Upload your customer data (first name, last name, email, phone number and zip code) via a secure, hashed process in the Google Ads interface in minutes. I’ll speak to ecommerce advertisers, however, the principle and above guide applies to lead generation advertisers as well.
Not all Google Ads account are eligible to use Customer Match lists. Your ad account must meeting the requirements listed here: link to policy. As of March 2023, requirements include: “90 days of history in Google Ads and more than USD $50,000 lifetime spend.”
A customer match list a list of “matched” customers. Specifically, “matched” means that Google knows who these users are. How does Google know? Take a hypothetical customer named James Jackson. James has just purchased a $100 product from your ecommerce store. Now you want to advertise to more people like James in your Google Ads account so you create a customer match list and upload some of James’ contact information (first name, last name, email address, phone number and zip code). What happens then?
How is one matched?
First, Google “matches” your contact info from James to a Google-known piece of contact information. For example, if James uses his Gmail email address, email@example.com, on your website to make a purchase, Google can “match” that email address to his YouTube and Gmail accounts for which he uses the same firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Google now knows who James is.
What happens to matched customers?
Next, based on James’ use of these other Google products (google.com, Gmail and YouTube) Google can determine who else might be similar to James in their purchase behavior. Google can now target those people who are similar to James with your Google Ads.
How do I set this up?
View a video walk-through of this process on YouTube: link.
You’ll see something like the below images. Your Google Ads interface might look slightly different.
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Once you have added Customer Match lists to your Google Ads accounts, by default, smart bidding will use them to inform your campaigns. For example, Performance Max campaigns always use smart bidding and therefore always take your Customer Match lists into account.
However, if you create a “high-value” Customer Match list, you can specifically add this to audiences in your Performance Max audience signals or to YouTube, Display and Search campaigns to directly tell Google to target these audiences.
Alternatively, you can exclude a “past purchasers” Customer Match list from a campaign that targets new-to-brand (people who have never heard of you) with a first-time customer promotional coupon. The options are endless.
Stop and think about what messaging makes sense to which audiences. It’s better not to target recent purchasers in your Customer Match list with a 10% discount coupon. Seeing a coupon right after you completed a purchase without said coupon would give any shopper buyers remorse.