AdWords Update: Customer Match For Phone Numbers and Addresses

Google recently updated the entire AdWords experience. They revamped the boring, classic look that we’ve been sick and tired of for years.

But beyond a facelift, that update unveiled a slew of new retargeting features in an effort to keep pace with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Facebook has paved the way in social advertising with the ability to move beyond basic demographic targeting into custom audiences tailored to customer behavior. Twitter and LinkedIn started adapting (copying) similar features soon after.

User behavior retargeting is like advertising on steroids. You’re able to better target individual offers (e.g. eBook vs. webinar vs. demo vs. upsell) to groups of interested prospects based on their customer journey stage.

And in advertising, better targeting equals better response rates for a lot, lot less.

Two New AdWords Customer Match Features

Google hasn’t been sitting idly by this entire time. They’ve been testing and developing their own version of this same super retargeting approach.

And as of December 7, 2017, Google added two new targeting features to their already-diverse AdWords Customer Match toolset:


  1. Re-engaging customers by using phone numbers as a custom match option
  2. Using mailing addresses to set up customer match

Customer Match features were originally launched in 2015. They allowed advertisers to upload customized lists based on emails, directly into AdWords to target with display or search network ads.

But that heavily limited its use, because as we know, growing a massive email list doesn’t happen with the snap of your fingers.

And some businesses simply don’t focus on collecting large email lists. For example, big wholesalers or B2B companies with high transaction values are selling over the phone or person-to-person. They don’t need thousands of email subscribers to net millions.

Instead, they prioritize personal interactions with phone numbers and addresses. This new change means that Google is opening the doors for businesses without giant email lists. It works just like any typical Customer Match email list.

You can create tightly-knit advertising audiences by uploading phone numbers or addresses, then use Google’s hashed strings to match them to users.

Any advertiser can target users on any Google advertising network. That includes shopping ads, display network, search network, YouTube, and even Gmail ads.

How to Setup these Two New Customer Match Features Inside Your AdWords Account

Here’s what the entire Customer Match procedure looks like:

AdWords update customer match how it works dec 2017

Advertisers will take their own customer data, including anything from emails to zip codes, phone numbers and addresses, then upload that into AdWords.

Google takes the reins from there, running it through a secure Transport Layer Security system (the industry standard for transferring files securely online). This ensures that all privacy measures are met, meaning no customer data will be exposed or stolen.

Next, Google matches your customer data directly to users on their advertising networks, creating detailed audiences for you.

Lastly, the confidential customer data is deleted, leaving no trace. This secure process helps to protect the privacy of your customers and your business.

The great news is that these new features are open to all advertisers of all sizes. You can get started today with this process.

To start uploading a list of customer phone numbers and addresses, head to your Google AdWords account and navigate to the audience manager section:

Image inside AdWords December 2017

Click the large, blue “+” button and select the customer list option from the drop-down menu:

screenshot inside adwords december 2017

From here, first make sure to select “Upload Emails, Phones and/or Mailing Addresses” as your list member guideline:

Screenshot inside adwords to show update december 2017

Now you can start to upload your customer data by any of the listed factors below, including emails, phone numbers, names, country, zip code, and address.

When creating a new list, be sure you’ve download the new template with these updated values directly from your audience manager:

And as always, don’t forget to format correctly.

Trust me, reading those boring formatting guidelines can save you hours of work. It still keeps me up at night in a cold sweat thinking about it.

Then simply hit save and wait for your audience to be built!

Google’s new and improved Customer Match is among the most powerful advertising options in your arsenal. Recently, WordStream found that Customer Match generated the best conversion rates out of any buyer type on AdWords:

screenshot of customer match conversion rates

Google’s new expansion of the Customer Match functions allows for a wider variety of businesses to take advantage of these higher-than-average conversion rates.

So don’t delay. Take advantage of these new features today to:

  1. Add new targeting options perfect for high transaction value, low client volume companies
  2. Which will increase your response and conversion rates
  3. While also lowering your Cost Per Clicks and Cost Per Acquisitions

Best of all, your client data is securely managed throughout the entire process.

The only downside is the ten minutes it’ll take to set this all up.


Image Credits

Feature Image: Unsplash/moren hsu

Image 1: Screenshot by Dmitry Romin . Taken December 2017 from Google.

Image 2: Screenshot by Dmitry Romin. Taken December 2017 from Google.

Image 3-6: Screenshot by Dmitry Romin. Taken December 2017 from inside AdWords.

Image 7: Screenshot by Dmitry Romin. Taken December 2017 from WordStream.

Dmitry Romin

Dmitry Romin

A seasoned online marketer with 15 years of experience in Internet Marketing specializing in E-commerce, SEM, Paid Media and Affiliate Marketing. Proven track record of achieving business goals and hitting revenue targets. Deep experience as start-to-end project manager and principle driver of performance marketing efforts.

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