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WhatsApp Lead Generation: How to automate campaigns with Flow Builder

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Think about those lead gen forms with 12 fields that we all dread. They're the digital equivalent of a traffic jam. Chances are, most people won't even finish them. Forget the formality and endless fields, here's a breath of fresh air: WhatsApp lead generation.

What is WhatsApp Lead Generation?

WhatsApp lead generation is like a secret shortcut because as long as you get the prospects to send you the first message, you already have their phone number and name! And with a few more interactions to understand their interests, you can save this information in your database to craft messages that truly resonate with them. 

Mastering WhatsApp lead generation helps you cut through the noise and chaos of social media and overstuffed email inboxes. In this blog, let us show you how you can leverage SleekFlow’s Flow Builder for WhatsApp lead generation.

4 types of WhatsApp lead generation campaigns

Exclusive WhatsApp offer

Imagine transforming WhatsApp into a platform for exclusive customer engagement. This is precisely what Le Dessert HK achieved with remarkable flair. 

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How to generate leads on WhatsApp? Offering free same-day delivery, but with an exclusive twist: this service is available only for orders placed via WhatsApp. It's a smart move to get people to share their contact info and keep coming back for more. 

Le Dessert has been sharing its exclusive dessert magazine with all its WhatsApp contacts every month, fostering a deeper engagement with the brand. More than half of their customers are now doing the whole dance – from hello to checkout – right within WhatsApp. It's become the go-to spot for Le Dessert to nurture and manage those sweet customer relationships. This exclusive WhatsApp offer is a prime example of effective WhatsApp lead generation.

WhatsApp for contest

Everyone loves a bit of competition, particularly when it’s as easy as sending a message on WhatsApp. Participants typically engage in challenges or tasks such as sending photos, videos, or responding to quiz questions. This approach is particularly effective for retail brands, where customers often shop offline or at different points of sale without leaving much trace. 

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A standout example is the ‘Buy and Win Contest’ by Darlie and Dryper in Malaysia. Customers participated by sending in their receipts through WhatsApp for a chance to win enticing prizes. These contests are fantastic for ramping up excitement but also help in building a large database of participants, paving the way for future CRM marketing initiatives.

WhatsApp virtual assistant

Using virtual assistants on WhatsApp is where technology meets personal touch. TKD Lingerie’s innovative approach with a virtual fitting service stands as a good example. Their team of bra-fitting experts offers personalized advice through WhatsApp. This strategy is not just beneficial for enhancing customer engagement; it also serves as an effective lead generation tool by gathering insights about customer preferences and needs. 

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With a robust customer profile in hand, the intimate brand has managed to send out highly converting promotional messages. Notably, in one of their ‘3-for-2 promotion campaigns’ on WhatsApp, they reported a 74% message open rate and successfully closed 78 online-to-offline sales.

WhatsApp for event

How to generate leads on WhatsApp when you’re hosting an event? Whether it’s workshops, trade shows, or exhibitions, WhatsApp is fantastic for helping you follow up with people you met at social events when you only had a brief time to interact. 

Pearl Holiday Travel & Tour demonstrates how it's done effectively. They rolled out a WhatsApp marketing campaign targeted at travel expo attendees and offered online travel advice. 

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By incorporating interactive quick response options for customers to indicate their travel preferences, they expanded their lead database, turning fleeting encounters into lasting connections. For instance, during their in-house travel fair promotion later that year, they conducted a WhatsApp broadcast campaign reaching over 10,000 contacts, which generated an impressive 70-80% reply rate in return.

3 types of entry points for WhatsApp lead generation

How do you get these leads to start a conversation with you on WhatsApp? Here are three effective ways to set up entry points:

1. Integrating a WhatsApp live chat widget on website

Your website is often the first place a potential customer interacts with your brand. By integrating a WhatsApp live chat widget on your site, you can create an immediate and convenient way for visitors to connect with you. 

Imagine a customer browsing your product page and having a question. With a simple click on the WhatsApp widget, they can reach out directly for answers. This not only offers real-time assistance but also lets you collect their WhatsApp contact information seamlessly.

Here’s a free tool for you to create and embed a WhatsApp chat widget on your website in just minutes.

