WhatsApp changed the game with the launch of WhatsApp Business – giving marketers the opportunity to connect to a generation of instant messengers.
Here’s what you need to know to prime your WhatsApp marketing strategy for success.
Why use WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp is so much more than a messaging app thanks to its rich media sharing options, wide global adoption and security. Businesses can use the popular chat app to interact with customers and enhance engagement while decreasing ad and service costs.
With a wide range of use cases for marketing, businesses can use one channel to build conversational customer journeys that leave consumers satisfied.
The chat app is a game changer for any marketing communication strategy and will boost satisfaction and conversions.
WhatsApp marketing statistics
- The world’s most popular chat app: WhatsApp was declared the world’s most used chat app in 2020 with over 2 billion users and 100 billion messages sent per day.
- Demographics: Used by customers of all ages, mostly by users aged 26-35, WhatsApp gives you the ability to reach varying demographics and audiences on a single channel
- Businesses: WhatsApp Business now has over 50 million users. It has become a useful tool for businesses to connect to their customers and create conversational experiences.
- Usage: 50% (or 1 billion) users access the app daily, and check the app up to 23 times a day. This means your marketing campaigns can get the visibility you are looking for.
- Globality: Used in over 180 countries, WhatsApp can give your business the reach it needs to connect with customers worldwide.
- Languages: WhatsApp has 40 languages available on iPhone and 60 on Android, so businesses can connect with customers in their preferred language making interactions more meaningful.
Benefits of WhatsApp marketing
1. Reach and convenience
Sending campaigns over email has businesses risking becoming disconnected from their customers. According to WhatsApp, 30% of marketers send 3-5 emails per week. Customers are bombarded with promotional emails which leads to low open rates for marketing emails and low engagement.
WhatsApp is the world’s most popular chat app with over 2 billion users. It gives brands the visibility and reach they need to see success in their marketing KPIs. With a 95% open rate, sending marketing messages over WhatsApp ensures you can connect with customers and scale your messages as you grow.
2. A private and secure platform
WhatsApp has established itself as a trusted platform that encrypts messages and doesn’t share information with third parties. Unlike other apps, it isn’t laden with ads, meaning customers look to it as a safe and private place to communicate regularly.
What’s more, customers feel secure with blocking options on WhatsApp that gives them the power to control who sends them messages and what they see. WhatsApp also takes action to remove low-quality message templates to ensure users are receiving the best interactions possible.
Notably, WhatsApp Business requires a business to verify each account, so customers can be assured that they are in contact with a verified company.
3. Build creative engagement
Tools can be used to organize, automate, and respond faster to messages or queries. An ideal way to capture customer attention is through different types of media. When sending messages, there are a wealth of options that enable businesses to send original and varying types of content via messaging, from videos and photos to PDFs, gifs, and voice recordings.
QR codes are a good example. By adding one to printed promo materials, customers can easily scan them to be directed to an immediate instant message exchange with a business via the WhatsApp platform.
4. Real-time customer service and support
It’s never been more important for businesses to make themselves available and accessible for customers to contact them in a comfortable and familiar way. WhatsApp Business messaging ticks all the boxes. It offers ubiquitous messaging that’s quick, efficient, and reliable on the world’s most popular channel.
With WhatsApp, alerts and updates can be received in real-time. Most importantly, any urgent questions can be answered in a timely and direct fashion, with no middleman slowing down the process.
5. A highly engaging digital channel
WhatsApp Business messaging enables businesses to collect and analyze valuable consumer data. Its features allow businesses to:
- Ask direct questions to their customers and gauge preferences
- Send quick surveys and polls to get a better understanding of the demand for products, items, service levels, and more
- Respond to individual queries in a more personal way
6. A personal and trusted channel
Using WhatsApp allows businesses to get more personal and authentic with messaging. WhatsApp can be used to send personalized promotions, updates, and more from a profile that is branded in line with your company’s guidelines.
Customers can also see when a business’ profile has been “confirmed” – this is similar to Twitter’s blue tick – essentially providing a business with credibility and the customer with a sense of security.
7. Supports automation and FAQ
WhatsApp Business enables businesses to deliver faster customer service. When customers opt-in, businesses can directly contact users on their phones. This is significant when considering that 56% of people would rather contact customer services via messaging rather than over the phone.
The “quick replies” function on WhatsApp Business allows businesses to store and reuse useful and frequently sent messages to speed up the customer service process.
This is convenient for so many industries and their specific customer needs when it comes to instant responses. Consider the need for reactive responses to flight times, delivery and booking confirmations, and bank transactions. Its more efficient to build a response from a template rather than from scratch every time.
Brands can also use automation by setting up “away” messages during slow periods when it’s not possible to answer. This way, customers feel informed; they know when to expect a response, and as a business it provides the chance to keep the customer satisfied.
8. Reach all demographics
Customers are more likely to contact and interact with brands who are using their preferred platform. Although WhatsApp is mostly used by younger age groups, the functionality of the app makes it accessible to a wide age range.
Companies are fighting for customers’ attention – and businesses who can’t keep up risk being ignored. WhatsApp gives customers an instant and interactive platform to actively engage with businesses in real-time.
Generation Z were brought up relying on technology, and as customers they expect personalized communication from brands – especially online and via mobile. When used well, WhatsApp enables companies to execute this kind of service perfectly. As a result, customer voices are easily heard.
9. Unlock valuable customer insight
With the help of People CDP, you can measure when customers are most likely to open their messages from your brand. Based on collected data on past behavior, you can schedule your messages to ensure they are being sent at the perfect moment and will get the best visibility.
