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The Complete Guide for WhatsApp Broadcast Messages [2023]

Sending out WhatsApp Broadcast Messages for WhatsApp Marketing

The concept of Broadcast Messaging is not new nor difficult to understand, it is simply the desire to get an automated message out to a large group of people in the shortest amount of time. Marketers will no doubt think of using it for promotional messages and consumers will immediately think of receiving an avalanche of congratulatory messages from friends and family over the holidays. While true, the broadcast function can also be used for other purposes as well, such as sending severe automatic weather alerts or alerting the public of emergencies. For businesses, the best application is for WhatsApp marketing messages and campaigns.

As messages provide a more personal touch and are more instant than emails, many marketing and customer service teams have begun to include bulk broadcast messages into their social & marketing messaging strategy in recent years.

How does a broadcast work on WhatsApp? Read further to learn more.

What is WhatsApp Broadcast?

Reaching the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time is no doubt important, but the key lies in ensuring that the recipients receive the automatic message through a reliable platform. When governments and public organizations need to notify the public urgently, messages are usually relayed by SMS through the major network providers. However, when it comes to promotional marketing, the focus and methods are different.

The logic behind the WhatsApp message blast  

When choosing the right service provider, apart from taking the price of the target audience’s commonly used platform into consideration, the sender should also be aware of whether the supplier provides:

  1. Encryption tools that can be used to deal with the privacy issue

  2. Analytical features that allow you to evaluate the performance

Lacking an efficient system to store and analyze valuable information such as customer response rate and blog comments will ruin your chance of generating more sales.

Other than the number of broadcasting messages, you also need to consider:

  1. Size of the database used to store information of your contacts

  2. Structure and size of the content of your message

  3. Archive capacity  

Once you have chosen your service provider, the first thing is to upload your contact database to your supplier’s platform. Therefore, convenience is also a vital factor as I bet you would never want to waste your time entering your client’s contacts one by one.

Frustrated person sending WhatsApp messages to a list of customers

What are the features of WhatsApp Business Broadcast by WhatsApp Business App?

With more than two billion WhatsApp users around the world, it is no doubt that WhatsApp also ranks among one of the most popular sales channels. Apart from the huge user base, here are 3 simple reasons why you (and your boss) should start converting customers on WhatsApp:

With such ingrained habits, WhatsApp can better close the distance between businesses and customers. This is because WhatsApp messages are better integrated into customers’ lives and habits than older communication channels such as email and SMS. Therefore, businesses stand a better chance of attracting attention and increasing customer engagement and eventually, conversion by sending broadcast messages on WhatsApp. WhatsApp Broadcast automation is the ultimate trick to your WhatsApp marketing strategy!

“Another feature I found quite impressive is the WhatsApp broadcasting function. Many of our clients are heavy WhatsApp users. It’s easier to build trust and relationships with them via WhatsApp. Traditional phone calls take way too much time while SMS blast is more like a one-time thing instead of a chatroom.”

Jeremy Tong

Lalamove Managing Director

Sleekhacks:

Broadcast one-off promotional codes to remind new customers of their limited-time offers to spur conversions!

Small businesses can get started quickly with the free WhatsApp Business App for more familiarity as it has the same user interface as the regular WhatsApp App. This way, they can discover the advantages to broadcast on WhatsApp, send automated broadcast messages and experience the benefits for their business.

There are a couple of features that set the WhatsApp Business App apart from the normal WhatsApp messaging app:

1. Verified business profile

Provides key business information such as your address, business description, email address, and website.

Explore more about getting a green tick verification for your WhatsApp Business account.

2. Labels

Allows you to organize your contacts or chats with labels, so you can easily find them again. Read on to see how should you make good use of labels.

3. Quick replies

Save and reuse messages you frequently send so that you can easily answer common questions in no time.

4. Create a catalog of products and services for easy browsing

WhatsApp Business interface and broadcast messages features

Although the WhatsApp Business version has more features than the regular version, when it comes to handling conversations, each business account only allows a single user to log into the app on the phone to reply to customers. Even if you use WhatsApp Web simultaneously, businesses can only have 4 linked devices logged in to the same account at one time. That’s not all - any additional or even accidental logins, will log out existing users, resulting in loss of unsent messages and workflow bottlenecks.

