Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
true

Upload data files and manage your Customer Match audiences

This article explains the steps you need to follow to upload your data files and create and manage your Customer Match audiences.

Before you begin

For an overview of how Customer Match works, read about Customer Match. For more information about how Google uses the data files you upload and how the matching process works, read How Google uses Customer Match data.

Instructions

Choose the AdWords experience you're using. Learn more

The following instructions will guide you through the process of uploading a data file to create a new Customer Match audience or update an existing Customer Match audience.

 

Upload a data file

  1. Sign in to AdWords.
  2. Click Shared library.
  3. Click Audiences.
  4. If you’re creating a remarketing list for the first time, you’ll see several remarketing options. Under "Customer emails," click Create list. If this isn't the first remarketing list you've created, click +Remarketing list and select "Customer emails" from the drop-down menu.
  5. Enter a name.
  6. Select "Upload customer email addresses."
  7. Upload a list of email addresses in plain text and AdWords will hash them for you using the SHA256 algorithm, which is the industry standard for one-way hashing.
  8. Keep in mind:
    1. There’s a 5GB file size limit.
    2. Hashing takes into account capitalization and spaces, so you'll need to prepare your email addresses, in order for matching to work. Make all characters in the email addresses, lowercase and remove any extra spaces before or after the email addresses. You may upload a list of email addresses that you have already hashed using the SHA256 algorithm. 
  9. Within AdWords, choose the file. Make sure it meets the requirements described below.
  10. Set a membership duration. The default membership duration is unlimited, but you can set a custom time limit.
  11. If you agree, check the box "This data was collected and is being shared with Google in compliance with Google's policies."
  12. Click Upload and save list. You can view the progress of uploading your data file under "Audiences". This process may take take up to 24 hours to complete.
  13. Add your Customer Match audience to your campaign. It may take up to 12 hours for your campaign to start serving.
    • For YouTube: add your Customer Match audience to an "Online video" campaign.
    • For Gmail: add your Customer Match audience to a "Display Network only" campaign that uses Gmail ads from the Ad gallery. To do this:
      1. Open the campaign and click the Display Network tab.
      2. Click + Targeting, and choose your campaign and ad group.
      3. Click Add targeting and select "Interests and remarketing."
      4. Click "Remarketing lists" and select an audience.
    • For Search: add your Customer Match audience to a "Search Network only" or "Search Network with Display Select" campaign.
Update your email files

To replace all of the data in the existing upload file with a new file, use the "Replace existing list with a new file" option. To add or remove specific email addresses, use the "Add more email addresses" or "Remove email addresses" options.

Refresh your Customer Match audiences regularly so that the customers who are important remain in your audiences targeting.

Replace your existing file

  1. Click Shared library.
  2. Click Audiences.
  3. In your table of audiences, click your customer match audience list.
  4. Click the pencil icon.
  5. Select the "Replace existing list with a new list" option.
  6. Choose your new file.
  7. Click Upload and save list.

Add email addresses

  1. Click Shared library.
  2. Click Audiences.
  3. In your table of audiences, click your customer match audience list.
  4. Click the pencil icon.
  5. Select the "Add more email addresses" option.
  6. Choose the data file that contains the data you want to add.
  7. Click Upload and save list.

Remove email addresses

  1. Click Shared library.
  2. Click Audiences.
  3. In your table of remarketing lists, click your customer match audience list.
  4. Click the pencil icon.
  5. Select the "Remove email addresses" option.
  6. Choose the file that contains the email addresses you want to remove.
  7. Click Upload and save list.

Formatting guidelines for Customer list data files

This section will outline the types of data used for customer matching and the guidelines to follow when creating your data file.

  • The data must be in a CSV file. Use a templateor create your own file using a combination of the following header names: Email, Phone, First Name, Last Name, Country, and Zip.
  • You may upload private customer data that you’ve already hashed using the SHA256 algorithm, or, if you upload private customer data in plain text, AdWords will hash it for you using the same SHA256 algorithm, which is the industry standard for one-way hashing.
  • The customer data must be collected in compliance with the Customer Match policies.

Tip: Use the required column header names in your data file

Email address matching: You’re required to use “Email” as the column header in your data file.

 

Phone matching: You’re required to use “Phone” as the column header in your data file.

 

Mailing address matching: Your data file must contain all of the following 4 column headers: “First Name”, “Last Name”, “Country”, and “Zip”. If any of the required column header names are missing, your upload will likely result in an error.

 

Combining email address matching, mailing address matching, and phone matching: Your file should use all 6 of the column header names “Email”, “Phone”, “First Name”, “Last Name”, “Country”, and “Zip”. If you have multiple email addresses, mailing addresses, or phone numbers for a single customer, your file may include multiple “Email”, “Zip”, or “Phone” columns.
 

 

 

Formatting guidelines for uploading plain text data (unhashed)  

Email

  • Include a domain name for all email addresses (for example, gmail.com or hotmail.co.jp)
  • Remove any spaces in between the email address

For example:

  • example@email.com
  • test@gmail.com

Phone

  • Include the country code

For example:

  • 1 (234) 567-8910
  • 81-12-3456-7891
  • 02 1234 5678 

First Name

  • Don’t include prefixes (ex: Mrs.)
  • Accents are allowed

For example:

  • john
  • zoë

Last Name

  • Don’t include suffixes (ex: Jr.)
  • Accents are allowed

For example:

  • smith
  • smith-jones
  • pérez

Country

  • Use ISO two-letter country codes
  • Include the country code even if all of your customer data is from the same country

For example:

  • US for United States
  • SG for Singapore

Zip

  • Both US and international zip and postal codes are allowed
  • For United States:
    • 5 digit codes are allowed
    • 5 digits followed by 4 digit extension are also allowed and may improve your match rate
  • For all other countries:
    • Leave out postal code extensions

For example:

  • 94303
  • 94303-5300
  • WC2H 8LG
 
 

Formatting guidelines for uploading hashed data

Email

  • Include a domain name for all email addresses (for example, gmail.com or hotmail.co.jp)
  • Lowercase all characters
  • Remove any extra spaces before, after, or in between the email address

For example:

  • example@email.com
  • test@gmail.com

Phone

  • Format phone numbers using the E.164 format
  • Include the country code

For example:

  • 1 (234) 567-8910
  • 81-12-3456-7891
  • 02 1234 5678 

First Name

  • Don’t include prefixes (ex: Mrs.)
  • Accents are allowed
  • Lowercase all characters
  • Remove any extra spaces before, after, and in between

For example:

  • john
  • zoë

Last Name

  • Don’t include suffixes (ex: Jr.)
  • Accents are allowed
  • Lowercase all characters
  • Remove any extra spaces before, after, and in between

For example:

  • smith
  • smith-jones
  • pérez

Country

Don’t hash country data

  • Use ISO two-letter country codes
  • Include the country code even if all of your customer data is from the same country

For example:

  • US for United States
  • SG for Singapore

Zip

  • Don’t hash Zip data
  • Both US and international zip and postal codes are allowed
  • For United States: 
    • 5 digit codes are allowed
    • 5 digits followed by 4 digit extension are also allowed and may improve your match rate
  • For all other countries: 
    • Leave out postal code extensions

For example:

  • 94303
  • 94303-5300
  • WC2H 8LG

Related links

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
Previous New
Reach more customers with an online ad

With AdWords, you can run ads on Google to stand out on local searches. Only pay when your ad is clicked. [Learn more]

Sign Up for AdWords