How to Boost Email Marketing with Customer Match Gmail Ads

This is a guest post from Amanda West-BookwalterDigital Media Marketing Specialist at Formstack.

Customer Match lets you use all the hard work you’re doing in email marketing on your paid efforts. It makes total sense that your digital marketing efforts shouldn’t live in silos. I mean, think about it, do you know anyone who only does one activity online? When is the last time you met someone who uses the internet for email, but nothing else? Google searches, but no email? No, that person probably doesn’t exist, so it doesn’t make sense for these efforts to be segmented. Email marketing and PPC should work together, as a team.

Futurama Gif

I’m not sure which is PPC and which is Email, but either way, it ends in $$$.

Let’s start by looking at how Gmail Ads compliment your Email Marketing.

Email Marketing Problems

Email Open Rates

A good open rate is like 20%

Even though you sent your email at 8am, it’s buried by 11:30am.

Even though you sent your email at 8am, it’s buried by 11:30am.

Gmail Ads Solution

With Gmail Ads, you stay at the top of their inbox, and get a second chance at all those non-openers.

With Gmail Ads, you stay at the top of their inbox, and get a second chance at all those non-openers.

How Customer Match Fits It

Remarketing isn’t a new concept. We all know that people who fall out of the funnel before converting are still worth something. We want to re-engage them, deliver whatever they needed to convert, and get the conversion. What’s new with Customer Match is being able to narrow that remarketing down to precise emails that took precise actions and advertise to them on Search, Gmail, and Youtube with precise language. For this blog, I’m going to concentrate on pairing Gmail ads with Customer Match.

Micro Conversions

This is where having a strong content marketing strategy really helps you out. Got webinars, ebooks, whitepapers, newsletters, etc.? You probably already have targeted emails for these people in your email nurturing program and with Customer Match you can extend your reach and visibility. Employ these tips when building your Gmail Customer Match campaigns.

1.) Give them more of the same

Someone who attended a webinar is more likely to attend another webinar than to download an ebook. Someone who was interested in content about cats is more likely to be interested in other cat content than dog content. Use these email lists to create Customer Match campaigns that target users with Gmail Ads that offer similar content.

2.) Ask them to convert

This list should be users who are engaging with your content, but haven’t actually converted yet. So, to this end, if they’ve interacted enough with your content to be considered a good lead, start asking them to convert in your Gmail Ads. You probably have a lead grading system, so employ that with your Customer Match as well to know when to go from asking for more engagement to popping the big question.

3.) Offer incentives


Everyone loves a good deal, special VIP access, etc. If someone has proven to be a high value lead, put them into a Customer Match list specifically for that type of lead and offer them something special to get them to take your conversion action. This Gmail Ad will stand-out against a sea of emails simply because of location, and a special offer will make it even more eye-catching.

Trial Enders That Didn’t Convert

Offering a free trial to a paid service is an awesome way to get people to try you out and get them hooked. But what happens when people trial and don’t convert to a paid user?

1.) Don’t ask them to trial again

Most of your marketing probably has a call-to-action involving signing up for a free trial, but you know if a person has already trialed, so why wouldn’t you use that data to ensure you’re not asking them to do something they’ve already done? Customer Match lets you upload email lists as negative audiences as well, so make sure you aren’t targeting people who have already trialed with Gmail Ads that just ask them to trial. Make Gmail Ads that target people who never converted to a paid user with call-to-actions that ask them to become paid users. You’ll want to ensure your landing page has the same call-to-actions.

2.) Offer incentives

This might sound familiar, but offering incentives is even more important here. The biggest reason users don’t convert from a free trial to a paid user is due to pricing, so if you can offer a discount, you’re likely to convince some users to convert. Another big reason is that users couldn’t figure out how to get your service or product to do exactly what they wanted it to do. Try testing offering a free consultation in your Gmail Ads if they convert to a paid user.


Have fun with the fact that you’re targeting someone in their email inbox with emails and Gmail Ads. Because, everyone likes fun, so your customers probably will.

1.) Call out their unopened emails

Make a Customer Match list of people who are valuable leads, but haven’t opened their emails you sent with your email marketing campaigns. Then, make Gmail Ads that call this out. Try tactics like FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and call out the sweet deal waiting for them in that unopened email. “You missed saving 20% in that email you forgot to open! We’ll give you another 24 hours.”

FOMO - Broad City Gif

2.) Related services

If you happen to offer some kind of digital marketing, recruiting, or security service, this could get really fun. For digital marketing, call out that you’re using Customer Match to target them with Gmail Ads, are they doing that for their potentional customers? For recruiting, you could say, hey, we’re targeting you, why aren’t you letting us target candidates for you? For security, call out that you have their information and have targeted their Gmail inbox, who else might have their information? Those are just three I thought of off the top of my head, but you might be able to draw other correlations that would be fun. Try not to get too creepy with it.

In Conclusion

There are a lot of really cool ways to target users with Gmail Ads, and many ways this can work with your Email Marketing efforts. I’ve just covered a few of those strategies here. I hope you get creative and find something that works well for you. If you’ve already tried these tactics, how did they work for you?

Amanda West-Bookwalter - Head ShotAmanda West-Bookwalter is the Digital Media Marketing Specialist at Formstack, responsible for implementing and scaling digital advertising strategies for the SaaS company. Prior to joining the Formstack team, Amanda served in a senior account management role for a pay-per-click agency and has spoken at multiple online marketing conferences, including HeroConf, SMX East, and SES Denver.

Follow Amanda on Twitter