Google advertisers can now use email addresses to target ads

September 28, 2015, 9:12 PM UTC
Google Illustration
BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 02: A silhouette of a man and a magnifying glass is seen in front of a screen on which the Google search engine is displayed on June 02, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)
Photograph by Michael Gottschalk — Photothek via Getty Images

Google, an advertising company at its core, will soon let advertisers target users based on their email address when they use Gmail, YouTube, or the company’s search engine, it said on Sunday.

Dubbed “Customer Match,” the new tool lets advertisers upload a list of email addresses and build ad campaigns to target those that match users on Gmail, YouTube, or Google (GOOGL). For example, if an online cosmetics retailer has a list of past customers, it can make sure to display them relevant ads when they search for a product it sells on Google. It can then do the same if a customer watches tutorial videos on YouTube that are relevant to those products.

Advertisers can also use Customer Match to target users with similar interests and behaviors as those whose email addresses it has using the “Similar Audiences” tool.

Google’s Customer Match tool will compete with Facebook’s (FB) “Custom Audiences,” which also uses email addresses for ad targeting and has been available since 2012.

Customer Match and Similar Audiences will be available to advertisers in the next few weeks, Google said.

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