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Audience targeting helps you reach a specific group of people by combining information about your customers with information about how people use Pinterest. You can target a group of people based on site visitors, an uploaded customer list of emails or mobile ad IDs (Android ad IDs), an engagement audience that interacted with Pins from your confirmed domain or an actalike audience that behaves similarly to one you already have.

Available audiences on Pinterest

Learn more about the different types of audiences on Pinterest, necessary requirements and how to set them up.

Visitor retargeting identifies people who have already visited your site and lets you retarget them on Pinterest.

To create visitor audiences, you need to set up the Pinterest tag. 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.

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 visitors who added a specific type of product to their cart but did not check out. For pages, you might retarget visitors who have landed on specific URLs, like your checkout or confirmation pages.

Create a new site visitor audience

  1. Log into your Pinterest business account
  2. Click Ads at the top of the screen, then click Audiences
  3. Click Create audience
  4. Select Visitors who went to your site, then click Next
  5. Enter a Name and Description for your audience
  6. Below Pinterest tags, select your Pinterest tag
  7. Enter the duration of days you want to track visitors from and optionally select to Include past traffic
  8. If you want to add a filter to your audience, click Add a filter
  9. Click Create

Note: Once you've created your audience, the audience size will update within 24 hours on the Audiences page in Ads Manager. To delete a site visitor audience, click the trashcan icon on the Audiences page.

Target an existing site visitor audience

  1. Log into your Pinterest business account
  2. Click Ads at the top of the screen, then click Create ad
  3. Click New ad group from the left-side navigation
  4. Click Targeting from the left-side navigation
  5. Below Audience, find and select your audience list 
  6. Once complete, select your Budget & Schedule, Optimization & delivery and Ads
  7. Review your information
  8. Click Launch

You can upload existing customers' emails or mobile ad IDs (MAIDs) through a single-column CSV file. Leave out any additional information you have, like names, phone numbers or physical addresses. Keep in mind that your final audience list will likely be smaller than the total number of emails or mobile ad IDs (Android ad IDs) you originally uploaded as we match your customer list to people on Pinterest.

Customer List Requirements

Before sharing customer lists with us, please review this section as well as our Ad Data Terms and Advertising Guidelines to understand our requirements and restrictions. 

As part of our plans to leverage Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Framework which we shared in May 2021, please note the following changes to our requirements for using our Customer List product: Do not send Pinterest customer lists that are based on user activity from an app or website on an iOS device. Do not send Pinterest information about any individual who has exercised an option to opt out of having such data used for targeted advertising purposes. 

Format your customer list

You can use several different formats to upload your customer list:

  • Email files: Cleartext, SHA256, MD5 hash key. Must include an “@”.
  • MAID files: Cleartext, SHA1, SHA256, MD5 hash keys. AAIDs (Android ad IDs) must be lowercase. MAIDs (AAIDs) should follow the format 8-4-4-4-12.

Create a new customer list audience

  1. Log into your Pinterest business account
  2. Click Ads at the top of the screen, then click Audiences
  3. Click Create audience
  4. Select A list of customers that you upload, then click Next
  5. Enter a Name and Description for your audience
  6. Click Choose file to upload your .CSV file
  7. Click Create

Note: Once you’ve created your audience based on your customer list, the audience size will update within 24-48 hours on the Audiences page in Ads Manager. To delete a customer list audience, click the trashcan icon on the Audiences page.

If your CSV upload fails, it’s likely that one of the above requirements have not been met. Headers, titles and empty rows or tabs that create breaks should not be included.

Once your list has at least 100 matches, the status will turn green on the Audiences page in Ads Manager and you'll be able to use that audience for your ad. If your list has fewer than 100 matches, the status will be red on the Audiences page and you will not be able to use that audience. Try to add more emails or MAIDs (AAIDs) to the existing list to increase the chance of getting additional matches. To do this, follow the edit steps below.

Edit customer lists

When you upload your customer list to Pinterest, it's immediately hashed and can’t be re-downloaded or accessed again. You can choose to add or remove people from an existing customer list or to replace an existing customer list. Customer lists do not update automatically unless they’re connected to a CRM with our Pinterest API partners. To delete a customer list audience, click the trashcan icon on the Audiences page.

Add or remove people to an existing customer list

  1. Log into your Pinterest business account
  2. Click Ads at the top of the screen, then click Audiences
  3. From the list, find the audience you want to edit, then click Edit on the right side under Actions
  4. Select Add people or Remove people, then Choose file to upload a new CSV file with the emails or MAIDs (AAIDs) you want to add or remove
  5. Click Save

Once your customer list audience is successfully uploaded, you can target campaigns to people using your list.

Replace an existing customer list

  1. Log into your Pinterest business account
  2. Click Ads at the top of the screen, then click Audiences
  3. From the list, find the audience you want to edit, then click Edit on the right side under Actions
  4. Select Replace audience, then Choose file to upload a new CSV file with new emails or MAIDs (AAIDs) from your computer
  5. Click Save

Once your customer list audience is successfully uploaded, you can target campaigns to people using your list.

