Pinterest Allows Marketers to Target Users by Email Address or Device ID

Similar to Facebook and Twitter Products for Finding Very Specific Consumers

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Pinterest is rolling out two new targeting features that are already offered on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Previously, Pinterest advertisers could generally only target their ads based on gender, location, device, keywords and interests. Some brands that worked with Pinterest partners were also able to target consumers with their email address, but nothing beyond that.

Marketers will now be able to use email addresses as well as mobile IDs to serve ads to specific Pinterest users. That means someone who adds an item to his shopping cart on a brand's website but doesn't check out, for example, can now be targeted on Pinterest. Brands can also exclude users who had items in their carts but already checked out.

The feature is similar to Twitter's Tailored Audiences and Facebook's Custom Audiences, which let brands serve ads to users by plugging in email addresses or mobile device IDs.

Pinterest's other new feature, Lookalike Targeting, is similar to what Facebook offers with its Lookalike Audiences, and lets marketers reach users similar to a brand's established customer base. The company piloted the feature with some brands and noted that in the best-case scenario, clickthrough rates increased by 63%. Pinterest declined to describe clickthrough rates for its Lookalike Targeting.

Still, the new features are especially useful for a company like Pinterest because 55% of its members use Pinterest to find or shop for products, according to Mary Meeker's 2016 Internet Trends report.

"By giving advertisers the ability to leverage their own data, which they have invested a lot of time and money into, in combination with our data, which largely revolves around a user intent, we believe we will create an even better Pinner experience," Frank Fumarola, product manager at Pinterest, told Ad Age. "Advertisers will be able to reach people on Pinterest with more relevant and actionable ideas."

Marketers can use LiveRamp or Epsilon to upload their first-party data to Pinterest.

Pinterest's latest move is just another step toward increasing its revenue as it gears up for a much expected IPO. Last week, the company partnered with Oracle Data Cloud to see how effective Promoted Pins are when its 100 million-plus users shop offline. In May, company said it had begun working with Millward Brown Digital to tell advertisers how their Promoted Pin campaigns affect objectives such as brand awareness, favorability and purchase intent.