New Contact Form Extensions Beta from Google – Super Cool

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Google is going extension crazy here lately with the release of site links, then location extensions, and now contact form extensions!

I got an email from my Google rep asking if I wanted to participate in a new beta from Google called, ‘contact form extensions’.

The gist of the beta is if you’re running a PPC ad in Google, and you’re in the top position, you can click on a plus sign next to a call to action (the name you give your contact form) and Google will drop down your contact form to be submitted right there in the Google search results.

According to Google, the rules for the contact form extension are as follows:

  1. Only the position #1 will be available for the drop down contact form
  2. Leads will be priced with your maximum cost-per-click bid during the beta test.
  3. Google will be collecting the phone number and name from your contact form
  4. You can provide Google with up to 3 custom questions they’ll include in your contact form in addition to basic information like name, address, phone, etc.
  5. Google will show ‘some’ or ‘all’ of your custom questions based on a ‘quality algorithm in which they did not mention the details of.
  6. Here’s the kicker, at the current moment, they’ll only take phone leads, so you must provide a contact phone number in your form in order for people to call in and ‘hopefully’ become a lead.  In the future they do plan to provide leads through email or live chat.

How it all works:

When someone does a search in Google, and if your PPC ad is in position #1, the user will have the ability to click on the plus sign icon to drop down your contact form. If the user fills out the form by hitting the ‘please give me a call’ button that lead will be submitted to Google.

Once Google receives your lead, they’ll send you an email with the lead ID and information requested by the user.

However, you can’t contact the user yet, you have to call a special Google phone number and provide it with a lead ID, which will then re-route you to your potential customer.

If you get to sign up for the beta, or when it comes out of beta, Google will provide you with a list of questions you can put in your contact form, and Google essentially builds the contact form for you.

Some participation guidelines are of course recommended:

  • You must contact your potential lead within 24 business hours.
  • Only US based phones numbers are accepted so your campaigns should only be targeting the United States.
  • Submission forms should be submitted by January 18th, 2010. Late submissions are not guaranteed to be active in the first round of the beta.
  • You can opt out at any time.
  • There may be hiccups since it is a beta.
  • Your account manager will give you reporting on your contact form extensions on a monthly basis.
  • Provide Google with feedback!

So there it is, I’m super excited to be a part of the beta for some of my accounts. I really, really hope to see some good results from this. Of course I have to put this all in perspective as your ad has to be in the #1 position in Google in order to even show the contact form extension.

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  • http://mattdunlap.org Matt Dunlap

    interesting… but not sure it’s going to work in the current “beta” state. I don’t think I would submit a form directly from an ad… I would want to go to the website first.

    I do think that this can really change some industries for lead generation like real estate, and attorneys

  • http://www.compucall-usa.com naomi

    Can you basically call it pay per action?
    This is a real innovative feature.

    • http://www.ppchero.com Amber

      Kind of, but you’re not setting up a different amount to be charged for forms submitted, you’ll be charged on your max CPC like you would if they simply clicked on your ad.

  • http://diginomarketing.com Cormac

    I don’t see any logic in this at all.

    This technique is taking the conversion AWAY from the landing page which is pretty much the bread of butter objective of all PPC campaigns.

    Sure, people will fill out the form but will they convert better by NOT visiting your landing page?

    I doubt it.

    I actually can’t think of a single practical use for this ad where using the PPC contact form would be better for both the user and the website owner than using the website.

    • http://www.ppchero.com Amber

      when someone submits the form, they’ll be expecting a sales associate to call them back. Sometimes, talking to an actual sales associate can convert more people than a landing page alone. It could go either way though, that’s why it’s in beta.

  • http://mattdunlap.org Matt Dunlap

    @amber – Less people will use it, but it have a better conversion rate

  • Josh

    I’m sure getting people to bid more aggressively for top position in no way factored into Google’s decision to roll this feature out.

    IMO, this feature isn’t very useful for most industries, but will increase click costs in every industry as DIY PPC managers that don’t know any better will crank up their bids to capitalize on this “innovation”.

  • http://searchmarketingwisdom.com Alan Bleiweiss

    Amber,

    When you call in with the special ID, and get “re-routed” is that a re-route to the customer without being given the prospect’s actual phone number? Or are you just given that phone number? I would shutter to think how completely convoluted and extra-stepish this whole thing could become if that’s the case.

    Complete insanity as far as I’m concerned. For anyone other than Google, that is.

  • http://cci-telemarketing.com Gene Gerwin

    If this feature will be optional for the #1 placed ad, it will be interesting to see what percentage of advertisers will enable it- especially if they’re overbidding to stay #1 since this would force them to pay the maximum bid.

  • http://www.b2bclients.com Bases de Datos

    a logical step, first from impressions to clicks, now from clicks to lead generation

  • Rick

    What’s the current status of this beta program? Curious to know what Google’s position is on the beta.

    Thanks,

  • http://www.sbmteam.com George Bounacos

    I think it’s probably fun to play with.  If conversion rate is increased, I’m for it.  I have no idea how a Google Haiku ad outperforms a well-done landing page, but wouldn’t that be weird if it did?   Kind of takes one of the Quality Score issues & throws it right out the window, right?

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