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WhatsApp Business for marketing 101: An online guide


What is WhatsApp marketing?

WhatsApp marketing involves strategically using the messaging platform to effectively reach and engage potential customers. With its massive global user base, with a projection to reach 3 billion active users in June 2024 worldwide. WhatsApp offers businesses an extensive audience to connect with. This facilitates direct, personalized communication for sharing information, offering customer support, and promoting products or services, making it a valuable tool in modern marketing strategies. 

There are two versions of WhatsApp, that were released as a standalone business version, allowing companies to interact with customers with more advanced features then the personal WhatsApp:

  • WhatsApp Business App: for small companies, with limited tools.

  • WhatsApp Business API: for medium and large companies, with more advanced tools and automations.

If you are a business owner, setting up WhatsApp marketing campaigns is the ultimate way to reach your customers

Let’s check some helpful tips and tricks for getting the most out of the world’s biggest messaging platform! 

WhatsApp marketing campaign: how to start?

1. Set Clear Goals and KPI’s

  • Define what you want to achieve with your campaign. Examples include increasing brand awareness, boosting sales, promoting a new product, or enhancing customer engagement.

  • Establish which KPI’s you're gonna use to measure success. KPI’s might include open rates, response rates, conversion rates, and customer feedback.

2. Understand Your Audience

  • Divide your audience into segments based on demographics, purchasing behavior, and preferences.

  • Create Personas, develop detailed profiles of your ideal customers to tailor your messaging effectively.

3. Build Your Contact List

  • Gather contacts: Collect WhatsApp numbers through opt-in forms on your website, in-store sign-ups, or other lead generation tactics. Ensure you have permission to contact them via WhatsApp.

  • Compliance: Ensure you adhere to privacy regulations and get explicit consent from users to send them marketing messages.

4. Create a WhatsApp Business Account

  • Download WhatsApp Business App: Set up a profile for your business with relevant details like business name, logo, description, and contact information.

  • API Integration: For larger businesses, you must use a WhatsApp Business API

5. Craft Your Messages

  • Tone of Voice: Ensure your messages align with your brand’s tone of voice.

  • Value Proposition: Focus on delivering value to your customers through your messages, such as special offers, useful information, and engaging content.

  • Personalization: Use customer data to personalize messages. Address recipients by their names and tailor content to their preferences and behaviors.

6. Use Visual Aids

  • Images and Videos: Incorporate images, videos, and GIFs to make your messages more engaging.

  • Polls and Quizzes: Use polls and quizzes to interact with your audience and gather insights.

7. Plan Your Campaign

  • Scheduling: Decide the frequency and timing of your messages to avoid spamming and ensure they are sent at optimal times.

  • Content Calendar: Develop a content calendar to plan and organize your messages ahead of time.

8. Automate and Optimize

  • Chatbots: Implement chatbots to handle common queries and automate responses for efficiency.

  • A/B Testing: Test different versions of messages to see what works best and optimize accordingly.

9. Monitor and Analyze

  • Track Performance: Use WhatsApp’s analytics tools to monitor the performance of your messages.

  • Feedback Loop: Gather feedback from recipients to understand what’s working and what isn’t.

  • Adjust Strategy: Continuously refine your strategy based on the data and feedback you receive.

WhatsApp marketing strategy: turns leads into customers through the sales funnel

How WhatsApp create a holistic customer journey

WhatsApp plays a significant role in guiding customers through various stages of the sales funnel, enhancing their shopping experience, and fostering long-term engagement with businesses.

1. Awareness

To allow businesses to reach customers on Facebook, WhatsApp introduced click-to-WhatsApp ads. When customers click on these ads on Facebook, they will be directed to WhatsApp. This feature allows customers to conveniently start a conversation with the brand with just one click, fostering interest and curiosity.

Businesses can use WhatsApp links and QR codes, which make it even easier for customers to contact them, and use a WhatsApp Manager to better manage the surge in conversations!

