Google wants to bring some order to SMS advertising and plans to roll out click-to-message ads over the coming weeks. Having run a click-to-message ad messaging extension for the last few months, the company is rolling out the full version soon to connect consumers to advertisers through SMS.
Google launches Click-to-Message ads
According to Google, 65% of consumers would like to use messaging in order to connect to businesses and retailers and get information about a product, service or schedule an appointment.
The Google Search addition is mobile-only. Both parties – consumers and retailers – will need to be owners of a mobile device and capable of receiving and sending text messages to communicate.
The actual setup in AdWords is simple. Ads in a search web browser will now display a SMS icon for consumers to tap. This opens up a pre-written message to contact the business and consumers can of course edit this.
Gabe Thayn, Director of Search Marketing, TravelPASS Group, a travel tech provider, says:
“Click-to-message ads have proven to be a great way to help pre-qualified customers start the hotel reservation process in a way that is convenient and easy for them. They can text an agent to get questions answered, continue the conversation on their own timetable, and trade booking information before completing the final checkout over the phone or on our website. It’s a seamless and streamlined process that helps increase brand trust. The conversion rate on message extensions is 41% higher compared to other ad extensions. Paired with customer support software, they’ve also allowed our agents to respond to requests in a more efficient and cost-effective way.”
The move to expand its business to consumer communication options comes at a time when competitor Facebook has been busy rolling out similar features for its Messenger app.
However, with messaging being still a more popular option on mobile devices (97% of US smartphone users use SMS at least once per day), Google click-to-message ads could perform well. It also expands ads into approachable territory, making businesses easier to reach and have a conversation with.