If you want to leverage a platform of over 2 billion active users that few brands consider, then WhatsApp is exactly what you need. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, or email marketing, WhatsApp is a unique marketing channel that will instantly make your brand stand out, but only if you know how to use it.
And no, we’re not talking about the popular WhatsApp Business App. There are even better ways to take advantage of WhatsApp’s reach with tools designed to scale your brand.
Read on to learn the best way to market your brand on WhatsApp with minimal to no limitations (and without breaking any guidelines either!), along with the tools you can use to drive sales.
It’s important to know just how effective WhatsApp marketing is, especially when compared with email or sms marketing. Here are just a few statistics on how effective WhatsApp marketing can be.
That’s right, the majority of received WhatsApp messages get opened. This is understandable, considering that WhatsApp is mostly used for personal communication, making it far more likely that users will open a received message.
In comparison, email marketing averages an open rate of around 22% across all industries. You may wonder, is sending promotional messages to people over WhatsApp similar to spamming them over email?
Not at all, as we’ll cover in more detail below. WhatsApp has tight limits to prevent spam but simultaneously offers businesses a legal and effective way to promote products on its platform.
Boasting over 2 billion active monthly users, WhatsApp is by far the world’s most popular mobile messenger app. Next in line is the popular Chinese app WeChat, with 1.2 billion active users. Thanks to its widespread global use, WhatsApp has the highest market penetration across most continents with the only major exception being China.
Of course, that doesn’t mean businesses can buy a contact list and start marketing. But as we outline in this guide, there are certain ways to generate WhatsApp leads that will allow you to build a long list of contacts much like an email list. Since WhatsApp has such a wide user base, there’s a high chance your target audience uses WhatsApp, making it easier to win them over as prospects.
Whether you’re marketing to Gen Z’ers, millennials, or senior citizens, WhatsApp is widely used across all marketable age groups. According to Statistica, the age groups that use WhatsApp in the US by percentage are:
The age group of your target audience is a major factor in how promotions are crafted. Being able to target multiple age groups or segment your contact list similar to email list segmentation is one major advantage of marketing on WhatsApp.
Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, offers three versions of the popular messaging app, them being:
The normal WhatsApp app has the most limitations, and any product marketing done through it will likely result in a ban. That leaves the WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business API on the table.
Which one is best for marketing your business? It largely depends on the size of your company and the level of reach you’re looking for. Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of each.
The WhatsApp Business app is used by over 5 million businesses and is a great way for brands to promote products and provide great customer service. The pros of using WhatsApp Business are:
When it comes to cons, the primary ones are:
WhatsApp Business is a great option for millions of businesses worldwide, but when it comes to scaling your eCommerce brand, its broadcast limitations and lack of analytics make it an unsuitable tool.
Without a doubt, WhatsApp Business API stands as the best solution for scaling eCommerce brands, and for good reason. It offers a wide range of tools such as broadcasting to thousands of users, segmenting customers, personalization, and analytics, to name a few.
The key pros of WhatsApp Business API are:
These are the main highlights of WhatsApp Business API, but like all tools, it does have disadvantages, such as:
WhatsApp Business API is a heavy-duty tool created for medium to large enterprises looking to send messages in bulk and at scale. It’s a perfect fit for eCommerce brands with a well-established user base that wants to promote, update, or use conversational marketing with their customers.
Now that we know WhatsApp Business API is the best WhatsApp marketing solution to scale your eCommerce brand, here is a step-by-step guide on how you can harness its true power with Zoko.
Meta does not set clear guidelines on receiving consent from prospects before messaging them. Anything from verbal consent to submitting contact information can be considered a form of permission.
Here are some ideas on how you can generate leads and drive traffic to your WhatsApp storefront:
Building your contact list for WhatsApp marketing is similar to building one for email marketing. Many of the same rules and tactics apply, but with WhatsApp, you guarantee a much higher open and engagement rate.
Segmentation means segmenting your contact list based on certain criteria. In email marketing, segmentation led to a 50% higher clickthrough rate, so it’s likely to be even more effective with WhatsApp marketing.
Whether it’s location, age, repeat customer, or new customer, segmentation allows businesses to target prospects with more personalized offers and as a result, easily boost revenue.
As you drive leads to your WhatsApp number or build a contact list, make sure you segment it based on sales criteria relevant to your eCommerce business. Putting them in the right basket will help you tailor your promotions into personalized, targeted campaigns.
Sending a promotion to customers located in a certain town? Or perhaps you want to update a customer with shipment details. Whatever the case, tags will help you personalize your messages by allowing you to input key details into each one.
