How to Create a Gmail Ad Campaign

How to Create a Gmail Ad Campaign?
June 3, 2019 MadMarTech

What are Gmail Ads?

Gmail ads provide a 1-1 interaction ability with users. They are highly interactive and is usually available on social and promotion tab on the user’s Gmail account. It provides high visibility as it is placed above the received emails. Gmail ads are part of the Google display network and it is pretty intuitive to create Gmail ads.

Before we get started, let us have a look at some Gmail display ads example. As a user, you might have already encountered this format. It looks like a typical email with an ad icon.

Gmail Ad campaign example


Gmail ads example another one

Once you click on the ads, you can see multiple formats like a normal display ad with a call to action button or even the product feed with relevant products. Here is an example:



Gmail Ads opened example

Example of Gmail ads campaign

Gmail Ads catalog example



Benefits of Using Gmail Ads

We have seen the flexibility the Gmail ads provide us. There are multiple formats to work with and have a high engagement rate. Let us have a look at why advertisers need to use Gmail ads as a marketing channel for their campaign:

Works best for Remarketing Campaign

Gmail ads format has the best conversion rate for remarketing campaign. The users have already interacted with your brand and have expressed an interest to buy on your site. By providing them a nice catalog of abandoned products along with their complement products have a high probability of leading to conversions. Gmail ads are a must for remarketing campaign. Make sure you include the right targeting strategies with a dynamic personalized ad.

Better Visibility

As the Gmail ad placements are on top of the received emails, they have higher visibility as compared to the standard display ads.

Ideal for all stages of Buyer Journey

You can showcase the product catalog to standard display ads. Gmail ads have a lot of formats available and depending on the user journey you could use a banner or a product catalog to complement your campaign. For more info on formats for the buying journey stage, check out this article.

High Engagement Rate

Although the engagement rate depends on the targeting strategy, with right formats advertisers could get the best results using Gmail ads. Also, higher visibility leads to better CTR.


How to Create Gmail Ads

Gmail ads can be created using a display campaign route. It is pretty simple to create them if you know how to create display ads. Let us get started

From your Google Ads/AdWords interface navigate to “Add New Campaign” interface and choose your campaign goal. Let us choose “Sales” for now and select a display campaign. Instead of Standard display campaign as always, we will choose “Gmail Campaign”.


Gmail Ads campaign settings

Click on continue and set up the campaign just like a display campaign. We will just mention the highlights here. Please refer to this article for detailed info on how to set up a display campaign.

Campaign Settings

  1. Name your campaign appropriately so that you/your teammates can identify it later.
  2. Target the top locations with high conversions/interactions based on your Google Analytics data.
  3. Choose the right language settings.
  4.  Bid for conversions and choose the right bidding strategy for your campaign. It is good to choose conversions and maximize conversions with target ROAS.
  5. Set a campaign budget and distribute this to different ad groups.
  6. Make sure you click on additional settings and schedule your ads. Else the campaign will run indefinitely.
  7. It is best to target in-market audiences or custom intent audiences as they have a higher conversion rate.
  8. Or do contextual targeting for your branding campaigns. If you would like to know how to do it, check this post.
  9. For Gmail campaigns, keep conservation targeting as you do not want to exhaust your budget using aggressive targeting.

We have now finished the campaign settings, it is now time for our important step. The final ad creation.

Creating a Gmail Ad Copy

Click on “+ Gmail ad”. Do not confuse this with upload Gmail ads. If you choose to upload Gmail ads, you could already upload an image or a pre-prepared HTML email ad directly. However, the “+Gmail ad” provides you with more options and flexibility.

This is how the interface looks:

Gmail ads interface campaign

Ad Copy Parameters

Fill in the following parameters accordingly.

  • Business Name: Your brand name. In our case, we will use Alphafad.
  • Headline: Try to use promotions or offers to get a higher click rate. You can insert only up to 25 characters. Be precise.
  • Description: Write a compelling description of the sale. Test multiple descriptions to see which one works for your users.
  • Final URL: It is recommended to have a campaign-specific landing page to get high conversions. Make sure your image in the ad matches the image in the landing page.

Now that you have filled in the text, this is how your display ad interface should look with the right previews.

Filling in the ad copy in Gmail ads

Image Upload

If you have created a landing page, it is pretty easy to add them to your ad. Just scan the URL and Google will pull out the right images for you like this:

Gmail Ads scan images from landing page URL


Or you could upload images from your local server. If you would like to know how to create them, refer to this article.


Adding ad copy in gmail ads


A simple banner ad is ready once you upload the images.

Gmal ad copy ready


Now let us create a Gmail ad with catalog. Click on “Add catalog images” and add multiple images in both square and landscape formats like this.

Adding Catalog Images to Gmail Ads


Gmail Ads with catalog

Once you add these formats, you should see a preview with multiple products and CTAs.

While on the same subject, if you have multiple products make sure that they lead to their dedicated landing page. You can accomplish this by using the following button ” Provide Multiple URLs and Calls to Action” at the bottom of the text. This is how it looks:

Mutliple call to action using Gmail ads product catalog

Adding multiple call to action button using Gmail ad campaign


Now your Gmail Ad is ready and ready!

Create at least 3 ads with different variations in order to test your ads. Ensure that there are variations in text and images so that Google has enough data to work with for the testing period.

Creating gmail Ad campaign

After the testing period, run the reports to check on the performance. For key metrics on reporting, do check out this post.