Google is preparing to usher in text messaging as the latest form of mobile communication options for paid search advertisers.
An AdWords Click-to-Text ad extension has been in beta for several months; and, per the Inside AdWords blog this week, all advertisers will have this option available to them “in the coming weeks”. The Click-to-Text extension enables consumers to contact brands with a pre-populated message through their phone’s native SMS app (the message is editable) when it is convenient for them to do so.
Giving customers the option to text a business has an advantage of appealing to younger audiences, who are more apt to send messages than pick up the phone. It is also a great option for busier consumers, who don’t necessarily have time to wait around on hold while dealing with customer service.
The Click-to-Text ad extensions can be scheduled to only appear during open business hours, and can be set at the campaign or ad group level. Clicks on these extensions, like on others, are charged the same as a click on the headline of an ad.
The difficult task for advertisers, especially smaller ones, is finding an enterprise platform to manage text messages within limited budget sizes; and, ensuring that there is someone within customer service to be there to field inquiries.
Google has added Best Practices for their new AdWords Call-to-Text ad extension to their Help center, for when the functionality becomes available to everyone.