Attention: this product has been replaced by CRM Ads and is no longer supported.

What is Social Ads?

Emarsys Social Ads is a custom audiences integration between Emarsys and Facebook. It matches your Emarsys contacts with their Facebook profiles and lets Emarsys create custom audiences in Facebook for you, so that you can target these micro-segments individually. These custom audiences are dynamic and, once created, are updated in real time.

In other words, Social Ads finds your existing customers on Facebook and allows you to effectively target individuals in real-time via automated data-driven advertising campaigns. Just like Email.

You can place your adverts as:

  • A simple Facebook right-side ad, shown to the right of the news feed.
  • As a Suggested Post / Sponsored Stories, shown in the news feed itself.
  • As sponsored stories for the Facebook mobile app.

How does it work?

In the simplest scenario, you create a segment in Emarsys (or Smart Insight) and Social Ads sends a corresponding list of email addresses (securely) to Facebook. Facebook checks these addresses against the addresses used in Facebook profiles and creates a custom audience from all the contacts who match.

Alternatively, you can create a blank audience and use the Automation Center to add contacts to this audience if they reach that particular node in their journey. The Automation Center can also automatically remove the contacts from that audience after a set period of time or a defined action on their part (e.g. a purchase).

You can also provide Facebook with a segment to use as a starting point for creating a new audience of users with similar characteristics (a lookalike audience).

These audiences are listed in Emarsys and you can create Social Ads campaigns to target them. You can also define another layer of filter criteria based on data that Facebook has but you do not (e.g. demographic and geo-data).

After you have created the ads and defined the audience, duration and budget of the campaign, Facebook uses its own algorithms to decide when and how to display your ads to your contacts, based on your campaign settings and your monthly budget.

Note: Facebook customer audiences must contain at least 20 contacts before Facebook will begin to display your ads to them.

Why is it so special?

There are a number of reasons why every Emarsys user should be interested in Social Ads:

  • Like other Facebook integrations, you can use Facebook’s own data to refine your segments even further.
  • Unlike other Facebook integrations, however, Emarsys can continuously synchronize your audiences with their source segments, so you don’t need to worry about manually updating them.
  • Another innovation is using the Automation Center to fill audiences based on contact behavior (blank audiences) rather than just on contact properties. Here, you effectively let the audience build itself from the contacts who are sharing that particular customer journey, and can target them accordingly.
  • You can create Facebook Lookalike audiences from your most valuable customer segments, and target new leads who share the characteristics that define those segments.
  • When using Social Ads in conjunction with email campaigns, you can extend your reach by up to three times by switching channel and targeting contacts on Facebook who did not respond to your email.

Why should I be using this feature?

There are a number of reasons why this feature should be part of every digital marketer’s arsenal.


Facebook is the world’s biggest social network and a marketing phenomenon in its own right; it has unparalleled reach and far higher participation rates than other channels. By combining this with your standard email marketing strategy, you send a powerful message to your customers and leads that you are willing to address them on their own terms, and on the channel they prefer.


You have your own data on your customers, and so does Facebook. By taking advantage of both sources, you can create more highly targeted micro-segments than either platform could manage on its own.


You have full control over who is targeted, which ads they see and for how long. By defining success metrics for each campaign, and using A/B test versions to experiment with different creatives, you can keep improving your campaigns until you have the best ROI possible.


Not only is Social Ads very easy to set up, but once you have created your campaigns and audiences you can sit back and let the Automation Center move contacts between channels according to the criteria you define for that particular program. You don’t need to worry about tracking contacts through the customer lifecycle, or updating segments, or exporting updated contacts lists to Facebook – everything is taken care of.