Promotions are an important part of every e-commerce search campaign. They enable businesses to advertise special deals to their target market in order to drive more traffic (through CTR) and at the same time increase conversions.

Ad Customizers is a tool which allows marketers the ability to easily tailor a promotion in Google AdWords. It allows implementation of dynamic data into the ads via the use of different types of custom parameters. Airlines can make great use of this because it offers the option to use multiple languages, price insertion and a global countdown. For reference, visit

But do Ad Customizers drive traffic or increase conversions? It is not until you implement them in your accounts that you are able to really see and analyze the performance of Ad Customizers. Let’s have a look at two real cases where we set up the COUNTDOWN function to experiment for short promotions (between 3-5 days), in the US.

Case Study 1

The Real Performance of the COUNTDOWN function

We implemented the COUNTDOWN function through Ad Customizers with the expectation that it would increase the sense of urgency for users to actually click on the ad and purchase since the countdown indicates the promotion will end soon.

To prove this, an experiment was set up where both Ad Customizer ads and Common Promo ads were run at the same time for a major promotion for Airline A. Both ads had exactly the same copy. However, the Custom Ad was displaying the COUNTDOWN function whereas the Common Promo ad was displaying an actual end date for the deal.

  • Ad Customizer Ad: Special Offer…. Only 3 days left!
  • Non-Custom Ad: Special Offer….Book Before March 23.

The results were as follows:


Conversion Rate is higher for the Ad Customizer ad, but the Common Promo ad showed a noticeably higher CTR. This means that while people are more likely to click on an ad which displays a specific date, they are also more likely to convert when the COUNTDOWN function creates urgency. With these results being inconclusive, we decided to try another test.

Case Study 2

The trend for the COUNTDOWN function

In another experiment, we ran both an Ad Customizer ad and a Common Promo ad (similar to the study above) for Airline B for 4 days. We noticed a higher CTR for COUNTDOWN ads at the start of the promotion, while the conversion rate was better on the first and last day. This might be an indication that in the middle of the promotion, more users are likely in the research phrase and are more likely to convert later (we recommend checking the conversion path).


Transactions Case Study Ad Customizers - EveryMundo

CTR Case Study Ad 1 Customizers EveryMundo

Conversion Rate Case Study 1  Ad Customizers EveryMundo

Ad Customizers used in Airlines PPC Campaigns

As you can see, both Case Studies tell very different stories. In Case Study 2, the CTR of the Ad Customizer ad is higher than the Common Promo ads, which is in direct contrast with Case Study 1. Such contrasting results are surprising since both experiments were tested in the US market, in English, and for the same (airline) industry. We feel that factors such as branding and varying target markets may have had an impact on our Case Studies. So, we suggest you always test your market before drawing any conclusions.

While the data from these Case Studies makes it difficult to draw a firm conclusion on the value of Ad Customizer ads, there are some key takeaways worth sharing:

  • Dynamic COUNTDOWN and Fare Functions – Because of the nature of the airline industry, promotions are time- and price-sensitive. With Ad Customizer, you can integrate dynamic countdown and fare information in your ads to promote any offer.
  • Easy Revisions – As you know, with Common Promos ads, once you edit an ad, a new one is generated automatically and the previous one is deleted. With Ad Customizers, you are able to keep all the data by only changing the feed instead of the ad copy.
  • Skip Approval Time – For Ad Customizer ads there is no need to wait for approval when changing ads. Once it is approved the first time, you only need to change the feed, and it will be able to go live immediately.
  • Less Static Characters in the Ad Copy – Even though it shares the same character limit as regular ads, the varying length of variables forces you to save more space for longer possibilities.

Example 1

Headline New York Flights Deals 22
Description Line 1 20% Off on flights from Houston to 34
Description Line 2 New York. Deal ends in 52 minutes. 34

Example 2

Headline New York Flights Deals 22
Description Line 1 20% Off on flights from Houston to 34
Description Line 2 New York. Deal ends in 5 days. 30
  • Significant Work Remains – Even when using Ad Customizer, you need to assign the fare/time/discount information to each ad group based on the routes, which takes a significant amount of time.
  • Approval Time – As stated earlier, once the ad copy is approved, you don’t need to the wait next time when you update the feed. But the average time for Ad Customizers’ ads to be approved is longer. Normally, it takes 1 or 2 days for Ad Customizer ads while Common Promo ads require less than one day. In some cases, we found it took more than 2 days for an Ad Customizer ad to be approved.

Basic References

There are plenty of articles out there talking about how to implement ad customizers. Below are some articles for further reading:

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