Click-to-message ads: Google enables conversational commerce through SMS

Yesterday we made a post regarding Google’s announcement of their new feature that is enhancing their mobile Adwords offering: click-to-message ads. It provides an easy way for consumers to message brands through an ad extension, launching the SMS app with a pre-written message tailored to the relevant product or service.

Consumers’ preference to contact brands via messaging solutions is on the rise

According to Google, 65% of consumers would like to use messaging in order to connect with brands and receive information about a product, service or schedule an appointment.

Google’s click-to-message ads allow marketers to connect their consumers with a sales agent in a real-time and personal manner. By embracing these conversational channels you can offer consumers an instant response and increase scalability by enabling your sales agents to handle multiple conversations.

Let’s look at their travel industry testimonial

Gabe Thayn, Director of Search Marketing at TravelPASS Group, a travel tech provider, says:

“Click-to-message ads have proven to be a great way to help pre-qualified customers start the hotel reservation process in a way that is convenient and easy for them. They can text an agent to get questions answered, continue the conversation on their own timetable, and trade booking information before completing the final checkout over the phone or on our website. It’s a seamless and streamlined process that helps increase brand trust. The conversion rate on message extensions is 41% higher compared to other ad extensions.”

So, are you ready for conversational commerce?

Regardless of your industry, your consumers want to have a conversation:

  • Travel – Booking a room or reservation
  • Insurance – Requesting information about a quote
  • Automotive – Booking a test drive
  • Banking – Booking an appointment
  • Utilities – Requesting a comparison quote

What does this mean for you? Why is it something to get excited about?

Simple. Freespee is the only conversation cloud that offers you a layer between your customers and their conversation channels. We give you visibility, control and personalisation through automated real-time messaging across your text (email, sms, form, chat, app messages) and voice channels (calls).

With the Freespee conversation cloud you can now manage all call and text conversations your customers are having with your brand today across your desktop, mobile web, and mobile app. To find out more, contact us to schedule a demo.

Click-to-message ads and the rise of conversational commerce

Earlier this month Google announced the roll-out of a new feature enhancing its mobile Adwords offering: click-to-message ads. It provides an easy way for consumers to message brands through an ad extension, launching the SMS app with a pre-written message tailored to the relevant product or service.

Why this is a major shift for the entire industry
Consumers’ preference to contact brands via messaging solutions is on the rise. According to Google, 65% of consumers would like to use messaging in order to connect with brands and receive information about a product, service or schedule an appointment. And 97% of smartphone owners use texting—it’s also the “app” they use most frequently.

Can your brand afford to not be conversational now
With this new feature it opens up a large opportunity for consumers and marketers to be able have conversations over SMS bypassing the typical current barriers to communication. And with the meteoric rise of messenger apps in the market, the top four sharing 3bn users in total and silicon valley on a quest to provide the future AI Chat solution. Google are opening the communication stack in their own way to give consumers and brands the opportunity to open a dialogue through the simplest and most used means.

Why this relates back to Chris Messina’s 2015 post on conversational commerce.

In 2015 Uber’s Chris Messina predicted that 2016 will be the year of “conversational commerce”. He defined this term as “pertains to utilizing chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces (i.e. voice) to interact with people, brands, or services and bots that heretofore have had no real place in the bidirectional, asynchronous messaging context.”

Why consumer behaviour is driving this shift:
Ease, effectiveness, and emotion.
Consumers want to move between devices and use the conversational interface they feel the most comfortable with to get service at any point in their pre-or-post-purchase journey instantly.

Conversational commerce represents a digital leap forward for many brands

The ability to carry out a host of tasks entirely via messaging: transfer money, ask questions, make purchases, book travel and check the weather through a bot is comfortable for some and not others. But this is not entirely relegated to text interfaces only, Amazon Echo offers all of these features through their voice technology, and consumers have been calling brands since the invention of the telephone to achieve these goals. To reiterate more plainly Chris’s observation, “Conversational commerce is a conversation through text or voice between humans or with a bot.

And some brands are onboard already

KLM partnered with Facebook Messenger to allow users to look at their travel itinerary, check flight updates, download their boarding passes and book new flights. And with the announcement of the paypal integration consumers will now be able to securely purchase products directly through the messaging app.

The conversation is the centre of the customer experience and the quality of the conversation is the brand differentiator.

Brands must become more comfortable in providing their consumers with a range of conversational interfaces across both text and voice. And the next step in this evolution is for non-developers to get easy access to this communication stack. It won’t be enough to enable these conversation channels, marketers and ecommerce professionals need to take control of the experience across every text and voice interface to create exceptional consumer experiences and influence sales conversations.

Freespee is the software layer enterprise brands need to take control of conversational commerce.

How? Freespee is the only conversation cloud that offers businesses a marketing and analytics layer between your customers and your conversation channels. We give you visibility, control and personalisation through automated real-time messaging across your text channels (sms, chat, app messaging, forms) and voice (calls).

With the Freespee conversation cloud you can now manage all text and voice conversations your customers are having with your brand today across your desktop, mobile web, and mobile app.

To find out more, contact us to schedule a demo.

Bridge the gap between your doubleclick advertising and customer conversations

woman on mobile

Today DoubleClick is announcing a new API and integration with Freespee

This will allow Freespee customers to securely pass their call and text conversions to DoubleClick and tie them back to their display and video advertising activities. To place this into context for non-Freespee customers and users of DoubleClick Digital Marketing:

  • At the moment you are driving traffic to your site through various display advertisements
  • But, after arriving on your site and browsing for a period, what happens when your visitors decide to call you instead of completing the form

Your customers decided it was best for them to continue their journey offline, so your digital metrics now don’t show the complete picture. You’re left with only a partial understanding of your campaigns true performance and these customers have effectively disappeared.

But with Freespee and DoubleClick we can now give you visibility over these customers. We offer you the knowledge you need to understand what impact your digital activities are having across all of your customers call and text based conversations. Providing you with the metrics you need to understand which campaigns, ads and inventory are driving your audiences to convert both digitally and offline.
With Freespee data inside your Doubleclick account, you now have the conversion data you have been waiting for to correctly segment and target every converting customer no matter what channel they used to contact you. 
Our customers have been successfully using our Doubleclick Search integration and we are now happy to announce we can offer the same for DoubleClick Digital Marketing.

The advantages of Freespee

Working with Freespee and DoubleClick offers you the chance to build a personalised advertising strategy that spans a customer’s digital and offline journey.

  • Complete audience profiles of both digital and offline converting customers
  • Segment and identify your high value audiences
  • Re-engage with your customers with personalised ads based on their shopping behaviour

Getting started

The DoubleClick Digital Marketing integration is now live and available to all existing and new Freespee customers. To find out more, contact us to schedule a demo.