As such, larger corporations should not just stop at the WhatsApp Business App, but instead, seek out omnichannel messaging platforms to streamline their messaging workflow and send bulk WhatsApp messages for promotional purposes.

Don’t know what is WhatsApp Business? Read WhatsApp Business: All You Need To Know.

How to send broadcast messages via WhatsApp Business App?

If you are operating a small business with one or two staff members to answer your customers’ queries, you can begin to broadcast on WhatsApp using the WhatsApp Business App’s limited broadcast function.

1. Create a WhatsApp broadcast list

The advantage of creating a Broadcast WhatsApp List is that you can finely segment your customers and create an unlimited amount of Broadcast Lists.

What is the WhatsApp Broadcast Limit?

Each WhatsApp Broadcast list can only have a maximum of 256 people added to it. By segmenting your customers into WhatsApp broadcast lists, you can send a message to up to 256 people at once, and the recipients will receive a broadcast message that looks like a personal message from you right in their conversation log with you. However, we strongly recommend that you do not send a large number of messages at once as it might result in your account being blocked.

How to create a WhatsApp Broadcast list:

  • Tap on “Broadcast List”

  • Tap on “New List”

  • Select the customers that you want to add to the list

2. Using WhatsApp Labels

WhatsApp chat labels for broadcast lists

Adding labels is a great way to segment your customers in WhatsApp. The best part about WhatsApp’s labels is that they can also be added to individual message bubbles. For example, you can add labels to all positive reviews and view all of them at the same time. This way, you will be able to easily screenshot the reviews and share them on social media! Apart from that, you can also label suggestions from customers and review them all at once to make improvements.

You can also create WhatsApp broadcast lists for specific customers using labels. For example, you can label all customers who have given your business a positive review and add them to a broadcast list to send them a thank you offer. You can also add labels to customers who have not paid and send them a payment reminder!

Step-by-step: creating broadcast lists from Labels (Android)

  • Tap on More Options 

  • Select Labels

  • Choose the Label you want to create a Broadcast List with

  • Tap on More Options and send Broadcast to customers

  • Select the green tick on the bottom right of the page and start drafting your message

Limitations of WhatsApp Business App to broadcast messages

Apart from the WhatsApp Broadcast function, you can also forward automated messages on the WhatsApp Business App. However, each message needs to be forwarded individually. Just think about the hassle!

  1. WhatsApp Business’s Forward function, also known as WhatsApp Broadcast only allows you to forward a message to up to 5 recipients at any one time. Think about the number of times you’ll need to repeat this copy-and-paste action for 500 customers!

  2. Next, what if you have a thousand or even ten thousand customers? (P.S. You’ll need to manually add each contact individually before being able to forward a message to them)

  3. Last but not least, spare a thought for your employees who might start steering clear of WhatsApp and stop replying to your WhatsApp Broadcast messages.

Although this article mentioned the Broadcast Lists function above, keep in mind that messages can only be broadcasted to a maximum of 256 people in one go. What happens when the number of customers increases? (OS: This should be a happy problem
 shouldn’t it?)

In addition, with the WhatsApp Broadcast function, everyone in your Broadcast List receives the exact, same, message. Thus, if you want to personalize your message a little by including their names, good luck with sending out personalized texts one by one.

If you think about it, the biggest problem with the WhatsApp broadcast list function is not the cap on the number of people, but the fact that you cannot broadcast a message to someone who isn’t in your contacts. What a bummer.

That’s not all, when you try to broadcast on WhatsApp, you risk being reported by customers and blocked by WhatsApp, leaving you uncontactable. This not only results in tons of lost leads but also gives your customers and potential leads a negative impression of your business.

Got banned on WhatsApp? It's not too late to learn how to unblock your account and avoid getting stuck again.

WhatsApp Business Common Issues: Single user login, copy & paste texts, getting blocked, no tracking

Solution: send WhatsApp Broadcast messages with WhatsApp API

While there are many limitations to WhatsApp Business Broadcast, there is, in fact, one simple solution - WhatsApp Business API.