Target an existing customer list audience

  1. Log into your Pinterest business account
  2. Click Ads at the top of the screen, then click Create ad
  3. Click New ad group from the left-side navigation
  4. Click Targeting from the left-side navigation
  5. Under Audience, find and select your audience list
  6. Select Include or Exclude
    • Select Include to reach the people who are part of your chosen audience
    • Select Exclude to reach people on Pinterest who aren’t a part of the audience you’ve uploaded
  7. Once complete, select your Budget & Schedule, Optimization & delivery and Ads
  8. Review your information
  9. Click Launch

Note: As of November 2nd we no longer require advertisers to claim your website before creating an engagement audience. Engagement audiences created before November 2 will automatically be transformed into audiences based on any engagement action


Engagement targeting allows you to show ads to qualified audiences who’ve previously interacted with your content on Pinterest. 

Engagement audience types

As you create an engagement audience, you can select from two types of engagement audiences — Pinners who have performed:

  • Any engagement action: create an audience that consists of Pinners who’ve performed any engagement action with your content. Interactions may include Pin clicks, outbound clicks, saves, comments, and video views.
     
  • Optimized engagement actions: create an audience that consists of Pinners selected based on high intent actions (such as saves and outbound clicks) to help you get the best results.
     

Note: Actions used to create engagement audiences are subject to change, as new actions are introduced or existing actions are updated.

Engagement audience sources

After selecting the type of engagement audience, you can create engagement audiences based on interactions with any of your Pins, ads, Campaigns, or campaign objectives. 

Only Pins published by your business account or ads/campaigns created by your ad account can be selected. 

If you have claimed your business website, you may also select your claimed domain. Users who’ve engaged with Pins (organic) or ads (paid) from your claimed domains will be included in your engagement audience.

Create a new engagement audience

  1. Log into your Pinterest business account
  2. Click Ads at the top of the screen, then click Audiences
  3. Click Create audience
  4. Select Engagement
  5. Enter a Name and Description for your audience
  6. Choose your Engagement audience type by selecting Any engagement action or Optimized engagement actions 
  7. Select your engagement source type:
  8. Click Create

Note: Once you’ve created your audience, the audience size will update within 24 hours on the Audiences page in Ads Manager. Once the audience is available, you may use it to target ads or create actalike audiences. To delete an engagement audience, click the trashcan icon on the Audiences page.

Target an existing engagement audience

  1. Log into your Pinterest business account
  2. Click Ads at the top of the screen, then click Create ad
  3. Click New ad group from the left-side navigation
  4. Click Targeting from the left-side navigation
  5. Select Reconnect with users under Targeting Strategy
  6. Select Use existing list beside Engagement audience
  7. Select the engagement audience you wish to include in your campaign
  8. Select your Budget & Schedule, Optimization & delivery and Ads
  9. Review your information
  10. Click Launch

When an ID or claimed domain is not selected, your engagement audience will be created from all the Pinners that have engaged with any Pins created from your account.

Actalike targeting helps you reach people similar to one of your existing audiences. You can use actalike audiences to find new customers, new people who are likely to engage with your Pins, or new people who are likely to visit your website based on your source audience. You can also create a new, more specified audience based on one of your existing audiences. The source audience will not be a part of the new actalike audience.

Create a new actalike audience

  1. Log into your Pinterest business account
  2. Click Ads at the top of the screen, then click Audiences
  3. Click Create audience
  4. Select An actalike audience that behaves similarly to one you already have, then click Next
  5. Enter a Name and Description for your audience
  6. Select the country you want to target
  7. Select the percentage of people you want to target from your existing audience
  8. Click Create

Note: Once you’ve created your audience, the audience size will update within 24 hours on the Audiences page in Ads Manager. If your source audience is also new, the audience size will update within 72 hours. To delete an actalike audience, click the trashcan icon on the Audiences page.

Target an existing actalike audience

  1. Log into your Pinterest business account
  2. Click Ads at the top of the screen, then click Create ad
  3. Click New ad group from the left-side navigation
  4. Click Targeting from the left-side navigation
  5. Below Audience, find and select your audience list
  6. Go back to Ads Manager to use the audience you created
  7. Once complete, select your Budget & Schedule, Optimization & delivery and Ads
  8. Review your information
  9. Click Launch
Third-party data targeting

Note: Third-party data targeting is currently only available in the U.S.

In addition to the targeting options found on Pinterest, you can use third-party audiences from our data partner, Oracle Data Cloud (ODC), to reach new audiences.

If you choose to use third-party data targeting, note that Pinterest manages the costs associated with third-party data targeting automatically to ensure you're not charged more than your bid. When you're using third-party targeting, our system reduces your bid in the auction by no more than 15% to cover data costs. If you win the auction, you’ll be charged the auction price to cover the cost of media, plus the applicable % of auction price to cover the data cost.

If you’re interested in learning more about third-party audiences, reach out to your Pinterest Sales representative.

Ad review process

Once you launch your campaign, we’ll review it to make sure it follows our Advertising guidelines. The campaign review process can take up to 24 hours.

If your campaign targeting goes against our advertising guidelines, we’ll send you a notification in Ads Manager letting you know what needs to change so that your ad can be reviewed again for approval. Once approved, we’ll start distributing your ad.

Explore targeting on Pinterest

If you want to set up multiple kinds of targeting on Pinterest or edit current campaign targeting, you can learn more in our targeting overview article.

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