Google Customer Match Allows Retailers to Target Consumer Emails

By Tinuiti Team

Introducing Google Customer Match

For the first time ever, advertisers can target ads against customer-owned data through Google AdWords new feature – Customer Match.

Customer Match allows advertisers to upload their customer and promotional email address lists into AdWords.  From these email lists, retailers can build campaigns and ads specifically designed to reach their audience.

According to Google, 70% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing, and relevance of a brand’s message influences their perception of a brand. Now, Google can help retailers reach customers that they already have a relationship with — like those in their loyalty program or those who have made a previous purchase — in ways that are most relevant to their intent and context.

Although Google Customer Match is designed to help retailers reach their “highest-value customers” by strengthening connections with their known customer base on Google Search, it also helps retailers forge new relationships across other channels including YouTube TrueviewGmail Native Ads.customer-563967_640

With Google Customer Match, retailers can:


In the past, retailers have been able to serve display ads to customers using retargeting lists in Google Analytics or tailor bids / ads to audiences using Retargeting Lists for Search Ads (RLSA).

rick-backusAlthough useful, previous retargeting efforts are based off of cookies – which customers can block or easily avoid since they are not typically optimized for mobile. In contrast, Customer Match uses email addresses and user- sign ins -which are considered more reliable across all devices.

“Earlier this year, we predicted Google would build out a feature to retarget audiences using email addresses. Following this announcement, it looks like Google has finally caught up with Facebook’s targeting methods,” Rick Backus, CEO at CPC Strategy said.

“The ability to create campaigns based on this type of detailed customer insight within AdWords is pretty groundbreaking news for marketers. I anticipate under the Alphabet spin-up, the Google organization will continue to be aggressive, introducing more features like this in 2016.”

What You Should Know About Google Customer Match

Upload Email Addresses – Google Customer Match allows advertisers to upload a list of email addresses in AdWords under the ‘Audiences’ tab. Google currently requires the customer email lists to have a minimum of 1000 email addresses.

Verify Emails with Google – For each list uploaded, Google will match the email addresses with users’ primary Google account email address. 

Generate Similar Audiences – Corresponding Google accounts are generated into an audience list, which is ready for targeting like any other remarketing list.  Retailers can generate similar audience lists to reach new customers on YouTube and Gmail who are likely to be interested in their products and services.

For example, a retailer can drive awareness on YouTube for new a soccer cleat by showing TrueView ads to prospective customers who have similar interests and characteristics to other soccer members. Note, that this is currently not available on the Google Display Network.

Hashed Emails – It is not required that advertisers use hashed emails.  All email addresses – hashed or otherwise – will be uploaded via SSL. Emails that do not match to Google account email addresses, as well as duplicates, are ignored, and the file is deleted after matching and compliance checks.

How to Create A Customer Email List


Customer Match Requirements:


Customer Match and Similar Audiences will be available globally over the next few weeks.

For more on Google Customer Match, email [email protected]


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