4.9K members online now
4.9K members online now
Welcome to the Official Google AdWords Community
Find optimization tips and how-to guides and videos by the Google team, AdWords Experts and other industry experts
Top Contributor

How to use AdWords to get the best from your existing customers?

We spend hours on brainstorming, formulating comprehensive strategies and implementing them to explore and to get more new customers. Obviously, the goal is to generate more sales, signups, or leads.


But what if this strategy is streamlined further by marketing to existing customers as well?


Yes, you read it right. Marketing to existing customers.


According to what I have learned from experiences and from industry white papers so far, marketing to existing customers eventually proves more effective and rewarding. If it is implemented well, it increases ROI manifold, enhances brand reputation further, and helps establish a competitive edge.


Okay, let’s get to it now.


How to start a campaign targeting existing customers only ?


Before you can market to your existing customers effectively, you are required to set up a separate campaign for this purpose. Here’s how you can do it -


  • Assuming you are already using conversion tracking with AdWords, create a remarketing campaign targeting only the audiences who got converted in past 30 days. This duration of 30 days is a matter of experiment and depends a lot on your core advertising goals. Though, I advise to start with 30 days initially.  


  • Have two separate ad groups for text ads and image ads. Why? It will make your bidding strategic, you can bid on text and image ads differently and track their performances in a better way.


  • Set up a separate tracking template for this campaign so that you track its performance efficiently.




You are all set. Now let’s talk about the kind of strategies you should have with AdWords for your existing customers.  


Appreciate them for being your customers


An appreciation given in the right time and in a right way brings your customers even closer to your brand, and in the long run they become your brand ambassadors spreading your brand all over through words of mouth marketing.


Okay, I know you must already be doing a bit of it. But you need to check if it’s effective enough or not.


Usually, we send confirmation emails to our customers when they make purchases with us. Such emails read something like - thank you for shopping with us


Are such email really effective for this purpose? Unfortunately, Not! . Today, we ourselves as customers, have got used to such emails. It’s an age old practice and does not serve the purpose in question through a proper channel.


Such emails have become more or less monotonous. Anybody hardly cares to read its wordings. Your customers refer to them only when there’s some issue with the shopping, payments, delivery etc.


So, you should be doing something newer to make it more effective and to stay in their minds of customers for longer.


But How?


The answer is - advertise in a way that you are not advertising.


offers.jpgUse AdWords Remarketing ads to thank and appreciate your customers for shopping with your brand. Make them feel special and ask them to stay connected.


Bring them to a page on your website that has all the updates your brand is making at different social networking sites, PRs, blogs etc. Make it easier for them to contact you. List all your contact and support information on the same page. Have links to social media website and ask them to connect.


Doing this will ensure that your customers are more closer to your brand and you have now more opportunities to impress and convert them further.


Offer complementary products or services


Track past purchase information of your customers and offer them complimentary product/services accordingly. For instance, if somebody bought a phone, advertise phone cases or other accessories to them. If somebody bought subscription to your software, ask them if they need consultancy services to use your software more effectively.


Most importantly, do not bug your converted customers with the same remarketing ads that you serve to your unconverted audiences. Trust me it’s the most frustrating thing which majority of brands are doing these days.


If you can’t have a dedicated campaign for your existing customers, simply exclude them from your remarketing list. This way, you will lesson the chances of making your existing customer base irate.



Offer discounts on repeat purchases


Create special discount codes for your existing customers and make them aware of it through AdWords Remarketing ads.


Give them a reason to come back and shop again. Say NO to gimmicks and hidden terms, give them straight discounts and help them become your loyal customers for life.


Do the After-Sales in time and save your reputation before it’s too late


Yes, it’s one of the biggest challenges these days. When you make 100 happy customers in a day, you won’t be getting even 10 happy reviews for your products or services. But ironically, if you happened to make a single customer unhappy, you will have many negative reviews to fight with.


And you know what? These negatives very often rank higher than the positives. Well, this is what many of those review websites are built for. (I smell a rat...)


Anyway, coming back to the topic. Use AdWords Remarketing campaigns to extend your after sales support. Ask your converted customers if they need any support.


Doing this is helpful in two ways -


  1. It makes your happy customers happier. We like the fact when a brand calls up to confirm if everything is fine, don’t we? Yes, so do our customers. They like the fact that a brand is caring so much for them. They become confident that they have chosen a right brand to be associated with.


And what happens afterward can very much be understood..


Remember, a happy customer can literally bring hundreds of new customers in the long run. So, don’t miss any chance to make them happier.


  1. It stops unhappy customers from creating bad press. If someone is unhappy about a purchase and then they come across an ad asking if they need any help, it works as a healing balm. They don’t feel cheated and also give you one more chance to resolve their queries and satisfy them.


Grab this opportunity, do the repair, and stop negative press from being created.

To sum up, I would say - do not ignore your existing customer base. If you market to them effectively, there are better chances of sale. One of the biggest reason for this is - you do not actually need to guide such audiences through the conversion path. They are already in the funnel.


You do not need to educate them or convince them in a way you do to new audiences. Hence, it’s easier and cost effective to market to existing customers. And thanks a ton, it’s a lot easier with AdWords.


I would love to your views on the subject. Feel free to post them in the comments below.


Happy Advertising!


Ratan Jha


about Ratan Jha

A digital marketing strategist and consultant with 9+ years of experience. I help businesses make their marketing strategies more rewarding. Co-Founder - Splashsys Webtech. Winner of DigiGurus - a competition among Indian Google Partners.

Uday R
September 2015

This is a great idea! You can also retarget to them for the product they are running out of. Depending on what the customer purchased, remarket to them on or around the date that product will be running out.

Ratan-Jha Top Contributor
September 2015

Thanks Uday. Yes, that as well is a great idea. Several strategies can be formulated based on the industry one is in. I touched the generic ones which would somehow or the other apply to almost every busienss. 


Ratan Jha


Pravakar D
September 2015

Hello Jha,

Your topic was really helpful. My question is how to stop showing remarketing ads to the customers who already taken products..

Ratan-Jha Top Contributor
September 2015
Jithin C
September 2015

Cool approach Ratan. Maintaining a better customer relationship is something brands needs to give a lot importance these days.

Adding a small though here, While we create the remarketing list, excluding converters in the last few days based on your shipment time would be a smart approach. It makes sure your thank you message don't reach your customer before your product does. Also setting up an impression cap per user is also advisable.

Mohit B
September 2015

Thanks Ratan for good tips. I would like to know about exactly you want to say that it is beneficial to run remarketing campaign and show the thanks banner ads to existing customer. It will be improve the brand awareness.

am I right?




Ratan-Jha Top Contributor
September 2015

Hi @Jithin C, yes that's a good point definitely. Kudos

Ratan-Jha Top Contributor
September 2015

@Mohit B thanks for droping by. Let me repeat the reasons for you a bit differently Smiley Happy


  1. Create more engagement with your existing customers
  2. Get more sales from them
  3. Bring them more closer to your brand
  4. Do the after sales, take feedback, you won't need surveys Smiley Happy
  5. Minimize the chances of negative press
  6. Generate more words of mouth


Clal Lodh
November 2015

Thanks Ranjan,


Good Tips for keeping engaging with existing customers only , Really You have defined good point to remarketing again of the existing customers.

Netizen W
November 2015

hey had a query : 

hi, in google adwords, search network include cpc or cpm?

in display network, does it include only cpm or both?