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How to send WhatsApp Broadcast in the UAE? Free and premium options

Sending out WhatsApp Broadcast Messages for WhatsApp Marketing

A WhatsApp broadcast campaign is a feature that is offered by both the free WhatsApp Business App and the paid WhatsApp Business API. Both WhatsApp broadcast software allows businesses to send messages to multiple recipients simultaneously on the WhatsApp messaging platform.

Unlike individual chats, where you send messages to one person at a time, a broadcast allows your business to reach a larger audience while maintaining a one-to-one communication structure. 

With 87.4% of the population in the UAE using this application, WhatsApp stands as the most widely used messaging platform. Hence, businesses in the UAE would benefit from sending a WhatsApp broadcast message whenever they want to inform their customers about product updates or special promotions. Through a single message, businesses could efficiently engage a substantial audience all at once and with less cost.

What is WhatsApp Broadcast?

WABA Broadcast Campaign

A WhatsApp broadcast for businesses is a marketing strategy that they can use to create one unique message and send it in bulk to their target audience. Instead of creating a group chat and adding members individually, with WhatsApp broadcast, you would be able to experience the same effect of communicating with a group of people, but with lesser effort. 

How does broadcast message work on WhatsApp

WhatsApp broadcast businesses

Here's a detailed breakdown of how the broadcast message functionality operates on WhatsApp:

  • Recipient selection: To start a broadcast, you make a list of people who have your number saved and agreed to get your messages. This ensures your broadcasts reach people who are interested.

  • Crafting the message: Once your list is ready, you write the message you want to share. Include text, pictures, videos, and links just like in a regular chat to make your text more interesting and engaging.

  • Creating the broadcast list: In WhatsApp, you can create a new broadcast list by choosing the contacts you want to send your message to. These chosen contacts make up your target audience.

  • Message distribution: When you send the broadcast, WhatsApp sends the same message to each person on your list. They get it in their private chats as if it's just for them.

  • Getting responses: If someone replies to your WhatsApp broadcast, their message comes back to you privately. This is different from group chats where everyone can see responses. 

  • Privacy and consent: For WhatsApp broadcasts to work on the free WhatsApp, recipients must first have your business’s number saved and agreed to get messages from you. However, by using the WhatsApp Business API, businesses can blast messages to contacts who have not saved their numbers but have opted-in. This prevents unwanted messages and follows WhatsApp's rules.

Differences between WhatsApp Broadcast, WhatsApp Groups and WhatsApp Channels

Other than WhatsApp Broadcast, there are other available features on the platform that allows your business to share information with a large audience. 

WhatsApp Channel 

WhatsApp Channel

A WhatsApp Channel is a communication feature that allows administrators or creators to send out messages, media, and updates to a group of followers or subscribers. Unlike regular group chats or individual chats, WhatsApp Channels are designed for one-way communication, where the admin or creator shares content, and the recipients receive the content without being able to actively participate in the conversation. 

WhatsApp Group

WhatsApp Group is a shared space where multiple participants can engage in conversations, see each other's messages, and interact collectively. All group members can access and read the entire message history, making everyone's contributions visible to the entire group. Additionally, group administrators possess the capability to both add or remove members and oversee the group's settings. It is more beneficial for businesses to use this feature to share information among team members to ensure everyone has the same idea. 

Here’s a table of comparison for WhatsApp Broadcast, WhatsApp Channel, and WhatsApp Group:

FeatureWhatsApp BroadcastWhatsApp ChannelWhatsApp Group
CommunicationOne-way communication, but recipients can reply privatelyOne-way communicationTwo-way communication
InteractionRecipients can interact within 24 hours and the reply will appear in your chat boxRecipients can’t interactParticipants can interact and reply in the group chat
VisibilityMessages will be sent privately to each contact in the broadcast listRecipients can’t see each other, not even the profile and phone number of the adminMessages are visible to everyone in the group
PurposeSending general announcements, promotions, and updates to a large audienceBroadcasting content to followers/subscribersInteractive environment for team discussions

How to send WhatsApp Broadcast for free

Here’s how you can send WhatsApp Broadcast for free in the UAE:

  1. Open the WhatsApp app on your phone.

  2. Click on the three-dot menu icon (⋮) in the top-right corner.

  3. Select "New Broadcast" from the menu.

  4. Select the contacts you want to add (maximum 256) from your list.

  5. Type your message, and add images or videos to make it more interesting.

  6. Tap the send button (usually a paper plane icon) to send your broadcast message.

Do note that your broadcast messages will only reach individuals who have included you in their phone contacts. If someone isn't receiving your WhatsApp broadcast messages, check to ensure that they've added you to their contacts. 

How to do WhatsApp broadcast lists

There are two ways to create your WhatsApp broadcast lists.

