About Gmail ads

Gmail ads are interactive ads that show in the Promotions and Social tabs of your inbox. Some of these ads are expandable. When you click one of these ads, it can expand just like an email. The expanded ad can include images, video or embedded forms. Gmail ads help you connect with potential customers in a more personal 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 the ad, it would either launch an advertiser’s landing page or expand to the size of an email 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 in a form, click to go to your website or (when they’re on mobile) click to call or to go to an app marketplace.

Understand your reporting
  • Standalone Gmail campaigns: The clicks column reports a user's first click on your ad. You're only charged for the initial ad click. Clicks that send users to your website will appear in the 'Clicks to website' column.
  • All other campaign types that run ads on Gmail: The clicks column reports a user's first click on your ad. You're only charged for the initial ad click.

Note: You can run dynamic remarketing ads for the hotel and rental business types in Gmail campaigns. You can add a data feed when creating or editing a Gmail campaign by clicking Additional settings (under the “Budget” section) and selecting the tick box “Use a data feed for personalised ads” under “Dynamic ads".

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

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

Google Ads previews represent what the majority of users see. Due to differences between Gmail on both the Android and Gmail iOS, differences between browsers on Gmail Desktop and users not always running the latest Gmail mobile client, not all users will see the same ad rendition.

How targeting works

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

Here are different ways that 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.
  • Custom Intent Audiences: Reach your target audience in your Display and Video campaigns by applying keywords, URLs, apps or YouTube content to identify customers that are actively researching a related product or device.
  • Automated targeting: Automatic targeting helps optimise your targeting across Gmail, letting you reach people who 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 lists. Remarketing lists targeting Gmail ads must have a minimum of 100 active visitors or users within the last 30 days for your ads to show.
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