Everyone’s saying it; you gotta start marketing your business on WhatsApp. But of course, you’re wondering why… and more importantly, how. Well, you’re in luck. We’re answering all your WhatsApp marketing questions right here!
Why should you use WhatsApp for marketing?
Let’s put it this way: If your target audience enjoys watching basketball, would you run ads on a channel that’s broadcasting a golf tournament? Wouldn’t you rather try running ads during an NBA game?
It’s the same concept. Your audience prefers using WhatsApp. There’s around 2 billion people using WhatsApp in 180 countries and the average user opens WhatsApp 23 times a day.
Now add the very overt notifications that your customers will get when you shoot them a WhatsApp message and you’ve definitely got a winner.
What are the benefits of marketing on WhatsApp?
1. Stronger relationships with customers
Think of it this way, do you email your friends or do you prefer sending them a quick WhatsApp message? Sending an email just feels too formal, it feels rigid. Sending a WhatsApp message would have a different effect though.
Subconsciously, your customers are thinking, “I chat with people whom I like and feel comfortable with on WhatsApp. And I’m chatting with XYZ Company on WhatsApp… Hmm, maybe I do like XYZ business and feel comfortable with them.”
They’re essentially rationalizing their actions by doing this, but that works in your favor. Combine this with the fact that interactions over WhatsApp are immediate, without either party needing to wait for replies… now you have the makings for a stronger relationship with your customers.
In fact, in a Facebook study, more than 66% of participants felt that messaging a business made them more confident in the brand and upwards of 55% of the participants said that it made them feel more connected to the brand.
2. Higher conversion rates
Texting your customers on WhatsApp increases their chances of seeing your marketing message, as opposed to other channels like email. Now, if your message is relevant to them, you’ve got a really high chance of them taking action on it and making a purchase.
In fact, sending texting your prospects after initial contact could raise your conversion rate by up to 112.6%.
3. High engagement rate
WhatsApp messages have a very high engagement rate. Around 80% of WhatsApp messages are opened within 5 minutes of being received. The average person opens WhatsApp 23 times a day, and the average open rate for a WhatsApp message is 98%… good luck achieving that with an email.
4. Lower Customer Acquisition Cost
WhatsApp allows you to acquire more customers at a lower price than most other channels. Especially because of the higher engagement and conversion rates, you get to reach and convert more prospects, thus reducing your average customer acquisition cost.
5. Privacy and security
Since WhatsApp chats are encrypted from end to end, your customers won’t have to worry too much about their privacy. The other benefit is that WhatsApp requires businesses to verify their accounts. This means that your customers won’t have to worry about ending up conversing with someone who is about to scam them, they know that they are in contact with your official account.
6. Allows you to showcase your brand personality
Email marketing can be boring at times. As I mentioned before, the channel just feels formal… sometimes your brand personality just doesn’t shine through there. But on WhatsApp, your customers are already in a somewhat informal zone, this allows you to put your brand personality on full display and make your customers feel better about it.
Now, you can come across as a brand that your customers can relate to in a better manner.
What should you do before kicking off your WhatsApp marketing campaign?
1.Define your goals
Figure out what your marketing objectives are. This is will allow you to focus on activities that actually drive the right results for your business. Decide which business goals you want to chase with WhatsApp marketing. Pick KPIs that will help you understand how you’re faring with regard to the goals and objectives that you selected.
You can’t start your WhatsApp marketing campaign without deciding what your goals are. You’d just end up scrambling around blind.
2. Determine your target audience
Decide which buyer personas you’re targeting your marketing efforts towards and what target audience you want to go after.
You’ll have to ask yourself what kinds of people use your products, what value they seek from it, and what outcomes they want to achieve by using them. You’ll have to do actual research here instead of relying on guesses. Speak to your customers, interview them, and conduct surveys.
You’ll want to get your actual customers’ opinions here.
3. Design a brand persona
Now after you figure out who your customers are, give your brand a personality that they could relate with. Sure, you should be using a WhatsApp chatbot to engage with your customers, but that doesn’t mean they should feel like they’re talking to a robot.
Your brand’s personality in your marketing messages sets the stage for the future of your relationship with your customers. If you have a dull, drab personality on WhatsApp, your customers will feel like your team is lazy, would not be there for them after they make a purchase, and would not provide good customer service. You need to show that your team is proactive, vibrant, and will be there to provide amazing customer service, on WhatsApp.
4. Create a contact list
You’ll need a contact list to drive a marketing campaign on WhatsApp, but buying one is a horrible idea. You’d want to build one yourself by getting people to subscribe. Use a form that allows your customers to pick which channels they want to receive messages over so that you can reach them across WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, etc., and create an omnichannel marketing strategy.
5. Get the WhatsApp Business API
The WhatsApp Business API allows you to do much more than you could do with the normal WhatsApp app or even the WhatsApp business app. It allows you to use automation, send reach customers more than 24 hours after their last interaction with you, and even send messages with buttons in them.
