As more and more marketers start to focus their remarketing efforts, not enough focus is being placed on customer match. Customer match should be a part of your remarketing strategy which should be utilised whether it be for inclusion or exclusion purposes. Here at Indago, we recently implemented customer match for one of our clients.

But before we deep dive into the results, a little 101 on what it is and how to set up customer match for your clients.

What is Customer Match?

In a nutshell, customer match is another form of remarketing which uses a customer email list that you share with Google to drive performance and/or increase brand awareness.

Customer Match Set-Up

Setting up customer match can be set up in just minutes. To set up customer match, create a remarketing list using customer emails by clicking the “Campaigns” tab and then the “Audiences” list item in the left margin:

customer match

You also have the option of determining your membership audience permanently or for a set number of days depending on the audience you’re marketing to. Membership duration can be important. Let’s say if you’ve got specific ads targeted to this audience, you may want to set an expiry date on those lists to prevent ad burnout.

customer match

Once the list has been uploaded, it’ll go through and show an “in progress” status. Dependent on list size, it generally takes around 24-48 hours for the list to go through. Periodically check that the list does indeed go through as the system can be temperamental and reject the file for no apparent reason.

customer match

It’s important to note that all data files must be uploaded via CSV file, otherwise Google will immediately knock back the file citing errors from the file itself. It’s recommended that the email list be at least 5000 strong. Based off previous uploads, Google generally cuts the list size by roughly half the uploaded file size. E.g. 10,000 emails = 5,000 audience.

Like standard remarketing lists, Google automatically generates similar audiences on the back of customer match, enabling you to apply these audiences more beneficially at a positive audience. However, there’s also the opportunity to push customer match across YouTube and as a Gmail Sponsored Promotion (GSPs).

Customer Match Strategies

Once the email list has been successfully processed, you can apply these audiences as both inclusion and exclusion audiences. Inclusion lists can be implemented as part of your marketing strategy if, for example, you want to:

  • Re-engage your audience to purchase add-on products from your site from a product that’s been already purchased e.g. if the consumer bought a mobile phone and the consumer may have a need to protect their phone. Screen protectors, phone covers etc.
  • A travel site and the consumer has purchased flights to a popular destination, you have an opportunity to cross-promote other travel products (accommodation, tours, other destinations that may be close to the destination) to this audience.
  • A service based audience e.g. users who have a car and need reminder ads that the car service is due.

On the other side of the coin, you may look to exclude audiences permanently, or for a set period of time, dependent on your membership duration:

  • If a user has made a purchase that has a once-off customer value e.g. furniture purchases, hardware, white-goods.
  • Once-off services (tree-lopping, carpentry, plumbing etc.).
  • For users that have purchased car loans, home loans etc., you may want to exclude that audience for a number of years and then re-utilise the email list to market new messaging around refinancing their loans.

Case Study

We have a finance client who wanted to use customer match to exclude users who have poor financial records from being exposed to their ads (primarily their brand ads). We implemented an exclusion list to only brand elements of the account.

customer match

The account saw immediate benefits behind the changes. Comparing September to October, CPCs decreased by 27.38% ($3.49 – $2.53) and continued to decrease on the following month respectively. However, clicks decreased by 21.39% (24,879 – 19,557) likely as a result of a slice of the audience pool being excluded from seeing the ads.

customer match

Looking at Conv. Rate MoM, we saw an increase of 22.94% (28.9% – 35.5%), perhaps as a result of excluding the click wastage which then lead to a stronger audience with a better propensity to convert. However, conversions were negatively affected, likely resulting from a decrease in traffic.

The results lead to significant cost savings from the client’s side. On the back of this success, we are now exploring opportunities to promote customer match as a positive audience by custom tailoring ad-copy to known customers that have positive financial records.

With audiences starting to take precedence over keywords, make customer match part of your Google remarketing arsenal in 2017.

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