Gmail Ads


For the greatest degree of flexibility in designing your Gmail ads, use custom HTML. Suitable for advanced advertisers, custom HTML lets you create ads different from existing Gmail ad templates. These ads can include embedded forms, video, phone numbers, and multiple calls-to-action. To create Gmail ads with your own customized layout, upload your own custom HTML files into AdWords.

The details below explain how to configure and upload your custom Gmail ads.

Before you begin
If you want to use a template, go to Create Gmail ads with templates. Note that template ads can include YouTube videos.

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”)

Logo image specifications
The file must be named exactly “logo.png,” “logo.jpg,” or “logo.gif” and the file format must be PNG, JPG, or GIF.

Logo image size: < 144 x 144
File size: < 150KB
File formats: PNG, JPG, or GIF (non-animated)
The logo image is a small icon, graphic or brand logo.

The image will be displayed as a 50 x 50 square on normal resolution devices, but we accept up to 150KB for clearer viewing on some screens

Text file specifications
The file must be named exactly “teaser.txt”  and the file format must be TXT. Here’s an example of a properly formatted text file.

Advertiser: Business Name
Subject: Everything 20% Off at Business Name
Description: Buy new products at low prices!
Display Url:
Landing Page:

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.

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 9.55.07 AM.png

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> and <style> 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

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 10.06.15 AM.png

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 AdWords, 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. AdWords does not add anything to preview images to indicate that they are videos.

  4. How to remove ad overlays from your embedded videos

    Within the host YouTube account, you can disable ads on top of your videos. Learn more