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In an effort to increase its appeal to and value for advertisers, Facebook is rolling out a new tool for ad targeting. Marketers and advertisers will be able to target their ads to existing customers. This is important because desktop click-through-rates for Facebook ads are about 0.01 percent and mobile CTRs are about 1.1 percent. When you can leverage those clicks and turn to existing customers, you can make the most of your Facebook ad campaign.

So, what’s the new tool about?  It uses existing data – customer phone numbers and emails – to help advertisers reach out to people with whom they’ve done business before but are not connected with on Facebook. The social network is not asking (or taking) information from businesses; what this does, however, is allow advertisers to get this data from Facebook and use it to target their ads. Advertisers will be able to connect their customer email with your Facebook account, which gives them an edge when marketing.

Inevitably, privacy becomes an issue, but this tool doesn’t give Facebook access to the business’s customer data, nor does it give businesses access to Facebook’s data. It is simply a way to match up email addresses with accounts.  Amazon, for instance, could display targeted ads for books by authors you’ve already read.

While this is a new way to do it, ad targeting itself is not new. But any tool that allows marketers to do this more precisely is sure to be welcome – by advertisers if not consumers!

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