AdWords Customer Match

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with another great question set titled “AdWords Customer Match.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What problems/issues have you encountered while trying to implement Customer Match?

  • I’ve had some lists that have been too small. I’ve uploaded lists of 100s of people, not 1000s. – Matt Umbro
    • I have some lists uploaded this week that are sub-1k and seem to be working. Or is it a question of impact? – Kyle Crocker
      • More so impact. – Matt Umbro
  • Discovering it’s not eligible for Display Network. – Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
    • Was disappointed by that when reading through guidelines! Wonder what their reasoning is? – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
      • My understanding is they can only use it on properties they own (gmail, youtube, google). – Amy Hebdon
    • Wait, it’s only for Search Network? Woah, I was thinking the other way so I put it on the back burner. – Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
  • Email list not big enough… think the minimum is 1000. – Aaron Putnam (@aaronputnam)
  • Just started using it. No major obstacles to report yet. – Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
  • Often Email Marketing separate from paid search team. Difference than retargeting, esp if using a DMP. Lack of trust in Google. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • One client who was interested didn’t have functional opt-out link.. That’s a show-stopper. – James Hebdon (@jphebdon)

Q2: Why would advertisers use Customer Match over remarketing? Or, can both be used simultaneously? Why or why not?

  • They can both be used effectively, depeding on the way in which the email address was obtained. – Juan Restrepo (@juanrrestrepo)
  • Opportunity to target users signed up at a tradeshow (or similar), but may not have been to the site yet (or hard to segment). – Kyle Crocker
  • With Customer Match you get a deeper level of understanding of that audience than Remarketing. Use both as control levers. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Before it was in G, I used to use for Social ads. Automatic cohort groups +++, usually lower cost-pers, better exclusion lists. – Doug Thomas
  • Customer match seems like it is your BEST customers, higher affinity. Remarketing more anonymous, behavior driven. Yes, use both. – Lisa Sanner
  • Since Customer Match can link non-gmail with gmail addresses, you have the chance to hit your audience at work and home. – Gil Hong
  • Both can be used because they don’t target the same ppl: site visitors vs. your CRM, although would be nice to dedupe. Also I have targeted offers at CRM segments (did that in Facebook). – Catherine Kellogg (@CatKellogg)
  • Love that customer match works w/ search network – also marketers have a better understanding of the audience. Use both, DUH! – Margot da Cunha (@ChappyMargot)
    • I’m excited for Gmail Ads since these have super low CPCs (for now)- ability to target returning visitors will be big. – Matt Umbro
  • It’s interesting that email and paid search are now blended more than ever before. – Matt Umbro
  • I’m wonderig how long until AdWords launches a solid Email Subscriber Ad Option or Extension. – James Svoboda
    • They did at one point, but it didn’t really go anywhere. – Matt Umbro
  • According to Google, customer match is perfect for when you have customer data tied to email addresses. – Aaron Putnam
  • Having used custom audiences in social – a lot of the time the main benefit was exclusion, not “inclusion”. – Bob Bamber (@Bobbable)
  • Email, paid search & display as well, since U can target cookie pools via “customer match” w/ companies like Liveramp. – Catherine Kellogg

Q3: What are you finding to be an average Customer Match rate percentage?

  • Having uploaded exactly one email list so far, my “average” match rate is meaningless; let’s just say it wasn’t Larry Kim’s. – Amy Hebdon
  • We found it to around 50% for over 350,000 emails (slightly higher then FB’s, MUCH higher then Twitters). – Margot da Cunha

Q4: What are some Customer Match audiences you’ve created (or intend to create)? Why?

  • Customers. Tire-Kicking Leads. General Subscribers. Agency Competitors. oops, gave that secret away. – James Svoboda
  • I’d like to segment lists of current subscribers and unsubscribers then drill down to purchase behavior. – Gil Hong
  • B2C: previous shoppers for a holiday campaign; B2B: trade show attendees. – Kyle Crocker
  • Want to create LinkedIn audiences. Would like to see how effective exporting clients’ contacts would be. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • I think upselling Customer Match users is a great value-add. Right on par with retargeting to purchasers. – Matt Umbro
  • Things I tested w/ Facebook Custom Audiences: lapsed buyers (segment with RFM), holiday buyers, non-buyers (who need incentive). – Catherine Kellogg
  • Building a Customer list via Retargeting – Pixels on the website. Helped me in converting a notable percentage of them. – Shiva Teja (@ShivaTeja1707)
  • Purchasers (so they buy again and so you can exclude if need be), segmented lists by interest (if available), etc. – Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)

Q5: As a general question, do you believe users have become accustomed/immune to advertiser remarketing efforts? Why or why not?

