Create a customer list

Starting on May 1, 2023, similar audiences (or segments) will be gradually phased out as a targeting feature. Learn more about this latest change to audience targeting

To provide a comprehensive and consolidated view of your Audiences and make audience management and optimization simpler, you’ll find the following improvements in Google Ads:

  • New audience reporting
    Detailed reporting about audience demographics, segments, and exclusions is now consolidated in one place, the “Audiences” tab within the left page navigation menu. You can also easily manage your Audiences from this report page. Learn more about Audience reporting
  • New terms
    We’re using new terms on your audience report and throughout Google Ads. For example, “audience types” (these include similar, custom, in-market, and affinity) are now referred to as audience segments and “remarketing” is now referred to as “your data”. Learn more about the updates to Audience terms and phrases

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

To successfully use your customer data file, it’s important to ensure that you format your file correctly. If you run into any issues with the upload process, learn how to fix customer list issues.

Before you begin

For an overview of how Customer Match works, refer to About Customer Match.

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


The following instructions will guide you through the process of uploading a customer data file to create a new Customer list.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon] in the navigation menu.
  3. Under the section labeled “Shared library” click Audience manager.
  4. Select Segments from the page menu on the left.
  5. Click the plus button to create a new segment.
  6. Select Customer list from the drop-down menu.
  7. Choose a name for your new segment.
  8. Upload your new CSV file.
    Note: Google will automatically identify whether your data is hashed or unhashed when you upload it.
  9. If you agree, check the box “This data was collected and is being shared with Google in compliance with Google's Customer Match policies”.
  10. Set a membership duration. The default membership duration is unlimited, but you can set a custom time limit.
  11. Click Upload and create.
  12. You can assess the progress of uploading your data file under "Audiences lists". This process may take up to 48 hours to complete.
  13. Once your data has uploaded, you’ll be directed to a file upload success page. It will provide information about the number of rows that successfully uploaded and your match rate percentage.

Keep in mind

Membership duration

Customer Match segments don't expire, so membership duration is unlimited by default. You can control how long your customers are kept in a Customer Match segment, but it's best to refresh your segment regularly. Google Ads will send you an email if your segments haven't been refreshed in a while.

Data sharing across accounts

You can share audience segments across multiple managed accounts if:

  • You have a Customer Match segment or Similar segment in your manager account, or
  • A client account shares their Customer Match segment or Similar segment with your manager account.

All accounts using a Customer Match segment must comply with the Customer Match policy. Google does not allow sharing or usage of this data outside of your managed account. Only account owners and administrators with administrator access may add or remove customer data from Customer Match segments.

Similar segments

Similar segment targeting that is based on your Customer Match segments is available for Search, YouTube, Gmail, and Display. These Similar segments will be automatically created if your Customer Match segments meet the minimum eligibility criteria. You can use a Similar segment the same way you'd use a Customer Match or your data segments: by adding it to an ad group or campaign.

When a Similar segment is available, it will show the segment size on each available network in your "Audiences" table. Once it's active, you can add your Similar segment list to your targeting. If a segment says "Incompatible" in one of the columns, that means the segment isn't able to target that property.

Note: It may take up to 48 hours for your campaign to start serving.

Zapier Customer Match integration

You can integrate your customer relationship management (CRM) system data sources with Customer Match using Zapier as your integration partner.

Zapier automatically uploads new contact details from your CRM system, eCommerce, or marketing automation tool where you collect a user's information to your Google Ads customer lists. This means you don’t have to manually upload contacts to Google Ads, sort them into the right lists, or remove them from a list. You can automatically keep your uploaded customer lists refreshed and in sync with your CRM.

Using the Google Ads API

Account owners or administrators can also use the Google Ads API to upload data files and manage their Customer Match segments. Advertisers can upload a data file, add or remove customer data, or edit configurations through the API. To learn more, visit your data section of the Google Ads API on the Google Developers website.

Having issues related to your Customer Match lists?

Contact us

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center