A. Broadcast list the usual way

  1. Launch the WhatsApp Business app.

  2. Click on More options, then choose New Broadcast.

  3. Find or pick the contacts you wish to include.

  4. Confirm by tapping the check mark.

B. Broadcast list with labels

  1. Start the WhatsApp Business app.

  2. Select More options and then Labels.

  3. Choose the label you intend to make a broadcast list for.

  4. Click More options, followed by Message customers.

  5. Use the check mark to compose and send your message.

WhatsApp Business broadcast limit

Using the free WhatsApp Business broadcast does come with its limitation. If you own a small business in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, then using the free app might be sufficient for you. However, if you are a large business or enterprise that wishes to communicate with thousands or even millions of customers, then the WhatsApp Business app may not be for you.

Below are some limitations to using WhatsApp Business to broadcast messages:

1. WhatsApp Business broadcast limit is 256 users

Although WhatsApp Business offers a broadcast feature that allows you to send a message to multiple recipients at once, there's a limit to the number of users you can include in a single broadcast which is set at 256 users. This means you can only create a broadcast list containing up to 256 contacts, and your message will be sent individually to each of these recipients. 

Imagine if you have five thousand customers whom you wish to inform on a promotion for your latest products. How troublesome would it be to create multiple broadcast lists just to reach all of them? Not only that, by doing so, you risk adding the same contact to a different list which could be irritating for the recipient to receive the same message from your business twice.

2. Your WhatsApp Business account may get banned forever

When using WhatsApp Business, it's crucial to adhere to the platform's guidelines and policies. If your business account engages in spammy behavior, sends unsolicited messages or violates WhatsApp's terms of use, then there's a risk that your account could be banned. 

A permanent ban could mean losing access to your business account and the potential to communicate with your customers through WhatsApp. Therefore, it's vital to use the broadcast feature responsibly and make sure that your recipients have opted-in to receive your messages. 

What should you do if your account got banned? Find out how you can unblock your WhatsApp account and avoid repeating the same mistake.

3. Manual editing of message content is required

Each message is sent individually to recipients, so if you want to personalize the message for each contact, you'll need to manually edit the content. Tailoring messages to include individual names or specific details may provide a more personal experience for customers but it's important to balance customization with efficiency, especially when sending messages to a larger group.

Note: You may find third-party WhatsApp broadcast software that can send bulk messages to an unlimited number of contacts. However, using these services goes against WhatsApp's Terms of Service. WhatsApp will take legal measures against individuals or businesses who breach their legal terms. 

How to do WhatsApp Broadcast on the WhatsApp broadcast software

Send broadcast messages through social channels on SleekFlow

If you choose to send WhatsApp broadcast messages through an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) in the UAE, you can bypass the limitations listed above. Using the WhatsApp Business API, there is a wide range of functions that you can explore to reach the UAE audience effectively.

Step 1: Access the Broadcast interface

Broadcast message campaign on SleekFlow
  • Log in to your SleekFlow account.

  • Navigate to the "Broadcast" section in the platform's interface.

Step 2: Choose a channel for the campaign

sms and social messaging blasting options on SleekFlow
  • Click on the "Create Campaign" button, usually presented in blue.

  • Select the communication channel through which you intend to send your campaign. Options include WhatsApp, SMS, and Line.

  • Click "Next" to proceed.

Step 3: Provide campaign information

Send broadcast messages through social channels on SleekFlow
  • Fill in the campaign title to identify it.

  • Specify the communication channels you plan to use for sending the campaign.

  • Set fallback channels in case the primary channels encounter issues.

  • Add recipient details.

Step 4: Schedule the campaign

Schedule a WhatsApp message with a specify date and time
  • If desired, you can set a specific date and time for the campaign to be sent out. This is the scheduled time.

  • Click "Review and Publish" to continue.

Step 5: WhatsApp template approval 

  • If you're using WhatsApp for sending messages, ensure that the messages are template messages approved by WhatsApp.

Step 6: Select approved templates

WhatsApp Template Manager
  • Access the "Templates" section.

  • Choose the approved template that you want to use for the campaign.

  • Customize template variables by replacing brackets and numbers with the desired information.

Step 7: Preview or publish the campaign

Send broadcast messages through social channels on SleekFlow
  • Preview the composed message to ensure accuracy.

  • If satisfied, press "Review and Publish" to immediately send the campaign.

  • If you require further template clarification or need to edit the template, you can save it and reopen the saved template for editing and continue refining it.

Once the customers reply to your WhatsApp broadcast messages, you can instantly respond to them on SleekFlow’s mobile app, even if you’re not in the office. 

Note: Get WhatsApp broadcast software that partners with Meta, such as SleekFlow to get the most updated features. You can get the list of official WhatsApp Business Solution Providers (BSP) in Meta’s directory.

How much does a WhatsApp broadcast message campaign cost in the UAE

The cost for WhatsApp bulk message campaigns is divided into two parts: WhatsApp conversation fees and service charges from WhatsApp BSPs.

