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Create Gmail ads with templates

Gmail ads are expandable ads at the top of people’s tabs in Gmail. With a click, these interactive ads expand into a email-sized ads that can include videos and images, and can be used to meet a variety of advertising goals. Once someone expands your ad, any clicks on your content are free.

This article tells you how to create Gmail ads with templates, and then set bids for them. It also includes information about how to measure your results in reporting.

Advanced users may want to jump to Create Gmail ads with custom HTML.

Before you begin

Many sophisticated features and types of targeting, like Customer Match, are compatible with Gmail ads. To keep our users safe, though, Gmail ads are not compatible with certain AdWords features. When creating your Gmail ads, keep in mind the following points.

  • Campaign type. You need to use a Display Network using an "All features" campaign.
  • Incompatible Targeting. The following targeting methods aren't available for Gmail ads:

    • Placements other than Gmail (mail.google.com)
    • Custom affinity audiences
    • Content Keywords (previously known as Display Select Keywords)
    • Remarketing lists, except for Customer Match
    • In-market audiences related to "Event tickets" and many in-market audiences related to "Travel": air travel by class, bus and rail travel, car rental, hotels and accommodations by star rating, and trips by city or country destination
  • Bidding. All standard bidding strategies are compatible with Gmail ads. You can use bid modifiers and offline conversions. CPM is highly discouraged as a bidding strategy for Gmail ads.
  • Content. For specific content disapproved in Gmail ads, see the Gmail ad policy article.
  • Frequency capping. Custom frequency capping is not supported. Gmail ads have a set frequency cap of 4 weekly impressions per campaign.
  • Third parties. Third-party ad serving is not supported, although clients can use third-party click trackers in their ads.
  • Final URLs: Newly created or edited Gmail template ads are compatible with final URLs and tracking templates. Learn more about Upgraded URLs.

Best practices

Create an ad group or campaign exclusively for Gmail ads. With separate Gmail / non-Gmail accounts, you can:

  • Set up targeting specific for Gmail ads, like domain targeting (showing your ads to people who receive emails from a certain site) and Customer Match (which is not available on third-party sites on the Google Display Network).
  • Avoid mistakenly adding incompatible targeting to an ad group or campaign containing Gmail ads. (When you add incompatible targeting, your Gmail ads won’t run).
  • Evaluate your ads’ performance in Gmail.

Basic instructions

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Highly recommended: create a new campaign or ad group.
  3. Click + Ad and go to the Ad Gallery.
  4. Click “Gmail ads.”
  5. Select the template you’d like to use. For technical details, jump to ad specifications.

    • Single image ad: a single image fills the body of the expanded ad
    • Single product promotion: an image or video with text advertises a single product or service
    • Multi-product promotion: several images with text advertise multiple products or services, each with a call-to-action button
    • Catalog creative: features more descriptive text than the multi-product promotion, to create an almost magazine-like experience with multiple call-to-action buttons
  6. Provide the required information to create a Gmail ad.

    • Note on ad name: your ad name doesn’t show in your ad—it’s only used for you to identify your ad.
    • Note on destination URL: your newly created Gmail template ad is compatible with final URLs and tracking templates. Learn more Upgraded URLs.
  7. Click Save or Save and preview.

Before your template ads show to customers, they’re reviewed to make sure they meet our advertising policies. Your ad should be approved within 2 business days.

Your targeting options

There are several ways to target your Gmail ads to the right audience. The following are the only types of Display Network targeting available for Gmail ads.

  • You can create Customer Match audiences using a list of customer emails from people who have provided their email addresses to you or your company.
  • You can use similar audience targeting based on your Customer Match audience.
  • You can either add keywords or domains into the Audience keyword targeting section. This helps you reach people with specific keywords or domains in their inboxes. In Gmail ads, and on the Display Network generally, keyword match type is automatically set as broad match. (If you enter another keyword match type, it will be ignored.)
  • Domains can be used to target (or exclude) users who’ve received emails from specific companies. Domains should be entered as keywords using the format example.com or site.example.com (not example.com/site). The system will scan the body and subject of the last few hundred non-spam emails, including deleted and archived messages.
  • Note: It's not possible to use both keyword and domain targeting at the same time. Since they are in the same targeting method, either one or the other will be used.

