Customer Match - target email users using Google AdWords

Target email users using Google AdWords

In this blog post, we will describe important tips related to the initial set up of email lists in AdWords remarketing. Also, we will show initial results of Customer Match campaign for one of our clients, and the opportunities provided by such targeting.


Customer Match allows you to use a list of email addresses in the remarketing list.

Examples of email addresses collecting:
• collected email addresses from a customer who purchased products from your website
• collected email addresses from a customer  who registered on the website, applications or newsletters
• collected email addresses from a customer  who registered for the loyalty program, on the website or in physical stores.

Tip: try differentiating the list in a similar way as a way in which you have collected email addresses (website, newsletters, applications, brick & mortar) – that is, if you have a sufficient number of individual emails in each list. In future, if needed, you can target them differently.


The procedure of setting up a customer email list are detailed described on Google Support, so, we will keep on real examples and important facts.

All email list should be stored in a CSV format. It is important to check all email addresses for empty space(s) before or after, uppercase, and such. Google recognizes the difference between uppercase/lowercase letters and empty space (such mistakes often happens when users are using mobile phones). After checking and fixing email addresses, you are increasing the possibility of accepted email addresses. Since we reviewed all of our email addresses (for empty spaces, case sensitive, and obvious mistakes in writing), as picture shows, the format of email addresses was accepted 100%.

After checking our email lists in CSV was accepted 100% format of emails

From this customer match (email) list, Google is using only emails of users who are also logged into the Google Account (with that same email). That does not mean that these emails are exclusive to Gmail domain. However, in our experience, about 90% of accepted emails in the list are Gmails.


In our example, we used about 24,000 emails, of which Google accepted (found matching) for nearly 16,000 emails. It is 66% of all available emails.

You need at least 1,000 approved emails in one list to create the campaign, but we recommend a list of at least 10,000 approved emails. Google can serve ads on Google Search, Gmail or Youtube, only to users who are logged in Google account. Otherwise, a campaign might generate a very small number of ad impressions and clicks.

Of course, do not forget to exclude customer lists in all regular campaigns that contain the same target (keywords, Gmail, Youtube) to prevent double targeting.


Results of the Customer Match campaigns

The results are related to the period of 8 days, with 20,300 approved emails. We created seven search campaigns and one GSP campaign. Campaigns are created with the same settings and targeting as well as “regular” campaign.


Results of the Results of Customer Match campaigns


Campaigns achieved 459 clicks with average CTR of 17.61%, which is 40.51% improvement in CTR compared to the regular campaigns.

It is also important to note that 50.88% impressions and 68.63% clicks are coming from mobile devices. In comparison with the regular campaign, a percentage of impressions on mobile devices is 36.67% and 46.33% clicks.

Since users generally stay logged in to their Google account on their mobile devices, these results are not surprising. Therefore, it is important to have a well-optimized mobile web page, and, of course, a sufficient number of accepted emails.


User behavior from Analytics account


According to the data about user behavior from Analytics account, it can be seen that the bounce rate of 28.91% is very low, with 8.10 average number of pages per session. Compared to the regular campaign, bounce rate decreased by 22.8%, while the average number of pages per session increased by 9.65%.


Customer Match campaigns in comparison to regular campaigns


In this period, Customer match campaigns generated an 117% higher ROAS (return on ad spend), although it achieved a significantly lower nominal number of transactions.

Through GSP campaign, you can reach a larger volume of impressions compared to the search campaigns. Considering that users need to log in to their Google account to see their Gmail account, GSP campaign is showing higher impressions of ads. Therefore, we recommend (in the case of a small number of collected email address) to first start with the GSP Customer match campaign.

In our testing, GSP campaigns achieved the best results in comparison to other Customer Match campaign (12.18% Gmail clicks to website CTR compared to 3.55%), however, do not forget that the GSP campaigns are type of display advertising.


In conclusion, although Customer match requires a very large email list, which generates a relatively small number of ads impressions,  it’s worth to advertise through remarketing campaigns with targeted customer email list.

It is also possible to test:
• advertising specific actions intended for customers in the loyalty program,
• sharing of specific action for offline stores,
• special offers of new products, lines, brands, etc.,
• the opening of new physical stores with geographic targeting

So, follow our blog and our social accounts, where we will publish new tests and new possibilities offered by Google AdWords.

Author bio


February 22, 2016 Google AdWords, Google Analytics

Manage Google Adwords campaigns by using Google Analytics data. As a Google AdWords Qualified Individual and Digital Marketing Assistant, continually acquire new knowledge of online advertising. Participated in the Google Online Marketing Challenge 2014 and achieved the best result among Croatia's teams.


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