2. Consideration

Once customers find a product they are interested in, they can have a seamless conversation with the brand. Using a WhatsApp API, you can send your customers a WhatsApp catalog using a  WhatsApp chatbot, so they can make inquiries, or receive additional information, without any human contact. Only with automation. This real-time communication fosters a sense of trust and transparency, making it easier for customers to consider their potential purchases.

If you’re using the free version, you can send WhatsApp pre-filled messages to reduce the number of these follow-ups to a minimum. 

3. Purchase

WhatsApp takes the purchase process to the next level by enabling customers to make purchases directly within the app. By integrating with existing e-commerce platform, businesses can share an in chat payment link with customers which allows them to make payments without leaving WhatsApp, streamlining the path to purchase by providing a frictionless and convenient shopping experience.

4. Retention

After a successful purchase, WhatsApp continues to be a valuable tool for customer retention. Brands can offer post-purchase services such as automated delivery updates, shipping reminders, and personalized suggestions for related products—all communicated within WhatsApp. Other than that, brands can keep engaging with their customer by sending personalized broadcast messages to announce promotions, or new product updates. This ongoing engagement enhances customer satisfaction and encourages them to stay connected with the brand.

WhatsApp Business marketing: How to grow and manage your audiences

How to use WhatsApp Business for marketing?

1. Present an attractive brand persona

To make sure your customers can spot your brand quickly, you need to develop a strong, impressive, warm-blooded brand.You must create and incorporate your brand's tone of voice in all the campaigns you conduct. 

2. Build a contact base with broadcast lists

old call messages are not allowed on WhatsApp to avoid spam.

. Businesses can only send messages to customers under 2 scenarios:

  •  The customer initiates the conversation

  •  The company’s phone number is on the customer’s contact list. 

In exchange for the WhatsApp number, you, therefore, need to offer them something of value. An exclusive coupon, promotional code, or a giveaway campaign can all be good incentives for your WhatsApp marketing strategy to convince the users to start building relationships with you. 

To overcome the limitations of WhatsApp Business, you can use a WhatsApp API to broadcast messages to an unlimited number of contacts and without the risk of being blocked.

3. Offer relatable content to customers

Customers may come to you for specific reasons, in other words, you can’t use only one type of WhatsApp marketing content to keep every audience member engaged. Don’t forget to make good use of the Label feature. You can create labels with different colors or names, and add them to an entire chat, group, or certain messages within a chat. 

By targeting those who are interested in particular topics and feeding them with relevant content, you can eventually expand your customer base.

4. Deliver excellent customer service

24/7 customer service used to be very luxurious, but with WhatsApp Business, even a small companies

 can now provide real-time support with a limited budget. No doubt, speed matters in customer service. Fortunately, WhatsApp Business can send quick replies. 

With quick replies, you can create keyboard shortcuts for the messages, which is especially useful when you have to answer the same question over and over. This provides a considerable benefit of saving time but still being able to actively connect with customers. 

5. Conduct customer research

You must first have an in-depth understanding of who your buyers are, your specific market, and what influences the purchase decisions and behavior of your target audience members before achieving the goal.

Generally, people react more positively to images than blocks of text, so do try using visual aids in your Whatsapp marketing questionnaire. Polls are also fun as they can give the respondents a glimpse of how they compare to others. With WhatsApp Business API, you can create interactive buttons for your customer surveys pools, and make it easier for them to respond.

Read more: WhatsApp Business API: pricing, functions, and all you need to know

Unlock the best WhatsApp marketing potential: WhatsApp Business API 

WhatsApp Business API enables advanced personalized interactions, for large and medium size companies, that guide customers toward making informed decisions.

