Step by Step Guide to Create Gmail Ads in Google Adwords

Here a full guide on how to create a Gmail ad in Google Adwords and how to target the audience and how to bid.

Create Gmail ads

Gmail ads are shown at the top of your inbox tabs. Some of these ads are expandable. When you click one of these ads, it may expand into an email-sized ad with videos and images. This expandable format can help you meet different advertising goals. When someone clicks an expandable ad, the following clicks on the expanded content are free.

This article tells you how to create Gmail ads, and set bids for them. It also includes information about how to measure your results in reporting.
Advanced users may want to jump to Create Gmail ads with custom HTML.


Many sophisticated features and types of targeting, like Customer Match, are compatible with Gmail ads. To keep our users safe, though, Gmail ads are not compatible with certain Google Ads features. When creating your Gmail ads, keep in mind the following points:
  • Goals. To create a Gmail campaign, you can select from the following goal categories: Sales, Leads, Website traffic, Product & brand consideration, and Brand awareness & reach. Gmail campaigns will also be available if you opt out of goals. 
  • Campaign type. You need to select the Display Network and choose Gmail campaign subtype.
  • Incompatible Targeting. The following targeting methods aren't available for Gmail ads:
    • Placement targeting
    • Topic targeting
    • Custom affinity audiences
    • Area of interest
    • Content Keywords (previously known as Display Select Keywords)
  • Frequency capping. Custom frequency capping is not supported.
  • Third parties. Third-party ad serving/impression pixels are not supported, although clients can use third-party click trackers in their ads.
  • Final URLs. Newly created or edited Gmail ads except custom HTML are compatible with final URLs and tracking templates. Learn more about Upgraded URLs.
For specific content disapproved in Gmail ads, see the Gmail ad policy article. 

How to create a Gmail campaign

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Campaigns in the page menu. 
  3. Click the plus button , then select New Campaign. 
  4. Select one of the following goals: Sales, Leads, or Website traffic. Or, choose not to use a goal. 
    1. If this step doesn’t reflect what you’re seeing in your account, select a campaign type first then select a goal. Learn more about goals in the new Google Ads experience.
  5. Select the Display campaign type.  
  6. Select Gmail campaign, then finish creating your campaign.

Using a personalized feed

Gmail ads also support dynamic remarketing for Hotels & Rentals and HPA feeds. While you are creating or editing your Gmail campaign:
  1. Click Additional settings from under the "Daily budget" section.
  2. Click the check box next to "Use a data feed for personalized ads"
  3. Click the drop-down menu to select the feed you want to apply to your Gmail ads.

There are two ways to create ads:

1. Create: 
  • You can upload your text, image, and video assets and we will optimize your creative for you. 
2. Upload: 
  • You can upload a single image ad. Learn more about Gmail ads. 
  • You can create a fully customized HTML ad and upload via a zip file containing an html file, images, a collapsed ad image, and a teaser.txt file. Learn more about Custom HTML. 
​Before your ads show to customers, they're reviewed to make sure they meet our advertising policies. Your ad should be approved within 2 business days. 

How to create a Gmail ad

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Choose Display campaigns from the navigation panel. 
  3. In the page menu on the left, click Ads & extensions. 
  4. Click the plus button .
  5. Select Gmail ad.
  6. Provide the required information to create a Gmail ad. 

How to upload a Gmail ad

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Choose Display campaigns from the navigation panel. 
  3. In the page menu on the left, click Ads & extensions.
  4. Click the plus button 
  5. Select Upload Gmail ads or select Upload display ads then select a Gmail campaign.
  6. Provide the required information to create a Gmail ad.

How to target your ads

There are several ways to target your Gmail ads to the right audience. The following are the only types of Display Network targeting available for Gmail ads.
  • You can create Customer Match audiences using a list of customer emails from people who have provided their email addresses to you or your company.
  • You can use similar audience targeting based on your Customer Match audience.
  • You can add the following targeting options: remarketing, in-market, affinity, audience keywords and demographics. 

Ad specifications

Important policy note: All the parts of your ad need to link back to the same advertiser (you) and be relevant to the product you’re promoting. For example, the “sender” name needs to represent the same advertiser as the one in the display URL field.
All templates have the same collapsed ad specifications:
Logo (upload): minimum size: 144px x 144px, maximum size: 150KB, aspect ratio 1:1
  • Shows on mobile in the ad's collapsed state
  • Shows on computers next to the expanded ads—after someone has clicked to open your collapsed ad
Business name: up to 20 characters
  • Must be the recognized name of the advertiser
  • For click-to-download Gmail ads, sender name must be the recognized name of the advertiser, or the promoted downloadable app
Headline: up to 25 characters
  • Can include an offer, % discount, or compelling announcement
Description: up to 90 characters
  • Can include a short summary or powerful call-to-action
Display URL: up to 255 characters
  • What people see in your ad, such as (Note: Final URL can be longer)
Final or Destination URL: No character limit
  • Used as the Final or Destination URL when the display URL or the call-to-action button is clicked in the Expanded Ad
  • You can add a static click-tracking URL, but not impression tracking pixels or dynamic tracking URLs
  • Learn more about Upgraded URLs
The expanded ad specifications are outlined below, template by template.

Upload Gmail ad

Single image ad
  • Image (upload): [300px to 650px] x [300px to 1000px]
  • Accepted image formats: JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)
  • Maximum image size: 1MB
Custom HTML
  • For the greatest degree of flexibility in designing your Gmail ads, use custom HTML.

