Skip to main content

WhatsApp Marketing: Send Marketing Messages With WhatsApp

Looking to create a WhatsApp marketing strategy? This guide breaks down how to reach existing and potential customers with WhatsApp messages.

Businesses have lots of options when it comes to leveraging technology and social apps to promote their brand. Take social media for example. One of the many reasons social media marketing works so well is because many companies’ target markets already exist there. If an ad pops up on their feed, customers are more likely to make a purchase from that company.

Like social media, WhatsApp Messenger is an app that people use to talk to anyone from friends to colleagues to relatives. Unlike some messaging apps that only work on specific devices, WhatsApp supports global, cross-platform access—and you don’t even need a WiFi connection.

The popular WhatsApp messaging app then introduced WhatsApp Business in 2018. Just like how social media marketing campaigns leverage existing users on social media, WhatsApp marketing allows enterprises to connect with new and existing customers who already use the app.

In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of choosing WhatsApp marketing for your next campaign as well as some strategies that can help you make the most out of your marketing efforts.

What is WhatsApp marketing?

WhatsApp Business is designed specifically for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to interact with their customer base. With a WhatsApp Business profile, you can schedule automated messages, respond to customer support messages, and send a variety of unique messages to your customers.

The purpose of a WhatsApp marketing strategy is to use text messages to reach your audience directly. This will eventually help you build closer relationships with your customers by streamlining the shopping experience and providing personalized conversations that fit their needs.

The legality of WhatsApp marketing

With any kind of text message marketing, you’re legally obligated to ask for and gain permission from each user before you send them promotional messages. If you don’t, your business could get into legal trouble.

The same applies to WhatsApp messages: You need to gain explicit consent from users before sending them any marketing messages. Also, make sure that when you obtain each user’s consent, you let them customize their message preferences and give them the option to opt out at any time.

WhatsApp Business account features for marketing campaigns

You may be wondering what makes WhatsApp marketing different from traditional SMS marketing. While the principles are the same—they both use text-message-based marketing tactics—WhatsApp has quite a lot more features than SMS. We’ve covered SMS marketing in another article, so here we’ll outline some of the beneficial features you can only get with WhatsApp.

Send messages from your WhatsApp business profile

Have you ever received a promotional text message from an unknown number? Once you read the text, you can see who—or what company—it’s from, but just looking at the number alone, it’s almost impossible to tell.

Luckily, with WhatsApp, that’s not an issue. WhatsApp allows you to create a business account and broadcast messages from your company’s official profile.

This creates more transparency with your customers because they’ll always know that your messages come directly from you. This can also make it easy for your customers to spot phishing scams where hackers would pose as your company and trick your customers into clicking a suspicious link.

Deliver unique and personalized marketing messages

With traditional SMS marketing, you’re limited to only a few characters per promotional text. Also, you’re only allowed to send a message with text and maybe an image.

WhatsApp lets you send not only images but also audio recordings, documents, and videos to promote your products or services. Moreover, you aren’t limited to approximately 160 characters—you can send texts of any length (but keep it within reason, of course).

When customers receive your personalized WhatsApp message, they can engage with it either by watching your video, clicking a WhatsApp link, or filling out a form—all directly on the app. If your message is well crafted and compelling enough, it will drive high user engagement. In turn, this will help you develop better relationships with your customer base—whether they’re new or returning buyers.

Automate messages, alerts, and reminders

Another benefit of WhatsApp marketing is the ability to use chatbots and send automated messages, alerts, and other reminders. This could be alerting a customer when their order is out for delivery, notifying them if they still have items in their shopping cart, or informing them how soon they can connect with Customer Support.

Not only can having an automated messaging system benefit your customers, but it can also help reduce your own team’s efforts. Instead of tracking and managing every single message you have with every customer, WhatsApp lets you create preset responses and send automated reminders without the need for a live agent.

Overall, these automated alerts can help improve communication and customer engagement with your WhatsApp profile.

Provide customer support

Most SMS marketing texts work one way—you send a text to a user and they receive it—meaning that your users can’t send texts back. If your customers have an issue, they can’t solve it with an SMS text chain.

WhatsApp lets customers ask you questions directly on the app, which means they don’t need to take the extra step of contacting Customer Support on your website or over the phone. By providing customer support in-app, you can provide assistance to your customers in a timely manner. The app will even let you provide customer support via chatbot, and if a customer needs more help, it’ll send them a link to your company’s knowledge base or alert your team that they need a live agent.

