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Gmail currently boasts over 1 billion active users around the globe, and these users can be targeted by your ad campaigns thanks to AdWords. Often overlooked by advertisers, Gmail ads houses an untapped market of potential customers. You’ve seen these ads in your Gmail inbox either on the right-hand side, at the bottom of the page, or even underneath the search bar. Yes, Gmail ads tend to be dismissed by users but with the help of a carefully thought-out targeting method, they could be extremely fruitful for your marketing strategy.

Gmail ads were formerly known as “GSP” (Google Sponsored Ads) before becoming part of the AdWords toolbox in 2015. The cost of using Gmail ads is usually low, making it highly appropriate for experimental campaigns. The key to seeing success on this channel is developing your creative to go beyond standard messaging and catch user’s attention.

Creating Gmail ads requires a campaign that uses display network only and contains placements on mail.google.com. You can only use customer match if you want to incorporate re-marketing lists. Google recommends creating an ad group or campaign specifically for Gmail ads, and then using customer match or domain targeting. You can also add keyword targeting on top of your targeting methods. As for ad type, you can create a single image ad, multi product promotion, single product promotion or catalog creative. Statistics have shown that image ads are the highest-performing option.

If you want to go one step further, create similar audience lists with Gmail to reach prospects very much like your current customers; a strategy that has repeatedly proven successful. You must make sure, however, that your ads are truly enticing. This can be accomplished by highlighting time-sensitive promotions and front ending your most important call to actions in your ad copy.

Finally, remember use Gmail ad templates and design your expanded ad like a landing page. Monitoring your metrics and tracking the campaign health is important as well. You must identify opportunities for further optimizing and refining your campaign in order to grow your strategy.