Google has released a feature combining search advertising on AdWords with coupons and discount offers. Originally in beta, marketers expect a full rollout by the end of the month.
The AdWords extension serves daily deals under the ad as a clickable, coupon, rebate or discount to any standard Google paid-search ad. The feature, part of the Enhanced Campaigns tool rolled out last week, is intended to drive additional attention to the search ad.
When someone clicks on the ad they are directed to a landing page to print out a coupon or offer they can take to a physical location for in-store redemption. It’s not clear whether the tool allows consumers to save the coupon to Google Wallet to provide proof of the coupon.
Larry Kim, WordStream founder and CTO, said the tools enables advertisers to track the click to the sales, allowing local businesses to connect the dots between online marketing and in-store purchases. “It’s a better deal than Groupon, which requires between 50% and 90% discounted pricing, then takes 50% of that for themselves,” he said.
Kim said the Offer Extensions click cost remains the same price, whether a user clicks the offer extension link or the ad text link. The cost per click remains the same. The ad extension also can appear on mobile devices.
The AdWords feature offers potential, such as tying the coupon to grocery or clothing store loyalty cards or credit cards. The consumer could click on an ad, add their frequent buyer number, and the discount would apply at checkout in the store or online.
This isn’t Google’s first foray into coupons. Aside from Google Offers, Kim counts two other attempts such as Google Wallet.
As with Offers and Wallet, Kim expects Google to roll out the feature to support local deals in Google Maps, making it available to millions of marketers by providing it as a free service.
Separately, Google has sold the German Daily Deal site back to the co-founders; it was bought in 2011.