From TikTok to Facebook to Twitter, chances are you’re already marketing your brand on one of these platforms. But what if you could tap into an entirely different platform with over 2 billion monthly active users? You guessed it, we’re talking about WhatsApp.
Promoting your brand on WhatsApp is one of the most underrated marketing channels out there, but it’s definitely not as straightforward as marketing on most social media platforms.
So what are the requirements, effectiveness, and methods you can use to get more customers and drive sales through WhatsApp?
Read on to find out!
The short answer is a resounding yes. The way customers connect with businesses continues to evolve as technology advances and internet habits change.
Just like how TikTok is emerging as the preferred search engine among Gen Z youth instead of Google, WhatsApp is quickly becoming a runner-up against traditional marketing channels like email and SMS.
So without further ado, here are some top reasons that make WhatsApp an incredible marketing tool for brands.
The average open rate for email marketing across all industries was reported to be 22.33% in 2022. While SMS messages average an impressive 90% open rate, it’s impossible to measure which of those have been read and which get opened to be instantly deleted.
Similarly, WhatsApp messages also enjoy an open rate averaging above 90%, and with the right tools, businesses can track a series of metrics similar to email analytics to gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns. Essentially, WhatsApp combines the best of both worlds by integrating aspects of both email and SMS marketing.
WhatsApp allows businesses to leverage conversational texting and potentially outperform their competition by providing a better customer experience. By interacting with prospects and buyers through personalized direct communication, brands are able to quickly provide answers and bring solutions to the table in a way not possible through email or SMS.
Live chatting, chatbots, automated messages, and readily available FAQ responses are just a handful of ways brands can quickly interact with their customers. A 2021 consumer preference survey shows that 83% of consumers would browse or buy products in messaging conversations, and 86% are more likely to do business with a company that interacts with them in a personalized way.
If you have an official business account (OBA) with WhatsApp Business API, your company will be given a green badge verification by Meta to confirm the authenticity of your brand. With 7 out of 10 customers buying more from brands they trust and abandoning those they don’t, the esteemed green checkmark is a great way to make you stand out and boost credibility.
But the green tick badge is more than just a verification icon. It allows you to view the names of contacts, even for prospects that haven’t added your number to their contact list. This small but significant detail allows businesses to incorporate the names of customers into their promotions and as a result, is a great way to add personalization and drive sales.
We’ve covered some of the benefits of including WhatsApp in your marketing strategy, but there are three types of WhatsApp versions, so which one should you choose? To reach the maximum potential WhatsApp marketing has to offer, you’ll need to have a WhatsApp Business API account.
However, here’s a rundown of the key highlights and downsides of each WhatsApp version.
The WhatsApp app is the regular app most people use for personal use and is where most of your customers will receive your promotional messages. It can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
When it comes to marketing, the normal WhatsApp app is not a viable option for these main reasons:
Often confused with WhatsApp Business API, the WhatsApp Business app is a suitable solution for small or local businesses that want to showcase their products on WhatsApp and handle inbound messages.
The key highlights of broadcast lists are:
The primary disadvantages of the WhatsApp Business app are:
While there is no general rule for broadcasts, it’s recommended to broadcast one list at a time with reasonable breaks in between.
WhatsApp Business API is by far the best solution for medium to large enterprises interested in launching large-scale messaging campaigns. The main advantages of using the official API to send bulk messages are:
These are a handful of the top highlights of using WhatsApp Business API for marketing, but it’s not without its share of disadvantages, such as:
Setting up WhatsApp Business API is more challenging and costly when compared to a free option like the WhatsApp Business app. On the upside, it’s an excellent solution for businesses looking to scale in countries where WhatsApp has a high market penetration.
Now that we got the basics out of the way, here’s a look at the best WhatsApp marketing strategies in action.
In order to message contacts or send out promotions they’ll need to have contacted you first or have opted into receiving your messages beforehand. Luckily, there are many ways to collect customer details or make it easy for them to contact you.
Here are some key lead-generating methods to try out:
To offer a personalized experience and run the right promotions to the right audience, it’s crucial that you segment your list. Selling to a new customer involves a different approach than selling to a longtime one. Without segmenting your list, you can’t make that distinction and you’ll lose a lot of revenue as a result.
Examples of some default tags are:
Tagging hundreds of contacts may seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry! Zoko allows you to easily tag contacts and broadcast messages by tags. You can now effortlessly segment your list and target the right audience with highly-personalized and relevant promotions.
In 2021, Meta essentially turned WhatsApp into an eCommerce platform by allowing online shoppers to view product catalogs and directly add items to cart without ever leaving the WhatsApp chat page.
This phenomenal feature allows businesses to simplify the buyer’s journey and drive sales a lot faster. There are a few steps you’ll need to take to benefit from this feature, primarily:
From shipping status updates to abandoned cart reminders, there are all kinds of messages a business will regularly send to customers and potential buyers. The most common ones are:
And many more. You can benefit from a library of templates that will help you craft the right message for the occasion while inserting the relevant datasets specific to each customer. You can also easily create your own template message and expect it to be approved within 24 hours (and often in less than an hour).
Broadcasts are the bread and butter of WhatsApp Business API and are what allow you to truly leverage its wide reach. By broadcasting messages based on tags, you can target repeat customers with upsells, cross-sell relevant products, or send limited promotions to potential buyers.
Starting out, there are tiers for how many messages you can broadcast daily. The four tiers are:
Using Zoko, you can track your current messaging tier and account health status.
You automatically upgrade to the next tier if your quality rating is not low (your messages are not regularly being reported as spam) and if you are sending messages to a number of users that is twice or more than your current messaging limit within a 7-day period.
For example, to upgrade from Tier 1 (which has a limit of 1000 messages within a rolling 24-hour window) you will need to send 2000 or more messages to unique contacts within the span of 7 days.
Along with the abovementioned personalized templates and messaging features, here are some ways you can take your customer service to the next level:
Around 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience, and WhatsApp helps businesses do just that. Pairing a customer service team with WhatsApp API’s robust set of tools will quickly help you stand out from your competition.
Email marketing would be nowhere near as effective without the valuable insights marketers gather from email analytics. The same can be said for WhatsApp Business API, as brands can track important metrics such as:
Performing A/B tests and monitoring results will help you optimize your campaigns and simplify your decision-making process much like in email marketing. The ability to measure your outcomes so precisely is a main reason behind what makes WhatsApp API so powerful. And while you might be able to get strong results with an email marketing agency at a cost, WhatsApp marketing is a more affordable growth channel even for smaller eCommerce shops.
There’s no doubt behind the power, potential, and reach that the WhatsApp API platform offers, but is it the right choice for your business? The answer depends on several factors, mainly:
If you tick three out of four of the above, then it’s worth pursuing the green tick badge that WhatsApp API offers for your brand and reaping its benefits.
Zoko is an official WhatsApp API Business Solutions Partner that can help you get approved for a WhatsApp API account, offer support every step of the way, and provide you with all the tools to pivot your brand. Click here to learn more!