Customer Match: Complete Guide to the Google Ads Customer List Audience Segment

In June 2021, during the Google Marketing Livestream 2021Among the new features announced for the platform Google Adsthere was the announcement of theextension of most Customer Match functions to all advertisersThis is a good opportunity to learn more about this Google Ads feature. Let's start by understanding what it's all about.

What is Customer Match

Customer Match is a advertising tool, similar in its operation to the Custom Audiences of Facebook Ads, and the Matched Audience of LinkedIn Adswhich allows you to upload proprietary customer data, creating custom segments that will be used by Google to find matches with Google users and re-engage the contacts and customers you have through specific advertising campaigns on Google Ads.

Here is an image that explains how Customer Match works:

Once you've uploaded your contact data, which can be your customers, leads or prospects, Google then tries to match you with Google users: keep in mind, however, that this doesn't mean the contacts you import have to be Gmail-only: Google will do its best to match non-Gmail addresses to specific users. At what match rates? Let's see it together.

According to a WordStream search, the match rate, i.e. in the Customer Match the correspondence between the contacts entered and those found by Google, would be even better than the already mentioned Facebook Ads and can reach up to about 50.40% of your email list, higher than the one you can get on Facebook and Twitter:

This last aspect is particularly important as Google is phasing out cookie-based remarketing because of privacy, browsers and regulations, not to mention that the entry into force of the App Tracking Transparency rules (ATT) also impacts Apple's data segments and Customer Match lists (as well as the open rate in theemail marketing).

Customer Match also allows you to find new similar contacts (similar to Facebook Advertising and LinkedIn Ads Lookalike Audiences) on the Search Network, Shopping, Gmail, YouTube and the Display Network.

Why and when to use Customer Match

Here are some benefits of Customer Match:

  • propose to your existing customers another product or service that might interest them or dedicated offers;
  • find new customers similar to your customers;
  • Reactivate inactive customers and contacts.

Customer Match: advantages on conversion rate and CTR

Does creating an audience segment with Customer Match work? What benefits can it bring?

Also according to WordStream research, Customer Match converts at 15% compared to about 5.5% for a new visitor audience and can have a higher conversion rate even to old customers and cart abandonment:

Customer Match conversion rate and CTR

The reason for this performance is easy to understand: by profiling through Google Ads an audience segment consisting of contacts of potential customers and clients, you operate in the bottom of the funnel of sale, closer to conversion.

How does Customer Match work?

The operation of this tool is simple and is illustrated in this image:

How Customer Match works

How to configure Customer Match

Uploading your contact lists to create a customer list in Customer Match can be done in 2 main ways: manually or with third-party Google partner software.

Let's start with the first method.

Manual Loading

  1. Create and upload a data file of your customer list containing contact information received from your customers or contacts. You can use this template that Google Ads provides you with specific formatting instructions.
  2. Create or update the campaign in which you want to use Customer Match and choose the Customer Match segment as your target audience, i.e. the contacts in the uploaded data file who are Google users.
  3. When users in your Customer Match list log into their Google Account, they see your ads on Search Network, YouTube and Gmail or Display Network.
How to configure Customer Match

Synchronizing contacts with Zapier

Data about your contacts and customers can also be uploaded via other methods: as you can see below, APIs or software can be used alongside manual uploads, including: Driftrock, Hubspot,, LeadsBridge, Zapier. Let's get into the details of the latter.

zapier customer match

Customer Match with Zapier

In the case of Zapier, the software automatically uploads contact details from your CRM, fromecommerce or your ESPwithout you having to:

  • Manually upload contacts into Google Ads;
  • sort them into the correct lists or remove them from a list;
  • keep them automatically updated and synchronized with your CRM.

Examples and case studies of Customer Match use

A case study on Customer Match reported by Google concerns Telia Norge, which offers mobile solutions for businesses and households that was trying to get existing customers to upgrade their contracts. Telia used Customer Match to segment its customers according to their needs, resulting in 69% of conversions came from Customer Match campaigns, increasing revenue by 15% and conversion rate by 22%.

Another case study reported by Google involves Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), an international nonprofit organization that helps IT professionals grow professionally, which used Customer Match to inactive members to renew membership in the association, saving up to CPC 77% for membership renewal.

The Children's Place is one of the largest children's apparel retailers in North America: it created an advertising campaign using Customer Match to reach customers who had not converted since last season getting a ROAS greater than 287%, a 153% increase in conversion rate, and a 237% increase in click-through rate.

Guitar Center is a one-stop shop for music industry players who used Customer Match to optimize ad spend on some of their product categories while improving clicks and conversions. They have achieved a higher click-through rate than 60% and a higher conversion rate than 50%.

Thinking of using Customer Match in your Google Ads campaigns or learning how to use it? Contact me for a Google Ads Consulting or a Google Ads Course.

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