Gmail Ads, also known as Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSPs), made their comeback in 2015. Since then, we have been utilizing these campaigns as an extremely cost-effective way to reach target audiences where they’re likely to be found multiple times per day — in their Gmail inbox.

Google recently announced changes to the way Gmail ads will be targeted, which has many marketers and business owners wondering how this will affect their Gmail marketing strategies. Here’s our take on some of the most common questions our clients are asking.

What has changed?

Starting later this year, Google will stop scanning the inboxes of Gmail’s free users for ad personalization. This means no more contextual targeting — we will no longer be able to reach users by certain keywords, websites and topics that show up in their emails.

How does this affect our Gmail marketing strategy?

R.I.P. competitor domain targeting! We will no longer be able to tap into competitors’ email lists by targeting domain names as keywords. For example, if you own a gym, with competitor domain targeting you could have targeted consumers that get emails from your competitors — provided they use Gmail — and have an audience of people that are highly interested in fitness.

So, how can we target users?

We’ll be able to continue to reach users based on information already gathered by Google, for example, demographics — like gender, age, household income, parental status — and what users are interested in and shopping for based on their search history.

Should I stop running Gmail Ads?

No! There are still multiple proven strategies to get in front of your target audience. Here are a few of our favorites:

In-market audiences

Find potential customers whose online browsing behavior implies intent to purchase your products or services. For example, a mortgage company might want to reach users in the market for buying a home or a university might want to reach users in the market for post-secondary education.

Remarketing lists

Retarget users that have already been to your site with personalized Gmail ads, enticing them to come back to complete their purchase or book their appointment. This is a great time to consider a special offer!

Similar audiences

A step further, we can build audience lists similar to your prospective and/or current customers to further expand reach in your target market.

Customer match

If you have built an email list of 1,000 or more prospective and/or current customers, Gmail ads can be used as a great way to complement your email marketing campaigns, by reaching using who may already be on your mailing list.

Interested in adding Gmail ads to your digital marketing campaign? We don’t blame you! We think Gmail ads will continue to be an effective display advertising tactic. Whether you are looking to establish brand awareness in your local market or reach users at a particular point in the buying cycle, our team of experts can help you find the right strategy for your business. Contact Driven Local today at 1-800-454-9103.