network will fill a lookalike audience with similar people. Target them with selected offers and watch them convert to high-value customers.

Expand the reach of a promotional campaign

You know (or should know!) which of your contacts are most likely to react well to a particular promotional offer. So why not create an audience from them and extend this offer to their lookalikes? Or make an audience from the contacts who reacted well to a particular campaign and use the lookalike audience to find more of the same type of customer.