2. Leveraging click-to-WhatsApp social media ads

Social media platforms are goldmines for WhatsApp lead generation. Utilize click-to-WhatsApp ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These ads work by providing a direct link in the ad itself that opens a WhatsApp chat with your business. It's straightforward for the user: see your ad, get intrigued, and click to chat. This method is particularly effective as it filters out casual browsers, bringing in leads who are genuinely interested and ready to engage.

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To create click-to-WhatsApp ads in the Meta Ads Manager,  follow the following steps:

  1. Go to Ads Manager and click + Create.

  2. Choose your objective: traffic or engagement, then click Continue.

  3. Under Campaign name, enter a descriptive name in the text box, then click Next.

  4. Select Messaging apps as your conversion location. 

  5. Under Messaging apps, select WhatsApp.

  6. Edit your budget, schedule, audience and placements, then click Next.

  7. Fill in the details of your ad creative: add an image or video, primary text and headline. In the call to action dropdown menu, select Send WhatsApp message.

  8. In the Message template section, select Create new and then click Edit.

  9. Under Customer actions, select Pre-filled message*.  Enter the suggested text that customers can use to initiate a conversation with you.

  10. Name your message template and check the box next to Save template if you want to use it in future campaigns. Then, click Save and finish.

  11. Click Publish.

A pre-filled message will appear in the customer's chat window when they click the CTA button. We strongly recommend creating one, as it serves as an excellent icebreaker and enables you to set up guided chat flows that assist customers throughout their purchase journey.

3. Using WhatsApp print materials in your store

Let's not forget the power of offline methods. In your physical store, display QR codes that lead to a WhatsApp chat. You can place these QR codes strategically around your store, on product tags, at the cash register, or in promotional materials. When customers scan these codes with their smartphones, they’re taken directly to a WhatsApp chat with your business. It's a quick and effortless way for in-store customers to connect and engage, opening up WhatsApp for lead generation.

To create a WhatsApp QR code, you can first generate a WhatsApp link* using this free tool. Then, use a QR code generator to convert the link into a QR code. Here are a few free tools available online: Adobe Express and bitly.

We recommend customizing a pre-filled message when building your WhatsApp link. This message appears in the user's chat window upon clicking the link. A unique link helps identify the lead source as you can set different default messages for various entry points.

How to generate leads on WhatsApp with Flow Builder

To set up a WhatsApp lead generation campaign in SleekFlow, proceed to the Flow Builder and follow the steps below. To provide a better illustration, we will use a music academy that utilizes click-to-WhatsApp ads as an entry point to generate leads interested in their music lessons as an example.

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  1. Click Create new flow > Start from scratch.

  2. Choose Messages from new contact.

  3. At the Start point, enable Filter by condition, select triggered message keyword as the condition. Then select contain or contains exactly and enter the keywords. Paste the pre-filled message you suggest the ads viewer use to start the conversation here.

  4. Click Set your fist node here, select ActionMessaging > Send Message. Within the setting, enter the greeting message. For example: “Hello! Thank you for your interest in our music lessons! May I have the student's full name please?” Turn on the Save reply to save their response as a contact field, which will be stored in SleekFlow Contacts database as your CRM data.

  5. Then, add a second Send Message action. Here, you can begin asking questions that will help you better personalize your services for them. You can also provide options as buttons for them to choose. In our example: “What is your musical goal”, with 3 options: Hobby, Exam preparation and Performance. Similarly, you can enable Save reply to store their response as a contact field, allowing you to have this data stored in your CRM for lead nurturing.

  6. Repeat step 5 to create additional Send Message actions to ask further questions about the lead.

  7. In this example, we will present our offer in the last action by asking, “Which instrument are you interested in?” with three options: guitar, violin, and piano. Enable Button as branch. Under each respective branch, create a new Send Message action to share the relevant offer details.

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WhatsApp lead nurturing technique  

With leads generated, you would want to initiate a strategic lead nurturing process. The first crucial step is to obtain their consent to receive further communications.

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To continue building the flow, create a new Send Message action asking, 'Would you like to receive updates, newsletters, and promotional offers via WhatsApp?' with 'Yes' and 'No' options. Enable Button as branch. For those who click 'Yes,' set a waiting period of, let's say, 7 days. This interval allows leads the time they need to absorb the initial information and engage with your brand at their convenience. Subsequent messages should be carefully crafted to provide value, offering insights, special offers, and relevant updates that cater to the lead's specific interests. Examples for the education industry include student success stories, trial music lessons, and event invitations.

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