Audience targeting

Audience targeting helps you reach a specific group of people by combining info about your customers with info about how people use Pinterest. You can create four types of audiences: customer lists, people who went to your site, people who engaged with your Pins on Pinterest, and people similar to an existing audience list.

Create an audience

  1. Click Ads at the top of Pinterest
  2. Select "Audiences"
  3. Click Create Audience
  4. Select your audience type and click Next
  5. Follow the prompts and click Create

Each audience needs to have 100 people before you can start using it. For example, if you upload a list of 120 people but our system detects that only 80 of them use Pinterest, you'll need to add more customers.

Pinterest will never share audiences you've created or use them to target anyone else's campaigns unless you ask us to.

Types of audiences

Customer list

Upload existing customers' emails or mobile ad IDs through a CSV file and we'll compare that list to people who use Pinterest. You can either include or exclude that audience in your targeting. Use inclusion targeting to reach existing, high value customers with a specific message or use exclusion targeting to drive new customer acquisition goals.

When you create your customer list, Pinterest will look for people in your audience list that have existing accounts on Pinterest. Once your list has at least 100 matches, the status will turn green and you'll be able to target that audience on your Promoted Pin. It can take up to 24 hours to process your list. Keep in mind that your final audience list will likely be smaller than the total number of emails of mobile ad IDs you originally upload.

When you upload your customer list to Pinterest, it's immediately hashed and cannot be re-downloaded or accessed again. If you want to edit your customer list, you'll need to upload a new one.

Creating a Customer List: The nitty gritty

When you create a customer list, you’ll need to upload a single column CSV with either a list of emails of Mobile Ad IDs (MAIDs). Additional information, like names, should be left out. Also, headers, titles, and empty rows/tabs that create breaks should not be included.


Email files: Cleartext, SHA256, MD5 hash key. Must include an “@”.

MAID files: Cleartext, SHA1, SHA256, MD5 hash keys. IDFAs (iOS) must be uppercase and AAIDs (Android) must be lowercase. MAIDs should follow the format 8-4-4-4-12.

If your CSV upload results in an error, it is likely that one of the above requirement has not been met. To edit a customer list, you’ll need to upload a new one. Note that Customer Lists to not update automatically unless they are connected to a CRM via Pinterest API.

Site visitors

Visitor retargeting identifies people who have already visited your site and lets you target them on Pinterest, where they are more likely to take action.

To create visitor audiences, you need to have the Pinterest tag set up. Add the base code across every page on your site and add the event code to pages where you want to track the actions you care about. In Audience Manager, you can use these events to create audiences and retarget people.

You can create a target audience based on one or more specific event tags on your site or based on one or more pages that people have visited on your site. For events, you might retarget people who added a specific type of product to their cart but didn't check out. For pages, you might retarget people who have landed on specific URLs, like your checkout or confirmation pages.

Once you've created your audience, the audience size will update within 24 hours. Keep in mind that you must have at least 100 people in your audience in order to target it on your Promoted Pins.


If you've claimed your website in your account settings, you can target people who've previously engaged with Pins from your website.

Add filters to your engagement audience to target or exclude people who take specific actions on specific Pin IDs or destination URLs.


Actalike targeting helps you easily reach people similar to your existing audience. We build actalike audiences using info we know about people on Pinterest and their behavior.

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