Basic texting messaging is still popular with a lot of people, and a Pew research from 2015 shows that a whopping 97 percent of Americans use SMS at least once a day while in emerging markets such as Africa SMS is still widely used and trusted. This is the motivation behind click-to-message ads.

What are click-to-message-ads?

Click-to-message ads will allow advertisers an additional communication channel or lead generation channel by adding a text the business option directly from search. This will allow a user who searches on their mobile device for a service to immediately contact the business via SMS from a paid search ad.

How click-to-message ads work?

As the customer searches for relevant keywords that are being targeted by your Adwords campaigns they will be shown an additional click to message icon within search results. The user then taps the message icon, their default SMS app will start a pre-defined message.

The predefined message is crafted by the business within AdWords, but can be edited by the client. Who may want to ask for additional information such as opening hours, the day’s menu and other relevant information they would like from the business.

Response to click-to-message ads

As is the case with many of Google's new innovations it adopted a phased approach and allowed a few companies the chance to use the service to see how they would react and make use of the system.

Here is a list of the lucky few to get first companies to have a crack at click to message ads:

  • TravelPASS Group
  • AnyVan
  • Auto & General
  • Global Industrial

The results from click-to-message have been phenomenal and we’ve seen an 80% higher conversion rate when compared to other similar channels. We can now tap into an important consumer base that prefers to use SMS to learn more about our insurance products. Besides giving users a new way to get in touch with us, we feel this is by far the fastest and most cost-effective way to connect with them. Quote from Gavin Parker, Paid Search Manager, Auto & General

Benefits of click-to-message ads

  • More exposure with no extra AdWords cost
  • Grow your business with quick lead generation
  • Quickly set up your extensions according to your specific needs

How do I use click-to-message ads?

Requirements for setup
  1. Message extensions are only shown to people on phones capable of sending and receiving text messages.
  2. Message extensions also require your business to have a phone number that is able to receive, process, and send text messages.
Setting it up in Adwords
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns or Ad group tab.
  3. Click the Ad extensions tab.
  4. Click the View menu, then select “Message extensions”.
  5. Click the Campaign or Ad group tab, then select the campaigns or ad groups you want to add the message extension to, and then click Done.
  6. At the bottom of the table, click + New Message.
  7. Enter the information for your message ads:
  8. Business name: The name of your business.
  9. Phone number: A phone number that’s capable of sending and receiving text messages.
  10. Extension text: The text that will go in your click-to-message ad.
  11. Message text: The message text automatically shows in people’s messaging apps when they tap to send you a message. (For example, the message text might be: “I’d like to know more. Please text me back.”)
  12. Click Advanced to restrict the message extension to certain dates or hours of the day.
  13. Click Save.

Source: nichemarket