Looking to use WhatsApp for WhatsApp lead generation? You’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we'll walk you through the basics of WhatsApp lead generation and its benefits. Then we’ll show you how to generate leads and manage them using WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp API connected to a customer conversation management software.
What is WhatsApp Lead Generation?
WhatsApp lead generation is the process of using WhatsApp Business to generate leads— potential customers who have shown interest in a product or service. Businesses can generate leads on WhatsApp via the WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp API.
While using WhatsApp to generate leads may be a new method for some businesses, they can benefit from it in many ways.
Benefits of Using WhatsApp for Lead Generation
WhatsApp is a highly engaging messaging channel that businesses use to reach their target audience and build relationships through casual conversations. With billions of messages exchanged on the platform daily, WhatsApp allows businesses to reach a large customer base, especially in regions where WhatsApp is popular.
Compared to traditional channels like email and webchat, WhatsApp is a better platform for lead generation as it overcomes common problems faced by businesses using these channels.
For instance, emails may end up in the spam folder, get lost in the sea of unopened emails and take longer to build relationships due to their formal tone.
Traditional webchat increases the risk of losing leads because website visitors can be anonymous and both parties must be online at the same time to communicate.
With WhatsApp, businesses can capture lead information like name and phone number when leads message via WhatsApp webchat or the WhatsApp App and get higher visibility as people are more likely to check WhatsApp than email.
It also gives both businesses and customers the flexibility to have conversations at convenient times. By removing the time and hassle of using formal language, businesses can move leads down the funnel faster and increase conversion rates.
Best of all, thanks to WhatsApp being a part of the Meta family, businesses can link their Facebook Page and Instagram accounts to WhatsApp, enabling them to direct traffic from these social media sites to WhatsApp.
Plus, there are also other WhatsApp tools like chat links, QR codes and more that can help businesses generate inbound leads and communicate with them efficiently.
Before utilizing these WhatsApp lead generation tools, let's look into WhatsApp Business App and API rules for lead generation.
WhatsApp Lead Generation: What You Should Know
Businesses can generate leads on WhatsApp via the WhatsApp Business App, which is designed for small businesses, or WhatsApp API, which is created for SMEs and enterprises.
With the WhatsApp Business App, businesses can message leads and customers anytime; they simply need to abide by WhatsApp’s Business and Commerce Policies. The app is also free to use.
WhatsApp API, on the other hand, has a set of rules in addition to the Business and Commerce Policies that protect users’ privacy, encourages fast replies and prevent businesses from spamming customers.
For instance, only customers can freely start a conversation and businesses need to reply within a 24-hour messaging window. To start a conversation with leads or customers on WhatsApp, businesses must only use pre-approved Template Messages.
Most importantly, the API does not have a user interface, so it needs to be connected to third-party software like the respond.io customer conversation management software.
Now that you understand the types of WhatsApp products that you can use to generate leads and their rules, we’ll show you how to use WhatsApp for lead generation.
WhatsApp Lead Generation: How to Generate WhatsApp Leads
WhatsApp has made it easy for WhatsApp Business users to generate leads with free and paid tools like click-to-chat ads, chat links and QR codes and webchat widgets.
This section will show how to use these tools to generate WhatsApp Leads.
Generate Marketing Leads with Click-to-Chat Ads
Social media platforms are highly effective for marketing. With more than half of the world's population using them, it gives businesses a high potential for success to reach their desired target audience.
If you have a Facebook account, connect it with your WhatsApp Business account and create WhatsApp click-to-chat ads on Facebook and Instagram to reach more leads. Keep in mind that WhatsApp ads are not free.
The WhatsApp Business App Ad tool allows you to advertise your WhatsApp Catalog or a specific image from your phone gallery on Facebook and Instagram to a selected target market based on your budget.
The ad will direct leads straight to your WhatsApp inbox from which they can start a conversation about a product or service that they are interested in.
To set it up, go to your WhatsApp Business App settings and select Advertise on Facebook. Choose the product from your WhatsApp Catalog or an image to advertise and click continue to Facebook. After that, select an image and click Done. Then, add your ad copy and preview your ad.
After that, select your target market and daily budget, then schedule your ad for a set duration. If you want to reach Instagram users, ensure that the Run this ad on Instagram toggle is on. Once you’re happy with your ad, click Promote Now to launch the ad.
Just like that, you can reach more target audiences and get them to message you on WhatsApp. Alternatively, you can set up WhatsApp click-to-chat ads on Meta Business Suite if you’re using WhatsApp API.
Now, let's take a look at using WhatsApp chat links and QR codes for lead generation.
Get Leads to Message You First with Chat Links and QR Codes
Click-to-chat links and QR codes are the two most useful features to funnel inbound leads. You can embed your chat link anywhere on various digital mediums like websites and social media and paste your WhatsApp QR code in your physical store, pamphlets and more.
To generate your click-to-chat link and QR code on the WhatsApp Business App, all you need is to go to your WhatsApp settings > Business Tools > Short Link. On this page, you can share your chat link and QR code and compose a message that pre-fills the lead’s greeting message when they are directed to the chat inbox.
You can also use the respond.io WhatsApp link generator to generate a link, whether you’re using WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp API.
If you’re using WhatsApp API connected to respond.io, generate links and QR codes easily on respond.io. To start, go to Settings, click on Growth Widgets and press Add Widget. Choose QR Code and click Create Widget.
