WhatsApp as a marketing channel

Modified on Thu, 06 Jun 2024 at 09:41 PM

WhatsApp is one of the best platforms that a brand can leverage to engage customers globally and as a consequence boost conversions, irrespective of its business domain or sphere of commercial activity, be it tourism, hospitality, clothing, entertainment, banking, education etc. 

This is because, currently WhatsApp is being used by over 2.44 billion people worldwide who on an average spend approximately 19 hours per month using the application. This very fact makes the WhatsApp platform a powerful means of advertising for any brand, since by utilizing this channel to communicate with prospective customers, organizations can enhance the probability of receiving instant responses to their marketing campaigns, elicit prompt feedback from clients, provide ad-hoc customer support, broadcast promotions, dispatch strategically timed notifications and reminders, all of which in turn directly impacts the conversion rate and as a result helps organizations boost revenue.

Nowadays, people receive a plethora of promotional messages and intimations from almost every single company they purchased products from in the past, especially via long-established communication channels such as email and phone. So, it is quite natural for people to get exasperated when they find their email inbox inundated with advertisements or when they receive recurring phone calls from a multitude of brands. Such an occurrence might in turn cause potential customers to ignore the mailed promotional notifications or remain inaccessible over phone calls. In such situations, channels such as WhatsApp and SMS prove to be beneficial and come in handy in motivating prospective customers to finalize purchases.

NotifyVisitors provides you with the flexibility to incorporate multiple channels including WhatsApp and SMS within your workflows in order to decrease the likelihood of your messages being overlooked, notifications being ignored and campaigns going unnoticed. In this article we delineate how you can begin using WhatsApp as a channel to dispatch promotional notifications and automated campaigns.

Before you begin

Prior to leveraging the WhatsApp channel to engage your customers, you need to take into account the following information:

  • You need to purchase an adequate amount of WhatsApp credits in order to dispatch WhatsApp campaigns.
  • You can dispatch messages via the WhatsApp channel to all those customers who have subscribed to receive notifications through this particular channel. The subscription statuses of each of the channels are managed separately.
  • The WhatsApp channel can be incorporated within automated journeys and can also be utilized to dispatch individual campaigns.

Garner subscriptions for the WhatsApp channel

Over 60% of the people surveyed believe that they would utilize messaging to consummate purchases for years to come. That being stated, the WhatsApp channel is quite a powerful means of advertising for any brand since nowadays most people live a busy life, are constantly on the move, have minimal time to check promotional emails or attend advertisement-based phone calls from various brands. That’s why, these days, people prefer to be notified quickly and briefly about products in which they had expressed interest to purchase, through messaging. 

Moreover, the WhatsApp channel enables customers to promptly and readily contact their favorite brands and thereby receive instant responses to their queries. Likewise, via leveraging WhatsApp as an advertising channel, organizations can enhance the probability of obtaining instantaneous responses & feedback to their marketing campaigns, which in turn directly impacts the conversion rate.

However, it is imperative to procure explicit consent from your existing customers & your prospective clients prior to dispatching notifications through the WhatsApp channel. There exist a few ways to acquire your customers’ permission to receive messages via this specific channel. NotifyVisitors enables you to collect WhatsApp channel opt-ins via the undermentioned ways:

Sign-up forms

One straightforward and effective way to obtain your customers’ consent to dispatch marketing campaigns via the WhatsApp channel is by utilizing sign-up forms. Through a sign-up form, you can divulge what type of notifications customers will receive in the future, provide incentives, and even start off a conversation by adding a WhatsApp message to the welcome sequence.

Since, such lead forms enable you to conveniently capture permission-based personal data & contact information such as name, email address, phone number, country of residence etc. of your current and potential customers, you can also employ them to gain explicit consent to dispatch advertisements, discount offers, promotional messages etc. via the WhatsApp channel in the near future.

You can do so by incorporating a checkbox along with a piece of text such as 'I would like to receive notifications through WhatsApp to the mobile number provided', within your sign-up forms.

Import WhatsApp subscribers via a CSV file

You can upload a separate CSV file to your NotifyVisitors account, that lists all those customers who have opted-in to receive promotions via the WhatsApp channel. Once you upload the CSV file, our software will automatically create a distinct segment of those specific customers, and you can thereby target and dispatch your WhatsApp marketing campaigns exclusively to them.

WhatsApp credits

Irrespective of the plan you purchase, you will receive 1000 WhatsApp service conversations. However, once the available WhatsApp credits expire, you will have to buy additional or replenish your WhatsApp credits in order to resume advertising via the WhatsApp channel. 

The total number of messages that can be dispatched with a single WhatsApp credit depends on the recipient’s country of residence. You can check the details or status of the purchased WhatsApp credits in the billing section of our software. 

