The secret to making an impact with any marketing is to hit two simple criteria.
The question for today’s brands is how can you quickly and easily hit both of those criteria?
The answer’s simple. Messaging apps, and in particular, WhatsApp’s Business App and API.
Messaging apps see far higher engagement than traditional social media. And at the top of the pile is WhatsApp (which is showing no signs of slowing down).
The added benefit of WhatsApp is that very few brands out there are using it for marketing yet.
That’s not to say no one is. There are plenty of use cases and success stories of brands using WhatsApp. For example;
Despite the obvious effectiveness of the platform, there are still very few companies truly leveraging the platform (I should know, I had to conduct a lot of research just to find the above 3).
But that’s a benefit for you. Because it means there is a lower level of competition for brands who get started with WhatsApp marketing today.
And best of all, WhatsApp can be used across the entire customer journey. Whether you’re looking to attract new leads or engage past customers and bring them back into the loop.
To help you decide if WhatsApp marketing is right for you, we’re gonna run through everything you need to know.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty we’re gonna take a quick look at the tools available to brands — both large and small — with WhatsApp.
The WhatsApp Business App is free for small businesses and comes with a couple of tools to help you better engage your customers.
You’ll be able to set up a business profile. It’s very similar to the business listings on Google and Google Maps in the information it provides.
WhatsApp Quick replies are basically canned responses to the most often asked questions. They allow you to quickly send messages you find yourself typing out time and time again.
There’s limited functionality allowing for basic automated messages to be sent. This isn’t the full automation you might be used to, but it can tackle some of the more common and frequently needed tasks.
Labels are a simple tagging solution helping keep your inbox a little more organized.
Product catalogs allow you to offer a quick and easy way for users to see what it is you’re offering, along with prices and other relevant information.
Whilst the tools provided to small businesses are useful, they’re not everything you might need. There are a number of limitations that will make it difficult for you to scale beyond the small business stage.
A quick run-down of the issues include;
The above limitations aren’t exactly deal-breakers for small businesses operating almost as soloist.
However, if anything in the above is a dealbreaker for you, you’ll want to look at WhatsApp for medium and large businesses.
If you need a larger message send limit or to have your WhatsApp campaigns fully integrated with your other business tools this is what you’ll need.
WhatsApp’s business API gives you everything you need to turn WhatsApp into a conversion powerhouse of a channel… including;
In short, WhatsApp business is for small, independent brands who are just starting to experiment with the possibility of conversational marketing.
WhatsApp API is aimed at larger brands that need a more full-stack solution to everything conversational.
What you need to figure out now is if you are eligible for a business account at all.
Let’s first begin with the kind of businesses that are outright out of luck when it comes to WhatsApp business.
If you’ve spent any time with any of the large PPC services, this list will seem awfully familiar.
In addition, WhatsApp policies also don’t allow the following categories of businesses to use the platform.
For the small business service, all you need is the WhatsApp business app on your phone.
A few steps of setting up your business and you’re good to go.
It’s more complicated when it comes to the business API as it’s aimed at Enterprise brands.
This is for larger businesses out there.
There are no hard and fast rules for things like revenue, employee count, or offices for this. At least nothing explicitly stated.
You have to apply to be given access to the Business API services though, and it’s unlikely those with independent or small businesses will be given access.
You have two options when signing up for the Business API.
We’d recommend running with the second option here for a number of reasons.
Primarily that creating your own Business API account is a complex and confusing process that, if you don’t have the existing knowledge, can take weeks to get everything running smoothly.
However, with a WhatsApp Business API service Provider, you could get up and running in just a few hours.
I should clarify why this is the case (it’s not just us trying to convince you we’re the best solution for you).
WhatsApp requires end-to-end encryption on all messages for privacy purposes. To maintain that encryption, users of the Business API need to host their own headless version of the app.
That hosted version needs to include its own SQL database, block storage, and an ever-changing API.
It’s incredibly complex. And for most brands, the time and financial investment to establish and maintain this is simply too much.
However, with a WhatsApp Business API Service provider like Jumper, you don’t have to manage any of that.
You simply log in to the Service Provider’s dashboard and focus on your campaigns.
Now let’s take a look at the absolute basics of WhatsApp Business. The kind of foundational knowledge you need to know.
We’re gonna start off with the policies you need to be aware of.
Let’s get into the details of what WhatsApp outlines in their policy rules.
This seems like a weird one to include because you should be aiming to create a quality experience regardless of WhatsApp’s oversight.
WhatsApp specifically are referring to the below though;
Those are the general rules. However, there are also a number of WhatsApp API specific rules which I’ll outline below.
In addition to the above, those utilizing the business API should also be aware of the following.
Acceptable WhatsApp message types
In short, you cannot send messages for any of WhatsApp’s prohibited products or services. If you need a reminder, we listed them out a short space above this in this very article.
