How to use Google Ads customer match?

X-platforms: Search, Shopping, GDN, Youtube, Gmail, Apps


Custom match helps advertisers reach custom segments of their existing customers and deliver a tailored message at the moment of relevance, across search, shopping, Gmail and YouTube. This is achieved by advertiser upgrading first-party customer data, which Google use to match against its users. 

Requirements for using Customer Match

requirements for using customer match on Google Ads

Customer Match is not available for all advertisers. To use Customer Match, your account must have:

  • A good history of policy compliance.
  • A good payment history.
  • At least 90 days of history in Google Ads.
  • More than USD 50,000 total lifetime spend. For advertisers whose accounts are managed in currencies other than USD, your spend amount will be converted to USD using the average monthly conversion rate for that currency.

If you want to start using Customer Match and you meet the requirements above, you’ll need to contact your assigned account manager to request access to Customer Match.

If you’ve never used Customer Match and don’t have an assigned account manager, your account is currently ineligible to use Customer Match, even if it otherwise meets the requirements above. In the future, we’ll offer an application process for advertisers who meet these requirements and want to request access to Customer Match. An announcement will be made when the application process becomes available.

for more information about additional requirements and restrictions visit Google ads help center

Customers can run customer match with emails “not only Gmail addresses”, mailing addresses and phone numbers. Google will match the data uploaded by advertisers to google accounts which are then used to create customer match lists. These audiences lists will be eligible on google search, Youtube, Gmail, and shopping. 

Key messaging: 

  • The power of first-party data: customer match lets you reach customers and build new audiences more effectively with the right message. 
  • Reach of YouTube, Search and Gmail: Regardless of advertising objective, you can engage your audience across some of the most powerful platforms on the web. 
  • A single view of a consumer: Using email addresses as an identifier enables enhanced cross-device targeting. Engage or exclude specific audiences across screens. 

Customer match audience targeting on Google Ads

Implementation: Preparing the Customer Data

Section Contents
– Planning Activities
– Formatting Guidelines (Emails, Mailing Addresses & Phone Numbers) Data Hashing

Planning Activities

How do I know if my advertiser is eligible to run Customer Match?

All campaigns must comply with Customer Match policies.

How can I reactivate lists that were automatically shared and violated the RLSA first-party data policy?

Try removing the list and/or using other lists to see if the issue is resolved.

What Planning Activities are recommended for Customer Match?

Customer match is not supported by Pinot, Reach Explorer, or IBX.

Google Customer match

Formatting Guidelines (Emails, Mailing Addresses & Phone Numbers)

Files must follow specific formatting guidelines in order to be accepted. Incorrect formatting, including incorrect hashing, can lead to an upload error or a low number of matched records. Please check all of the below items, as not following all guidelines can cause a low list size. For additional formatting guidelines.

1. Files must be in CSV format (and cannot contain multiple tabs)

2. All identifiers for one user record must be comma-separated. Different user records must be

separated by the standard unix newline character \n or a line break. They cannot be separated with a

space or semicolon

3. Headers must only be Email, First Name, Last Name, Country, Zip, Phone (multiple email, postal

columns and phone number columns are allowed)

4. Multiple email addresses, mailing addresses and/or phone numbers can be provided for a given user

by including duplicate columns. Providing multiple postal codes for a user enables us to match on

both work and home addresses.

5. The order of the columns in the .csv file does not matter. We will use the column headers to identify

the data type.

6. Email is not required if advertiser is only uploading mailing address and/or phone number data

Additionally, if you’re hashing before you upload your file:

1. If advertiser is pre-hashing the data, they must use SHA256

2. Don’t hash Country or Zip columns

3. Lowercase all characters and remove all extra spaces before, after, or in between email addresses

and names

Other file requirements:

Maximum upload list size: no limit

Number of lists per account: no limit

Serving minimum: 1,000 matched records

Customer match for E-commerce


Creating a list on Google Ads

  1. Log into your AdWords account and navigate to Settings > Audience Manager
  2. Click the blue ‘+’ button and select ‘Customer list’
  3. Under ‘Audience Name’, give your list a name
  4. Under ‘List Members’, select which type of customer data you will be uploading
  5. Under ‘Upload Data’, select the radio button indicating whether your data is unhashed or hashed
    a. You can upload a file of un-hashed emails in AdWords and the emails are automatically
    formatted and hashed before they are sent securely to Google’s servers. The hashing is done
    locally on the computer that is used to upload the files, and therefore can be done securely from
    within an advertiser’s own corporate network.
  6. Select ‘Choose File’, navigate to the proper file on your machine and click ‘Open’
  7. Once uploaded, check the box indicating the data was collected and is being shared with Google in
    compliance with Google’s Customer Match policies
  8. If you’d like to customize the membership duration or give the list a descriptive name, you can do so at
    the bottom of the screen.
  9. Click “Upload and Save List”. You will receive a notification if there are formatting errors in your file.
  10. After a list is saved, it will show an “In progress” status until it has finished uploading, which can take up to 24 hours. The advertiser will see a list status change in the AdWords UI when the file has been uploaded, matched successfully, and is eligible to serve (has met the minimums). If you see “In progress”
  11. for more than 24 hours or if you see ‘error with the last upload’ the system has timed out and re-uploading
    the list will fix the issue – please ask your client to re-upload the list.

Note: If you combine any form positive targeting with a negatively targeted Customer Match list, your campaign may begin serving before the negative targeting takes effect. To ensure that your negative targeting takes effect for newly uploaded Customer Match lists, we recommend that you wait 24 hours after the list is uploaded to begin the campaign.

Campaign Best practices


Best Practices for Display Campaigns
Performance focused campaigns tend to be heavily metric driven. For example, campaigns targeting new...
Know more
Best Practices for YouTube
Separate your campaigns based on lists: Never target similar audience lists and original Customer Match lists in the same campaigns. This makes it impossible to control for..
Know more
Best Practices for Gmail
Optimize your bid based on CRM data: Use CRM data to build lists of high/low value customers. Add or remove email addresses from specific lists on a regular basis....
Know more

The Future of Customer Match

Customer Match provides endless opportunity to paid search advertisers. We’re eager to see how Google will expand on this offering in the future and to learn more about the creative ways marketers are leveraging this feature. If you’re seeing success with Customer Match, please don’t hesitate to reach out for us below!