To expand your business and communicate with customers more effectively, you’ll need to understand the WhatsApp Business API (Application Programming Interface) and how its practical functions work differently when broadcasting campaigns are created. This would enable your team to send WhatsApp marketing messages to clients in the most efficient way.

When you are broadcasting with your members, you can also send an important message multiple times to remind them. However, if the message is lengthy, you might face difficulty simultaneously sending the important message. So, in that scenario, you can use an online text repeater. With this, you can repeat the same text message multiple times.

Connect to WhatsApp Business API now!

Connect to WhatsApp Business API and get the first 1,000 service conversations free each month.

What is WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp Business API is a communication tool designed for businesses to connect with their customers on the WhatsApp messaging platform. It allows businesses to send automated messages, provide customer support, and conduct transactions on the app. With WhatsApp Business API, businesses can create verified business profiles, send personalized messages, and use rich media formats such as images, videos, and audio messages. This API is typically used by large businesses and enterprises to manage customer communications at scale.

WhatsApp Business API welcome message

Benefits of using WhatsApp Business API

  1. Your WhatsApp account will be shown as a Business Account.

  2. Your customers will be able to see both your company name and logo at the top of every conversation, even if your phone number is not saved.

  3. Users will need to opt-in to receive broadcast messages, increasing customer satisfaction when they receive personalized, relevant messages.

  4. Apply for WhatsApp authentication to obtain the verified “green tick” to establish trust with both new and existing customers.

  5. When customers click on your business account, they can quickly see your business profile and other essential information such as branch addresses and service hours.

  6. You can use interactive WhatsApp message features such as chat buttons to increase customer engagement.

  7. Integrations with existing CRM platforms or e-commerce stores are available to streamline your workflows.

Benefits of WhatsApp Official API: multi access management, marketing automations, ecommerce & CRM integrations, chatbots

WhatsApp Business API is not only great for marketers but also customer support and service as it provides more opportunities to build stronger relationships with customers through WhatsApp conversations and automation. You can send personalized messages and offers to customers at the right time, conduct short surveys, and provide instant customer support. WhatsApp broadcast automation can level up your business in different ways as it can have many applications.

How to send WhatsApp Broadcast messages with SleekFlow?

The larger the business, the more important it is to use the WhatsApp Business API and broadcast automation. The WhatsApp Business API can be accessed from an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) such as SleekFlow, making it faster and easier to publish messages while serving as an integrated Customer Relationship Management system that solves complex problems such as personal data collection.

Click here to estimate how much you are charged under the new conversation!

Compared to WhatsApp Business’s broadcast function, SleekFlow’s campaign message function allows you to do more through:

Multiple WhatsApp Business logins for simultaneous conversations

Multiple team members can log in to the same WhatsApp Business account and use the SleekFlow platform to talk to customers using the same corporate WhatsApp number.

Variables for WhatsApp personalized broadcasts

Personalize your messages in a jiffy by adding variables such as first name, birthdate, membership points, and more.

WhatsApp Broadcast message template with automation software using web api

Test your campaign messages

You can send yourself a test message to ensure that the automated WhatsApp message content is showing up correctly before you broadcast it to your customers.

Broadcast WhatsApp messages at scale

When using the official WhatsApp Business API, you can send up to 1000 messages a day by default. However, if you send more than 500 messages within the first week, you can then increase your daily messaging limit to 10,000 messages per day with WhatsApp’s approval.

Tiers for WhatsApp messaging limits

Tier

Number of recipients allowed for WhatsApp Broadcast

Tier 1

Limited to 1000 unique WhatsApp message recipients per day

Tier 2

Limited to 10,000 unique WhatsApp message recipients per day

Tier 3

Limited to 100,000 unique WhatsApp message recipients per day

Tier 4

Unlimited WhatsApp message recipients per day

To upgrade your WhatsApp messaging limit, you will need to keep track of the following:

  • Message quality rating is Medium or High

  • Phone number's status is connected

  • Total number of unique recipients across the past 7 days

By using SleekFlow’s campaign feature, you’ll not only be able to cut down on human error when copying, pasting, and editing messages but also save tons of time!

