WhatsApp has over 2 billion active monthly users, making it the ultimate marketing tool for business of all sizes. But how can companies connect with their customers at scale and increase sales and engagement? That’s where bulk messaging comes in, but not without rules and restrictions.
Meta (the owner of WhatsApp) has strict rules in place when it comes to combating spam and sending multiple messages. Luckily, there are safe and perfectly legal solutions that can be used to launch large scale WhatsApp messaging campaigns similar to email marketing.
In this article, we’ll cover the different versions of WhatsApp that you can use to send bulk messages, their daily limits, and the free and paid tools available to get the job done. Let’s get started!
It’s important to note here that there are three main versions of WhatsApp:
The regular WhatsApp has the most message limitations, allowing only up to five messages to be forwarded at a time. Scratching it off our list, we’ll be focusing more on the pros and cons of using unofficial tools, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp API for bulk messaging.
Many browser extensions and downloadable programs can be linked to the normal WhatsApp app or WhatsApp Business app to send bulk messages. The advantages of these solutions are:
But from the above advantages arises the main disadvantage of using unofficial tools which is:
Some unofficial tools can send tens of thousands of messages a day. Getting banned is not guaranteed, especially if you are sending out content that users expect and have already opted in for, but the overall risks should be considered carefully.
Sending messages in bulk through WhatsApp Business can be done through the broadcast list feature. The key highlights of broadcast lists are:
Unlimited Broadcast lists of 256 contacts is no small number and a viable option for small to medium-sized enterprises. But the main setbacks tied to the WhatsApp Business App are:
To make sure messages get delivered, it’s recommended to broadcast one list at a time with reasonable breaks in between.
By far the best solution for medium to large enterprises interested in launching large-scale messaging campaigns is WhatsApp API. The main advantages to using official APIs to send bulk messages are:
These are just some of the main highlights of WhatsApp API when it comes to bulk messaging. Listing the disadvantages:
Setting up WhatsApp API is more challenging and costly when compared to a free option like the WhatsApp Business app, but it is an excellent solution for businesses looking to scale in countries where WhatsApp has a high market penetration.
But before going all in, let’s take a quick look at how bulk messaging works with WhatsApp API.
Meta has laid out clear policies regarding bulk messaging through WhatsApp API. The rules are similar to email marketing where businesses need to get permission i.e. an ‘opt-in’ from consumers before sending them promotional emails.
As stated by Meta, you can get consumers to opt-in to receive your messages through various methods such as:
And just like how email newsletters are required to have an ‘unsubscribe’ button visible, opting out of receiving messages should also be clear and intuitive to your customers.
But how exactly will Meta enforce these rules?
Since they can’t really know if your customers have opted to receive messages, Meta relies on metrics such as the rate your messages get blocked, flagged as spam, or reported to evaluate your phone number quality rating. If this data starts showing red, your opt-in flows and messages will be reviewed and Meta will decide if there is a reason to impose a rate limit or not.
The best part is your WhatsApp API dashboard keeps you in the know with all the above data such as:
Since message templates are pre-approved, it’s difficult to step out of line with your campaigns and Meta won’t ban your number like it would with a WhatsApp Business app account.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of bulk messaging with WhatsApp, let’s check out the top services and tools that get it done efficiently.
Platform: WhatsApp API
Zoko combines sales, marketing, customer support, and WhatsApp communication all under one central hub.
But what does the bulk messaging look like? The Zoko Broadcasting feature includes real-time insights and conversion tracking for each broadcast to help you know:
Broadcasts also include financial metrics such as estimated revenue, estimated max cost, and minimum ROI. With Zoko, data is real-time and can change with every page refresh. As you send Broadcasts you can easily check your account health and status through the Zoko Dashboard.
Platform: WhatsApp API
Wati is a BSP and WhatsApp marketing tool with a range of features such as a no-code chatbot builder, shared team inbox, and more. Wati also offers integrations with major CRM platforms like HubSpot, Shopify, and Zoho.
