WhatsApp marketing strategies for D2C eCommerce businesses
By Shoptimize | Jun 25 , 2021
Ever since WhatsApp made a foray into smartphones everywhere, it has grown leaps and bounds from being just a basic messaging app. Though messaging continues to be the app’s defining feature, WhatsApp Marketing has taken eCommerce to a whole new level over the last couple of years.
By 2018, WhatsApp had acquired 1.5 billion active monthly users and ranks among the top downloaded apps on iOS as well as Android. The number has grown to over five billion downloads today. As of now, the app has over two billion active monthly users, out of which 390 million are in India. Currently, in the United States, 68 million people use WhatsApp at least once every month.
WhatsApp Business was launched in 2018. Here’s everything you need to understand about using WhatsApp for business marketing and putting your brand on the map.
What is WhatsApp Marketing?
The concept behind WhatsApp Marketing is using the messenger feature of WhatsApp to promote a brand. Given the massive usage stats of WhatsApp, this is a channel that can reach out to a vast audience, provide instant connection and engagement, drive conversions and nurture customer relationships.
Operationally speaking, WhatsApp Marketing refers to the bulk messaging tool that facilitates communication for users, such as making it possible to send text messages, share images, transmit audio and video files. In the context of business, this capability can be tapped to facilitate instant and easy conversations between the enterprise and the consumer as well.
Given the popularity of this communication channel, the exposure stats are promising, with over half of WhatsApp users opening the app daily. Moreover, text messages have a whopping open rate of 98%. This ensures that your offers will reach your intended audience. A chat-based communication is beneficial both for the customer as well as the company.
What is the WhatsApp Marketing Strategy?
Any marketing initiative has to begin with a well-formulated strategy, and WhatsApp is no exception. You may wonder how to use WhatsApp for marketing. Well, the list of ingredients of a successful WhatsApp marketing strategy must include:
- 1. The WhatsApp Business App and knowledge of how it works
- 2. Well defined KPIs, business goals, and metrics to measure the results
- 3. A sound idea of who the target audience is
- 4. Creation of a brand persona
- 5. Creating and maintaining an up-to-date contact list
- 6. Designing outreach and communication messaging
- 7. Delivering on your brand promise
For marketing through WhatsApp:
- 1. Acquaint yourself with the WhatsApp Business tool’s key features: A business profile with your brand description, website, contact info, and location. The features also include the addition of labels to organize chats with customers based on specific or relevant criteria, such as new leads, regulars, and so on.
- You can also view statistics pertaining to your message status in real-time: sent, delivered, received, or read. And because timing is everything, there is an automated instant messaging feature as well.
- 2. Define your business goals and objectives and narrow down on the subset of objectives that WhatsApp Marketing can help you accomplish, and fine-tune your activities to the most productive ones. Use analytics to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your business, and harness WhatsApp Marketing strategy to deal with the latter.
- For instance, you can cultivate your big-spending customers by sending them offers through instant messaging, or your most loyal customers rewards for every new customer who comes in through their recommendation.
- 3. Know your audience. Conduct surveys and interviews, compile data from ad and website traffic, and try to gain an understanding of who your paying customers are.
- Why are they loyal to your brand? What do they buy and what do they gain from it, or hope to? As a clearer picture emerges, you will find ideas to design your messages and your marketing campaigns more efficiently.
- 4. Find your brand identity and your brand voice. Every person who handles WhatsApp messaging for your company should be an embodiment of your brand and the essence must come through in their interactions with the customer.
- This way your customers are not communicating with an impersonal app, but an actual person with a name and knowledge about the product is selling.
- 5. Just as you need an up-to-date mailing list, you need a contact list of your WhatsApp messaging recipients. Your message can start with a simple “Hi” or you can customize it to the recipient group as well.
- 6. Take advantage of the impressive message open rate by all means, but mind the frequency! Never bombard your recipients with messages: use timing strategically and choose your words to get the message across accurately.
- 5-10 messages a week is the accepted norm, but err on the side of caution. Keep it interesting with a mix of promotional messages as well as entertaining or educational ones.
- 7. Provide prompt and attentive customer service. The appeal of WhatsApp marketing for the customer is in getting quick answers to their queries in real-time. Having a chatbot to respond to standard queries can cut down on customer support costs.
- But most importantly, deliver on your promise.
How to do WhatsApp Marketing: Tips
To get the most out of WhatsApp Business, you must do these things:
- 1. Create broadcast lists. Your message goes out to your mailing list, but unlike group messaging, each person receives it as a separate and individual message. Your contacts cannot see each other. Broadcast lists help you organize your customer segments and send targeted messaging better. For example, if you own a cafe and organize events like book readings, you can have a broadcast list for your regular bookworms.
- 2. Use group chats judiciously. For example, if you have an eCommerce store that sells garden equipment, seeds, or plants in bulk, you can host WhatsApp chat groups for gardening groups in which members can discuss or take a headcount on ordering supplies. You can offer them group discounts as well based on the order volume. This is one example of how you can use WhatsApp-based marketing to bolster eCommerce sales.
- 3. Use WhatsApp statuses for advertising short-lived offers: statuses are visible to all your contacts and live for 24 hours only. They are the perfect way to share time-sensitive promo codes, flash sales, sale or product updates, and timed offers.
- 4. Take advantage of WhatsApp’s relatively new product catalog feature, particularly if you have no website to showcase your products. You can add up to 500 items to your WhatsApp product catalog for your customers to browse through. They can reach out to you with questions about products. You can send a link to the entire product catalog as well, through other online channels.
An emerging vegan cosmetics brand, integrated WhatsApp for business on their website and saw massive improvement in customer engagement and revenues. After Facebook rolled out WhatsApp ads in 2020, the brand leveraged this functionality and saw a return on investment of 9X in just 2 months. The true potential of this channel lies in creating personalized strategies with experts in the industry.
Benefits of WhatsApp Marketing
By taking good care of your customers through the instant chat feature, WhatsApp Business offers an unprecedented opportunity to engage them and build deeper relationships. An instant response can establish trust and drive conversions big time.
Marketing with WhatsApp can be highly customizable, with ample opportunities for personalized messaging right from the outset, i.e. welcome messages, followed by wishes for key milestones, rewards, etc.
WhatsApp Marketing helps you cut down on the cost of acquisition by having a reliable channel to communicate with and retain existing customers and win repeat business. Take advantage of this great, low-cost tool to turbo-charge your sales and boost revenue!