Note

In case you have employed your own WhatsApp vendor, then regardless of your chosen plan type, you can dispatch WhatsApp campaigns through our software while availing the services of that particular vendor. Kindly click here or refer to our article titled 'NotifyVisitors billing plans', to learn about pricing for each of the paid plans in detail.

Setting up WhatsApp as a marketing channel in NotifyVisitors

  • Your organization will have to create a WhatsApp Business Account in order to use the WhatsApp Business Platform to communicate directly with customers via this particular channel. Additionally, an organization needs to associate an official phone number with its Business Account. Subsequently, you will have to connect with our team to get your Business Account verified.
  • In case you wish to employ your own WhatsApp service provider to dispatch campaigns, then you will have to set up the same from within the NotifyVisitors panel. 
  • Furthermore, prior to dispatching any WhatsApp campaigns, you will  have to create custom WhatsApp templates and subsequently get them whitelisted or verified by Meta through your service provider. You will be able to use only the verified WhatsApp templates to dispatch your WhatsApp campaigns.

Implementation of WhatsApp as a marketing channel via NotifyVisitors

As of September 2021, Meta has allowed businesses to utilize WhatsApp as a marketing channel to dispatch advertisements and promotions. Since WhatsApp messages have a high open rate, sending bulk notifications via this channel is a smart way to reach a wide range of audience and thereby boost sales. NotifyVisitors allows you to leverage the WhatsApp channel in the undermentioned modes:

WhatsApp Broadcast Campaigns

NotifyVisitors enables you to broadcast promotional WhatsApp messages in bulk to all of your customers by means of creating WhatsApp campaigns. We offer you the flexibility to design your WhatsApp campaigns as per your organization’s communication style and marketing requirements. You can customize text, include emojis, and even add CTA links or buttons in order to swiftly & conveniently redirect customers to a desired URL such as their abandoned cart. 

However, in order to dispatch your customized WhatsApp messages, you need to first save them as templates and subsequently get those specific templates whitelisted or verified by Meta through your WhatsApp service provider. 

Equipped with such customizations, you can create personalized messages with bespoke content that effectively engage and rivet the attention of your current & prospective clients. Since a WhatsApp message is usually succinct, you can jump straight to the point and promote new products via cross-selling & up-selling, notify customers about season specific sales, timely inform about available discounts, provide ad-hoc customer support and much more. 

Segmentation-based Campaigns

NotifyVisitors enables you to broadcast your WhatsApp campaigns to a specific segment of your customer base or a particular audience group that is more likely to purchase a specific category of products and services offered by your organization. In other words, we enable you to target your campaigns, fashioned specifically to advertise & promote certain products, to a relevant section of your customer base.

Organizations don’t usually manufacture a single product, but might mass produce a variety of products. For instance, Apple Inc. manufactures and sells laptops, tablets, smartphones etc. Furthermore, an organization's entire customer base might not be interested in a singular product but in a variety of products offered by the brand. Additionally, each existing and potential customer would be unique in the sense that he/she might desire to purchase a different combination of products offered by the brand.

Likewise, businesses aim to dispatch only relevant and appropriate notifications to each customer, intimating exclusively about those specific products in which he/she expressed interest. This is because irrelevant notifications can be perceived as a dedicated effort by the organization to promote and sell its products.

It is primarily for this reason that NotifyVisitors provides you with the flexibility to create segments based on demographics, product preferences etc. and to design your WhatsApp campaigns in a manner that they resonate with the specific requirements of the niche audience. To learn more about segmentation-based campaigns and germane product notifications, kindly have a look at the following articles:

How to create a segment.

Populate products from events.

Journey-based Campaigns

NotifyVisitors enables you to dispatch automated WhatsApp campaigns by means of incorporating them in preconfigured, condition-based or segment-based journeys. In other words, we enable you to automatically dispatch WhatsApp campaigns based on predefined/preprogrammed conditions and events such as order confirmation, cart abandonment etc.

Within journeys, in addition to WhatsApp, you have the flexibility to incorporate other channels such as email, SMS, web push, app push etc. to effectively engage your customers. Such a practice of incorporating multiple channels within workflows, significantly enhances the probability of notifications getting viewed and read at the receiver’s end.

Whenever a specific event is performed by a visitor on your organization’s official website or on your brand’s official app then a particular predesigned workflow gets automatically triggered, begins its execution and consequently dispatches the incorporated WhatsApp campaigns in a precisely timed manner. Such workflows can also be designed to commence execution whenever a visitor/customer/subscriber enters or exits a conditionally predefined segment. To learn more about journey-based campaigns, kindly read our article titled:

How to create a journey.

