Google’s newest offering is changing the online deal space, as we know it. In late February, Google introduced new “Offer Extensions” in AdWords. As an advertiser, you now have the ability to include a special deal or offer within your enhanced campaigns that gives potential customers more of an incentive to click-through. Including an offer means more real estate for your ad, and a better change to grab the attention of an online shopper. And the best part of it all: you don’t have to pay more per click.
When users click on your ads that include Offer Extensions, they will be redirected to a landing page where they can purchase your special offer and get a detailed explanation of how to print and redeem it at your storefront or on your site in the future. You’re much more likely to see customer follow-through if they purchase the deal up front, which hopefully means additional sales for you when they do choose to make the actual redemption. This means that online activity is now directly effecting how your customers behave offline, by enticing them to visit your storefront. Presenting these offers online also helps play into brand recall and recognition, so you may see new customers come along, who didn’t necessarily follow through when they saw your offer the first time around, or when these new customers share information about your business by word of mouth.
Online marketing professionals are comparing this development to the kinds of deals offered on sites like LivingSocial or Groupon. The difference here however, is that you are able to target potential customers who already have a need for your good or service based on their search queries. This can be a more effective approach rather than depending on customers who are just exploring your business on a whim. Research has shown that many of these customers are just looking for an initial bargain, and unfortunately are less likely to become return customers.
Another advantage of using Offer Extensions is the cutting out of the middleman. Because advertisers can now create and distribute these offers on their own rather than using an outside deal site, they no longer have to worry about paying out these distributors or giving away their services to customers who may have no real need for them. In other words: Groupon, watch your back!
Setting up Offer Extensions is an easy process, and the offers can be managed at the campaign or ad group level. Start by building an enhanced campaign. Once you have successfully created the campaign, you will need to click the “Ad Extensions” menu and then select “Offer Extensions”. Here you will be able to enter your headlines that will appear in the ad copy and the necessary fine print, things like redemption dates, legal details and more. Make sure that your ads are consistent with your terms and conditions.
When entering this data, remember that you want to make these offers valuable for your potential customer. A great bargain means more follow through for you, and the offers you present online should be exclusive for these customers. You’ll also want to distinguish a separation between the ad and your offer, so that it’s eye catching when people are browsing the web.
Remember where and how you set these offers to appear. If you apply the deals at the campaign level, you’ll want to make sure that your offer is applicable to any ad that may appear as a result of a search query within that campaign. You should follow the same guidelines for Offer Extensions applied to ad groups to ensure that you get as many clicks as possible.
Only time will tell whether these new offer developments will reign supreme over the existing deal sites in the market. However they may be at risk considering that advertisers now have a direct opportunity to give their customers a deal that can’t be refused.