As we know, brands today face multiple challenges, two of the greatest being:

1. Attracting and acquiring new customers.

2. Achieving brand loyalty among existing customers.

Brand Loyalty

According to Investopedia, “Brand loyalty is when consumers become committed to your brand and make repeat purchases over time. Brand loyalty is a result of consumer behavior and is affected by a person's preferences.”

Encouraging brand loyalty can be extremely difficult for the premium priced end of the market, more so than competitively priced, demanding a higher price for a better quality “premium” product. Here is where Google Adwords comes in.

Customer Match

Customer Match, a recent campaign released by Google enables advertisers to target customers using their email addresses, when they’re signed into Google Search, YouTube, or Gmail. Through first hand data collection, you can upload a list of customer or prospect email addresses and show them highly targeted ads when they search for relevant key words.

This approach allows you to adjust your bidding strategy based on how important you deem this user in achieving you overall aim – in this case to encourage brand loyalty.

Google securely matches the email address you have uploaded with that signed into Google Search.

The concept of targeting by e-mail addresses is not new, we know that Facebook has Custom Audiences and Twitter has Tailored Audiences to reach out to people on their respective platforms. However, according to Wordstream, out of the three, Customer Match performs better.

Facebook custom audiences

Encouraging Brand Loyalty

Google Inside Adwords tell us that 70% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing, and relevance of a brand’s message influences their perception of a brand. Therefore, you need to reach out to your most valuable customers in their “I want to buy” micro moments with a personalised, relevant message.

Customer Match allows you to customise your ad message and your keyword bids to ad viewers based on their persona e.g. subscriber to a newsletter or a past customer. 

Messages will differ on a user to user basis

Obviously, according to a user persona, it’s a given that messages and bids will have to change for each user or group of users.

A subscriber to a newsletter for example, may be targeted with promotional content to encourage a sale of a particular product which you have identified they are searching for. This is because they are a qualified lead and there is an opportunity for you to bid more than on an average user who has no connection to your brand but is searching for that same product.

A past customer on the other hand, could be targeted with content around the upsell of an accessory to go along with a product they have purchased previously. Given that you know this person has purchased before and you have identified an opportunity to upsell, you could bid even more for this user base.


Customer Match requires a strategy based on the value of customers to your business. In order to be able to identify someone’s value to your business, email data must be kept extremely well organised and segmented.

Some areas you may want to consider when segmenting your data are demographics such as geography, age, gender, interests, past purchases, engagement with products or services and their stage in the purchasing cycle.

Collecting email data is something that must be implemented over time. Customer Match campaigns require at least 1,000 active users and the list membership duration cannot exceed 180 days.

It is also important to note that you may only upload customer information collected first hand; information you have collected from your website, apps or physical stores.

What can you do with your e-mail database?

Spending time collating, segmenting and organising your email database will benefit your business in the long run;

  • Converting Leads. If you have leads that have downloaded your whitepaper or subscribed to your newsletter, you can show ads to that group specifically. Knowing that they have shown interest previously, makes it more likely that you will get them back.
  • Getting Customers To Return (Brand Loyalty). If you have annual customers, those who make purchases at a particular time of the year e.g. summer; you can reach out to those customers who purchased from you the previous year based on highly competitive keywords that would not be profitable for you normally.
  • Retrieving Offline Customers. This is particularly useful for customers of a restaurant, theatre or spa when they are looking again for a nice restaurant or day out. You could even show these customers ads with an added extra perk.

Setting up a Customer Match List

There are five key steps to setting up a customer match campaign:

Step 1: Create an e-mail target group in Ad-Words.

Creating a Customer Match e-mail list

Step 2: Click on the drop down Remarketing List and select Customer e-mails.

Step 3: Encrypt the e-mail address by pasting it into the Customer Match SHA2 Converter.

Customer Match converter

Step 4: Download the list of encrypted addresses.

Step 5: Fill in all details and upload the list.


Somewhat similar to remarketing, Customer Match offers a number of new opportunities to reach leads and prospects by targeting based on email addresses and not just previous visits. The ultimate goal is to reach the most valuable users to your brand with the right message, in the right place, at the right time to encourage that all important “brand loyalty.”

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