Do You Know How To Use Your Email List With Pinterest?

Using your email list subscribers as part of your Pinterest marketing strategy can be one of the best ways to retarget your audience.

Lots of online entrepreneurs I talk to don’t even realize Pinterest has the capability of using your email list to create custom audiences. After a few years of running Promoted Pin campaigns for clients, I know it’s one of the most effective ways to get conversions with paid advertising.

Interested in running paid advertising campaigns on Pinterest? Find out more.

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Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s define some terms and jargon so we’re all on the same page.

Custom Audience

A custom audience is a list of users that you create within your business profile on Pinterest. It can include any of the following:

  • Customer list (your email list!)

  • Website visitors

  • Engagement audience

  • Actalike


Retargeting (or remarketing) is the marketing tactic of serving ads based on some type of prior engagement by a user. This user could be someone on your email list, a website visitor, and a Pinterest user that has engaged with any of your pins.

Promoted Pins

Promoted Pins are simply Pinterest’s paid advertising. Unlike Facebook Ads, you can only “promote” an existing Pin. The easiest way to explain it is, Promoted Pins work the way Facebook Boost is supposed to work, but doesn’t. But that’s a blog for another day.

Upload Your Email List

Step 1:

Click Ads, then Audiences in your Pinterest business account

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Step 2:

Click “Create Audience”

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Step 3:

Select “A list of customers that you upload”, then click “Next”.

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Step 4:

Fill out the name and description of your list, upload your csv file, then click “Create”.

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Then, wait.

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 you originally upload.*

This is because people can and do use different email addresses to sign up for different things - so if the email address you have for a person is not the same email they use for their Pinterest profile, Pinterest won’t capture that information.

How To Use Your Email List With Promoted Pins

There are two ways you can utilize your email list for retargeting with Promoted Pins - Included and Excluded.


You could set up a campaign for a low-cost tripwire product to include everyone on your email list. The people already on your list are far more likely to convert to paying customers, so you are serving your ad in a more relevant way.


You could set up a campaign for your most popular free opt-in (aka lead magnet) to build your email list. In this case, you’d want to exclude your email list audience since they’ve already signed up, and this ad wouldn’t be as relevant to them.

Pro Tips:

Upload both your full email list plus any segmented portions of your list. This is useful if you want to retarget particular segments, like customers who have purchased from you.

Emails lists will not update automatically in Pinterest unless they are connected to a CRM via Pinterest API. Put it in your calendar to reupload your current email list once a quarter.

Now Go Do It!

This key marketing step will take you about 5 minutes - depending on how long it takes your email marketing provider to create a csv of your list and send it to you.

Want to really dive into how the pros use retargeting and custom audiences? We deep-dive into these strategies inside Pinterest PowerUp - the first Pinterest marketing membership designed for online entrepreneurs. Click below to learn more.

Why Join A Pinterest Marketing Membership?

Why join a membership specifically focused on Pinterest marketing, instead of a broad-based social media marketing program?

The reason I decided to niche from Social Media marketing into Pinterest marketing was I was a “Jack of all trades, and master of none”. Once I realized what Pinterest was doing to drive my sales and leads funnel - it was a no-brainer.

Instead of barely maintaining your workflow and knowledge about a handful of platforms, you’ll get in-depth training, community, and support for the platform that gives your business the best return on investment.

Related Links:

*Source: Pinterest Audience Targeting
Want to run Promoted Pins? We can help.
We recommend ConvertKit for email marketing - try it for free!


Hey hey, I'm Cara - the CEO of Chace Digital, a Pinterest marketing agency, and the Founder of Pinterest PowerUp, the first Pinterest marketing membership community designed for entrepreneurs. I love nothing more than seeing those light bulb moments with clients and members when they see how Pinterest builds their businesses... except for maybe a good book and another cup of coffee.

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*Yes...this page does contain affiliate links. Please know that I would never, ever recommend anything I haven't used and love. Affiliate links are no extra cost to you and they support my caffeine habit.