How to Experience Increased Match Rates with Facebook Ads



Take control of your match rates on Facebook. Learn how to increase match rates with Facebook ads and reach your ideal prospects faster.

Can you believe Facebook had over 2.9 billion active users as of January 2022? According to Meta’s latest earnings announcement, 37% of Earth’s population is on the channel, so it’s no surprise marketers rely on Facebook to find and reach their target audiences. However, reaching your prospects on Facebook isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Match rates on Facebook custom audiences aren’t great. Yes, iOS updates and GDPR / CCPA have only worsened things for marketers, which includes Facebook and Google ads. So, what do you do from here?

The answer lies in your first-party data. Prepare to experience increased match rates with custom audiences and good, clean data.

Why is First-Party Data Important?

Custom audience targeting is one of the most effective ways to improve your reach on Facebook. However, your first-party data is crucial if you want to reach your custom audience. Why? The people in your audience already shared their data with you. In fact, first-party data is the key to success in any advertising and marketing; after all, these users are your direct customers. Repeat buyers constitute significant sales.

Your first-party data is a more lucrative opportunity than third-party audiences of a similar size. Due to this benefit, your current customers also work as ideal data references for finding like-minded buyers, a.k.a. ‘lookalike’ audiences.

Additionally, your first-party data can come from business intel, marketing, sales, or management. You can enlist the help of secondary data sources that can improve on that data while still ensuring all customer privacy requirements. NetWise offers a user-friendly platform and identity graph licensing in what is known as a ‘data-as-a-service’ model (DaaS).

When you use your first-party data for marketing, you’ll want to ensure the highest match rate possible within a particular channel. What is a match rate? Let’s take a look.

What is a Match Rate and How Do I Calculate it?

A match rate is the percentage of first-party data that matches a channel’s existing records. In this article, the channel is Facebook. The formula is pretty straightforward:

The total # of first-party records with at least one matching identifier / total # of records = your match rate

This resulting percentage, in turn, shows your reach.

Total number of users x the match rate = total reach


What data attributes is Facebook matching?

  • Email Address

  • Phone Number (include the specific country code)

  • First Name

  • Last Name

  • City

  • State/Province

  • Country

  • Date of Birth

  • Gender

  • Mobile Advertiser ID

  • Facebook App User ID

Without first-party data, your match rate on Facebook might not be high enough to personalize engagement. The benchmark you set should be appropriate for the channel you use. In the case of Facebook, you can expect a base rate of 50% or lower. However, the more attributes you add, the more this rate increases. First-party data can get you to 90% or higher.

Note that there are also ways you can improve your base match rate. We’ll discuss this in a moment.

How to Improve Your Match Rate on Facebook

A high match rate helps you hit the tightest, most hyper-targeted grouping of ideal customers for your marketing dollar. The higher your match rate, the stronger your reach and the more successful your campaign. You are simply reaching more of the people you want to target.

Facebook will budget delivery based on (1) the propensity of customers to buy and (2) the cost you want to pay. The higher your match rate, the greater the ability for Facebook to reach potential buyers. The more identifying factors you have in your first-party data, the greater your chances of Facebook finding those customers in their system, thereby increasing your match rate.

For example, the emails on your first-party data may differ from those used by users to create their Facebook profiles. By referencing additional data on each user, Facebook’s ad algorithm can still find your customers in their system.

Similarly, the more data points you have for each user, the better Facebook can pinpoint your marketing efforts. A complete user record improves the platform’s AI automation, helping you reach custom audiences tightly aligned with your products and services rather than relying on other strategies like lookalike audiences.

Since the quantity of factors from each user is so important, the trick is to (1) obtain as many identifiers as you can and (2) express it correctly within the seed file.

What are the Different Types of Personal Identifiable Information (PII)?

For purposes of this discussion, we take our PII guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Your seed file’s personally identifiable information (PII), is characterized in three ways:

  1. Low Risk PII consists of email, first and last name, phone number, address, and country
  2. Moderate Risk PII consists of deeper identifying factors, such as date of birth, gender, mobile ID, Facebook user ID, age, and marketing categories like medium income, salary, and lifetime value/customer value.
  3. High Risk PII consists of the highest sensitivity identifiers such as social security number (SSN), passport number, political affiliation, ethnicity, medical history, or financial institution information.

The more Low and Moderate Risk PII you collect, the greater your chances of Facebook finding your customers and increasing your match rate. At the same time, you improve your ability to advertise to your ideal customers. For example, if you offer products for all age groups but have a specific deal for customers aged 18-25, you can focus exclusively on that age group.

A large quantity of PII improves your ability to reach like-minded customers, maximizing your marketing dollar by being as strategic as possible.

As a result of recent data privacy scandals such as Cambridge Analytica, Facebook no longer allows advertisers to target users based off of any of the High Risk PII criteria listed above.

The Importance of Accurate Seed Files

How you input your information into Facebook’s system makes a difference in your match rates. All your hard work of collecting customer data can become lost if the data is misapplied.

Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Have all records compiled onto a .csv or .txt file
  • Include the country code for phone numbers
  • Make sure every row has populated as many of the fields as accurately as possible
  • Be sure to separate the first and last names of each user

How Netwise Improves Your Personal Identifiable Information

As mentioned earlier, enlisting the help of a data-as-a-service (DaaS) provider can enrich your first-party data by filling in gaps of information in each user row of your first-party list.

NetWise has a robust B2B database to populate your seed file, providing more complete data to obtain a higher quantity of identifiers for Facebook marketing campaigns. Plus, all records follow the customer’s privacy requirements. Each record contains pre-approved data from each user or through purchased lists from data science teams that the customer has approved as marketing partners. We even use advanced protections like hashing personal emails. To learn more, review our privacy policy.

Netwise institutes industry best practices when collecting and building your seed list to ensure your greatest chance of success. See what unprecedented B2B reach means for modern marketers.

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