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How to set up your first Gmail Ads campaign

Posted on 7th June, 2019 by Grant Johnson

Google Ads

With over 1 billion active users a month Gmail offers businesses a great way for businesses to boost outreach and target more customers. And, the best bit, Gmail ads are a lot less competitive compared to standard search adverts or even the display network. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can set up your first campaign on Gmail and start driving relevant traffic to your website.

Email marketing has always been one of the best ways for businesses to boost outreach, but these emails can often get overlooked simply because of the sheer volume of emails that people receive. With Gmail ads your advert will be displayed at the top of the user’s inbox as well as in the social and promotions folders. These adverts will look the same as ordinary emails with the addition of a green ad tag.

Get started

To build your first Gmail campaign you’ll need a Google Ads account as Gmail ads are exclusive to Google’s paid search platform. Once you’ve set up your account sign in to Google Ads and head to the campaigns tab and click on the + symbol to start building your new Gmail ads campaign.

Choose your goal from the following categories: Sales, Leads, Website traffic, Product & brand consideration and Brand awareness & reach. Next select the Display campaign type and finally choose Gmail campaign as shown below:


Start creating your ads

Once you’ve created your adverts you can start getting creative and building your adverts using Google’s free ad creation tool. Alternatively, you can upload a single image advert or for businesses that want more control over their advertising you can create and upload a fully customised HTML advert. There are some restrictions as to the size, format and what can and can’t be included so for full guidelines on this please visit the Google Ads help page here.

Your adverts can contain images, buttons with calls to action and even video content, so make sure you check out the ad builder to see what options are available.

Ad targeting options

Like most Google Ads campaigns there are a range of targeting options available for advertisers which can help businesses to reach the right audiences. You can use the standard targeting methods such as keywords, location and interests as well as some unique targeting methods that are only available for Gmail sponsored adverts.

Life event targeting

Want to reach people who are planning a wedding. How about those looking to buy a house? Or those planning their retirement? Life event targeting helps you target people based on life events which could be relevant to the services or products you offer. For example, if you are a luxury travel agent that specialises in honeymoon destinations then your target audience is anyone who is planning a wedding.

Custom intent

Custom intent looks at a user’s Chrome history, app install data and YouTube signals to provide additional targeting options that can help you reach the right audience with your Gmail campaigns.

In-market audiences

This is a great option for targeting the right customers as using in-market audiences you can effectively reach people who are actively researching and planning on buying services or products that match what your business offers. And, because the average person spends around 2.5 hours a day checking their private emails as well as 3 hours managing their work inbox, your advert can be shown at exactly the right moment.

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