WhatsApp conversation fees for your WhatsApp broadcast messages in the UAE

WhatsApp conversation fees are the official charges introduced by WhatsApp, last updated in July 2023. There are two types of conversations, which are user-initiated and business-initiated conversations.

User-initiated messages on WhatsApp are service conversations that start when users send a message to a business. Within 24 hours, businesses can freely reply with information and interact without extra costs for the first 1000 recipients. After this window, businesses can only send specific message types using template messages. 

Business-initiated messages, on the other hand, are sent by businesses to users. These messages use approved templates with set formats for specific information. These conversations are divided into three categories: 

  • Utility conversation: These are for businesses to update customers about transactions or provide operational information related to purchases, like post-purchase notifications or billing statements.

  • Authentication conversation: These conversations are used to send users one-time notifications or passcodes during sign-up or login processes.

  • Marketing conversation: This category involves sending promotional messages, discount codes, or welcome greetings to customers. 

Find out more information on the WhatsApp Business pricing model in our guide for the UAE. 

MarketBusiness-initiated utility conversation (AED)Business-initiated authentication conversation (AED)Business-initiated marketing conversation (AED)User-initiated/service conversation (AED)
United Arab Emirates$ 0.73$ 0.065$ 0.12$ 0.07
United States$ 0.055$ 0.05$ 0.092$ 0.032
United Kingdom$ 0.15$ 0.13$ 0.26$ 0.14

WhatsApp Pricing Calculator

You can use SleekFlow's pricing calculator to help you estimate the costs associated with the pricing model.

WhatsApp pricing calculator for the UAE

WhatsApp bulk message sender service charges from WhatsApp BSPs

SleekFlow Meta Messaging Partner

When businesses opt to utilize WhatsApp BSPs like SleekFlow for sending out bulk messages, there are corresponding expenses to take into account. These costs encompass the use of the BSP's technology and resources that facilitate the efficient distribution of these messages on a larger scale.

Here's a breakdown of how these costs typically operate:

  • Business collaboration: Companies team up with WhatsApp BSPs to access tools and services tailored for managing bulk messages. These providers make sure to follow WhatsApp's rules.

  • Service fees: WhatsApp BSPs often charge businesses for using their services. These fees can be based on factors like message volume or recipient count. You can find detailed pricing for SleekFlow here.

  • Value-added services: Some WhatsApp BSPs offer extra services like analytics, reports, and automated chatbots to make bulk messaging more effective. These services might have separate charges.

Charges vary depending on providers, so you should carefully evaluate each option and decide on the best possible value based on your business’s needs and budget. 

Quick tips for sending WhatsApp bulk messages

WhatsApp Business features

How to upgrade your WhatsApp messaging limit

WhatsApp has different rate limit levels. To move up these levels, you must meet specific requirements mentioned in the provided details:

  1. The total number of unique recipients you messaged in the last 7 days.

  2. Actively start conversations with a variety of recipients.

  3. Ensure your messages are high-quality and follow WhatsApp's rules.

  4. Keep your phone number active and in good status.

TierNumber of recipients allowed for WhatsApp Broadcast
Tier 1Limited to 1000 unique WhatsApp message recipients per day
Tier 2Limited to 10,000 unique WhatsApp message recipients per day
Tier 3Limited to 100,000 unique WhatsApp message recipients per day
Tier 4Unlimited WhatsApp message recipients per day

Quality rating of your WhatsApp Business account

WhatsApp evaluates your quality rating based on user feedback and engagement. Sustaining a positive rating is important for your business reputation.

Here are suggestions to maintain a medium or high-quality rating:

  • Make sure your messages follow WhatsApp’s Business Policy.

  • Send messages that provide value to recipients.

  • Avoid sending too many messages in a short time.

  • Aim to quickly reply to user questions and messages.

Additionally, when you apply for the green tick verification on WhatsApp, having a high-quality rating would help to speed up the verification process.

Examples of WhatsApp Broadcast for business in the UAE

TKD Lingerie achieves 40X ROAS O2O Commerce example

TKD Lingerie achieves 40X ROAS with WhatsApp Broadcast for business 

With an official WhatsApp Business API account, TKD Lingerie initiated a 7-day attribution WhatsApp Broadcast campaign through SleekFlow. The campaign's primary objective was to highlight their ongoing 3-for-2 offer, allowing customers to obtain a third item for free when purchasing two. The target audience for this campaign comprised approximately 4500 contacts within TKD Lingerie's customer database. 

The campaign's impact was substantial,

  • 74% message open rate was reported 

  • contributed to 78 closed online-to-offline sales attributions 

This outcome illustrates that the WhatsApp broadcast campaign not only engaged customers but also successfully motivated them to make purchases, either through the brand's online platform or by visiting their physical stores.

Read the full success story of how TKD Lingerie achieved 40X ROAS.

Ready to try out WhatsApp Broadcast? Discover how SleekFlow's tools can enhance your broadcast campaigns today!

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