+ Gmail ad (create a new Gmail ad)

  • Headline: up to 25 characters
  • Description: up to 90 characters
  • Business name: up to 20 characters
  • Call-to-action button: up to 15 characters
  • Logo image size: Square: 1200x1200 (minimum size required: 144x144). Aspect ratio must be 1:1.
  • Logo maximum file size: 150KB (1MB for header image and marketing image)
  • Marketing Image: 
    • ​Landscape (1.91:1): 1200x628 (minimum size required: 600x314).
    • Square: 1200x1200 (minimum size required: 300x300).
  • Header Image (optional): 1200x400 (minimum size required: 600x200).
To add a catalog of products..
  • Images (upload) minimum size:
    • Marketing Image:
      • Landscape (1.91:1): 1200x628 (minimum size required: 600x314).
      • Square: 1200x1200 (minimum size required: 300x300).
    • Header Image (optional): 1200x400 (minimum size required: 600x200).
    • YouTube video link (video thumbnail size): 324x183. Aspect ratio must be 1:1.
  • Maximum image size: 150KB
  • Call-to-action button: up to 15 characters
  • Call-to-action button URL: the landing page for your button
  • Up to three additional items below (optional):
  1. Images: up to 15 images, 300x300 minimum, or YouTube video link (video thumbnail size is 324 x 183). 
  2. Call-to-action button: up to 20 characters
  3. Call-to-action button URL
  • Accepted image formats: JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)

Related link

  • About Gmail ads

Create Gmail ads with custom HTML

Suitable for advanced advertisers, custom HTML lets you create ads different from existing Gmail ad templates. These ads can include video and multiple calls-to-action. To create Gmail ads with your own customized layout, upload your own custom HTML files into Google Ads. 
This article explains how to configure and upload your custom Gmail ads.

Before you begin

Important: Keep in mind that custom HTML Gmail ads retain a destination URL formatting, and are incompatible with final URLs and tracking templates. Learn more about Upgraded URLs.


A custom HTML Gmail ad is a ZIP folder that contains all the files for your collapsed and expanded ad. To avoid problems, pay close attention to the strict formatting specifications detailed below.
The overall size limits of your ad are the following:
  • Your total ZIP folder: <1.25 MB
  • Number of files: <100 files
  • File size: <500KB

How to create your collapsed ad

For your collapsed ad, you’ll add 2 files to your ZIP folder:
  • the logo image (named “logo.png,” “logo.jpg,” or “logo.gif”)
  • the text file (named “‘teaser.txt”)
Note: Follow the example exactly and be sure to enter the headings in English exactly as shown below. Also, be sure to include both the category (like “Advertiser”) and your specific information. The table below gives character limits and more guidance about what to include.
HeadingsCharacter limitsWhat to include
Advertiser20Your company’s name or domain.
Subject25Your title can include an offer, % discount, or compelling announcement.
Description90Your description can be a short summary or a call to action.
Display URL32Your URL, as it will show in your ad
Landing pageno limitTeaser redirect URL --used as the destination url for clicks on the "Sender displayed short URL" when the Expanded Ad is opened. You can add a static click tracking URL in this field. This is the page people will land on after clicking your display URL.

How to create your expanded ad

For your expanded ad, you’ll add 1 HTML file and 1 image folder to your ZIP folder:
  • Image Folder (named ‘Images’) containing image files for the expanded ad
  • HTML file named exactly “‘index.html”

Image folder specifications

  • Your ad must contain at least 1 image, and can contain up to 100 images. To embed videos in your expanded ad, jump to the video section below.
  • Max width per image: 650px
  • Max height per image: 1000px (Note: For the most effective ads, we recommend of no more than 650px height for the total ad canvas, which includes all your text and images.)

HTML file specifications

Technical Details
  • URLs: Must contain at least 1 absolute URL (can contain up to 15) and all special characters must be encoded (e.g. spaces, #).
  • Formatting: Control the layout using standard HTML tables to ensure consistent presentation across devices
  • Tracking: Static tracking URLs can be used to track external clicks. Impression tracking pixels and dynamic tracking URLs are not permitted. If you are using the "Gmail custom HTML ad" template, make sure to add the tracking URLs you want to use in the index.html file as well as in the teaser.txt file.
  • Markup: HTML (use UTF8 encoding), some HTML5 tags ( "ARTICLE", "ASIDE", "FIGCAPTION", "FIGURE", "FOOTER", "HEADER", "MARK", "SECTION", "TIME", "WBR"), and some CSS (style attribute of tags only e.g. <div style="color: black" >) are supported
Markup not permitted
  • Javascript: <script> tags will automatically be removed from the ad
  • Stylesheets: <link> tags will automatically be removed from the ad
  • Flash
  • HTML5: The only supported tags are "ARTICLE", "ASIDE", "FIGCAPTION", "FIGURE", "FOOTER", "HEADER", "MARK", "SECTION", "TIME", "WBR"
  • Audio
  • iFrames
  • Animated images: GIFs

Supported CSS


Add a video to your expanded ad HTML file

  1. How to add a video
    A YouTube video can be embedded into an ad with a preview window. When someone using a computer clicks the video image, the video will play in a lightbox within Gmail. After the user is done watching the video, they are returned to the Gmail expanded ad. On mobile, the video will play on the person’s designated video player (like the YouTube app or a browser). 
    Instructions: To add video from YouTube, code the YouTube link, image source, and display text to be appropriate for your ad. For example:
    <a href=""><img src="images/play.jpg" alt="Gmail Video"></a>
    Note: When you preview the ad in Google Ads, the YouTube video will not show or play in the lightbox.
  2. How to add a video in new tab
    If you want the video to play in YouTube in a new tab, rather than in a lightbox, set the class as "nonplayable.”
    For example:
    <a href="" class="nonplayable"><img src="images/play.jpg" alt="Gmail Video"></a>
  3. Important: include a “play” button in your preview image.
    To show people that clicking the image will play a video, your preview image should include some type of play button. Google Ads does not add anything to preview images to indicate that they are videos.