Then choose WhatsApp from the dropdown menu of channels, select your WhatsApp Business Account, compose your pre-filled message and click Generate Widget. Then copy the chat link or share the QR code.
Next, we’ll show you how to generate leads using the WhatsApp widget.
Turn Website Visitors into WhatsApp Leads with Webchat
Installing a website chat is a great way to turn website visitors into WhatsApp leads. However, only businesses using WhatsApp API can install a WhatsApp webchat on their website.
To set up WhatsApp widget on respond.io, go to Settings > Growth Widgets > Add Widget > WhatsApp > Create Widget. Then, input the website domain and WhatsApp Business Account and click on Generate Widget.
A pop-up will appear to prompt you to install a script on your website. This step differs depending on which website service provider you use, such as WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace and Joomla.
Having understood the methods for generating leads through WhatsApp, let's proceed to the next step: Managing those leads effectively.
Managing WhatsApp Leads: Best Practices
Now that you have encouraged leads to message you, you need to manage them effectively and ensure that you have the resources to reply to high volumes of inbound conversations.
This section will show you some best practices you can apply to manage and communicate with your WhatsApp leads.
Managing Leads with WhatsApp Business App
The WhatsApp Business App has all the essential tools for small businesses to manage conversations on WhatsApp.
For instance, when a new contact messages them, they can use labels to segment the leads into different groups based on geography, priority, language and more. This enables them to target contacts with their promotional broadcast messages, resulting in more effective lead generation.
As mentioned earlier, WhatsApp users usually expect fast replies from businesses. To help manage their expectations, businesses can send an automated welcome message to greet new customers and an away message when leads message them outside of business operation hours.
As it can be tiresome and time-consuming for sales representatives to answer the same questions repeatedly, businesses can set up pre-determined answers to commonly asked questions using the quick reply feature.
The WhatsApp Business App is a good option for micro to small businesses that want to generate and manage leads on WhatsApp.
However, as your team grows, you’ll notice that the app cannot handle medium to high volumes of messages, lacks advanced automation features, is unable to identify which agent is in charge of a certain conversation and more.
This is when you need to upgrade to WhatsApp API and connect it to respond.io. Now, let’s look at how respond.io can help you manage conversations with WhatsApp leads.
Manage Leads with WhatsApp API Connected to respond.io
The respond.io customer conversation management software allows you to streamline all your business communication channels into a single omnichannel inbox.
It enables you to use WhatsApp Business with multiple users and access tools to organize WhatsApp leads, automate conversations and collaborate with team members for assistance.
Most importantly, it supports all of the WhatsApp API features like sending broadcasts, push notifications, setting up interactive messages and more.
Respond.io also has a mobile app that is useful for teams that are on the go to reply to messages anytime, anywhere.
If you’re upgrading your account from WhatsApp Business App to WhatsApp API, you can save your WhatsApp contacts in a CSV file and import them to respond.io. This way, you will not lose your existing contacts which consist of potential leads.
That said, let's take a look at how you can use respond.io to manage WhatsApp leads.
Organize WhatsApp Leads
When a lead messages you, collect basic information to determine if they are a new lead or an existing Contact that has previously messaged you on another channel.
If they are an existing Contact, you will be prompted to merge their contact details and conversation history across channels into a unified profile for a comprehensive view of their interactions with your business.
If a lead is new, you will automatically capture their details and add them as a Contact on respond.io.
Every time you get new leads, make sure to segment them into different audiences based on priority, interests, geography and more. This will help when sending targeted broadcast messages via the respond.io Broadcast Module.
Now that you have the contact management part sorted, it’s time to automate chats to handle the high volume of inbound conversations.
Manage Lead Conversations with Automation
With respond.io, businesses can automate sales tasks like qualifying leads, routing them to the right sales team based on the funnel they fall into and auto-assigning them to a sales agent accordingly.
The highly customizable nature of respond.io’s Workflows gives managers the freedom to implement their routing logic like routing leads by priority access, deal size, region and more.
Plus, they can ensure equal lead distribution among the sales team or assign existing customers to their dedicated salesperson automatically.
Exchange Lead Information with Existing Software Stack
If you have a CRM like Hubspot or a data enrichment platform like Clearbit, you can connect them to respond.io to exchange information, qualify leads and create deals automatically while messaging customers on respond.io.
This allows you to exchange information with a click of a button, saving you the effort of going back and forth between your CRM and the respond.io inbox to reply to WhatsApp messages.
Businesses can also enjoy the flexibility of integrating custom channels like their own apps or use Zapier to connect over 5,000 applications with respond.io.
Improve Lead Generation with Collaboration Tools
Respond.io has a variety of collaboration tools for agents to communicate internally whenever they need help dealing with a lead.
For instance, agents can tag teammates for assistance, leave internal comments for handovers, allow managers to monitor and guide live conversations and add conversation summaries for data gathering when closing a conversation.
Besides that, the respond.io Reports and Analytics Module helps managers evaluate the efficiency of their lead-qualifying process, identify areas for improvement and help their team achieve better lead conversion.
They can also keep track of agent workload and productivity, case resolution time and conversation progress in real-time.
In summary, if you are a small business that receives low volumes of messages, use WhatsApp Business App for lead generation. However, if you’re receiving high volumes of leads or foresee your business growing, then you need WhatsApp API connected to respond.io. Ready to get started? Sign up for our free trial today!
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