Add Gmail as a managed placement

Add mail.google.com as a placement to your Gmail ad campaigns or ad groups. Here’s how:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Go to your Display Network tab and click the + Targeting.
  4. Select an ad group from one of your "Display Network only – All features" campaigns.
  5. Click the "Add targeting" drop-down menu and select "Placements."
  6. Click the "Add multiple placements at once" link.
  7. Type mail.google.com in the text box.
  8. Click Close and then Save to add the placement to your ad group.

Set bids

Your ads will appear at the top of tabs in Gmail inboxes in a collapsed state. Once someone clicks your collapsed ad, it expands into a message-like format.

Think of the expanded state as you would think about your website landing page. You won’t be charged for any clicks on the expanded state, so your CPC bids apply only to the initial click on your collapsed ad. It's best to choose a CPC bid that matches the value of someone seeing your fully expanded ad. Here’s how to change your bids:

  1. Select an ad group.
  2. Go to your Display Network tab and click your Placements tab.
  3. Locate mail.google.com in your list of placements.
  4. Click and edit your bid.

Measure results

Reporting tab

In your “Reporting” tab, get the numbers about Gmail ads leading to clicks, saves, and forwards.

Add a Gmail metrics column to your reporting table:

  1. While signed in to your account, go to your Reporting tab.
  2. Click Modify columns in the toolbar above your statistics table.
  3. Select Gmail metrics under “Select metrics.”
  4. Click Add all columns.
  5. Click Apply.

View your results: While signed in to your account, go to your Reporting tab. Find your “Gmail metrics” column.

Dimensions tab

Here are some more click types from Gmail ads that can appear in the "Dimensions tab; Free clicks" report:

  • Form submission: The number of times someone has submitted a form included in your ad
  • Video view: The number of times someone clicks to view the videos in your ads
  • Click to call: The number of times someone has clicked your ad to initiate a call to your business

Ad specifications

Important policy note: All the parts of your email ad need to link back to the same advertiser (you) and be relevant to the product you’re promoting. For example, the “sender” name needs to represent the same advertiser as the one in the display URL field.

Collapsed ad specifications

All templates have the same collapsed ad specifications:

Logo (upload): up to 144 x 144 pixels

  • Shows on mobile in the ad's collapsed state
  • Shows on computers next to the expanded ads—after someone has clicked to open your collapsed ad

Advertiser: up to 20 characters

  • Must be either the domain or recognized name of the advertiser
  • For click-to-download Gmail ads, sender name must be either the domain, recognized name of the advertiser, or the promoted downloadable app

Subject: up to 25 characters

  • Can include an offer, % discount, or compelling announcement

Description: up to 100 characters

  • Can include a short summary or powerful call-to-action

Display URL: up to 255 characters

  • What people see in your ad, such as www.google.com (Note: Final URL can be longer)

Final or Destination URL: No character limit

  • Used as the Final or Destination URL when the display URL is clicked in the Expanded Ad
  • You can add a static click-tracking URL, but not impression tracking pixels or dynamic tracking URLs
  • Learn more about Upgraded URLs
Expanded ad specifications

The expanded ad specifications are outlined below, template by template.

Single image ad

Image (upload): 650 x [300–1000] pixels

Accepted image formats: JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)
Maximum image size: 800KB

Single product promotion

Image (upload): [300px to 650px} x [300px to 1000px] or YouTube video link (video thumbnail size is 300 x 169 landscape)
Headline: up to 25 characters
Content: up to 1024 characters
Call-to-action button: up to 20 characters
Advanced customization (optional):

  • Header image: 650 x [50–200]

Accepted image formats:  JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)
Maximum image size: 800KB

Multi-product promotion

Image(s) (optional): 180 × 180, or YouTube video link (video thumbnail size is 180 x 180)
Title (optional): up to 40 characters
Call-to-action button: up to 20 characters
Call-to-action button URL: the landing page for your button
Advanced customization (optional):

  • Header image: 650 x [50–200]
  • Headline: up to 25 characters
  • Content: up to 1024 characters

Accepted image formats: JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)
Maximum image size: 150KB (800KB for header image)

Catalog creative

Image(s) (upload): up to 650 × 300, or YouTube video link (video thumbnail size is 324 x 183)
Headline: up to 40 characters
Description: up to 1,024 characters
Call-to-action button: up to 20 characters
Call-to-action button URL: the landing page for your button
Up to 3 additional items (optional):

  • Image: 650 × 300, or YouTube video link (video thumbnail size is 324 x 183)
  • Call-to-action button: up to 20 characters
  • Call-to-action button URL

Accepted image formats: JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)
Maximum image size: 800KB

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