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Gmail Ads: how to create your campaign and take advantage of customer lists

Gmail Ads how to create your campaign and take advantage of customer lists

If you have a company with a certain volume of business, you can use Gmail Ads campaigns to get your products and services to users who respond to the customer profile that interests you while they check their emails. This way you gain visibility and impact a qualified audience. 

One of the main advantages of Gmail Ads is that you can make what your business offers known to potential consumers that you would not reach otherwise. In addition, your email message will not go unnoticed or end up in the spam folder as can happen with other mass email tools .

Another positive point is that this type of campaign offers many combinations in terms of audience segmentation . You can direct your ads to all users who have seen products from your store, to visitors who enter your website from a smartphone or to your customer lists.

And, of course, you can also decide to whom your ads are shown based on demographics such as gender or age of users, or based on the products they show the most interest in.

Are you interested in what I am explaining to you? Read on for more details!

How to create a Gmail Ads campaign

To start creating your Gmail Ads campaign, log in to your Google Ads account and, as always, select the “Create new campaign” option.

Next, you have to select an objective and the kind of campaign you want to mount . As you know, Gmail campaigns are a subtype of Display campaigns.  In my opinion, it is best not to select targets initially; when you have more data you will be able to specify your goals.

Now is the time to review the campaign settings as well as create your ads . As you are surely familiar with other types of Google Ads campaign, I won’t need to dwell on the first section long.

In the settings you can choose aspects as important as the country of sale in which you want your Gmail ads to be displayed, as well as the segmentation by language, the daily budget or the bid strategy.

The next step, once you have reviewed the additional settings and established parameters such as the ad rotation you want or the devices you want to focus your campaign on,  is to create an ad group.

The best thing is that each ad group focuses exclusively on a specific product or service of your company. Google generally recommends that you include at least three creatives per group .

If you do less than three versions of your ads, it is more difficult for Google Ads to have enough data to evaluate the performance of your advertising messages. I’ll give you some basic ad writing tips below .

When it comes to setting up the ad groups themselves, there are several things to consider. The first one is that you must choose the option “Without automatic segmentation”, as you can see in the image below. In this way, you will prevent the system from showing your ads to users who are not within the audiences to which you have targeted your Gmail campaign.

Remember that customer lists are added to your campaigns as one more audience. If you leave your watchlist as advised by the Google Ads interface, your ads will be shown both to your audience and to other users outside of it, and that is not the goal.

How to run Gmail Ads

Broadly speaking, it can be said that there are two ways to make Gmail Ads:

  • The first method is to create your own creatives, either an image ad or in custom HTML format.
  • The second alternative is to make the ads from the Google Ads platform itself.

I highly recommend that you choose to create your ads from Google Ads, in this way you will ensure  that your advertising through Gmail is displayed correctly in different formats, devices and screen resolutions.

Before writing an ad, I am going to resolve a common question among advertisers: the cost is generated when the user opens the ad . In other words, if someone sees your Gmail ad in their promo tray but doesn’t open it, your budget will remain intact.

You must choose the Gmail ad option from the drop-down menu and write the fields indicated by the Google Ads interface.

Capturing the attention of the people who see your ad is essential. To achieve this, you have several resources at your fingertips, such as adding images from your company’s catalog, a call-to-action text and even including non-expanded text that contains an offer or promotion to attract the interest of your potential client.

Imagine you have a second-hand mobile store. Your Gmail ad could look something like this:

  • Company Name: Second Hand Phones
  • Title: Cheap Used Phones
  • Description: The Best Second-Hand Phones Are In Our Online Store. Buy now!
  • Final URL:

Try not to go over the character limit of each element, but, at the same time, make the most of the available space to convey your message. Adding representative images or videos of your products or services is something you cannot miss. Audiovisual resources are a powerful tool to connect with the consumer.

An interesting feature of Gmail ads is that you can insert a form in them so that users can complete them and contact you in case they want information about your products or your company. This utility is available if you create your ads with custom HTML.

You can check the conditions you must meet to include forms in the section Requirements for Gmail ads , within the Google Ads policies.

What is a customer list and what is it for in Gmail Ads

I already mentioned that customer lists were going to help you in your Gmail campaigns, but what is a customer list? It works like an audience for Google Ads and it is a list in CSV format with the emails and other data of your customers.

Customer lists are available to advertisers who meet certain requirements:

  • Your campaigns must have a history of at least 90 days.
  • They must comply with Google policies.
  • They must have a good payment record.
  • You must have made an investment of more than $ 50,000 in total spending.

We recommend that you review the requirements for using customer targeting to ensure that you meet all of the Google Ads requirements. You and your team will be in charge of collecting your customers’ data and correctly filling in the fields of the customer list in CSV before uploading it to Google Ads.