Why growing businesses need WhatsApp business API

If you have a small business with a short list of customer contacts, a regular WhatsApp Business account will suffice. However, if you’re a growing business—or you’re expecting to grow soon—it might be best to look into using WhatsApp Business API.

An application programming interface (API) allows software programs to send data to each other, allowing for integrations and shared data between applications. When put into context, a business API with WhatsApp will allow you to send more data (i.e., messages) to your end users (i.e., customers).

Most elements of WhatsApp Business API include the previously mentioned features, such as using a chatbot, sending automated messages, sending various media and clickable messages, and providing direct customer support. However, not all of these features come with a regular WhatsApp Business account. So, let’s go over the most common differences between WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API.

Here are the specs of having a WhatsApp Business account:

  • Cost: Free
  • Messaging limit: Up to 256 people
  • Customer contact: You can only broadcast to customers who have added you as a contact in the app.
  • Chatbots: No access
  • Automated messages: No access
  • Clickable messages: No access

These are the specs with WhatsApp Business API:

  • Cost: Approximately $0.025 per each 24-hr conversation
  • Messaging limit: Unlimited
  • Customer contact: You can broadcast to anyone who has given consent to receiving messages.
  • Chatbots: Included access
  • Automated messages: Included access
  • Clickable messages: Included access

In conclusion, for small business owners who do not want or need to provide extra support through chatbots or automation, a free WhatsApp Business account will be enough. However, for medium and large businesses that are interested in engaging more directly with their target audience, having WhatsApp Business API will likely be a better choice.

Five WhatsApp marketing strategies

WhatsApp marketing strategies can take many forms, and the possibilities only increase if you decide to use an API. Of course, there are no proven WhatsApp marketing strategies that will work for every business. However, most companies who invest in an API should be able to use the following WhatsApp marketing examples as part of their campaigns.

Use click to WhatsApp ads to gain broadcast lists

WhatsApp has a strict anti-ad policy, meaning there are only 2 circumstances where businesses are allowed to send messages to customers within their target audience:

  1. A customer starts a conversation by messaging your company.
  2. Your customer has your company’s number in their contact list.

If you’re not sure how to start a WhatsApp conversation or gain a customer contact, try using click to WhatsApp ads.

First, you’ll need to set up an ad campaign on Facebook or Instagram. Then, once someone clicks on your ad, their WhatsApp app will open and a new conversation will start—that’s it! You’ve gained their name and phone number and now you can add them to your broadcast list of customers.

Send automated promotional messages

Once you’ve got a list of all your customers, it’s time to broadcast your first message. This could be an automated message with a chatbot that welcomes your customers and directs them wherever they’d like to go as soon as they enter that conversation. You could also opt to include something your customers might value, such as a link to a giveaway, promotional code, or an exclusive product drop.

Overall, by providing a welcoming environment or incentivizing their first interactions, you will make your customers feel more appreciated and more likely to interact with your company via WhatsApp.

Promote special codes via WhatsApp status

WhatsApp statuses are very similar to Instagram stories in that they can feature pictures, videos, or other multimedia from your profile. On your WhatsApp status, you can also promote special offers or sales that are only accessible to WhatsApp users.

Even more, you can allow customer contacts to react to your WhatsApp status by sending you a direct message. Just remember that with most social media stories, WhatsApp statuses disappear after 24 hours.

Create personalized messages beyond text

As mentioned with WhatsApp Business API, you can use more than just text to create personalized messages. Take advantage of your ability to send longer texts with emojis as well as videos, pictures, or clickable documents. This will allow you to not only keep customers engaged with tailored, entertaining content, but they’ll also start to feel more inclined to read each message you send them.

Also, keep in mind the fact that you have access to your customer’s contacts, meaning you’ll be able to send personalized messages that align with their needs and experiences. Whether it’s your customer’s birthday or you want to include their name in a special offer, creating custom messages is a great way to keep your customers engaged.

Boost engagement with helpful customer support

Providing great customer support is essential for ensuring customers keep coming back. In fact, 89% of customers will make another purchase if they have a positive experience with your Customer Support team. Luckily, WhatsApp allows your business to provide customer support 24/7, but without having to be on call 24/7.

All you need to do is set up a chatbot and train it to answer typical customer service queries, such as questions related to order updates, sales dates, or promotional code reminders. The chatbot can help you cover about a third of your customer support questions, saving more intricate questions for live agents.

Improve your marketing efforts with a WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp marketing can be a very effective tool when you start building your company’s marketing and advertising campaigns. Whether you’ve got a small, medium, or large business, WhatsApp can help you build relationships and deliver valuable content to your customers across the globe.

Share This Article