Format your customer data file

In order to target ads to your customers, the Customer Match data you upload must be formatted correctly. 

The most important formatting guideline is to ensure that your column headers in your customer data file use the exact names specified in English. The rest of your data may be in any language, but the column headers must be in English.

This article provides guidelines to follow when formatting your customer 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," "Zip," and "Mobile Device ID."

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.

 

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.
 

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 headers names in your customer data file must be in English.

Email

  • Include a domain name for all email addresses (for example, gmail.com or hotmail.co.jp)
  • Remove any spaces in between the email address

For example:

  • example@email.com
  • test@gmail.com

Phone

  • Include the country code

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

Country

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

For example:

  • US for United States
  • SG for Singapore

Zip

  • 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 

 

Formatting guidelines for uploading hashed data

The column headers names in your customer data file must be in English.

Email

  • Include a domain name for all email addresses (for example, gmail.com or hotmail.co.jp)
  • Lowercase all characters
  • Remove any extra spaces before and after, or in between the email address

For example:

  • example@email.com
  • test@gmail.com

Phone

  • Format phone numbers using the E.164 format
  • Include the country code and "+" sign

For example:

  • +12345678910
  • +811234567891
  • +0212345678 

First Name

  • Don’t include prefixes (ex: Mrs.)
  • Accents are allowed
  • Lowercase all characters
  • Remove any extra spaces before and after.

For example:

  • john
  • zoë

Last Name

  • Don’t include suffixes (ex: Jr.)
  • Accents are allowed
  • Lowercase all characters
  • Remove any extra spaces before and after.

For example:

  • smith
  • smith-jones
  • pérez

Country

Don’t hash country data

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

For example:

  • US for United States
  • SG for Singapore

Zip

  • Don’t hash Zip data
  • 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
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