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3 Useful Steps To Create Gmail Ads in Adwords

3 Useful Steps To Create Gmail Ads in Adwords

Email is the most effective channel to reach your target audience and Google has been beta testing emails since 2013. Google recently announced that native Gmail ads are now integrated in AdWords and have made it available to all advertisers. Previously in beta, Gmail ads were highlighted text ads with an accompanied logo that appear on the Promotions tab.

How Gmail ads can appear

Gmail ads appear initially in a collapsed state at the top of Gmail Promotions tabs and your targeted consumers will see a regular email and for these types of ads in Gmail Promotions tabs. These advertisements look and feel is same as emails. When consumer clicks on your collapsed ad it expands into a full email-sized canvas, and for these types of ads, you’ll only pay for clicks on the collapsed ad (customizable for advertisers with many Google ad templates). It’s a custom HTML format, allowing you to create a richer ad experience by including videos, phone numbers, forms and multiple links. Every ad also has a “Save to Inbox” link, which allows the user to treat it like regular email with forwarding options. The viewer can interact with your ad’s images and text.

People who expand your ad can choose to save it to their inbox by clicking the star icon, or by clicking the Save button at the bottom of the message. People can also forward your expanded ads to someone else as an email message. The Gmail ads you create may look differently based on whether they appear in the Gmail mobile app, or in Gmail on a desktop computer. AdWords optimizes ads to help make sure they look great wherever they’re shown, so your ad’s size could be adjusted to fit the mobile Gmail format. The layout of your ad, however, will remain the same.

Gmail Ads in Adwords advantages

Advertiser pays only when someone clicks the Ad, so cost per click is much lower than other display ads.

  • Many advertisers are still not aware or are not using this option by Adwords so low competition.
  • Apart from general targeting options, here advertiser can target email domains specifically.
  • There are 1 billion monthly active Gmail users who routinely check their emails several times in a day.
  • Advertiser can measure reach, open rate, click through rate (CTR), saves, forwards and more, all at the standard AdWords cost per click price.

Follow the below step-by-step guide to setup Gmail ads in AdWords:

Step 1 – Adwords Campaign set up

  1. Select Campaign Settings:
  2. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  3. Select the Campaigns.
  4. Click + Campaignand choose Display Network only.
  5. Choose a name for your campaign, and select the “No marketing objectives” radio button.
  6. Choose Display Network only – All features.
  7. Enter your location and language targeting, bid strategy and per day budget.
  8. You may also select other advanced options;
    • Delivery method – Standard: Show ads evenly over time or Accelerated: Show ads as quickly as reasonably possible.
    • Ad extensions.
    • Schedule.
    • Ad delivery.
    • Device.
    • Campaign URL options.
    • Dynamic ad settings.
    • Location options.
  9. Click Save and continue.
  10. Create an Ad group.
  11. Add a name for your new ad group, and a Max CPM bid.
  12. Under “Choose how to target your ads”, click Use a different targeting method. From the drop-down menu, select Placements.
  13. In the search box enter “” to get a list. Add “” from the list that populates by clicking the double arrow >> next to “”.
  14. Click Save and continue.
  15. Now skip ad creation step.
  16. Click on Ad tab in the campaign page.
  17. On the ad group page, click + Ad and select “Ad gallery” from the drop-down menu.

Step 2 – Design Ad’s creative units

  • Inside Ad Gallery, select Gmail Ads.
  • You’ll get the following four ad formats options.
    • For branding purpose Gmail Image is used as big banner ad linking out to a landing page.
    • Single Product includes an image and a CTA button which takes user to a landing page.
    • To display multiple products and each product is linked to a more detailed landing page use Gmail Multiple Products.
    • To embed HTML form, YouTube videos and/or a click to call use Custom HTML Upload. This requires some coding knowledge.
    • To start with use one option and when advertiser is comfortable mix up the formats. After selecting an ad format advertiser needs to fill in the details ad name, display URL, landing page URL, advertiser name, email subject line and offer description. Also, upload company’s logo and the main image with Call To Action.
  • Click Save or Save and preview.

If you set targeting properly, you can expect good engagement from users. This happens these ads don’t take the user out of their inbox.

Step 3 – Measuring Gmail ads results

Find your free clicks data:

  • Sign in to your AdWords account.
  • Click the Campaigns  If you want to see data for a specific campaign or ad group, click its name in the panel on the side of the page.
  • Click the Dimensions 
  • Click the View menu in the toolbar.
  • Select Free clicks.
  • Your statistics table will contain the columns and metrics displayed in the table for free clicks, impressions, and free click type and rate.
  • Click the Modify columns button in the toolbar above your statistics table, and select Gmail metrics under “Select metrics”. When you’re done, click Save.
  • Once your statistics table looks the way you want, you can download the data in a report. Just click the download button

Below are some more click types from Gmail ads that can appear in the “Free clicks” report:

  • Form submission:The number of times user has submitted a form included in ad.
  • Video view:The number of times someone views the videos in ads.
  • Click to call:The number of times someone has clicked ad to initiate a call to your business.


Gmail Ads can act as a great growth channel for business; advertiser just needs to test these ads to see if they suit their brand’s awareness or conversion efforts. Advertiser should make move before their competitor starts using them as currently Gmail ads are less popular and have lower CPCs.

Credit: Google, YouTube

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