The Google AdWords team recently launched an ad extension so advertisers can invite consumers to text their brand right from mobile ads. As Ginny Marvin wrote at Search Engine Land,
"Call extensions have been around for years, but the new message extensions give users another option to connect with businesses that will be especially appealing to the call-phobic and those aiming to avoid getting put on hold, listening to a list of menu options or waiting to get transferred in order to speak to the right person at a business."
Advertisers can apply the new message extensions to ad campaigns or ad groups. When a mobile visitor taps the click-to-text ad extension, the user's default texting app will open and initiate a message to the advertiser's text-enabled phone number. AdWords allows advertisers to pre-populate the message text, but visitors can edit the message before sending.
If you'd like to enhance your AdWords campaigns with click-to-text ads, follow these 3 steps:
1. Get a text-enabled phone number for your brand from Textline. Start a Textline free trial and you'll immediately get a new phone number in your choice of area code. (Most area codes in the US and Canada are available, except for some exhausted area codes like 212 in New York, 416 in Toronto, 310 in Los Angeles, etc.)
2. Compose an auto-response that Textline will send back to customers who text your company. Textline allows you to send auto-responses for various scenarios. For click-to-text ads, use an auto-response for the situation "when a contact first texts your number."
3. Add a message extension to your ad campaign or ad group. Those familiar with Google AdWords may recognize sitelinks, callout, and review extensions. The newest message extension only requests a few inputs:
- your business name,
- your text phone number (provided by Textline in this case),
- extension text that will appear under your mobile ad (example: "Text us for more info"),
- message text that your customer will text to you (example: "I'd like to learn more").