Businesses are one step closer to reaching existing customers, that aren’t yet fans, through Facebook.

This week, Facebook formally introduced Custom Audience ads. The new targeting option lets you reach current customers based on contact information you’ve already collected.

For example, you might have an email list full of customers who want to hear from you, but none of them are fans of your Facebook Page. With Custom Audience ads, you can build a target list based on those emails you’ve already collected. So instead of targeting general ads to all of your fans encouraging return visits, you can advertise specific products to groups of customers who’ve purchased similar things.

Businesses can submit their list of email addresses, phone numbers, or Facebook user IDs, and the social network will target those people with a specific ad. You can get even more specific by adding demographic parameters, such as age or interest.

Custom Audience ads are currently live with eight ads providers, including AdParlor, Alchemy Social, GraphEffect, Kenshoo, Nanigans, Social Moov, and Optimal. You can read more about how to use Custom Audience ads in Facebook’s Help Center.

[Via: TechCrunch, Image credit:Scott Beale]