How to Use Google Ads to Bring Back Old Customers


Reaching to your previous customers must be considered as an important part of your advertising. With your previous customers you probably don’t have to waste your time on introducing yourself to them because they already know you. Asking them to make a purchase is comparatively easy.

Using Google Ads features such as Remarketing Lists for Search Ads(RLSA), Customer Match, and Similar Audiences, you can target your most valuable audience for your search and Shopping campaigns.

They are highly useful targeting tools to get back to your previous customers or website visitors who haven’t yet converted or similar audiences using the information they shared with you.

Let’s dig deep into the Customer Match feature of Google Ads which can be pivotal if you’re thinking to bring back your old customers.

Customer Match

Customer Match opens a huge possibility to drive quality conversion and improve brand awareness among your existing customers in a matter of hours.

With Customer Match, you can target different audiences across various platforms like Search Network, Gmail, YouTube etc. Using Customer Match, you can also provide a customized ad experience to your audiences based on their attributes or stages in the purchase journey.

Depending upon which Google Ads experience you are using, i.e. previous or new version, there will be differences in features and settings. So, first you have to determine which version you are using.

In the previous AdWords experience, you can only use email matching in the Customer Match. But in the new Google Ads experience, you can use all data types specified in its formatting guidelines such as phone numbers, customer address etc.

Let us explore how an email list of your previous customers can be used to precisely target those customers again and again using the new Google Ads experience. This will narrow down your audience demographic to a group consisting of your potential/ideal customers who are more likely to convert when they watch your ads.

This can make your campaigns more effective and targeted, and will turn your customers into frequent purchasers.

Customer Match helps you advertise in a highly customized manner and drives tremendous amounts of conversion with exact targeting. Learn how Customer Match can be used to bring the old customers back to you without further ado.

How to Set up Customer Match with a List of Email Addresses in Google Ads

  1. Click the tool icon in the top right corner of your screen.
  2. Under the section named Shared Library, click Audience Manager.
  3. Click Audience Lists from the Page Menu on the left.
  4. Click the plus button to create a new audience list.
  5. Choose “Customer List.”

From here you have to choose which type of data you want to upload (Email, phone number, etc.). In this case, we’re choosing Email. Within your data file, you are required to use “Email” as your column header. And also make sure that your file is in the CSV format for uploading your customer data.

You can view the progress of uploading your data file under “Audience Lists”. This process may take up to 48 hours to complete. However, within 24 hours, it should look like this:

Is The Data Safe With Google Ads?

As it’s well known that Google is a customer-centric company, such radical add-ons were first looked at with a shade of alarm. Many of the users couldn’t believe that Google would ever take such decisions that could put the personal information of its users to danger. But that can only be an over-reaction because, Google had also set strict rules in place to protect its users’ information against fraudulence.

Google has clearly stated that advertisers can only upload those information that has been provided by customers themselves in a first-party context (when they showed interest in your business).

This includes the information collected through website forms, apps, physical stores and in-person events where they shared their information directly with you.

Google seeks your compliance to its privacy policy and prohibits the collection or upload of any sensitive information about your customers while using the Customer Match feature in Google Ads.

Highlights of Google’s Privacy Policy


    • You must ensure that your privacy policy discloses that you share customer data with third parties.
    • You use Google’s approved API or interface to upload customer data
    • You comply with all applicable laws and regulations
    • Your privacy policy must disclose that you share information with third parties.
    • You cannot run ads that collect personally identifiable information.
    • You cannot upload emails of customers under the age of 13.
    • Advertising for products related to sensitive information — such as racial identity, sexual identity, political or religious affiliation, negative financial situations, and health issues — are prohibited.

To dive deep into the privacy policies and restrictions on sensitive information visit Google’s list of ad policies at Advertising Policies Help.

By using the information that customers have shared with you, targeting becomes much easier; because, you know who your audiences are and as they are already interested in your business, they are likely to convert easily than any other audiences. That is why they have to be considered as your most valuable audiences and they must be targeted through your ads.

Currently the Customer Match feature is only available on Search, Shopping, YouTube, and Gmail. It is not available in the third party sites in the Display Network. You can also use similar audience targeting using your Customer Match audience list for YouTube and Gmail.

These similar audiences will be automatically created if your Customer Match audiences meet the minimum eligibility criteria. The available similar audiences’ list size can be seen on each available network on your “Audiences” table. Take a look at the infographic below to have a better idea of the customer matching process.

The membership duration is unlimited by default because your Customer Match audiences don’t expire. But you can control how long your audiences are kept in your list and can also refresh the list often.

Now, just start using this amazing feature. Most of the advertisers are not aware of it and how it can help you make sensible bid adjustments for an efficient ad campaign. It’s doubtless that this will make your ad campaigns even smarter.

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