The multi-agent workflow access provided by platforms like SleekFlow ensures that customer inquiries are directed to the appropriate agents or teams, ensuring efficient handling of queries. This personal touch contributes to a positive customer service experience, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Besides, automated marketing campaigns, such as abandoned cart messages or personalized sales promotions, WhatsApp marketing automation helps businesses reconnect with customers, and sustain their engagement. This strategic approach not only fosters an enhancement in brand loyalty but also serves as a catalyst for driving purchasing behavior, consequently leading to a notable surge in overall sales performance.Create advanced WhatsApp  chatbots to interact with your audience, in all the sales funnel stages.

WhatsApp Business API streamlines the purchase process by offering features like ecommerce integration, and  one-click checkout link. Customers can complete transactions directly within WhatsApp, reducing friction in the buying journey. This convenience encourages customers to finalize their purchases without the need to switch to external websites or apps.

Integrate your WhatsApp platform with your CRM software and other messaging apps. 

The customer journey doesn't end after the purchase; it extends into the care phase. Businesses can continue engaging with customers through WhatsApp Business API by providing post-purchase support, order tracking updates, and addressing any concerns.

Building customer loyalty is crucial for sustained success. 

By collaborating with a Business Solution Provider (BSP), such as SleekFlow, businesses can leverage the automated WhatsApp chatbot feature to provide a more personalized and efficient customer experience. This, in turn, leads to increased customer engagement and enhanced retention rates.

Connect to WhatsApp Business API now!

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

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. 

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

Case studies -  integrate WhatsApp Business API into marketing strategies

1. TKD Lingerie

TKD Lingerie Holiday WhatsApp Marketing Campaign

TKD Lingerie operates in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and holds a unique position as the only specialist for D-K cup lingerie in the Middle East. Their core emphasis is on women's lingerie, swimwear, sportswear, maternity wear, and nightwear. The brand has established a strong digital footprint, amassing a substantial Instagram following of over 10K users. 

TKD upholding customer privacy, comfort, and preferences is of paramount importance to TKD Lingerie. They extend their service beyond understanding customer needs by offering convenient virtual or in-person fittings through WhatsApp.

Yet, TKD Lingerie faced challenges in managing diverse customer information due to their wide product range. They also aimed to cultivate post-purchase customer relationships and ensure seamless WhatsApp communication for customers across locations. To overcome this, they adopted the WhatsApp Business API via SleekFlow. 

A 7-day WhatsApp Broadcast Campaign was launched, reaching 4500 contacts, promoting a 3-for-2 promotion from their customer database. Utilizing social CRM features, customer segmentation based on preferences streamlined personalized marketing, alongside accessible insights for cross-channel campaign evaluation. 

By leveraging these features, the marketing campaign yielded remarkable outcomes: 

  • a 74% message open rate, 

  • 78 closed online-to-offline sales attributions, 

  • an outstanding Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) of 40X.

A lot of people prefer being contacted via their mobiles over email. We have seen a better open rate with SleekFlow Broadcasting and a really good return on Broadcasting messages.

Kate Kikano

Kate Kikano

Founder of TKD Lingerie

2. Bossini

BOSSINI 群發訊息 WhatsApp Broadcast

bossini, a well-known fashion brand, achieved remarkable success in their O2O marketing strategy by utilizing WhatsApp broadcast campaign via SleekFlow. They employed this approach to overcome the limitations of their mobile app's push notifications, which people opt out of mobile app push notifications and lack customer insight. 

bossini proactively sought an alternative solution, turning to WhatsApp for its interactive messages and quick reply button for their first O2O marketing campaign. The results achieved were impressive:

  • Efficiently distribute 10,000 coupons within just five days,

  • Achieve 80% promotion message open rate and over 14% response rates,

  • 18% increase in in-store membership sales.

By relying on this data-driven strategy, bossini was able to not only enhance customer engagement and interactions but also experience substantial business growth.

Retail selling is all about communication. The messaging data generated by SleekFlow is critical for us to drive lasting sales performance.

Yonnie Wong

Senior Marketing Manager of bossini

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