The fastest way to get access to the WhatsApp Business API? Go to the Engati portal and select 360Dialog as your WhatsApp provider.
Select 360Dialog as your WhatsApp provider on Engati
6. Craft your communication
Make sure that your messages are appropriate for the channel. Don’t make them sound too formal. And you definitely don’t want to send enormous messages. Break them down into smaller ones that your prospects can actually digest.
You can even start building your chatbot flows at this point.
Quick tip:Here’s an article on building effective chatbot flows.
How can you drive marketing campaigns on WhatsApp?
With WhatsApp chatbots, you can drive personalized recommendations to your customers at scale. You could even use your WhatsApp bot to drive content recommendations, based on individual user preferences. In fact, even Netflix sends its subscribers personalized content recommendations via a WhatsApp chatbot.
2. Cross-selling and upselling
WhatsApp chats allow you to create cross-selling and upselling opportunities, helping you get more from your customers and increase your customer lifetime value. You’ll find a lot of these opportunities during your customer service conversations, especially because they flow better and faster on WhatsApp than on other channels like email.
3. Lead generation
You can even use a WhatsApp chatbot to collect more leads. Your customers can use them to book appointments, make reservations, get quotes, and do much more. You can even qualify your leads on WhatsApp instead of just generating them. Your chatbot or live agents could ask your customers qualifying questions and score the leads based on their answers
With the WhatsApp Business API, you can use message templates to broadcast messages to your customers, even if they haven’t interacted with you on WhatsApp in the past 24 hours.
You could use it to send announcements, either to all your customers or to segment your user list and target them with relevant campaigns.
5. Permission marketing
WhatsApp Marketing could very well be the gold standard for permission marketing.
Your bot cannot send messages to anyone who hasn’t opted into them. Additionally, WhatsApp bots can only send messages to WhatsApp users who have chatted with your bot recently. There are time limits in place here.
This means that every WhatsApp message you send is going to a user who has recently demonstrated interest in your business and offerings. You won’t just be spraying and praying.
It’s also more effective than emails because customers are more comfortable with WhatsApp Messenger. People might put off reading an email, but we humans are pretty much conditioned to read WhatsApp messages as soon as we get them.
It’s practically Pavlovian Conditioning for us to open a WhatsApp message as soon as we get the notification.
6. Promotional offers
You can use WhatsApp to share discounts and other promotional offers with your customers. To make them more relevant, you could even personalize these offers to their preferences.
With WhatsApp, you can send your customers and prospects reminders about events, sales, etc.
8. Analyzing campaign effectiveness
You can measure the effectiveness of your WhatsApp messages, with rich analytics, right on the Engati portal. Our dashboards give you all the insights you need to step up your WhatsApp Marketing efforts.
WhatsApp marketing best practices
1. Personalize your communications
Don’t send the same generic message to all your customers. You need to personalize your marketing messages according to the data you have gathered about them from past conversations or other sources. Make your pitch relevant to them.
Don’t just send pitches. Share content that your customers and prospects would gain value from as well.
3. Use automation
Reach more customers and personalize your conversations with them by using AI-powered WhatsApp chatbots.
4. Integrate with your marketing systems
Integrate your WhatsApp chatbot and live chat solution with your CRM, calendar, spreadsheets, etc.
5. Keep tracking results
Analyze the performance of your WhatsApp marketing campaigns on a continuous basis. You can keep tweaking and improving your marketing messages by making changes in the chatbot flow and continuously training your chatbot as well.
6. Get feedback
Speak to your customers and gather feedback from them. Understand their needs and figure out whether the campaigns you are running are relevant to them.
7. Use multimedia
Don’t limit yourself to text. Use images, videos, gifs, and even documents, if needed (for example, to share case studies).
8. Keep your profile updated
You don’t want to leave customers wondering whom they got a message from. Update your WhatsApp business profile with a small description of your business, your business hours, a link to your website, your address, etc.
Can you even drive sales on WhatsApp?
The short answer? Yes!
All you need to do is showcase your offerings on your WhatsApp chatbot and integrate your bot with Stripe (or the payment gateway of your choice). This could help you dramatically increase the amount of sales that you generate. That’s because it reduces customer effort, allowing customers to make purchases over the app that they’re already using, reducing the the amount of steps involved in the purchasing process.
How to generate word-of-mouth marketing via WhatsApp?
It’s real simple, you’ve got to give your customers an amazing experience. You need to reduce customer effort and give them a seamless experience directly over WhatsApp, not causing them to hop across to other apps.
And if they reach you on WhatsApp after hopping from another app, you need to be able to pull context from their conversation on the other app so that your customers do not need to repeat themselves.
Engati’s chatbot + live chat solution can help you deliver those experiences that your customers are craving. That means that they’re going to tell their friends and family about their amazing experience, turning into brand evangelists and generating word-of-mouth marketing for you.
This article about “How to drive business success and create marketing magic on WhatsApp” was originally published in Engati blogs.