In the past, advertisers have had several different types of formulas they could use within single ads to make them dynamically show desired messaging. This goes as far back as simple dynamic keyword insertion, feed-based ad customizers and countdown ads.
Google AdWords’s IF function formulas are relatively new. They’ve been available for almost a year, but advertisers are still testing their full capabilities. IF function formulas allow the creation of a single ad, which will serve differently depending on who is searching or what they’re searching with. IF function formulas allow us to customize ad copy by both audience and device.
IF function ads for audiences specifically allow us to customize copy to any valid user list in our account. This includes things like customer email lists, remarketing lists and the new In-market audience lists. Until recently, creating custom messaging by audience would have probably required that we create duplicate campaigns, using different targeting, and create two separate ads for each of these campaigns. Now all we need is one campaign, one ad group and one ad created using the formula seen below.
Let’s say my pretend client, the Greg Hotel, wants to use one type of messaging for people who are members of their rewards program and different messaging for new visitors to the site, both on the same search queries for their Dallas location. All that’s needed in this scenario is the one “Greg Hotel – Dallas” location campaign and the single ad group, with the one ad seen here with this long, complicated-looking formula:
If a rewards member found in the email list “LoyaltyMember” searched the keyword “dallas hotel,” then the formula would make it serve this ad which pushes several member benefits:
If a new visitor to the site, or one not found on that email list, searched the same keyword, then the formula would simply make it serve the more generic ad introducing the property:
Another interesting audience you could send varied messaging to are past purchasers on your site. Take, for example, a second fake client — the Boysan Appliance Dome — which specializes in selling kitchen appliances and typically tries to sell entire high-end kitchen suites. Customers who make a purchase receive a 20-percent-off coupon to use towards a future purchase. So, in your “Dishwasher” campaign/ad group, you could launch this one ad containing the IF formula:
If a visitor who had never been to the site searched on the term “dishwasher,” then the formula would trigger the more standard ad for the Rub-a-Dub Dishwasher model:
If the same term is searched by a visitor who falls into the remarketing list of past purchasers of a refrigerator (“FridgePurchaser”) at the Boysan Appliance Dome, then they would be served something a little more tailored to their experience:
As I mentioned above, we can also use IF function ads to customize messaging across different devices. Let’s use a third fake client, Carpet Diem, for this example. Carpet Diem makes and sells custom rugs, and they primarily want to push an in-store experience because there are physical samples as well as consultations involved in their business. In an in-store-specific campaign, on the search query “rug stores near me,” we might assume that someone doing a mobile search (within a specific GEO radius, and/or during a specific time of day) might be close to one of their stores. If we want to make walking into the store the call-to-action, we can use this as our one IF formula ad:
If user is out and near the store and using their phone, then they’d see the following ad:
Whereas, if a user is on their desktop, then they would see Carpet Diem’s regular local ads which urge them to make an appointment for their eventual store visit to Seize the Rug.
IF function ads for mobile are also a good way to have more control over how your messaging might be truncated when showing up on Google’s mobile search results page. Ads can be inadvertently shortened and may not make sense, so why not shorten them ourselves to get the exact messaging we want?
The Search Agency has launched IF function device ads in several accounts and it has shown us some substantial wins: Within one month of launching these ads for one (non-pretend) client, mobile CPCs decreased 7.5 percent, conversions improved by 30.8 percent and CPA went down 18.5 percent!
We’re moving closer and closer to customizing user experiences and developing entire campaign strategies around specific audiences. We’re also in an ever-changing industry that requires instant optimizations and streamlined processes. Google’s IF function formula can help us fulfill both of those needs almost perfectly.