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About Gmail ads

Gmail ads are interactive ads at the top of people’s inboxes. When someone clicks a collapsed Gmail ad, it expands just like an email does. The expanded ad, which is the size of an email, can include images, video, or embedded forms. Available in all countries Google reaches, Gmail ads are a way to connect with people in a more personal-feeling format.

This article gives an overview of Gmail ads. For an instructional article, jump to Create Gmail ads.

How it works

A Gmail ad shows first in its collapsed form. When someone clicks on the ad, it expands to an email-sized space that can be used to meet a variety of advertising goals and can include, for example, embedded forms or video.

People can interact with your expanded ad in different ways, depending on your ad’s layout. They can play video, fill out a form, click to go to your website, or (when they’re on mobile) click to call or to go to an app marketplace.

You aren’t charged when people interact with your expanded ad. You’re only charged once—for the click that expands your ad in the first place.

Email ready

Many people who expand your ad can save it by clicking the star icon, or by clicking the blue Save button at the bottom of the message. Many people can also forward your expanded ads to someone else as an email message.

Mobile friendly

AdWords optimizes ads to help make sure they look great wherever they're shown—be it on a computer, mobile device, or the Gmail app. Your ad's layout automatically optimizes for the mobile experience. To add even more impact, you can select from dedicated mobile options, like click-to-call and app promotion.

How targeting works

You can use most of the display targeting options you’re already familiar with—like audience keywords, affinity audiences, in-market audiences, and demographics. 

Here are different ways you can reach specific audiences with your ads:

  • Affinity audiences: Select from these audiences to reach potential customers and make them aware of your business. For example, a sports apparel advertiser could select relevant topics like "Fitness" and "Sporting Goods" or reach people in the "Health & Fitness Buffs" or "Running Enthusiasts" affinity audiences. 
  • Audience keywords: Choose words or phrases relevant to your product or service so yours ads appear to customers who are interested in those terms. 
  • Automated targeting: Automatic targeting helps optimize your targeting across Gmail, letting you reach people your targeting wouldn't otherwise reach, at around the same cost per person--automatically. 
  • Customer match: Lets you show ads to customers based on data about those customers that you share with Google. Learn more about customer match
  • Demographics: Lets you reach people on the Display Network who are associated with certain demographic categories, like gender, age range, or household income. 
  • In-market audiences: Select from these audiences to find customers who are in the market, which means that they're researching products and are actively considering buying a service or product like yours. 
  • Life Events: Reach customers in key life moments like moving, marriage, or college graduation.
  • Remarketing: You can also reach people who've already engaged with your company's products and services, including past visitors to a website, mobile app, videos or your own email list. 

Changes to Gmail ads

Beginning later this year, Gmail ads will no longer be using consumer Gmail content for ads personalization. As a result, starting September 28, you may see a change in your campaign reach, clicks and conversions. If your Gmail campaigns use domain targeting, replace domains with keyword targeting before Sept. 28, 2017 to ensure your ads continue to show. Learn how to choose keywords for Display Network campaigns

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