25 January 2023
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps, with more than 2 billion monthly users worldwide. But WhatsApp isn’t just being used to connect with friends and family. According to our 2022 Digital Shopping Habits survey, consumers are increasingly looking to connect with businesses over the messaging platform too, with 82% of people across the globe open to communicating with their favourite brands over WhatsApp.
And we’re talking marketing as well as customer service. In fact, 81% of global consumers would consider purchasing from a business as a result of a marketing message received via WhatsApp.
So, how can businesses successfully incorporate and use WhatsApp as part of their marketing strategy?
The do’s and don’ts of using WhatsApp to boost your marketing and sales efforts
Today’s customers are looking for high quality interactions with businesses. They not only want businesses to listen and respond to their needs, but they also want to feel special. So, personalise your messages, whether that’s addressing customers by their first name or tailoring offers to their individual needs, browsing and purchase history.
Tip: You can also send personalised messages in bulk, as well as individually. In these cases, keep your personalisation tactic simple – such as addressing by first name. For a highly personalised message, we’d recommend creating them individually.
2. Have an opt-in and opt-out strategy
Meta’s opt-in policy states that businesses must obtain opt-in permission from a user before they can send communications. Whether that’s via SMS or a form on your website, your opt-in must clearly state that the user is opting in to receive messages from your business via WhatsApp.
Similarly, you should also have a clear opt-out policy so customers can easily opt out of receiving messages, whether it’s some of them or all.
Read more about WhatsApp opt ins and outs here.
3. Engage in conversations
Create a personalised experience your customers will remember when you engage in two-way conversations. This will help build trust and develop deeper relationships as your customers can interact with you in the same way they do with their friends and family.
Learn more about the benefits of a conversational experience here.
4. Have an omnichannel strategy
Maximise your marketing and sales efforts when you use WhatsApp Business Platform alongside your existing channels. For example, if you have an upcoming seasonal sale, you can notify customers via email, SMS and WhatsApp. You can even combine it with your offline channels, such as in-store signage.
This can help you expand your reach, increasing the chances of you connecting with the prospects who you might not make contact with otherwise.
Tip: Tailor your message sends (e.g. the time and frequency of sending) as per the channel. As channels like SMS and WhatsApp are more personal than email, avoid sending notifications at inappropriate hours or too frequently.
5. Send too many messages
While a channel like WhatsApp can help you connect with customers where they’re most likely found, be wary of spamming them. In our 2022 Digital Shopping Habits survey, while 54% of global consumers said they’d be happy to be contacted via a messaging channel up to twice a week, only 19% being happy with a message once a day.
Additionally, sending too many messages can impact your business’s WhatsApp quality rating. This rating indicates that consumers aren’t happy.
Try to send messages via WhatsApp 1-2 times a week and prioritise what you choose to send. For example, appointment reminders, delivery updates and key marketing/promotional activities are ideal for WhatsApp. But a daily or even weekly content round-up might be better off as an email (unless customers opt in to receive this).
6. Reach out when customers don’t want to be contacted
In addition to opt-in preferences, keep factors like working hours and time zones in mind. Your customers won’t appreciate being woken up at 3AM for a reminder about an upcoming flash sale.
There are also countries which prohibit the sending of messages between certain hours – such as Saudi Arabia where promotional messages can only be sent between 8AM and 9PM. Be aware of this to avoid any unwelcome legal ramifications.
7. Treat WhatsApp like a traditional marketing/sales platform
For many marketers, email is a staple marketing and sales channel. Segment your audience, send personalised messages, promote your latest products and sales en masse and more. WhatsApp can do all of that too, but with some additional benefits:
- Access to rich features – such as quick/suggested replies, buttons, calendar events and locations
- The ability for customers to reply – so in other words, you can have two-way conversations
- Gives an element of power back to customers – as customers can start conversations too, it gives them a chance to approach businesses (in addition to businesses approaching customers)
Use that to your advantage and have richer engagements with customers. It’s the world’s most popular messaging platform – use it to help customers see your brand as a close friend, not just another business.
Use WhatsApp to create a memorable customer experience
At the beginning of this blog post, we mentioned two statistics from our Digital Shopping Habits survey:
- 82% of global respondents would consider contacting their favourite brands via the likes of WhatsApp
- 81% are open to purchasing a product as a result of a marketing message received via WhatsApp.
Statistics like that show the potential WhatsApp Business Platform offers when it comes to improving customer engagement. Use that to your advantage by:
- Personalising your messages
- Prioritising what you choose to push out via WhatsApp
- Engaging in rich, two-way conversations
- Incorporating WhatsApp alongside your existing channels
To learn more about WhatsApp Business Platform and how it can benefit your business, download our ultimate guide below.