  • General users: probably not. I think the benefit of being more relevant is still useful. – Kyle Crocker
  • Yes if creative is stale. No if you keep it fresh. Retailers have been dealing with this for decades with TV & Radio ads. – James Svoboda
  • I was just thinking that if this is search only, it is MUCH less in your face than retargeting banners. – Catherine Kellogg
    • Good point – and users may not even know they are being retargeted to based upon their emails. – Matt Umbro
  • Not at all. Results are still great, and your best prospects are those already familiar with you. – Jeremy Brown
  • I think if done the traditional “stalking” way – yes. But for promotions or to create demand it works just fine. – Jon Bowers (@jon_bowers)
  • No, since there’s a growing subset of savvy users that intentionally trigger for cart abandon deals. Though that’s a diff issue. – Gil Hong
  • Think there’s also something to be said for trying not to make remarketing look like remarketing – in creative & frequency. – Bob Bamber
  • People always think they’re immune to remarketing efforts – the data shows they’re not. – James Hebdon

Q6: With Customer Match, why do you believe the push has been so heavy for Search-based advertising rather than Display?

  • They typically start somewhere with options like these and then roll them out further. – James Svoboda
  • I think it will come to Display as well, no reason not to. – Catherine Kellogg
  • User intent is easier to define on search. You know the user is actively looking (discovery or ready to buy) at the time. – Joe Martinez
  • Market differentiation? FB has display on lockdown. Could be privacy issues too – G seems more cautious on that than others. – Doug Thomas
  • Growing pressure with “right to be forgotten” stuff going on in EU? that or AdWords is gearing up for their own Programmatic. – Gil Hong
  • I think Google is leary with Display early on. Let advertisers use for Search and expand to Display if goes well. – Jeremy Brown
  • RLSA has prooved to be a big boost for Search PPC for headterms that use to get ignored. This helps with that further. – James Svoboda
  • Yes, I think so. especially in B2C, people are feeling annoyed by retargeting ads -Increased Install rate of Adblock! – Shiva Teja
  • I think it might start as a bid modifier on display, hopefully graduate to targeting. – Kyle Crocker
  • Search is easier to measure and has more clearly stated intent. Less reliance on attribution and view-through. – Andrew McCarthy (@AmccartPPC)
  • Platform ownership / legal issues. This was Larry Kim’s explanation & the only one that’s made sense to me so far. – Amy Hebdon
  • And with such a potentially sensitive targeting method, going to Search first starts it small. – Matt Umbro
  • With the introduction of “Email targeting with Adwords”, people tent to build Search-based advertising email lists. – Shiva Teja
  • Adding Customer Match to Search creates differentiation vs. FB. Otherwise it’s just a “me too” change. – Mark Parent (@parentmark)

Q7: Do you believe Google will eventually add “email marketing” as a service? Or at least an add-on to AdWords? Why or why not?

  • Never say never, but unlikely in the short term. That’s a crowded space with complicated privacy issues for Google. – Jeremy Brown
  • They should. The data they could gather from scanning thise emial lists alone would make it worth the investment. – James Svoboda
  • I wouldn’t be shocked, but I don’t expect it. I think there is enough separation in advertising v. email that it won’t happen. – Kyle Crocker
  • They’re trying to move into the business email market, so may make sense. As with a lot of things, they could if they want to. – Bob Bamber
  • If they can do templates for display ads, they can do them for email. – Gil Hong

Q8: Are there clients that you WOULDN’T recommend Customer Match for? Why?

  • Yes, clients of competiting agencies. – James Svoboda
  • If this was a display product, I wouldn’t advise on sensitive verticals. On that topic, any pharm/medical restrictions. – Gil Hong
  • Clients that are prohibited (i.e. – certain health products). Also, clients only interested in email signups. – Matt Umbro
  • Clients with a purchased low quality list. – Jonathan Ng (@ThankYouJon)

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More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Aaron Putnam (@aaronputnam)
• Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
• Andrew McCarthy (@AmccartPPC)
• Bob Bamber (@Bobbable)
• Catherine Kellogg (@CatKellogg)
• Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
• James Hebdon (@jphebdon)
• Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• Jon Bowers (@jon_bowers)
• Jonathan Ng (@ThankYouJon)
• Juan Restrepo (@juanrrestrepo)
• Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
• Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
• Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
• Margot da Cunha (@ChappyMargot)
• Mark Parent (@parentmark)
• Shiva Teja (@ShivaTeja1707)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

Customer Match Streamcap by

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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