Some common types of tags are:
As you customize your message templates, you can include these tags to automatically pull relevant data from lists or other sources to automatically plug them in. If your list includes customer names, then you can send messages that include every customer’s name. If a customer buys a certain type of product, you can automate a response that thanks them for buying that specific one with a preset tag.
Zoko also allows you to easily tag contacts and broadcast messages by tags. Once you start incorporating tags into your messages, you’ll quickly realize they are an indispensable tool.
Before you can broadcast messages, they must be pre-approved by WhatsApp. Zoko offers a library of templates that you can use for various occasions. These templates can be customized with tags and set to be sent depending on the trigger event.
Some common examples of these templates are:
Using Flows you can set triggers for each event to automate your customer outreach, much like how major eCommerce brands do with email or SMS.
One of the primary advantages of using WhatsApp Business API is the ability to send bulk messages to thousands and potentially hundreds of thousands of contacts depending on your messaging tier. Four messaging tiers determine how many daily messages you can send:
You can automatically upgrade to the next tier if two conditions are met:
You can track your account health through the Zoko dashboard. If there are any issues, WhatsApp may put limitations on your sending capacity but will not ban your account.
In addition to automated greetings, Zoko allows you to integrate chatbots and create quick replies to streamline customer communication. As an eCommerce brand, it’s common to receive the same set of questions from customers.
Instead of typing out the same reply every time or directing customers to an FAQ, you can use a Quick Reply to quickly answer a customer. Customer agents can also be assigned a set of quick replies for their area of operations.
Likewise, a chatbot can be integrated with your WhatsApp API to set up a messaging workflow for specific message types. Triggers, first-time messages, closing chats, FAQ recommendations, and many more tasks can be completed with the use of a chatbot to save you time and boost efficiency.
Many companies today compete based on customer support alone, and with WhatsApp API’s robust set of customer service tools, you can easily outdo your competition in this regard. Here are just a handful of ways to stand out with your customer service:
Over 90% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service, meaning this is where you can truly stand out from the crowd. Automating your messages with flows and triggers will help give you and your team more time to provide an excellent customer experience.
As the saying goes, what is not measured, cannot be improved. As you run your campaigns, it’s key that you track your analytics and draw the right conclusions from your outcomes. If you have a high deliverability and open rate but little engagement, perhaps your sales copy needs changing, or you’re targeting the wrong audience.
Analytics also extend to your customer service team, with chat overview and activity metrics such as:
And many more detailed metrics to track how efficiently customer messages are being addressed. Staying on top of your analytics will quickly help you scale your campaigns and make the right steps going forward.
It’s true that WhatsApp is not widely known as a marketing platform, but many major brands have begun to embrace its effectiveness and use it for promotional campaigns. Here are some examples that highlight the creative ways WhatsApp can be leveraged.
NIVEA Switzerland used WhatsApp to send users a heartwarming video on Mother’s Day with quotes customers can use to send to their mothers. A chatbot was created for the campaign that would reply to user prompts with more information.
Users would send the prompt “menu,” and a list would be provided if they wanted a video, picture, or quote for their mother. Depending on what users specified, the chatbot would provide what was chosen from the menu.
The campaign generated over 10,000 chat interactions, and the brand grew both in sales and awareness thanks to the campaign.
Born Primitive faced an issue when marketing to their customers over email. Their messages were not reaching customer inboxes, with just 1 in 20 emails being opened.
Using Zoko’s broadcasting feature, they got rapid results with their outreach campaign. Customers were interacting with the brand, and open rates rose to an impressive 95%.
The goal of the campaign was to boost site traffic, and the brand was able to quickly see a 20% increase in web traffic. What would have taken many months to achieve through normal SEO was reached in a relatively short amount of time without social media paid ads.
Adidas cleverly used Twitter to kick off its WhatsApp campaign, and was a great way to drive leads to WhatsApp to start a conversation. The goal of the campaign was to promote its new Predator20 line and revolved around sending out a substitute soccer player to official UK teams when they needed one.
When teams contacted Adidas needing a substitute player for an upcoming match, they promised an “unfair” player would be sent out.
To the surprise of many, world professional players were sent in full Predator20 gear. The campaign drew plenty of media attention and became a wide success.
The highlight of this campaign was how Adidas promoted its WhatsApp number through Twitter. Similar tactics can be emulated through Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms to drive users into starting a conversation with your brand on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is a powerful marketing tool that relatively few eCommerce brands leverage to their advantage. The ways you can get creative with marketing on WhatsApp are nearly endless, as it combines the best of email, social media, and SMS marketing.
Here are some key points to know when thinking about marketing on WhatsApp:
If you’re looking to get approved for a WhatsApp API account, Zoko is an official WhatsApp API Business Solutions Partner that can help you every step of the way and provide you with all the tools you need to pivot your eCommerce brand. Click here to learn more!