Text or call? Google’s about to give you the option to SMS straight from AdWords.

It’s a kind of mutual understanding: call is more personal than text. Many businesses use text messaging services for booking confirmations and reminders, but it’s not been readily accepted as a two-way channel.
Few businesses use text as a a “question and answer” tool: it’s more a “reply with ‘NO’ to cancel” kind of thing. So the fact that Google’s testing an SMS button (like a call button) on their AdWords posts is definitely something different.

Ok, before we really get started, we’re going to acknowledge this. We talk about Google a lot. Fair to say we’re obsessed. But there’s a reason for that, and we’re explain it now: when Google does something, people follow. If Google says you can start adding “SMS” actions to your PPC ads, people are going to do it.

We’ve talked chat bots, we’ve talked automated emails. And we’ve talked about the return that those generate. So, what kind of benefits can text communication deliver for you?

Our working hypothesis is that it could be even greater than a phone call. Even though text messages seem like a less-committed form of communication. Why? Because it lets you send an equally informal follow-up text, when calling back a prospect might be a little too aggressive. More so than an email, but still more passive than a call. It’s more likely than an email to be opened, too: more people are comfortable with an overflowing email inbox than a message inbox.

Hang on, did Google just get social nuance?

So, if you opened up text as a channel of communications for your business, what have you got to gain? When you think about it, an automated text takes fewer resources (time included) than a call, so it’s quite cost-effective. Texting, not calling, enables your multi-task mode: it means that you could be inquiring about new carpet whilst vacuuming your current shagpile. It means you as a business could be doing your actual work rather than answering enquiries… Even if you don’t want to automate services, you can at least reply to a text while you’re in a meeting, or in your water-cooler moments.

So, is the humble text message your next sales guy? With Google’s friendly support, a few Dando tweaks around your PPC ads, and the rise of chatbots, there’s no reason it can’t be. We know how ironic this is, but if you’re looking for more info, please email us. Like Google, we’re still testing this one.