Targeting Changes Announced For Gmail Ads

Jill Goldstein - September 26, 2017

One of the most widely-used targeting tactics for Gmail ads is sadly being phased out. As of September 28th, the ever-so invasive, however effective strategy of utilizing domains as keywords to serve personalized ads will no longer be used. Due to this, Google has notified advertisers that they may see a change in Gmail campaign impressions, clicks as well as conversions.

Keep in mind, this is only one of the many targeting options available for Gmail Ads. See below for an overview of all Gmail targeting capabilities. Note that previously contextual-based targeting (keywords and topics) will now be audience-based:

  1. *Keywords: Whereas keywords were previously used to match against the content in your email (contextual), keywords will now be used to target users based on their interests and browsing behavior.
  2. *Affinity Audiences: With an abundance of unique personas based on lifestyle and interests, affinity audiences mimic make-up of TV-style audiences, so marketers can engage with audiences at scale.
  3. *In-Market Audiences: Connect with those most interested in what you have to offer based on their demonstrated browsing behavior and purchase intent.
  4. Demographics: Using demographic targeting, you can reach potential customers who are most likely to be within a particular age range, gender, parental status, or household income.
  5. *Topics: Topic targeting for Gmail previously matched users email content to your topic of choice, however with this change, topic targeting will now be based on your audience’s expressed interests based on user intent and browsing behavior.
  6. *Customer Match/Similar to Customer Match: Customer Match lets you upload a list of email addresses that your customers have given you, and, when they’re signed into Gmail, you can show them ads. Alternatively, if there is a similar audience available for a particular customer match audience, you can utilize that too.

*With all audience based targeting, users have to be opted into ad personalization for Google to be able to decipher their interests & browsing behavior.

As you can see, there are still a variety of targeting options available to you to run Gmail Ads. If you are still utilizing domains as keywords, now is the time for you to move to keyword-based targeting. It’s also a great time to test new methods of targeting.

For assistance with Gmail Ads targeting or general questions about digital advertising, reach out to our team of experts at MoreVisibility.

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