You can use the information of your customers that you have stored through your website, your mobile application and even your physical store. There are many contexts where customers voluntarily provide you with their data, and Gmail campaigns are one way to make this research on your consumer profitable.

The most common fields that you will have to complete when preparing your client list are:

  • Email addresses
  • Names and surnames
  • Telephone numbers
  • Country of residence

To upload your CSV file with information about the consumers who visit your business, you have to enter the audience manager. Then, within the remarketing lists section, you can create your customer list.

If you look at the image below you will see that you can upload different types of data such as emails, telephone numbers or postal addresses. In addition, there is a template available for download that will facilitate the process.

As with any other Google Ads audience, you can use your customer list to target your campaign exclusively to the users that comprise it. Imagine that you are the owner of an online supermarket and you detect that a certain customer profile is more likely to buy beer and chips, for example.

With this knowledge in hand, you could create a Gmail campaign to promote beer and chips to users who show more interest in these items using customer list targeting.

Another thing you can do with a customer list is add it as an audience to your remarketing or shopping campaigns . Do not forget that Google Ads allows you to adjust the bids of your campaigns by audience so that you invest your budget in the customer niches that are most profitable for you.

In short, customer lists tell you what your customers are like, what actions they are most likely to take on your website and what their interests are. Demographic factors such as gender or age, for example, come into play here.

Also, as you can see in the image below, you can check the audience statistics. This way you will know to which audiences with purchase intention and to which related audiences the users of your customer list belong.

You can take advantage of all this information to define the target of your company. A very visual way to do this is to create a series of buyer personas . Putting a face and a name on a series of typical customers will help you better understand what motivates your consumers, as well as the possible concerns that slow down the completion of the purchase process.

On the other hand, by consulting the audiences in the market you will be able to get an idea of ​​the products or services of your company that certain users are more likely to buy, for example.

This can be used to target your Gmail ads to those most popular products or to brainstorm new products to promote that you already know can have a good return on investment.

Let’s say you have an electronics store and you see a 7x index on video cameras, for example. That tells you that users on that customer list are seven times more likely to buy video cameras than the general population. Useful information in order to plan new campaigns with probabilities of success.

The affinity audiences are somewhat less representative because he no longer speaks of purchase intent, consist of users who show great interest in a topic. However, the information recorded by the system is key to improving your digital marketing campaigns.

As a conclusion to this section, I can tell you that it is not necessary to target Gmail ads to customer lists, but this segmentation is the one that generally offers the best results. Knowing the gender, location and even the devices from which your  company’s customers connect is an invaluable tool. Seize it!

What is a Gmail Ads campaign for?

This question is of paramount importance: by opting for Gmail ads you can launch a personalized campaign to users who have generated leads to encourage them to carry out another type of conversion.

I’ll give you an example: think that you are the owner of an insurer and it turns out that there are a large number of users who have requested information about a specific home insurance, but in the end they have not contracted it.

Using the customer lists you can contact these people who have shown interest in your home insurance to find out if they really want to buy it. And you can even tell them about other insurance from your company to cross-sell.

On the other hand, you can also create customer-like user lists. This way you will reach a wider audience with a quality profile, since these users behave in a similar way to people who have carried out relevant actions for your company such as purchases, for example.

I return to the hypothetical case of the insurance company: you could create a Gmail campaign about a certain home insurance that has been well accepted by your consumers.

This hypothetical campaign would be aimed at a list of users similar to clients. If the people who make up your main customer list have responded well to your advertising campaign, it  is likely that others with similar concerns will also do so.

Segmentation is key in this matter . It is important that you exclude your customer lists from campaigns targeting similar users. If a loyal consumer of your company has already made their purchases, you do not need to overwhelm them with advertisements for products they already own or know about.

The possibilities are multiple. You could design a campaign aimed at users who have already completed the purchase process by offering them a discount voucher to retain them, another to encourage those who have abandoned the cart to purchase the products they have in the basket and even improve your brand image.

Advantages of Gmail Ads campaigns from an inbound marketing point of view

Inbound marketing techniques are the order of the day in the business world. That being the case, you are probably wondering what benefit Gmail campaigns offer compared to sending emails to customer lists through tools such as Mautic or HubSpot.

One aspect that you have to value is that your promotional emails will have greater reach with a Gmail Ads campaign. In addition, you can launch campaigns specifically designed for specific user segments.

Don’t forget that your email ads will appear in Gmail. This ensures that the reception is guaranteed and, therefore, that more users see your advertising. Other shipping methods will not have the same impact.

In short, Gmail Ads campaigns increase the visibility of your brand on the internet and allow you to reach a qualified audience with personalized messages according to their interests and concerns. Have you already tried this type of campaign? Take the step and check the results!