How to Implement Google AdWords Message Extension

Make the most of AdWords message extension with Bulk SMS Long codes and Keywords

Google has recently launched a new ad extension called ‘Message extension’ for Google AdWords. It allows advertisers to add an SMS call to action for search ads on mobile devices.

When user clicks on the ad extension in a mobile ad, their text message app is opened with a pre-written message along with a pre-defined mobile number. The user can send the message to show interest in your product/service or request for more information. This exciting new development unlocks an entirely new set of customers who prefer to use SMS to communicate with businesses.

Why should you prefer Bulk SMS long code to your personal mobile number?

While you can receive messages to your personal mobile number, it is practically not possible to attend to all incoming messages. At some point, you need to automate this process and give customers the information they need instantly. You can do much more with all the incoming messages using Bulk SMS’s unique & useful features-

  • Get your own dedicated number to receive SMS – Any texts sent to a dedicated long number are received in your inbox which can be accessed online
  • Send instant auto-replies to messages – Instantly send automatic replies to customers texting into your inbox with more information about your product/service
  • Add links and attachments to your replies – Easily attach images, brochures, pdfs or any other files in your SMS replies
  • Auto-forward messages – Forward messages to your email, URL, application or mobile number(s)
  • Store & manage all customer mobile numbers online – Bulk SMS provides an inbox for each keyword that stores & export all your contact numbers
  • Send messages with your own sender name – Get a 6-character alphabetic Sender ID of your choice to enhance your brand awareness (Eg- AM-AMAZON)
  • Track Conversions Online – Google can not track conversions via message extension. With advanced tracking  (device parameters, screen sizes, etc), delivery reports and click reports (for each mobile number), get all the analytics you need with Bulk SMS.

Follow these simple steps to implement message extension

1. Purchase a dedicated long number online

Message extensions require a dedicated 10-digit long number that can receive and process text messages. You can purchase a dedicated number online via Bulk SMS.

Login to your Bulk SMS account > click on ‘Receive’ > click on ‘Create Inbox‘ > Dedicated Number

Select a mobile number of your choice from a list of numbers and buy the number. You will get access to your dedicated long code immediately after the payment is done.

2. Setup auto-responses

From Bulk SMS control panel, click on Receive to access your inbox settings.

Under Response Functions, tick the option to: “Send an auto-response to each incoming message”. You can select your Sender Name and write your message. You can also insert an attachment, short link, survey or a mobile web page to convey more within 160 characters.

Create keywords for your Long code

You can create unlimited keywords under your Dedicated Long Number. Click on ‘New Keyword’ and create a keyword of your choice. Bulk SMS system directs all the messages starting with the keyword to its own inbox. Setup auto-response by navigating to Settings under a keyword or the dedicated number.

Important Note: Long numbers are capable of receiving messages, but it is not possible to send messages via the same long number. The messages will go with a Sender Name (6 digit for promotional route or 6 alpha-character for transactional route)

You will have to include your long number in the message and ask users to reply to your long number to continue the conversation. (Ex: To learn more about our service text NEXT to 9246022266)

3. Configure additional settings

You can configure these useful settings to manage your incoming messages-

  • Schedule your reply by specifying a delay ranging from 1 minute to 4 weeks
  • Send email to email address contained within message
  • Use ‘Add sender to a group list’ to add all the mobile numbers with the keyword to any group
  • Forward incoming messages to an email address(es)
  • Forward incoming messages to a URL so that API/any other software can pick it up
  • Forward incoming messages to a mobile phone
  • Forward a text message from a number to a contact group that you had created

4. Add credits to your account

In order to use an inbox auto-response, you need to make sure that you have enough SMS credits in your account. You use one credit for each auto-response under 160 characters that’s sent. Purchase more credits online by clicking on the Buy button when you’re logged into your account.

5. Test auto-responses

Send a message to your long number and check if you’ve received the message in your number’s dedicated inbox:

Click on ‘Receive‘ > Click on your long number > Click on ‘View Inbox’

If you have set-up keywords on your dedicated number, you can test them and verify if you have received them in respective keyword inboxes.

6. Add long number to your AdWords account

Log-in to your AdWords account and click on ‘Ad extensions’ and select ‘Message extensions‘ under ‘View:’ drop down

Create a new message extension by clicking on click on ‘+ EXTENSION‘ and select the Campaign or Ad group you would like to create the extension for. Click on ‘+ New message extension‘ to create a new message extension.

Complete the fields for the creating the new extension, adding your Bulk SMS long number in the “Text phone number” field. You need to select the region as ‘India’ and ensure that the number is correctly formatted (10 digits without spaces or special characters).