Get Texts from Prospects with AdWords Click-to-Text

Get Texts from Prospects with AdWords Click-to-Text


In a day and age where people increasingly rely on text messaging to communicate, it’s important to think of ways to integrate texting as a touch-point in your recruitment process.

Google AdWords recently moved click-to-text message extensions out of beta, allowing you to connect with prospective students who may not want to speak over the phone. AdWords click-to-message extensions are designed to connect interested users (your prospects) with advertisers (your program or institution) through SMS, directly from the pay-per-click ad.

Click-to-text message extensions present a unique opportunity for colleges and universities to connect with prospective students. Students can now reach out using their preferred method of communication when they’re ready to engage.



What are the requirements?

Advertisers looking to implement message extensions must have a phone number that can receive, process and send text messages. The message extensions can only be shown to individuals with mobile phones that can send and receive text messages.

How to set up message extensions

At the campaign or ad group level, you will want to go to the ‘Ad Extensions’ tab at the top and select ‘View: Message Extensions.’


After selecting ‘New message extension, you’ll be prompted to fill in the fields below:


The extension text has a 35-character limit and will be shown as part of the ad on the SERP. The message has a 100-character limit and populates after the user selects the extension, making it quick and easy for the individual to begin the conversation.

You will want to create different message extensions at the campaign or ad group level. This will give you control over the extension being served based on the target audience you are trying to reach.

Message extensions should be clear and relevant to the theme of the campaign or ad group. Extensions created around the theme of the campaign or ad group are more likely to convert than catch-all extensions.

AdWords makes it easy to schedule your message extensions by date range, day of the week or by hour of day by expanding the ‘Advanced’ section when setting up the message extension.


Schedule message extensions at times your team is available to respond to any texts received. This will deliver an immediate response for inquiries and ensures that your brand is top of mind when connecting with prospects.

Want more best practices on digital advertising for recruitment? Learn more about the new CTA for higher ed.

Aaron Schrock
Aaron Schrock
February 7, 2017