You’re sharing posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. That’s great — but are you also promoting your business on one of the most popular playgrounds around? We’re talking about WhatsApp, of course. WhatsApp promotional messages are a powerful way to get the word out about your brand or business.
So, what is promotional messaging on WhatsApp? Businesses can use WhatsApp API to conduct upselling or cross-selling activities, promote restocked or seasonal products, share special offers, and even onboard new subscribers by introducing a service’s features.
WhatsApp Promotional Messages: Where Do They Belong In Your Marketing Strategy?
Email used to be the platform of choice for promotional activity but those days are in the rear-view mirror. While social media has taken its place, it faces limitations such as publicly shared negative feedback. If you’re looking ahead, messaging is the way to go.
To guide your understanding of WhatsApp’s place in your marketing strategy, we’ve designed a framework for channel selection based on activity type (marketing or remarketing activities) and its success metrics (brand awareness or brand engagement).
First, consider if you’ll be using the channel for marketing or remarketing. Marketing aims to attract new eyeballs and build brand awareness but this sometimes results in spam.
To maintain a high-quality user experience, WhatsApp only allows new customers to initiate conversations while businesses can only proactively message Contacts in their customer lists. WhatsApp is therefore a remarketing platform.
Rather than brand awareness, the success of promotional activity on WhatsApp rests on brand engagement, measured with performance marketing metrics like open and click-through rates. Messaging’s superior engagement translates to higher revenue potential here.
WhatsApp Promotional Messages: Recent Developments
Initially, WhatsApp only allowed businesses to send transactional messages, such as shipping updates. It trialed non-transactional or promotional messages in several countries throughout 2021 and finally lifted this restriction globally in September 2021.
This is important because WhatsApp is — or should be — part of any omnichannel marketing strategy. It can complement promotional activity on other channels, like website banners or social media posts, or creatively engage with customers in its own right.
Before you send out a flurry of WhatsApp promotional messages, here are some things to note.
Firstly, Contacts have to opt-in to receive promotional messages. You also have to abide by the terms in WhatsApp’s Business and Commerce Policies. This includes only using Message Templates, which are subject to pre-approval by WhatsApp.
Finally, the service incurs costs, including the respond.io account fee, Business Solutions Providers (BSPs) fees, and WhatsApp conversation fees. That said, the potential benefits of WhatsApp promotional messages far outweigh the costs.
WhatsApp Promotional Messages: A Marketing Must-Have
With over 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is a business must in countries where the app is dominant. Interactions are informal and instant, which spur action now and build brand loyalty in the long term.
Hands down, its greatest benefit is enabling businesses to initiate communication with known Contacts. It’s also extremely cost-effective to market directly to people who have already shown an interest in your products or services.
Additionally, a strategic WhatsApp promotional message compels action. Over 90% of first-time website visitors aren’t ready to make a purchase. Reminding them of their desire on a frequently-used channel increases user conviction and conversions.
Then, there’s the versatility of WhatsApp Message Templates, which can be adapted for different use cases. The same campaigns and techniques applied for email marketing are more relevant and widely received with messaging. We explore some of them below.
Promotional Messages on WhatsApp: The respond.io Way
Let’s talk about how to send promotional messages on WhatsApp. To get started, you need a WhatsApp Business API account and respond.io account. You also need a Contact list, which you can build with the following methods:
Once you’re ready, here are three ways to use WhatsApp promotional messaging.
Broadcast Promotions to a Wide Audience
Perhaps you run a supermarket franchise and want to promote monthly offers to your online shoppers. You’ve been using email newsletters, but chances are customers are ignoring them. Instead, send WhatsApp Broadcasts for this type of remarketing exercise.
Broadcasts are the best solution for announcements. They are targeted, focused and delivered to an inbox where Contacts spend a lot of time. Although messages like restock alerts are sent en masse, they can be personalized to address recipients by name with Dynamic Variables.
Contacts expect to hear from you — they opted to receive your messages, after all. That said, use broadcasts carefully to avoid them being mistaken for spam as this can get your phone number blocked and affect your quality rating.
If this sounds like the right strategy for you, use WhatsApp Broadcast in the Broadcast Module to reach thousands of targeted Contacts at once.
Automate Promotional Messages with Triggers
Say you’re the owner of a premium gadget store. You’ve noticed that online shoppers spend a significant amount of time browsing and selecting items, but there’s a consistently high percentage of abandoned carts.
Return-to-cart emails recover some 10% of that potential revenue but WhatsApp messages reach users while intent or desire is still fresh. Nearly 80% of WhatsApp messages are read within 5 minutes, far superior to email’s lower and slower open rates.
What’s more, up to 60% of abandoned carts stand to be recovered via WhatsApp cart recovery messages. Interactive Message Template features like call-to-action buttons combine a sense of urgency with ease of action.
Each step in a customer’s journey involves decision-making. Clearly telling them what to do reduces decision fatigue and prompts action. This is especially effective for customers who need a nudge to indulge in non-essentials like gaming accessories.
Setting up WhatsApp promotional messages in response to specified trigger events involves a similar process as WhatsApp push notifications. You’ll soon be able to do this via Messages API through a Zapier integration.
Create a WhatsApp Drip Campaign
Say a streaming app wants to convert trial users to subscribers. A tried-and-tested method would be a drip marketing campaign. In this, a sequence of automated messages would be sent to Contacts in response to their actions or changes in their customer journey.
Rather than settle for email’s lackluster engagement, create a WhatsApp drip campaign. Entice action by evoking excitement or urgency across multiple messages to keep a business in customers’ consciousness and encourage repeat service use.
WhatsApp drip campaigns have an added advantage: The informality of messaging apps makes these suggestions sound friendlier than they would on email. Business messaging strengthens customer relationships and can lead to almost 600% more click rates than email.
If you haven’t considered exploring WhatsApp for promotional activities, you are definitely missing out as messaging has enormous potential in the marketing sphere. Get started now to get ahead of the competition.
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