Google Ads

How to Create Gmail Ads in AdWords

Step-by-Step Guide for Creating AdWords Gmail Ads

Google announced that native Gmail Ads are now available for all advertisers in AdWords. Previously in beta, Gmail Ads are highlighted text ads with an accompanied logo, that appear on the Promotions tab. If clicked upon, the ad expands to a full page layout, with a lot of realty.


Gmail Ads - Promotions tab Gmail Ads - Promotions tab

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to setup Gmail Ads in AdWords.


How to Create AdWords Gmail Ads

  1. Create a Display Campaign
  2. Select Your Placements
  3. Refine with Keywords
  4. Consider Audience Targeting
  5. Add Creative

1. Create a Display Campaign

If you’re able to dedicate a modest budget to testing Gmail ads, I suggest creating a dedicated Display Network only campaign. Next, select your marketing objective for the campaign. Marketing objectives allow advertisers to align their campaign settings towards with desired goals, such as a form fill. Performance, ROAS driven marketers should choose from a “drive action” objective.

Google Display Campaign Marketing Objectives

Finish up selecting all your ideal campaign settings.

2. Select Your Placements

Gmail ads are selected in the ad group’s placements section. To reveal placement options, scroll down to the “choose how to target your ads” section, and select “use a different targeting method”.

Google Display - Placements Setting

Within the placements search bar, submit a query for the web address “”. Then select the domain as a placement.

Gmail placement

3. Refine with Keywords

Only using placement targeting can open your campaigns up to billions of weekly impressions on Gmail. Hone in on your target audience and conserve budget by adding keyword targeting.

Display keywords are utilized slightly different than search keywords. Where search can be exact and intent based, display keywords are broad match only. Display keywords help guide where an an ad will be shown based on the content of the website and previous user browser history. Contextual targeting is powerful for Gmail, as the page content is generated from users' emails.

Display Network - Keyword Placements

Often, I’ll adopt a similar ad group structure to my existing search campaigns. Taking the best performing broad search keywords and adding them to display ad groups.

4. Consider Audience Targeting

When Google allowed single sign-on across all their products, it not only created a better user experience, but also provided Google with connected data on their user profiles. Advertisers can use this data to build custom audiences to target.

Custom affinity audiences is an option worth considering.

Custom Affinity Audiences

Create a custom audience, targeting users who visit specific websites or have long-term interests in certain categories.

Display Network - Custom Audiences

You can learn more about custom affinity audiences in this detailed post.

5. Add Creative

Within an isolated ad group view, visit the ads tab. Pull down the ad tab to reveal “ad gallery”.

Display - Ad Gallery

Choose “Gmail ads” from the gallery options.

Google Display - Ad Gallery

There are 4 types of Gmail ads:

  1. Gmail image template
  2. Gmails single promotion template
  3. Gmail multi-product template
  4. Gmail custom HTML upload

For this walkthrough, let’s explore the Gmail image and single promotion templates.

Gmail Image Template

This option is great for branding, featuring your image across the full page width if a user clicks through.

Image specs

Gmail Ads - Collapsed Ad

Add your advertiser name, a subject line, and a description. Treat your subject line as if it were an actual email headline – be succinct and to the point. Your description line should follow, by clearly revealing your value proposition.

  • Expanded - 650px by (300px to 1000px)

Google Display - Expanded Ad

Next, let's explore the benefits of using single promotion templates.

Single Promotion Templates

While a prominent image can be a powerful way to showcase your brand, sometimes it's not enough to convey your product or service benefits. The promotional template layout includes both a large area for images, and also provides space for a headline and copy.

In addition to the collapsed copy, expanded promotional templates allow for:

  • a large side bar image
  • headline copy
  • body content
  • optional header image

Image specs

  • Side bar - 300px by (200pc to 500px)
  • Header image - 630px by(50px to 200px)

Google Display - Template Expanded Ad

Final Thoughts

With the option to contextually target users by their email content, and lower cost per click averages than Search, Gmail ads provide a promising addition to your AdWords armada. Initial tests have shown click through rates as high as Search, and attractive CPA ranges. Have you tried the new Gmail Ads? We'd love to hear your findings!


AdStage Team