The Wait Is Over: Message Extensions Now Available in Google

kevin

A few weeks ago, Google announced the new message extensions with the caveat that they weren’t yet available to all advertisers but would be rolled out over the coming weeks. Well it appears the wait is over! Browsing through my accounts recently, I noticed this lovely notification:

 

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If you haven’t heard of message extensions, they provide a way for people to click a messaging icon in your ad and contact you directly via text message. Here’s an example of the process from the AdWords blog:

ss2According to recent Google Consumer Surveys:

“Nearly two thirds of smartphone owners use messaging more than five times a day to communicate with others.1 And people aren’t limiting their use of messaging to social communications – 65% of consumers say they’d consider using messaging to connect with a business to get information about a product or service, or to schedule an in-person appointment.2

So, if message extensions make sense for your client’s business model you should give them a shot!

Message Extensions Set Up

Just head over to the Ad extensions tab, then choose the message extensions option from the ‘View’ drop down menu. From there, choose the red ‘+Extension’ button, the campaign you want to add the extension in, then choose the ‘+New message extension’ button. At that point you’ll fill in the following fields:

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Character length for each field is as follows:

Business name – 25 characters

Extension text – 35 characters

Message text – 100 characters

You can also set start and end dates and create a custom schedule for your extension, which is handy if your client is unable to answer text messages during non-business hours.

The Downside? No Conversion Tracking Yet

Unfortunately, there is currently no conversion tracking for sent text messages yet in the AdWords interface. We reached out to our Google reps who said they assume this feature will eventually be rolled out but they did not have a timeline as to if or when. For now, it will be up to advertisers to figure out how to track these text messages.

Have you given message extensions a shot? Do you have plans to use this new feature? We’d love to hear your feedback and plans in the comments!

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