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The complete guide for WhatsApp Broadcast messages for your business in Singapore [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 and marketing messaging strategy in recent years.

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

What is WhatsApp Broadcast?

WhatsApp Broadcast is a feature that allows you to send bulk messages through  WhatsApp, distributing information to multiple contacts at once. Unlike a group chat, the recipients of the message will receive it as an individual message and they will not be able to see who else received the message.

Undoubtedly, reaching the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time is important, but the key lies in ensuring that the recipients receive the automatic message through a reliable platform. When governments and public organisations need to notify the public urgently, messages are usually relayed by SMS through telco carriers, such as StarHub, Singtel, or M1. However, when it comes to promotional marketing, the focus and methods are different.

The logic behind WhatsApp Broadcast for business  

When choosing the right service provider for WhatsApp Broadcast, apart from taking the price into consideration, you should be aware of whether the WhatsApp blast software provides:

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

  2. Analytical features that will allow you to evaluate the campaign performance

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

Other than that, to plan a well-performing WhatsApp campaign, you also need to consider if the :

  1. The number of WhatsApp Business broadcast limit

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

  3. Structure and size of the content of your message

  4. Archive capacity  

Once you have chosen your WhatsApp blast software to broadcast messages, the first thing is to upload your contact database to your supplier’s platform. Therefore, convenience is also a vital factor as 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 Broadcast for business on the WhatsApp Business App?

With more than 2 billion WhatsApp users around the world, WhatsApp dominates Singapore with 98% of the people using it as the main messaging app. 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 at attracting attention and increasing customer engagement and eventually, conversion, sending broadcasts on WhatsApp with messages and conversations. WhatsApp Broadcast automation is the ultimate trick to your 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 of sending bulk messages through WhatsApp from broadcasting automated messages and experiencing benefits to their business.

Here are some features you can find on the WhatsApp Business App as compared to the normal WhatsApp messaging app:

1. WhatsApp 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 organise 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 catalogue of products and services for easy browsing

Upload your products with the details and pricing for users to browse through your catalogue at their convenience and share with their friends easily.

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 1 phone and 4 linked devices on WhatsApp Web to log into the app to reply to customers. 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 messages through WhatsApp for promotional purposes.

Need to learn more about the free WhatsApp Business App? Read WhatsApp Business: All You Need To Know.

How does a broadcast work on 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 send bulk messages through WhatsApp using the WhatsApp Business App’s limited broadcast function.

1. Create a WhatsApp Broadcast list

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

That being said, do note that each list has a WhatsApp Business broadcast limit with 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.

Account banned by WhatsApp? Find out what to do to retrieve your WhatsApp Business account.

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. In addition, 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 a WhatsApp broadcast message to customers

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

Using WhatsApp Broadcast for business on the WhatsApp Business App is free of charge. You do not need to pay to send bulk messages through WhatsApp. However, there are some limitations to sending WhatsApp Broadcast messages on the free App.

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 personalise your message a little by including their names, good luck with sending out personalised 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.

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

WhatsApp Broadcast solution: how to send WhatsApp message in bulk with API

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

To expand your business in Singapore 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.

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.

Benefits of using WhatsApp Business API

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

  2. You can apply for green tick verification to show brand authenticity and reliability.

  3. 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.

  4. Users will need to opt-in to receive WhatsApp Broadcast messages, increasing customer satisfaction when they receive personalised, relevant messages

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

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 for customer support and service staff as it provides more opportunities to build stronger relationships with customers through WhatsApp conversations and automation. This can be done by sending personalised messages and offers to customers at the right time, while also being able to conduct short surveys and provide instant customer support. Using WhatsApp Broadcast for business can level up your business in Singapore or even internationally as its features can have many applications if put to good use.

Find out all you need to know about the WhatsApp Business API, including functions and pricing, to scale your business in Singapore.

How to send WhatsApp Broadcast messages with SleekFlow?

If your business is growing fast in Singapore, the WhatsApp Business API and WhatsApp Broadcast function become more essential. Through an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP), such as SleekFlow, you can use the WhatsApp Business Platform to make 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.

Also, on the SleekFlow web app or mobile app, you can broadcast WhatsApp messages on iPhone or Android devices anytime, anywhere.

I would recommend SleekFlow to companies which produce fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) as they face a lot of customers every day. It also helps educational apps to communicate with kids and parents.

Tai Seng Yee

Executive Director, ZENXIN

See how ZENXIN Organic, Asia’s leading producer and retailer of organic produce, utilised WhatsApp Broadcast for business on SleekFlow to reach a wider audience and boost sales.

Advantages of using SleekFlow as a WhatsApp blast software for your business in Singapore

Compared to WhatsApp Broadcast for business on the free app, functions on SleekFlow Campaign will allow you to do more:

Multiple logins and simultaneous conversations on WhatsApp Business

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

Personalise WhatsApp Broadcast messages with variables

Personalise 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 WhatsApp Broadcast campaign messages

You can send yourself a test message to ensure that the content of your automated messages 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

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

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

Initiated conversations with X number of unique customers, where X is your current messaging limit divided by 2. For example, if your current limit is 10,000, you will need to send WhatsApp messages to more than 5,000 unique customers to upgrade your WhatsApp Business account to the next tier.

By using SleekFlow Automation, 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 in Singapore will be happy to help!

WhatsApp Business Template Messages (2023 updates)

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

Template Messages are often utilised for:

TypeUsageCategory of business-initiated conversation
MarketingPromotional offers, product announcements, discount codes, and moreMarketing conversations
One-time passwordsCodes for users to secure their accountsAuthentication conversations
Transactional messagesAccount or order updates, order delivery alerts, meeting reminders etc.Utility conversations

These 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 customised 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 containing 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 violateWhatsApp's Commerce Policy orWhatsApp's Business Policy

To ensure that you get the green light quickly and start your WhatsApp Broadcast 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 WhatsApp Broadcast for Business in Singapore

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, Telegram and other channels in an omnichannel inbox

SleekFlow’s localized experts are now in Singapore. Want to know more?

“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 bulk messages through WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Pricing Calculator for Singapore

*Following Meta’s latest updates on WhatsApp pricing starting in June 2023, our pricing calculator is under revamp. Please consult our team or read this blog for the most updated WhatsApp pricing structure.

Summary: using WhatsApp Broadcast for business in Singapore

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 WhatsApp Broadcast can have so many conveniences, there are also challenges in using one. For instance, there is a high chance you’ll be reported as spam when you overuse this feature. Thus, learning how to utilise WhatsApp Broadcast properly and effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions


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