Businesses run and thrive because of one basic thing, which is customers. That’s why businesses run hyper-targeted ads on Google to reach their target audience.

But do you know that you can also figure out the number of existing customers you’re targeting through Google ads? However, most people don’t know how to leverage this factor, so they miss huge revenue.

Not only this, you can also find the number of customers on Google third-party platforms such as YouTube, Gmail, Search Network, and Display Network. But how?

It’s possible through a process referred to as Customer Match.

Remember that Google uses automation tools to eliminate all the guesswork and manual bid adjustments. To utilize automation to its fullest capabilities, you must know your customers.

This guide will discuss customer match and how you can leverage it for your business growth.

So let’s get started.

What is a Customer Match?

Google Customer Match is a feature within Google Ads that allows advertisers to upload a list of their customers’ email addresses or other contact information to Google. Google then matches this data with its user database to create a custom audience of those specific users. Once this custom audience is created, advertisers can target these users with ads on various Google platforms, such as Google Display Network, Shopping tab, YouTube, Gmail, and more.

It is extremely crucial for advertising process success and achieving your business goals, whether it is increasing conversions or brand awareness.

With it, you can utilize your online and offline customer data. It is further utilized to re-engage your customers. Now, this information is used by Customer Match to target customers that are most likely to buy from you.

This data is collected directly from the customers. From there on, you can upload this first-party data. It then matches with Google users to ensure you’re targeting the right people. It makes data segmentation and creating custom audiences much easier. In Facebook ads it’s also used for making Facebook custom audiences.

How Does It Work?

In September 2015, Google Ads released the important feature, Google Customer Match. The basic purpose of this was to help marketers create PPC ads to target prospects on various platforms. However, you need an identifier such as the prospect’s email address, mobile phone number, or physical address.

Its matching ability is much higher than other advertising platforms like Facebook or Twitter. According to stats, it can match around 50% of the email list to users who see your ads.

Many advertisers still use old methods of data management. They upload a file containing contact information, such as number, mailing address, etc, into Google Ads. After that, a campaign is created so the targeted customers are relevant to your uploaded file.

However, due to technological advancements, there are much better ways to categorize your leads.

With the Customer Match feature, you can build user groups more likely to take the desired action. With just a few simple steps, you can automate the entire task.

But is it really necessary?


Due to automation, Google checks its database and only shows your ads for users who will most likely buy your product. Suppose a customer’s information is matching with the user on Google. Then, it will add those customers to your Customer Match Audience.

Examples Of Customer Match

The best part about this feature is that you can compile online and offline data to target your audience. So whenever a customer signs in to their Google account. Google analyzes if they match your target audience data. If they fit the criteria, an ad is shown to them.

There are also some other examples of this feature that you should know.

One of the most prominent examples is Google Search Network and Google Shopping. You can modify your campaign on these platforms according to customers’ activities. If you know your customers like sports, you can show search ads for sports gear when they search on Google.

Gmail is another platform where you can target ads to your current customers or audiences having similar interests. A personalized ad appears on top of your lookalike audience inbox.

On YouTube, you can find new customers who are a lot like your best customers. Initially, you’ll target your existing customers and those most likely your potential customers. For example, if a person loves watching entrepreneurship or money-making videos. You can show your ad to them if your content fits under this umbrella.

Lastly, Display Ads are a good way to show special ads to your current customers or people like them. If your customers often buy books, you can show book-related ads on websites they visit.

There are many examples of how you can utilize this feature. But it’s just a glimpse of the vast Google Customer Match feature.

Google Ads Customer Match Requirements

Before getting started with this feature, you should know the basic requirements. It’s crucial because it’ll help you get the best results from your campaign. To use this, customers need to:

  • Follow Google Ads rules well.
  • Pay their bills on time.
  • Have an account for at least 90 days.
  • Spend at least USD 50,000 during the time they’ve had the account.

But what to do if the account is managed in any other currency such as Euro, Dirham, pound, etc? In that case, it will convert your total spending into USD monthly.

You can use the Customer Match feature in your Google Ads account if all of these requirements are met. But what if your account doesn’t meet one or more criteria, such as poor payment history?

Then, you have to wait until the requirements are met. But even after approval, you must follow a set of rules and guidelines.

What happens if you break the rules?

If you don’t follow the rules, Google will check your account. If they find you’re not following the rules, they’ll tell the person in charge of the account to fix it. If nothing gets fixed, your account might get stopped. If you keep breaking the rules and have a poor history of policy compliance, then they might just stop your account without warning.

Why Invest In Customer Match?

This feature allows you to use first-party data. Through this, you can get unique insights into your customers. How does that help?

It helps build deeper, better, stronger, and valuable customer relationships. It’s becoming crucial because Google is phasing out approaches such as cookies that might raise data concerns.

This feature is among one of the most scalable business solutions in this situation. So here’s a list of benefits of using this feature.