However, do note that before you broadcast automated messages using the campaign feature, you need to register your message and send it to WhatsApp for approval. This message is called a Template Message and if you don’t know how to get started, our SleekFlow team will be happy to help!

WhatsApp Business Template Messages (2023)

WhatsApp Template Messages, as mentioned previously, are pre-approved message templates used for WhatsApp Broadcasts.

Template Messages are often utilized for:

Type

Usage

Category of business-initiated conversation

Marketing

Promotional offers, product announcements, discount codes, and more

Marketing conversations

One-time passwords

Codes for users to secure their accounts

Authentication conversations

Transactional messages

Account or order updates, order delivery alerts, meeting reminders etc.

Utility conversations

Template Messages are also used when it has been more than 24 hours have elapsed since the user’s last response to you as any other types of messages sent outside the 24-hour window will fail to reach the user.

For WhatsApp to approve your customized Template Messages, certain rules must be followed. The correct format for each type of information inserted in the message is as follows:

  • Name: A message template name can only contain lowercase alphanumeric characters and underscores. No other characters or spaces are allowed.

  • Type: Select the appropriate template type from the drop-down list. The template type must fall under one of the template type options, e.g. appointment update, issue resolution, payment update, etc.

  • Translations: All message template translations must be provided by you in the format below. The element name will be the same for all translations. When sending a message template from the WhatsApp Business API, you will specify the language you would like the message template to be displayed in by using the language field.

  • Variables: The correct format for variables is this string: {{#}}, where # represents the variable index. Note: variables must begin at {{1}}.

Each Template Message sent to WhatsApp for approval usually takes around 1 to 2 days. If you're wondering why your WhatsApp message template was rejected, check for:

  • Typos or grammatical errors

  • Misformatting of variable parameters (make sure the format is {{1}} as mentioned above), or contain special characters (i.e. #,$,%).

  • The selected language corresponds to the language in the content.

  • Submission format for testing API connection follows: Message template name: test / Content: Hello {{1}}

  • Shortened URL for your links or including URLs that do not belong to your business.

  • The category of your Template Messages (utility, authentication, or marketing conversations)

  • Message templates violate WhatsApp's Commerce Policy or WhatsApp's Business Policy

To ensure that you get the green light quickly and start blasting as soon as possible, the best thing to do is to work with a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP), like SleekFlow!

Why choose an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) for managing business conversations

SleekFlow is a Meta-verified Business Solution Provider, a trusted platform that enables businesses to manage customer conversations in a secure, reliable way.

Here's a diagram that quickly illustrates how customer data is handled directly between SleekFlow and WhatsApp's server, without any interference from third-party.

SleekFlow official WhatsApp BSP WhatsApp Business API concept

Other benefits of SleekFlow as a WhatsApp BSP include:

  • Easy onboarding and support from SleekFlow

  • Ensure the best pricing for enterprise customers who need to manage a large volume of contacts

  • Be the first to experience the latest features from WhatsApp as BSPs work closely with Meta

  • Manage other social messaging channels, including Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Messages, and other channels in an omnichannel inbox

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“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else”

-Eric Ries, Author of The Lean Startup

WhatsApp Pricing Calculator

You can estimate how much you are charged under the new conversation-based pricing model using SleekFlow's calculator! Check how much it would cost you to send WhatsApp messages to your customers.

WhatsApp Pricing Calculator

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Summary: using WhatsApp Broadcast for your business or enterprise

WhatsApp Broadcast is an amazing feature, especially for online businesses where there is a great need to send a single message to multiple recipients. It can be used to send automated messages, being promo messages to your customers as well as company announcements for your employees and many more. While there are some challenges to using WhatsApp Broadcast, they can be solved with the assistance of some smart tools. For instance, you might need to get familiar with the WhatsApp rules and migrate your chat history before starting. There may also be a high chance of getting reported as spam when you overuse this feature. Thus, learning how to utilize WhatsApp Broadcast properly and effectively is absolutely essential if you plan to take advantage of this feature to scale.

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