Formatting guidelines for uploading plain text data (unhashed)

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. Click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon and open the “Audiences, keywords and content” tab and click Audiences. 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 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.

Follow the formatting guidelines to ensure a successful upload of your plain text data file.

Basic formatting guidelines

Your data must be in a CSV file, encoded in either ASCII or UTF-8 (UTF-16 is not supported). Use a template or create your own file using a combination of the following header names in English: "Email," "Phone," "First Name," "Last Name," "Country," and "Zip." You can upload your Mobile Device ID using this template.

To keep your data secure, you can hash your customer data yourself using the SHA256 algorithm, or Google Ads will hash it for you using the same SHA256 algorithm, which is the industry standard for one-way hashing.

Customer data must be collected in compliance with Customer Match policies.

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


Tip: Use the required column header names in your data file


Column header formatting guidelines (Use English only)

Email address matching: Use “Email” as the column header name in your data file.

Phone matching: Use “Phone” as the column header name in your data file.


Mailing address matching: For mail address matching, your data file must contain these 4 column headers: “First Name,” “Last Name,” “Country,” and “Zip.” If any of the required column header names are missing, your upload will likely result in an error.


Combined email address, mailing address, and phone matching: Your file must contain these 6 column headers: “Email,” “Phone,” “First Name,” “Last Name,” “Country,” and “Zip." If you have multiple email addresses, mailing addresses, or phone numbers for a single customer, your file may include multiple “Email,” “Zip,” or “Phone” columns. You only have to include data fields that you find relevant to your customers.You may upload one data field, such as email addresses, or multiple data fields, such as mailing addresses and phone numbers.


Mobile Device ID matching: Use “Mobile Device ID” as the only column header in your data file. 


Each column header in your data file must be included in English only.


Formatting guidelines for uploading unhashed data

The column header names in your customer data file must be in English. To complete an API upload, your data must be hashed. Follow the steps to format hashed data.


  • Include a domain name for all email addresses (for example, or
  • Remove any spaces in between the email address

For example:



  • Include the country code
    • Note that the plus sign (+) before your country code is optional.

For example:

  • 1 (234) 567-8910
  • 81-12-3456-7891
  • 02 1234 5678

First Name

  • Don’t include prefixes (ex: Mrs.)
  • Accents are allowed

For example:

  • john
  • zoë

Last Name

  • Don’t include suffixes (ex: Jr.)
  • Accents are allowed

For example:

  • smith
  • smith-jones
  • pérez


  • Use ISO two-letter or three-letter country codes
  • Include the country code even if all of your customer data is from the same country

For example:

  • US or USA for United States
  • SG or SGP for Singapore


  • Both US and international zip and postal codes are allowed
  • For United States:
    • 5 digit codes are allowed
    • 5 digits followed by 4 digit extension are also allowed and may improve your match rate
  • For all other countries:
    • Leave out postal code extensions

For example:

  • 94303
  • 94303-5300
  • WC2H 8LG

Mobile Device ID

  • Use a single column labeled “Mobile Device ID
  • Your file should only contain Mobile Device ID data, no other data types are accepted with Mobile Device ID data
  • 540 day maximum membership duration


Having issues related to your Customer Match lists?

Contact us


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