Create a customer list

Customer Match lets you target ads to your customers using the data that they share with you. You create a CSV file including customer data and upload it into Google Ads to incorporate this targeting into your campaigns.

To successfully use your customer data file, it’s important to ensure that you format your customer data file correctly. 

If you run into any issues with the upload process, learn how to fix customer list issues.

This article explains how to upload your data files to create customer lists.

Before you start

For an overview of how Customer Match works, read about Customer Match.

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




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The following instructions will guide you through the process of uploading a data file with email addresses to create a new Customer Match audience.

  1. Sign in to AdWords.
  2. Click Shared library.
  3. Click Audiences.
  4. If you’re creating a remarketing list for the first time, then you’ll see several remarketing options. Under 'Customer emails', click Create list. If this isn't the first remarketing list that 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. Bear in mind:
    1. There’s a 5GB file size limit.
    2. Hashing takes into account capitalisation 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, select the file. Make sure that 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, tick 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.
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