Text Me Later: Use AdWords’ New Message Extensions to Reach Customers


Personally, I prefer a text message rather than a phone call. Sending a text message allows us to send or ask for essential information in a simple, straightforward manner. With everyone utilizing smart phones and capable of sending and receiving text messages, it’s obvious that you can capitalize on this technology to reach your customers. Google AdWords has come up with Message Extensions for paid search advertising to do just that. Here’s how it works and how you can use it to drive more traffic to your dealership.

When your paid search ad pops up under a Google search, their Message Extension allows the viewer to text you directly from the ad. This is more than just another convenient way for customers to communicate with your dealership. If you’re strategic in this new tool, it’s a way to increase your chances of engagement with prospects.


These text links can be created to connect to specific numbers with customized hours of the day that the phone can receive messages. Each number can be implemented for new or used vehicle campaigns based on your overall marketing strategy. As customers are catching on to this innovative technology, I expect the volume of texts will increase as more websites begin rolling out this new feature.

When customers begin using this feature, keep in mind that 95% of texts received won’t be specifically related to purchasing a vehicle today. Some of the questions might be something that a receptionist could answer. However, these texts can be turned into leads when you have a willing staff in place that is motivated towards driving traffic towards your dealership. Coaching your staff is a critical step in making this campaign tool work.

Remember, like any innovation of technology available, if you don’t use it your competitor will. This is a terrific opportunity to turn a simple text into dealership traffic.

About the author

John Paul Strong: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising. With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.

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