Google Ads Message Extensions were first introduced in October 2016 by Google, after several months of testing.
Allowing users to send text messages directly to businesses from their advertisements on Google – the message extension consists of several call-to-action messages such as, “Have Questions? Drop Us a Text!”, “Text Us to Book an Appointment” and “Chat with Us to Find Out More”.
With this message feature, customers are able to reach out to you and directly seek your services without having to enter your business website. This includes enquiring about the business and making appointments – all of which serves to move them down the customer funnel. In fact, having multiple platforms where users can contact you is vital for lead generation and conversion!
There are numerous benefits of enabling message extension on Google AdWords. However, there too, are some concerns faced by businesses over the feature. Let us address the top 2 concerns and clarify how changes have been made by Google to improve the feature. (Hint: they don’t downplay the benefits that message extensions bring to your business!)
Concern #1: It is not able to respond to messages 24/7.
It can be both challenging and daunting to open the doors for people to reach out to you 24/7 – especially if you are a small business, it is simply not feasible to be able to respond to all the messages in a prompt manner.
Clarification: Similar to call extensions, you can set your message extension to operate only during operating hours, where you will be able to delegate sufficient resources to reply to the messages. In addition, Google has recently introduced 2 new features to the message extensions function; namely, email forwarding and automatic replies.
Email forwarding allows the texts sent through the message extension to reach your email inbox instead. This way, you do not need to provide a phone number to utilise the message extension, and a text reply will be automatically delivered to the recipient simply by you responding to the email.
With automatic replies, you can preempt and prepare replies that will be sent out automatically the moment a customer messages you through an SEM campaign. For instance: “Thank you for your message. We will get back to you shortly.” By doing so, it keeps customers in the loop and minimises frustration on their end.
Concern #2: Customers aren’t adopting message extensions.
Message extensions may not be suitable for all types of businesses. Important to take into consideration is your target market, taking care to examine their preferences and interests, i.e., are they comfortable and familiarised with technology?
If your target audience are frequent internet users, you are more likely to receive more activity and engagement and vice versa.
Clarification: A 2016 Google Consumer Survey has proven that almost two-thirds of smartphone owners are engaged in frequent messaging activities; using it over five times per day to communicate with others. And people are not limiting their messages solely for social interactions – 65% of consumers mention that they will consider using messaging to reach out to a business to learn more about its products and services.
In fact, it is highly likely that the percentage has increased over the years – making it a high possibility that your target market are heavy internet users who are likely to engage with you through message extensions.
Despite the various concerns pointed out in regard to the feature; the benefits that Google Ads Message Extension bring to your business is still crystal clear. To learn and understand more on the feature, you should consider consulting your trusted Digital Marketing Agency, or sign up for a Digital Marketing Course today!