WhatsApp Marketing: A new way to stay in touch with your customers
WhatsApp Marketing: A new way to stay in touch with your customers
There are many ways to stay in touch with your customers. A good example are messaging apps. They are very helpful in a lot of marketing campaigns, primarily because they are quick, convenient, and easy to use. In this post, we want to show you how to use a WhatsApp business account to send promotional messages and stay in touch with customers/users.
Nowadays, WhatsApp is more than just a messaging app for everyday communication between friends and family. It's an important communication tool that companies all over the world use to stay in touch with their target audience. What do you need to know about using WhatsApp for business?
WhatsApp marketing: What do you need to know about this tool?
Just like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp is a communication app that works mostly on mobile devices (although both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp can also be installed and used on a computer).
At first, WhatsApp was mostly for individual users. No one doubts that this app is great for sending short text messages, pictures, videos, and links between friends and family. You can even make voice and video calls using this app, as well as leave voice messages (a modern-day version of a voicemail), as well as create and join group chats (e.g., for a group of friends who like to play soccer together).
What's crucial, WhatsApp is a good choice if you want to stay in touch with people living in other countries. Because this messenger is 100% internet-based, there are no additional costs from a mobile service provider. So, if you have a family living in the US, you can chat with them and call them via WhatsApp, and it's much cheaper than standard international phone calls.
How many active users does WhatsApp have?
According to Statista, the number of unique WhatsApp mobile users worldwide is over 2.2 billion (as of June 2022). When you take a look at the chart below, you will see a very dynamic growth:
WhatsApp messenger: a growing number of WhatsApp users
No wonder WhatsApp is probably the most popular messaging app! Message statistics are even more mind-blowing. According to Oberlo, there are 100 billion messages sent via WhatsApp every day.
This tool's popularity and convenience make WhatsApp an obvious choice for any company that wants to stay in touch with current and potential customers. Let's see what your WhatsApp marketing strategy should entail.
Start with a WhatsApp business app
Companies that want to use WhatsApp as a marketing channel have two major options:
WhatsApp Business App (free)
This solution is intended mostly for small business owners who want to manage all conversations with their customers personally. WhatsApp Business App enables you to create a business account for your company. You can think of it as a virtual storefront with helpful information for your customers, like your logo, business name, business description, business hours, and a link to your business website. Here's how such a profile looks:
With this profile, you can:
Send a customized greeting message
Easily interact with customers
Send away messages (if, e.g., you're out on vacation)
Send ready-made quick replies to frequently asked questions
Organize and tag conversations for future purposes
Moreover, if you run an e-commerce business, you can turn WhatsApp into a direct marketing channel. You can create an online store within your account and allow customers to browse your products and services, as well as place orders directly via WhatsApp. This functionality includes a cart, a product catalog, and the broadcast feature giving you the opportunity to inform many customers at once about your new products or special offers.
WhatsApp Business Platform (paid)
If a standard WhatsApp Business App is not enough, you can opt for the more advanced solution for large businesses. Business Platform enables users to benefit from automated messages, bulk messages, and full integration with other channels and tools that you use (via WhatsApp business API), e.g., your CRM or automated marketing tools.
With Business Platform, you can benefit from:
Order confirmations and shipment updates
Implement smart routing (so that customers who use WhatsApp can quickly get to the right person in your company)
Dynamic product lists
Retargeting (e.g., after cart abandonment)
Upselling and cross-selling
Fully-fledged customer support
As you can see, this is a far more advanced platform. It surely can boost sales and improve your digital marketing strategy, but you need to know how to use the full potential of the WhatsApp Business Platform. Otherwise, it's a wasted marketing budget.
How much does the WhatsApp Business Platform cost?
The good news is that the first 1,000 conversations each month are free. Here, you can find more accurate pricing information, although you have to remember it varies between currencies, countries, and regions. For instance, the majority of Eastern European countries (including Poland) have a rate of 0.069 EUR per conversation. For companies located in North America, it's 0.012 EUR.
Develop your own WhatsApp marketing strategy
Now that you know what WhatsApp business has in store for your company, you can pick the better option and create a strategy for your WhatsApp marketing campaigns. Here's what you should think about:
Create a good-looking business account
All WhatsApp marketing strategies start with a well-designed business account. Make sure you add all the available information about your business. Add a nice profile picture (which can be your logo or the picture of your store or service point) as well as other pictures from your workplace. Today, communication is mostly visual and nice images can compel people to get in touch with you.
Add a link to your WhatsApp business profile in other channels and places
If you run a website, add a link to your business account. This way, everyone who visits your website can quickly get in touch with you. The same is true for email marketing (a link to your WhatsApp account can be in the footer of every email and newsletter) and social media. You can even put a sticker with a QR code on your storefront with the link to your business account (so that people who see your store when it's closed can get in touch with you).
This way, as you conduct marketing campaigns for your company, people will also see a link to your WhatsApp business account. Many of them will surely be interested in staying in touch with your company this way! As time goes by, you will be able to create an enormous audience for your company!
Engage existing customers
It is very likely that as a business owner, you already have a ready-made contact list of current and past customers. Use it and get in touch with every customer saying something like this:
"Hello [first name], we've started using WhatsApp messages to stay in touch with our customers! Add us to your contact list, and reach out whenever you want! Our customer support team is at your service!"
If you use push notifications (you definitely should!), you can send such a notification to every person who agreed to receive them for you. Of course, if you've opted for the Business Platform, you can integrate it with every other channel you use in your business and reach current customers this way.
Create broadcast lists
These are lists of people you can repeatedly send broadcast (mass) messages to without having to select them each time. In other words, every time you create a new WhatsApp campaign, you can send it to them automatically. Naturally, you can't go overboard with this; no one wants to be flooded with promotional messages.
WhatsApp marketing: What to talk about
WhatsApp campaigns are no different than email marketing or push notifications. If you want to make the most of WhatsApp messaging, you need to send messages about things and news that are interesting to your target audience. Most customers are interested in news about special offers, discounts, as well as new products and services. Concentrate on these elements when using WhatsApp for marketing purposes.
A nice welcome message is also important. There are two approaches to them. You can either do something short and to the point, like in this example:
"Hey, thank you for your message! We will get back to you ASAP. Have a nice day, [company name] team"
Or you can try to increase sales from the very beginning and include an offer:
"Hey, thank you for your message! We currently offer a discount for many products in our inventory - be sure to check the sale section on our website! A dedicated person from our team will get back to you as quickly as possible. We wish you a great day! Your team at [company name]"
Which option is better? There is no universal answer. Go with the one that feels more natural to you. Later on, you can test different versions of a welcome message.
Although you likely have a mobile phone with you all the time, sometimes you want to turn it off for customers. Vacation and sick leaves are typical causes. In such a situation, you need an away message that will be displayed to everyone who tries to get in touch with your business when you're away. The key to a good away message lies in simplicity:
"Hello! Thank you for your message! I'm currently away due to [reason]. I'm happy to help you as soon as I get back on [the return date]"
Summary: Make the most of WhatsApp business
Today, you have access to a whole range of marketing channels that are readily available even for small businesses. We encourage you to try and use WhatsApp marketing to reach more customers and boost customer experience.
Every third customer surveyed in a study conducted in 2021 by Invoca said that a live chat with an agent is their preferred communication form:
Of course, other tools like phone and email got better results, but this study shows a clear trend. Messaging apps are more and more popular when it comes to communication with companies. If you want to provide customers with a sufficient CX, you need to include them in your marketing strategy.
So get a WhatsApp business app for your business and turn it into the next marketing channel for your company. You won't regret it!
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