  • Precise Targeting: You can reach your existing and potential customers with tailored ads, ensuring your messages are highly relevant to them. It’s good for converting cold audiences and getting the maximum out of your digital marketing efforts.  
  • Enhanced Customer Engagement: Delivering personalized messages can deepen the connection between your brand and customers, potentially fostering loyalty and long-term relationships.
  • Cross-Platform Reach: You can target your audience across various Google platforms like Search, YouTube, Gmail, and Display Network, ensuring comprehensive exposure.
  • Re-engagement: It allows you to re-engage with past customers who may not have interacted with your brand for a while, giving you a chance to win them back. Through retargeting campaigns, it shows your ads to people. Thus turning them into loyal customers and leading to customer retention. 
  • Increased ROI: Personalized ads to your customer base often lead to an increase in conversion rate, resulting in a better return on investment (ROI). It is one of the most important aspects of advertising. 

How To Get Started With Customer Match in Google Ads

Now that you know the basis of this feature, it’s time to implement this for your business. The first and foremost thing you need is a complete list of your customers. It should include all the necessary data. Let’s talk about it in detail.

Make A List Of Your Customers

The most important thing is having a complete list of your customers. Because this will provide the basis for this feature. Here’s what you should do.

  • Create a spreadsheet
  • Make different headers in it.
  • Add customer email list, mobile device IDs, user IDS, phone number, first name, country, device insights, and zip code.
  • Fill the cells with information about your customers.

But it also depends on the match option you choose. If you’re choosing an email matching option, then add relevant emails. And the same goes for different headlines in the spreadsheet.

You can also try combined matching, which has a high match rate. A good Customer Match rate is somewhere between 50 to 60 percent.

You can check Google formatting guidelines and create a file in a proper format. Another thing that you should remember is that it accepts CSV files. So, ensure you’re putting all the hard work in the right direction. 

Upload The List

After creating a customer list, you can upload it to Google Ads. But how can you do it? Here’s a step-by-step process on how to do it.

Sign in to your Ads account. Now click on the Tools and Settings icon on top of the screen. Click on Audience Manager. This option is under the Shared Library.

Now, you need to create a new audience list. Click on the blue plus button and select Customer List.

Start by adding names and then upload emails, phone numbers, or whatever data type you choose.

Now, you can either upload a plain text file or hashed data. However, a hashed data file is recommended because it protects the information from interceptors.

Now, you should select the file of your customers that you want to upload. Now, a box will appear. It will say:

“This data was collected and is being shared with Google in compliance with Google’s policies.”

Check that box and set a duration for the membership. The membership is usually unlimited in default settings, but you can change it according to your liking.

Finally, the last step is clicking on Upload your file. It may take 48 hrs or more, but ultimately, it depends on your data volume. But how’ll you know that your data is uploaded?

You’ll get a notification through status showing the number of rows and match rate percentage.

There’s another way to upload data as well.

Usually, marketers rely on manually uploading the data. But now it has changed all because of data platforms.

You can integrate Google Ads with platforms such as Zapier, Klaviyo, etc. Suppose you sync a Shopify store through a data platform with Google Ads. It’ll collect data from every customer who wants to make a purchase. It’ll add them to your customer match list. These advertising tools make the matching process much simpler and quick.

But if you still want to upload your data manually, ensure it’s updated often. 

Customers Match Opt-Out

It’s important to remember that customers have the full right to permit you to use their data, such as email, phone, etc. But at the same time, they might want to revoke it.

What should you do then?

In that case, you have to remove their information from the list. You can upload a new CSV file or edit the existing file. This data is also used for other purposes, such as email marketing. That’s why consent from customers is extremely important.

Top 5 Strategies You Should Use

After implementing this feature, what should you do next? Or is making a list like that enough?


That’s why you need to use strategies. They help make your campaign performance better. So here are the top 5 strategies you should implement.

  • Segmentation: Divide your customer list into segments based on purchase history, demographics, or engagement level. It allows you to tailor your ads to specific online customer groups.
  • Exclusive Offers: Offer your existing customers special promotions, seasonal products, holiday products, or discounts through Customer Match campaigns. Exclusive deals can incentivize repeat purchases from active users.
  • Personalization: Craft customized ad content for each audience segment. Use your customer data files to create ads that speak directly to their interests and preferences. Use audience insight tools and demographic insights to understand your customers better. 
  • Ad Scheduling: Adjust the timing of your ads based on customer behavior and preferences. Show ads when your audience is most likely to engage.
  • A/B Testing: Continuously experiment with different ad variations to identify what resonates best with your Customer Match audience. Test ad copy, visuals, and offers to optimize performance. Make proper campaign reports to track conversions from people. 


Knowing this feature is important if you want to run solid Google ads campaigns. It will help yield an excellent return on investment. You’ll also get a high conversion rate and conversion value. But the best part is that it’s simple to use.

Even if your marketing skills are beginner-level, you can combine a tool with this strategy to get exceptional results. Many marketers make the big mistake of doing everything manually.

But, it can be extremely difficult to manage PPC campaigns.

So, choose a suitable automation process for your campaign if you want to make the entire process stress-free. With Google Customer Match, you can thrive your business in this digital world. Its ability to personalize messaging, boost ROI, and foster deeper customer connections makes it a must-have component in the marketer’s toolkit because it is a crucial aspect of digital marketing.