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Last updated: 1.6.23

Navigating the digital marketing landscape can be a daunting task. With many tools and features, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

You might have asked yourself, “How can I connect with my customers more effectively? How can I improve my click-through rates?”

These are common challenges faced by many businesses today. Imagine a scenario where your customers are browsing online and come across your ad. They’re interested, but they’re also busy.

They don’t have time to fill out a form or make a phone call. They want a quick and convenient way to connect with you. This is where many businesses hit a roadblock.

Traditional ad formats often fail to provide the convenience that modern customers demand. But what if there was a way to overcome this challenge?

What if there was a tool that allowed your customers to engage with you directly from your ad in a way that’s quick, convenient, and comfortable for them?

A tool that could significantly improve your mobile click-through rates and drive more conversions? Welcome to the world of Google Adwords’ Click-to-Message feature.

This powerful tool lets users connect with advertisers via SMS directly from a mobile pay-per-click ad. In this article, we’ll delve into the potential of this feature, discussing its current state, pros and cons, future predictions, and integration with other digital marketing tools.

We’ll also provide practical tips on how to use this feature to enhance your digital marketing strategy effectively.

What Is The Click-to-message Feature?

The Click-to-Message feature is a Google AdWords ad extension that allows users to connect with advertisers via SMS. 

It enables users to click to text a business directly from the search engine results page (SERP) and engage with businesses in a way that’s comfortable and efficient for them. 

Advertisers can even include a pre-written text message to make starting that conversion easier for mobile users in a hurry. 

Users can edit that message before sending it, but it’s an opportunity for advertisers to help users save time by anticipating what they’re likely to be interested in. 

Advertisers that can get that right will likely see better engagement rates. Clicks on message extensions are charged the same CPC fee as if they clicked on the ad’s headline or another ad extension (12).

Current State of the Click-to-Message Feature

Significant Updates and Changes

Since its inception, Google Adwords’ Click-to-Message feature has undergone several significant updates. Initially, it was a simple ad extension that allowed users to connect with advertisers via SMS.

Over time, Google has added features such as the ability for advertisers to set up an initial text that pre-populates in the messaging app after a user clicks the extension. This has made the feature more user-friendly and efficient.

Impact on User Experience

These changes have greatly improved the user experience. The pre-populated messages save users time and make it easier for them to engage with businesses. Moreover, the feature has significantly improved mobile click-through rates, demonstrating its effectiveness.

Pros and Cons of the Click-to-Message Feature

Advantages

The Click-to-Message feature offers many advantages that can significantly enhance a business’s digital marketing strategy.

  1. Customer Engagement: The feature provides a quick and convenient way for customers to engage with businesses. This convenience can significantly increase customer engagement. For businesses looking to delve deeper into this area, understanding Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising for small businesses can provide valuable insights.
  2. Anticipating Customer Interests: The feature allows businesses to set up an initial text that pre-populates in the messaging app when a user clicks the extension. This lets businesses anticipate what customers will likely be interested in and provide relevant information immediately. This proactive approach can improve customer satisfaction and drive conversions.
  3. Improved Mobile Click-Through Rates: The Click-to-Message feature significantly improved mobile click-through rates in beta testing. This indicates that the feature attracts and encourages users to engage with the ad.

Disadvantages

Despite its numerous advantages, the Click-to-Message feature also has some disadvantages that businesses should be aware of.

  1. Limited Availability: One of the main drawbacks of the feature is that it’s currently available in very few accounts. This limits its reach and prevents many businesses from taking advantage of its benefits.
  2. Cost Per Click (CPC) Fee: Businesses are charged the same CPC fee when a user clicks on a message extension as if they clicked on the ad’s headline or another ad extension. This means businesses have to pay the same amount regardless of whether the user clicks on the ad to visit the website or send a message. This could potentially increase the advertising costs for businesses, especially if the messages do not lead to conversions.
  3. Requires Prompt Response: The feature requires businesses to respond promptly to messages. If businesses cannot do this, it could lead to customer dissatisfaction and potentially harm their reputation.

Future Predictions for the Click-to-Message Feature

The Click-to-Message feature has been around for a few years and has already shown promising results in improving click-through and engagement rates (12). 

As more and more people use their mobile devices to search for products and services, the Click-to-Message feature will likely become even more popular. 

Google has been rolling out new features and updates to its ad platform to help businesses connect with customers more effectively, such as AI-powered tools that predict likely future consumer behaviour and automatically improve campaigns (3). 

As technology evolves, we may see even more advanced features and capabilities added to the Click-to-Message feature, making it an even more powerful tool for businesses to connect with customers comfortably and efficiently.

Integration with Other Digital Marketing Tools

Synergy with SEO

The Click-to-Message feature can be a powerful ally in your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies.

