Most businesses use Google Ads because of its unparalleled reach and flexibility in targeting exactly the right audience. Ads appear on Google's search engine, YouTube, Gmail, and other places, and no other platform can match its reach.

In fact, 95% of mobile users rely on Google as their primary search engine! With the incredible amount of data that Google collects from users’ profiles and activity, Google Ads has historically produced a desirable ROI for its advertisers. 

Part of what makes Google Ads so effective is its ability to retarget people who have already interacted with your brand.

What is a Google Customer Match list?

When advertising on Google, you can load your own lists of contact data. Google then attempts to match the information you’ve provided to people using their platforms. Generally, Google matches around 30% to 60% of your list, but that number can be higher with a high-quality list.

Then, Google can show your ads to those users on Search, YouTube, Gmail, Display, and the Shopping tab. 

Why should you use Google Customer Match lists?

Using Google Customer Match lists is one of the most targeted advertising methods. Advertisers often upload a list of contact data from their CRM (customer relationship management) tools. These are people who have a pre-existing relationship with you and are usually leads or customers.

Here are a few examples of advertising you can do with Google Customer Match lists:

  • Advertise a referral program or new products to your current list of customers.
  • Redirect people back to your checkout page if they left an abandoned cart.
  • Sell your main product or service to contacts who recently became leads.
  • Show educational content to help push contacts along the buying journey.

While Google can help you find and target audiences, uploading a list yourself gives you more control over the targeting process.

How to upload a Google Customer Match list

Here are the steps to upload your Customer Match list to your Google Ads account:

1. Go to your Google Ads Account.

2. Click “Tools” on the left-hand side. 

3. Click the “Shared Library” dropdown.

4. Click “Audience Manager.”

5. Click the Plus icon.

6. Select your list source. Based on what we’ve discussed so far, you’ll likely want to select “Customer list.” Still, other options exist for targeting app users, YouTube users, Google Analytics, or even your website visitors.

7. Select “Customer list.”

8. Select “Upload a file manually.”

9. Fill out details and upload your CSV file or a template. If you’ve downloaded a list from your CRM, it’s likely already formatted in a CSV file. 

Your list must be structured to allow Google to identify the information and match it to users. For example, if you have a column with email addresses, the column header should say “Email.”

Google provides a Customer Match list template that you can use to properly format a spreadsheet for uploading. 

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Expand your marketing with Google Lookalike segments

With Google Lookalike segments, you can seriously begin to expand your marketing while still keeping your advertising efforts laser-focused.

Google can take your uploaded list, analyze the data, preferences, and activities of the people on your list, and then find more users not in your list that are very similar.

For a simple example, if you upload a list of 500 pest control owners, Google can find thousands more people similar to those 500 contacts. If you understand what this means, you’re salivating at the business growth potential!

Google Lookalike segments are also useful for the following reasons

  • Controlled Targeting - You can choose “narrow,” “balanced,” or “broad” targeting. A narrower segment means a smaller audience that’s more closely aligned with your uploaded list.
  • Continuous Updates - Google will update your Lookalike segment as you run your ads and gather more information.
  • Automated Segment Building - Besides uploading a list, you can have lists built from activities like visiting your website or watching a YouTube video on your channel. As those lists populate in Google Ads automatically, you can choose to build Lookalike segments based on those.

How to build a Lookalike segment in Google Ads

Here are the steps to setting up a Lookalike segment:

1. Go to your Google Ads Account.

2. Click on “Campaigns” on the left-hand side.

3. Click the “Audiences, keywords, and content” dropdown.

4. Click “Audiences.”

5. Click on the pencil icon.

6. Under “Edit Audiences,” click “Select an ad group.”

7. Under “All Audiences,” click “Remarketing and similar segments.”

8. Click on the type of list you wish to use, and then select the correct list for your campaign.

9. Click “Save.”

Typically, you’ll need to allow around 72 hours for a Lookalike segment to be fully populated. You can then select this segment when setting up your next ad.

How to build a Lookalike segment for better ad results

You might love the idea of uploading a list and generating lookalike segments to improve your Google advertising. But what if you don’t have a list to work with?

Using a service like Coldlytics, you can generate incredibly specific lists of leads. You can choose from hundreds of parameters to find your ideal contacts who will likely be interested in your product or service.

Here’s a quick demo showing how to generate a list of leads for a business that sells to HVAC business owners:

Ready to try your hand at building your own list of perfect leads? You can set up a Coldlytics account for free to see how well we can target your ideal customers. Don’t pay anything until you decide to purchase a list.

Quality data for cold email, phone, or direct mail. Researched on demand.

Your perfect prospects in 24 hours.

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