Best practices

In order to design and dispatch WhatsApp campaigns that actually convert mere visitors into paying customers, we recommend you to adopt the following best practices:

  • Start your message by stating your brand’s name
    Including your brand’s logo and mentioning your brand’s name at the very beginning of your message, not only helps recipients to recognize your brand right away, but also enables them to have a better memory or recollection of your brand.
  • Commence the initial conversation via a transactional text
    In case you have never sent a WhatsApp campaign to a customer before, then do not dispatch a promotional WhatsApp message straight away even if you have the permission to do so. Introduce your customer to WhatsApp messaging via an opt-in or a transactional notification prior to advertising additional products manufactured by your brand.
  • Be mindful of geography and timing
    Since your organization might have customers from all around the world, you need to make sure that you dispatch messages at the time when they are most likely to be viewed. Prepare segments of your user list based upon country codes and consequently schedule your WhatsApp messages in a timely manner, so as to increase the likelihood of them being read at the receivers’ end.
  • Blend various channels into a single workflow
    In addition to WhatsApp, incorporate other channels such as email, web push, SMS, app push etc. within your journeys, since such a practice significantly decreases the probability of messages getting overlooked at the receivers’ end.
  • Personalize the message content
    Creating bespoke content for your WhatsApp campaigns will inevitably enhance engagement since personalized campaigns with relevant product notifications tend to appeal to the customers more than the standardized or generalized ones. 
  • Obtain explicit consent to dispatch promotions
    Your customers must be aware beforehand about the type of notifications they would receive via the WhatsApp channel from your brand and you must ensure that you have obtained their approval to dispatch the same kinds of notifications in the near future. 

For instance, in case your customers accede to receive notifications pertaining to shipping confirmation, then you do not have the right to dispatch promotional notifications.

  • Simplify the unsubscription process
    You should allow recipients to unsubscribe at any point in time, since repeatedly dispatching notifications to those people who do not wish to receive messages from your organization might probably irk them and eventually cause them to report to a concerned authority, which in turn could tarnish your brand’s reputation. So, as a best practice, simplify the unsubscription process by providing an opt-out link or by intimating receivers beforehand about an unsubscribe keyword such as 'STOP'.
  • Keep your messages concise and avoid over-sending
    While advertising via the WhatsApp channel you should keep your messages short and concise, since it is highly unlikely that your recipients would want to read a long WhatsApp message on a pocket-sized screen. In case you wish to dispatch a lengthy message, then choose an alternative communication channel such as email. 

Additionally, each WhatsApp message you send will 'ping' the recipient and if the message is short, the likelihood is high that it will be read instantly. However, if you dispatch multiple WhatsApp messages back to back then such a practice would potentially annoy receivers and might cause them to unsubscribe from receiving further notifications.

Note

You should also include opt-out instructions to enable your customers to conveniently unsubscribe at any time.

FAQ

  1. What will happen in case the phone number to which I dispatch a WhatsApp message is invalid?
  1. In case the phone number to which a WhatsApp campaign is dispatched doesn’t exist, then our software will automatically invalidate or unsubscribe that particular phone number.
  1. Why isn’t the sender’s name getting displayed at the receiver’s end?
  1. In case your WhatsApp service provider has got your WhatsApp business account verified by Meta, then your brand’s name will get displayed at the receiver’s end, otherwise it won’t get displayed.
  1. Which phone number will be shown to the receiver in case the sender’s name can’t be displayed?
  1. In case the sender’s name can’t be displayed due to country-based restrictions, then one of our pre-selected phone numbers will be shown to the receiver customer.
  1. Via which all platforms can the phone numbers be synced?
  1. In addition to syncing phone numbers for WhatsApp marketing by means of uploading CSV files and via signup forms, we also identify, filter, register and map phone numbers synced through Shopify, of all those customers who subscribed to receive notifications through the WhatsApp channel.
  1. Do you track click/read rates for the dispatched WhatsApp campaigns?
  1. Yes, we track click/read rate of the dispatched WhatsApp campaigns and you can verify or check the same in the WhatsApp campaign analytics reports.
  1. How should I ask my current subscribers to provide their phone numbers?
  1. You can target your current subscribers via a landing page which in turn incorporates a phone number input field or acquire phone numbers along with consent to conduct WhatsApp marketing, through signup forms.
  1. Will my customers be able to respond to the dispatched WhatsApp campaigns?
  1. In case your customers respond back to the dispatched campaigns, then they would receive an automated WhatsApp message, requesting them to contact your organization via an alternative channel such as email.
  1. Why are my contacts unsubscribed to WhatsApp?
  1. In order to start receiving WhatsApp messages from your brand, customers are required to provide their explicit consent to receive advertisements and promotional notifications through the WhatsApp channel.

Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons
CAPTCHA verification is required.

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article