Companies can also measure “messages seen” and status delivery, in order to implement and optimize for future conversations.
Features like “labels” allow a business to distinguish and categorize contacts and various chat conversations in one place. Using an omnichannel customer engagement solution, you can broadcast messages to be sent to anyone tagged with that label. Overall, this can improve deliverability, reliability, and even help expand reach.
WhatsApp marketing strategies
So, you’re ready to start building your marketing strategy on WhatsApp? Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Goal setting
Take a look at your current marketing strategy and funnel and determine where you can improve. Perhaps you struggle with lead generation, or your customer engagement is low leading to fewer conversions.
Outline measurable KPIs that will help you track your progress once you implement WhatsApp into your strategy. This could include conversion rate, cost per conversion, or click rates on campaigns. Having clear and measurable marketing goals will help you understand how to use WhatsApp in order to improve your marketing strategy.
2. Define your target audience and build personas
Understanding your customers is essential for marketing campaigns to see success. Take time to determine who you are targeting, what their needs are and how your product or service can help them meet those needs.
A customer data platform will help you collect data on customers and store it in one place. Then you can create detailed customer profiles that will help you determine what personas you are targeting and how to effectively communicate with them.
3. Define brand persona
People use WhatsApp to connect with friends and family and have personal conversations. When using the chat app, it’s important that your brand carries a human-to-human connection with the customer. To successfully do this, you must create a brand persona that shines through your interactions with customers.
Use company values to develop a brand image that you want your customers to perceive. This will add value to your conversations with them, as customers do not want to have robotic conversations with a brand over their favorite chat app.
4. Create workflows
Now that you understand your goals, audience and your brand you can create workflows to execute your marketing strategy.
On an omnichannel customer engagement solution such as Moments, you can customize campaigns, who they are sent to and when to make sure your customers receive relevant messages from you. Workflows help you make the most of every interaction by ensuring that the right content is sent to the right people.
WhatsApp marketing best practices
Here are tried and true practices that will help businesses reach their marketing goals with WhatsApp:
Use multiple entry points
Be where your customers are by advertising on Facebook and Instagram with ads that click to WhatsApp. Give them the opportunity to open a conversation with you, opt into receiving relevant messaging and begin engagement at the top of the funnel.
Alternatively, you can design a lead generation chatbot to collect new leads and to answer burning FAQs. QR codes that scan to WhatsApp are another great way for customers to gain access to a conversation with you.
Utilize a variety of message types
WhatsApp offers a wide range of message types to enrich the conversational experience you offer. Choose from list messages for booking appointments or displaying past orders, CTA buttons for easy replies, maps for location services and other rich media to add value to your interactions.
Build a WhatsApp chatbot
Use an automated chatbot over WhatsApp to connect with customers. Your chatbot should reflect your brand persona through its messaging style and image. It is an ideal way to carry out your marketing campaigns and continue the conversation with customers. The chatbots can answer questions about products or services and lighten the load of support agents. Our CX team will help you design the perfect chatbot for your business and help make adjustments along the way to offer the best conversational experience to your customers.
Businesses must receive opt-in permission from customers before sending business-initiated messages on WhatsApp. Creating opt-in flows ensures that the messages your customers receive are what they are looking for and expecting. This helps keep your conversations relevant and keeps your customers safe from being overwhelmed with marketing messages.
Easily transfer to customer service
WhatsApp is not only ideal for marketing, but for customer service and sales as well. When customers have more in-depth questions about your products or services, the chatbot can seamlessly transfer them to an agent, who carries on the conversation in the same chat. This makes the transition from marketing to customer support or sales as easy as possible.
Event triggered notifications or campaigns
When creating workflows, use event or behavior triggered messaging to reach your customers at the right time. If a customer’s favorite item is out of stock and they abandon their cart, send them similar products that are relevant to them over WhatsApp to encourage a sale. Or send deals or promotions on special dates such as anniversaries or birthdays.
WhatsApp marketing examples
WhatsApp Business Platform can be used in any industry. The use cases are easily adjustable to the needs of your business and your customers.
Take a glance at a few examples of WhatsApp marketing for industry specific needs:
Retail and eCommerce
- Send promotional messages for new products: based on customer interests you can send targeted messages for new products, with full disruptions for customers to browse within the chat
- Back-in-stock messages: instantly send back-in-stock messages for your customers favorite products along with CTA buttons for reserving or purchasing the products in WhatsApp.
- Loyalty promotions: launch loyalty campaigns with special contracts or plans for loyal customers.
- Phone recommendations: When a customer’s contract is almost up or they haven’t purchased a phone in some time, send them a list of phones that fit their needs within WhatsApp. The customer can browse product details and ask to be transferred to an agent for more information.
Banking and finance
- Lead generation chatbot: use a self-service chatbot that can help customers navigate the discovery stage of their journey. The WhatsApp chatbot can answer questions about accounts, plans and send educational videos and materials to help with converting the lead.
- Time-sensitive promotions: send customers campaigns with time-sensitive promotions for better interest rates or collecting loyalty points. On WhatsApp, your campaigns have the best visibility, so they are sure to be seen and acted on quickly when sent to the right audience.
Kick-start your WhatsApp marketing strategy
WhatsApp Business messaging is a powerful and wide-reaching communication platform that can help you create meaningful connections with your customers. That’s why a WhatsApp marketing strategy is a key part of your marketing arsenal, supporting your customer experience goals and helping to add value at critical moments in the customer journey.This post was last modified on August 3, 2022 and originally published on October 9, 2019.
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