About Gmail ads

Starting July 1, 2021 Gmail ads campaigns will become “read only”. This means that after this date, advertisers will not be able to create new Gmail campaigns or make changes to existing Gmail campaigns, including edits to existing Gmail ads.

To continue serving ads on Gmail, we recommend that you create a Discovery campaign. Discovery ads allow you to expand your reach from Gmail to other Google owned surfaces, including YouTube and Discover, reaching 3 billion people globally. Learn more about creating and managing Discovery 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 may expand just like an email. The expanded ad can include images, video, or embedded forms. They 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 a user clicks on 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. People can interact with your expanded ad in different ways, depending on the ad’s layout.

Gmail ads include two types of formats:

  • Single business ads: These ads show only one business at a time. These may use various assets depending on the campaign, including headlines, descriptions, images, videos, embedded forms, product information, prices, ratings, click to call options, links to a marketplace app, and more.
  • Multi-retailer ads: These ads feature multiple retailers advertising various product offers shown in the ad body. Each offer includes the product image, price, and available ratings as well as other information that shoppers may find relevant, including offer conditions. When someone clicks on your offer on the ad body, they will be directed to the product page on your website.

Understand your reporting and charges

  • Discovery Campaigns: The engagement column reports a user's first opening click to see your expanded ad. The “Clicks” column reports clicks that send users to your website from your expanded ad. You are only charged for the initial ad interaction (engagement) on the collapsed teaser that opens the full ad.
  • All other campaign types that run ads on Gmail :
    • Single business ads: The “Clicks” column reports a user's first click on your ad. You're only charged for the clicks on the collapsed teaser that opens the full ad.
    • Multi-retailer ads: The “Clicks” column reports user clicks that send them to the product pages on your website. You are only charged for a user's click within the body of the ad that leads to your website.  You will not be charged for clicks on the collapsed teaser that opens the full ad.

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 check box “Use a data feed for personalized 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 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.

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 you’re already familiar with—like 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.
  • 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 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 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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