Wati includes a Bulk WhatsApp Sender with business templates and customized interactive messages. Through the dashboard, users can keep track of broadcast results like delivered and read rates.
Their service includes a plugin that allows bulk messaging through a Google Sheet which can be useful if contact lists are compiled in Google Sheets.
Platform: WhatsApp API
DelightChat is a WhatsApp marketing software service that offers a diverse set of tools for eCommerce businesses.
Using the official WhatsApp API, DelightChat allows businesses to send personalized WhatsApp broadcast messages for abandoned cart recovery, notifying customers on orders placed, and more.
Highlights from the platform include:
DelightChat offers signing up for free and scheduling a live demo to learn more about the platform.
Platform: Desktop-based program
Sendwo is a PC desktop-based application that can be linked to your WhatsApp account. It allows users to send bulk customized messages that can be personalized with the names of contacts. The program can be downloaded for free but will need to be upgraded to unlock its main features.
Key features include scheduled sending, number filters, logs, and multimedia support. Their latest importing functionality provides up to 15 custom fields when sending customized messages.
WAAM-it Sender is a web-based WhatsApp marketing tool that was built through WhatsApp API.
With the use of a spreadsheet, WAAM-it Blaster allows users to send personalized messages that include emojis and attach file types like pictures and videos.
They used to have a free version for their app but have since implemented a one-time payment option for each plan. Their bulk messaging tool includes setting time delays between messages, generating broadcast reports, and a customizable sender ID.
Pricing: Free Demo and Paid
Whatso is a popular WhatsApp bulk messaging software with over 25,000 users worldwide. The free demo version allows users to send 5 WhatsApp messages at a time. Upgrading to pro will give users the ability to send 10,000 messages a day and likewise import the same number of contacts.
Additional features include customizable sender ID, multi-language support, and fast message delivery.
Pricing: Free and Paid
What-Sender is a simple and inexpensive way to send bulk WhatsApp messages at scale. Through a Chrome extension, users can send 20–40 messages a day for free or upgrade to send more.
Contacts can be imported through CSV and TXT files or pasted in. The extension is easy to use with an intuitive user interface and includes advanced features such as multi-account use, multimedia support in messages, and creating message variations to avoid spam.
Pricing: Free Trial and Paid
Platform: WhatsApp API
Interakt is a WhatsApp BSP that offers official API tools at a competitive price point. Its range of features include:
The platform streamlines sales through WhatsApp by allowing users to send enticing offers to customers in bulk and simplifies customer interaction with chatbots and automatic messages. Both their Starter and Growth Plan options come at an agreeable price for API solutions.
Pricing: Free and Paid
WASender is a Chrome extension with over 70,000 users that automates a natural human-like pattern for sending messages. Messages are not sent in bulk like in broadcasts but in a step-by-step pattern to stay within limits and not raise suspicions.
The free version has no messaging limitations and allows contact lists to be uploaded through Excel. The Pro version comes with more advanced features such as a chatbot on WhatsApp Web, setting time gaps between messages, sending attachments, and downloadable message status reports.
Pricing: from $8 per month.
Platform: WhatsApp Business API
SendPulse is a marketing automation platform and an official WhatsApp Business solution provider. The service helps business owners create a chatbot for WhatsApp and send promotional messages to customers via the WhatsApp messenger.
Recently, SendPulse added a ChatGPT integration and now users can power their WhatsApp chatbot with GPT-3 language model.
With SendPulse business owners can combine their WhatsApp chatbot with other marketing channels like marketing emails, SMS notifications, minimalistic landing pages and CRM.
Bulk messaging on WhatsApp can be an incredible time saver that builds brands, drives sales, and increases customer interaction. The key is knowing what are the best practices and partnering with the right solutions provider. When looking to send WhatsApp messages at scale, keep in mind: