How to Reach Your Audience With the New Adwords Customer Match

4 min

Last week Google announced their new AdWords feature, Customer Match, which provides targeting options that were not available previously. In short, it will enable using email address lists for better and more effective ad targeting. Literally, you will be able to show dedicated ads in Google search, YouTube and Gmail just to those people who already shared their email addresses with you.

With the new Customer Match, you’ll be able to display ads to those people who already signed up for your newsletter, bought a product from you, downloaded an ebook or in any other way gave your company their email address.

You can start planning and building campaigns designed especially for reaching your current customers. Here’s how Google explains this on their official AdWords Blog:
Let’s say you’re a travel brand. You can now reach people who have joined your rewards program as they plan their next trip. For example, when these rewards members search for “non-stop flights to new york” on, you can show relevant ads at the top of their search results on any device right when they’re looking to fly to New York. And when those members are watching their favorite videos on YouTube or catching up on Gmail, you can show ads that inspire them to plan their next trip.

Similar Audiences

The AdWords Customer Match feature will automatically create “Similar audiences” – lists of users that are similar to the ones on your email lists. You can target them in a similar way you’re doing it with your remarketing lists now – simply by adding them to ad groups in your AdWords campaigns.

Again, here’s what Google has to say:
Similar audiences based on your customer emails lists are available for YouTube and Gmail. These similar audiences will be automatically created if your lists meet the minimum eligibility criteria. You can target a similar audience the same way you’d target a remarketing list, by adding it to an ad group in your campaign.

Is it worth it?

Yes! 🙂
First of all, your PPC ads can get much more personal. The Customer Match enables you to reach certain groups of your customers, blog readers etc. You can serve them personalized ads based on what type of action they performed on your website. You can use it to win back previous customers, exclude existing customers, up & cross-sell, suggest joining your new loyalty program or for dozens other purposes you can think of!

One huge advantage of using the feature is the fact that it’s a cookieless form of advertising, so it can reach your customers even if they clear their browser’s cookies.

There’s one important thing to remember, though, the ads will be shown only to those users that are logged in to their Google accounts.

OK, How do I start?

The feature is already available in some AdWords accounts and over the next few weeks it will be rolled out to all advertisers. Go to your AdWords account and see if you have your Customer Match feature enabled.


Click Shared library / Audiences / +Remarketing list and choose Customer emails.

You can segment your audiences and reach them even more precisely by creating custom combinations. Just keep in mind that in this case „Audience” stands for „List of emails”.

You can choose to target „any of these audiences:”, „each of these audiences:” and „none of these audiences:”, e.g. you can show specific ads to people that signed up to your newsletter but didn’t buy anything from you.


First, you will need to upload a file with your email list. There are certain requirements: it has to be in .CSV format and the size can’t exceed 17 MB. The information that you will use must be collected in first-party context, which means these email addresses must have been shared direclty with you, with explicit consent.
You can use a SHA256 algorithm for your list of emails, which is standard for one-way hashing.


For more details and instructions of implementation please visit Google AdWords help center:

Facebook and Twitter can do that, too

Targeting people on your contact list is already possible in Facebook (Custom Audiences) and Twitter (Tailored Audiences). This type of targeting turned out to be so successful that Google couldn’t wait any longer and decided to add a similar solution.
Here’s how to reach your customers with a personalized ad on

Export your list from GetResponse

I personally think that the new Customer Match feature is a very important change in AdWords and shows how Google tries to meet the needs of advertisers today.

If you already have that feature enabled in your AdWords account, it’s high time to set it up and start your new campaigns! If that’s not the case yet, you can always start planning what your campaigns could look like, which group of your customers they could target and prepare dedicated ad versions. This effort should be worth the final outcomes your business will receive.

What you have to start with is preparing a list of subscribers/customers. To export your email list, simply log in to your GetResponse account and follow the steps described here.

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