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Google’s new click-to-text extensions will enable users to connect with advertisers over SMS text messages. This new extension was tested throughout 2016, and we’ve got some a quick guide and some takeaways for those new to the feature.
How it works
Clicking on the text on icon in mobile search will launch an application on the user’s device, allowing them to send a SMS message directly to the business. As more people use texting as their main means of communication on their phones, advertisers gain the ability to connect a to whole new type of customer.
In the image below, you can see that the message and call extensions are served as cards below the traditional ad, which is a slight change up from when the icons were off to the right of the ad. Advertisers can also include a call to action in the extension text.
Additionally, advertisers can build out an initial text that sits in the messaging app after the user clicks on the extension, potentially helping to speed up the process by anticipating what the users are interested in. Although users will be able to edit the message before sending, advertisers are expected to see better engagement rates if they able to get that pre-populated message right.
The cost per click is the same as a regular click on ad or another extension. They can set at the campaign or even ad group level for more granular customization. Message extensions can also be set for certain hours of the day (if they are running on when your business is closed, you can use an autoresponder to let users know when they should expect a response).
Like other extensions, reporting will be housed in the extensions tab, as well as through Click Type segmentation. As of now there is no definite way of measuring engagement on message extensions, because of the question of whether extensions connect to a user’s cell phone or to an enterprise messaging software.
Message Extensions should definitely be something you add to your schedule for testing in the new year as they open up a new medium for engagement to new audiences.