Incorporating relevant keywords into your pre-populated messages can enhance your SEO efforts in several ways.

  1. Keyword Relevance: Google’s algorithms consider the relevance of keywords in your ad content when determining your ad’s Quality Score. A higher Quality Score can improve your ad’s position and potentially reduce your Cost Per Click (CPC). Using relevant keywords in your pre-populated messages can increase your ad’s relevance and improve your Quality Score. To learn more about this, you can explore this comprehensive guide on PPC.
  2. User Engagement: SEO isn’t just about keywords; it’s also about user engagement. If users engage with your ad by clicking the Click-to-Message extension and sending a message, it signals to Google that your ad is relevant and valuable, which can improve your SEO rankings.

Integration with Social Media Marketing

The Click-to-Message feature can also be valuable to your social media marketing strategy.

Here’s how:

  1. Driving Engagement: You can use the Click-to-Message feature in your social media ads to drive engagement. You can increase your social media engagement rates by providing a quick and convenient way for users to engage with your business.
  2. Increasing Reach: You can increase your online presence and reach by integrating the Click-to-Message feature with your social media marketing. Users who engage with your business through the feature may be more likely to follow your social media profiles, increasing your social media following.

Compatibility with Email Marketing

The Click-to-Message feature is also compatible with email marketing. Here’s how you can use it to enhance your email marketing efforts:

  1. Building Your Email List: You can use the Click-to-Message feature to encourage users to sign up for your email newsletters. For example, you could include a message in your pre-populated text that offers users a discount or special offer if they sign up for your newsletter.
  2. Improving Email Engagement: You can use the Click-to-Message feature to encourage users to sign up for your email newsletters. For example, you could include a message in your pre-populated text that offers users a discount or special offer if they sign up for your newsletter. To understand how to build a robust PPC strategy that complements your email marketing efforts, check out these PPC strategy services for small businesses.

How To Set Up Click-to-message Feature In Google Adwords

To set up the Click-to-Message feature in Google AdWords, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the Campaigns or Ad group tab.
  3. Click the Ad Extensions tab.
  4. Click the blue plus button and select “Message extension” from the drop-down menu.
  5. Enter your business phone number and message text.
  6. Choose whether to show your phone number with the message or not.
  7. Click “Save.”

Once you’ve set up the message extension, it will appear with your ads on mobile devices. 

Users can click the extension to send a text message directly from the ad. Advertisers can even include a pre-written text message to make starting that conversion easier for mobile users in a hurry (12).

Conclusion

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, businesses are constantly seeking effective ways to connect with their customers.

Google Adwords’ Click-to-Message feature has emerged as a powerful solution to this challenge, providing a quick, convenient, and comfortable way for customers to engage with businesses directly from a mobile pay-per-click ad.

Despite some limitations, such as limited availability and the same CPC fee for message extension clicks, the benefits of this feature are substantial.

It has the potential to significantly improve mobile click-through rates and drive conversions, making it a tool that businesses can’t afford to ignore.

The future of the Click-to-Message feature looks promising, with Google likely to introduce more updates to enhance its user-friendliness and efficiency.

Moreover, integrating this feature with other digital marketing tools like SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing can create a comprehensive and effective digital marketing strategy.

However, the key to harnessing the full potential of this feature lies in how effectively it’s used. Businesses can maximise the benefits of this feature by crafting compelling initial messages, using relevant keywords, responding promptly to messages, and regularly monitoring and optimising their Click-to-Message ads.

The Click-to-Message feature is more than just a tool; it solves the challenge of effectively engaging with customers in the digital age.

FAQs

How can the Click-to-Message feature be integrated with other digital marketing tools?

The feature can be integrated with SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing.

Can I customise the hours when the Click-to-Message feature is available?

Yes, Google Adwords allows you to customise the hours when the Click-to-Message feature is available. This means you can set it to be available only during business hours, ensuring you can respond promptly to messages.

How can I track the performance of my Click-to-Message ads?

Google Adwords provides detailed reporting for the Click-to-Message feature. You can track metrics like the number of messages received, the click-through rate of the message extension, and the cost per message. This data can help you monitor the performance of your Click-to-Message ads and make necessary adjustments to improve their effectiveness.

Can I use the Click-to-Message feature for international advertising?

Yes, the Click-to-Message feature can be used for international advertising. However, you should be aware that SMS rates may vary by country, and users may incur charges from their mobile carrier for sending messages. It’s also important to ensure that your messages comply with the laws and regulations of the countries where your ads are displayed.

About the Author

Des Dreckett

Des Dreckett is the eCommerce and growth Marketing Director of XenMediamarketing.co.uk: a writer, blogger and a paid media specialist.

Writing content to help you grow and build your business.

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