AdWords Adds Click to Message Support
Google’s PPC platform has long supported click-to-call ad extensions, but the latest service from the AdWords platform will bring text message support, enabling the customer to contact businesses through a convenient text messaging solution.
The mobile-only application follows recent customer research by the search giant that suggests that up to 65% of customers would be happy to use a text message as an initial contact point with a business.
How does Click to Message Work for the Consumer?
When a potential customer views an advert they are shown an ad extension that, when clicked, open ups their mobile phone text messaging program. This can either be pre-populated by the person placing the ad or can be left empty dependent on the needs of the advertiser. The charge for the ad occurs at the point where the consumer clicks the ad extension, not at the point of sending.
Once the customer has prepared the text of their enquiry, they then text the company and the message is delivered.
How does Click to Message Work for the Advertiser?
The advertiser chooses the mobile device where they wish the text message to be delivered to and then can respond to the question posed. From an advertising point of view, they will obviously need to have a set of mobile-only ads set up to take advantage of the advertising system.
They can also schedule the service so that searches that take place at times such as holidays or weekends or late at night do not trigger the advert or ad extension. This is in part because of the tendency for text message users to want a quick response that probably will not be available that time.
Once the message has been received the advertiser will be able to reply in person, or can use an outsourced system to reply on their behalf, although this will obviously run as an additional expense to the initial advert.
Who is Using AdWords Click to Message?
The AdWords service is newly launched, so it remains to be seen who will benefit from the platform in the long term, however, companies in the hospitality and hotel industry have been reporting response rates that are 41% higher than their other extensions. It is also useful for ‘on-the-go-consumers’ who often do not have the time to wait on hold for an answer from a customer services rep.
The service is not currently usable via systems such as WhatsApp which could result in a lower take up, however with the ubiquity of unlimited text message plans, it is unlikely that this will be a significant barrier to entry for most users.