WhatsApp Marketing 101: An online guide to WhatsApp campaigns for your business 
What is WhatsApp marketing?
WhatsApp marketing involves strategically utilizing the WhatsApp messaging platform to effectively reach and engage potential customers. With its massive global user base exceeding 2.5 billion as of April 2022, and particularly high penetration rates in certain nations like Brazil, where nearly 99% of messaging app users have the platform installed (Statista, 2023), 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.
The high number of WhatsApp users indicates there are enormous potential audiences ready to be reached. In 2018, WhatsApp released a standalone business version, allowing companies to interact with customers via greeting messages, quick replies, and business profiles. From that moment on, many started scrambling over each other to explore this opportunity. However, jumping on the bandwagon is never easy. Let’s check out these helpful tips and tricks for getting the most out of the world’s biggest messaging platform! If you are a business owner, setting up WhatsApp marketing campaigns is the ultimate way to reach your customers.
Why WhatsApp Business for marketing?
Instant and interactive conversation
According to the research published by HubSpot, 82% of customers expected an immediate response to a sales or marketing question, while 90% expected an immediate response to a customer service question. In such cases, WhatsApp marketing offers an automated reply that is an extraordinary way to address this issue: it allows your customer to feel heard. You can also make good use of the automated greeting message to gather more information from the customers, which will help you to identify their particular needs more easily and save some effort of going back and forth. Imagine even creating WhatsApp digital marketing campaigns instead of traditional email marketing to keep the customer engaged even during your marketing communications.
Sometimes, customers’ inquiries are complex and challenging to solve straight away. Instead of spending extra time digging out all the information from customers, you can customize the WhatsApp pre-filled messages to reduce the number of these follow-ups to a minimum. Moreover, the predefined text can encourage your audiences to engage with your company on certain topics. This can potentially contribute to your revenue growth, as well as improve customer satisfaction and streamline your operations.
Businesses can utilize WhatsApp links, which make it even easier for customers to contact them, and use a WhatsApp Manager to better manage the surge in conversations!
Using WhatsApp marketing services for your campaigns and day-to-day communications with your customers will be an innovative way to improve customer service operations, sales, marketing, and advertising.
WhatsApp vs WhatsApp Business
Of course, you can use your personal WhatsApp account to communicate with both of your friends and customers, but, it will undoubtedly be hard to differentiate between private and business relationships. Not only can WhatsApp Business help you to stay organized, but it can also assist you in offering customer service options, showcasing products and services, and most vitally, creating a strong brand connection with every single customer through WhatsApp marketing strategies.
WhatsApp sales funnel: turns leads into customers
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.
Social media is the new platform for product exploration. As of 2023, there are 3.03 billion active Facebook users worldwide. 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.
Once customers find a product they are interested in, they can have a seamless conversation with the brand. Whether browsing the WhatsApp catalog in the chat, making inquiries, or receiving additional information, it's all within a WhatsApp thread. This real-time communication fosters a sense of trust and transparency, making it easier for customers to consider their potential purchases.
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.
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.
How to use WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business is a free app available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
To get started, you have to create your business profile by entering details under Settings > Business Settings > Profile. Make sure you get these accurate since any misleading information can cause you trouble.
Followed by the most important step, is setting up the messaging tools. You need to go to Settings > Business Settings and check the messaging options available there. There are 3 options: Away message, Greeting message, and Quick replies and you can set each of these depending on your requirements.
Apart from 1:1 support, you can also remind your customers about your latest promotions in one go. To create a WhatsApp broadcast message, you have to go to the WhatsApp > More options > New Broadcast. Search or select the contacts you want to add, then tap the checkmark. You can select all the contacts you wish to send a broadcast to and send it, or you can organize your contacts with labels and then send a broadcast to one or more than one set of labeled broadcast lists.
For more app features, you can refer to Sleekflow’s complete guide on using WhatsApp Business.
How to grow and manage your audiences?
Creating a WhatsApp Business account is definitely not the hardest while establishing a presence in customers’ minds is. How can you keep in touch with your audiences without annoying them?
The key is to continuously deliver great content on relevant topics. Thus, it is of utmost importance for you to label all contacts, or else it will be very tricky to find the right person to stimulate a conversation. The default setting already has included a couple of different labels, but you are always welcome to add your own as well.
After putting your customers into different categories, you can start interacting with them via either a group or a broadcast list.
A group is a place for your fans and customers to bond together. They can learn about your products and get access to exclusive knowledge through chatting with other like-minded people. It is also a handy channel for you to tap into some real insights.
Another practice is to send out a broadcast message to every individual in the broadcast list as mentioned above. It is very similar to a marketing email but with a much higher open rate – the text message on WhatsApp gets an average open rate of 98%. Unlike group chats, recipients will see the message as a standard conversation appearing in their WhatsApp chat list. With this one-to-many conversation feature, you can keep the conversation private and personal. All replies will be visible to the broadcaster only and no one else will get to see the reply.
WhatsApp Business marketing strategies
1. Present an attractive brand persona
It’s 2020 now. If you want your brand to rise above the digital noise, a cold and sterile approach is not the strategy you should attempt. To make sure your customers can spot your brand quickly, you need to develop a strong, impressive, warm-blooded brand. For instance, including jokes about your brand on the business profile or sending festive profile pictures on special occasions. Quick reminder for your WhatsApp marketing strategy: don’t hesitate to use internet slang such as “btw” and “LOL”, speak with your customers like the way you speak with your friends.
2. Build a contact base with broadcast lists
Due to WhatsApp’s anti-ad philosophy, cold call messages are not allowed. Businesses can only send messages to customers under 2 scenarios – either the customer initiates the conversation or 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 business 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. By integrating a poll midway through a survey, the respondents can be immediately informed of the overall polling results, rendering them a sense of wider engagement with other respondents.
6. Utilize WhatsApp status
Like other social stories, the Status Feature on WhatsApp Business allows you to share an image or video that lasts for 24 hours with your contacts. You can create and share special and limited promotional offers with your customers and incentivize them to redeem. Using the instant photo and location feature, Status can let everyone in your group know about the ongoing promotions. If you want to drive in traffic and create buzz, you can even launch a two-hour flash sale or a one-day special with a WhatsApp Broadcast campaign.
Unlock business potential: leveraging WhatsApp API for customer engagement
The customer journey is no longer linear; it's a multi-faceted experience that spans various channels and touchpoints. Acknowledging this fundamental shift, WhatsApp has introduced a versatile solution: WhatsApp Business API. This tool allows businesses to establish a meaningful connection with customers, from raising awareness about their offerings to facilitating purchases, and enables businesses to nurture long-term relationships by facilitating ongoing communication.
3-minute quick read: SleekFlow's Official WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp Business API enables personalized interactions 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, help 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.
WhatsApp Business API streamlines the purchase process by offering features like commerce integration, and a 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.
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. Through this approach, businesses can craft greeting messages, quick replies, and icons tailored to their distinct brand persona. This attention to detail fosters a positive and consistent brand image, ultimately bolstering brand loyalty.
Case studies - integrate WhatsApp Business API into marketing strategies
1. TKD Lingerie
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.
Founder of TKD Lingerie
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.
Senior Marketing Manager of bossini
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