If you break these rules, you could lose your current and future access to the WhatsApp platform for marketing purposes.
I’m going to focus here on WhatsApp Business API because the basic WhatsApp Business account has already been covered.
And the reason I want to focus on that enterprise-level offering is because it truly is built for enterprise-level use-cases.
The database support, block store and API’s are built to handle large volumes of messages with burst protection.
However, the setup and maintenance costs of these necessary elements are comparatively high, making WhatsApp marketing currently affordable only to large businesses with decent channel budgets.
But given the opportunity, size, and engagement of WhatsApp users, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Whatever your business and whatever stage your customer is at, WhatsApp has the potential to massively increase the engagement and effect of your marketing.
And with a WhatsApp business Service provider like Jumper, you can minimize the effort required to launch and scale your operations whilst still enjoying all of the benefits.
Additionally, as a BSP, Jumper makes sure it’s affordable for you with our competitive pricing.
Since each messaging app has a different interface, you’d need to be mindful of the limitations to design the optimal CX for each messaging channel. For WhatsApp, there are a few other limitations you should be aware of.
WhatsApp does support rich media like GIFs and videos. It also doesn’t yet support buttons (which will apparently change later this year).
However, the lack of buttons right now makes it much harder to create an easy to navigate customer journey.
That means that right now, you will have to focus more on keeping the conversations natural, closely analyzing the messages your customers are sending you and how your automation is responding.
Facebook Messenger allows you to add product cards to chat, which basically shows a number of different products to users.
That functionality has not yet made it to WhatsApp.
The lack of buttons might make it more difficult to get a quick response from your users. However, they also make it impossible to share links in any other format but the raw link text.
WhatsApp might show a meta image, so you should make sure each link has one assigned to the page.
This also makes it more difficult to get the final conversion. Users are a little more apprehensive to click raw links in chat over a highly optimized payment card.
It will apparently come later this year.
Ads that click to WhatsApp give your business a fast and convenient way to answers questions, drive transactions, and generate leads.
When a person interacts with your ad on Facebook or Instagram, a conversation with your business will immediately open in WhatsApp
Much like they do within click to Messenger ads.
You’re able to create these ads through the ad objectives Traffic, Messages, Conversions, and Post Engagement.
If you’re already running Facebook ads, setting up Click to WhatsApp ads will be a relatively easy switch for you.
After linking your WhatsApp account, you’ll be able to set up the ads your used to, but respond through WhatsApp.
This gives brands the opportunity to leverage multiple campaigns through WhatsApp.
You could use Message ads to engage with new customers, using an automated bot to find out what you can do to best help them.
Thanks to its reach and engagement, WhatsApp is definitely the #1 messaging channel for connecting with customers.
Unfortunately, the level of success WhatsApp can help brands attain is unquestioningly going to attract spammers and system abusers.
The same happened with Messenger when it initially took off. The majority of marketers started using other bot-builders to send unsolicited, spammy messages to people.
Facebook has thankfully taken great efforts to combat this with a view to improving the customer experience. And those same guiding principles have been reused on WhatsApp.
Here’s what you need to know to ensure you stay compliant, and provide your customers with the kind of experience that brings them back time and time again.
Responding to people who want to learn more about your products will increase your sales.
It’s easy to simply run all of this through a bot as it’s scalable.
However, you should — at the least — offer a direct escalation to a person option. That could be through chat, phone call, email, web support, or a form.
It can be difficult to implement something that allows each and every customer to request 1-to-1 assistance. So first start out with a small test audience.
This will help you understand the demand from your customers and figure out the best processes, preparation, training, and channels for this level of support.
And be certain that all you’re offering is support when it’s requested.
If you take the opportunity to promote your other products or services it could land you in hot water. It’s classed as a negative user experience and — if enough users report you for it — could lead to WhatsApp limiting your access to the Business API.
The best practices for implementing these 1-to-1 support messages include the below;
When you’re following these best practices, you can add a little automation to help scale your operation beyond your live agent support. Just be sure you’re following WhatsApp Policy Guidelines.
You can only send Message Templates that have been approved by WhatsApp. By leveraging them to their fullest, you can ensure that the experience you’re providing to your customers is the best it possibly can be.
Click here to go to the section that lists the various Message Templates available to you.
Your opt-ins shouldn’t just include te basic information like “get updates on WhatsApp”.
You need to let the user know what they’re going to receive, how they’re going to receive it, and to which number.
The Facebook Developer site has a good image to show you how you should present this information.
The free send 24-hour rule is one of the most effective ways WhatsApp are reducing the possibility of spam.
And you need to stick to it.
In short, you can send any information within 24 hours of the customer’s last engagement with your brand through WhatsApp.
Beyond that 24 hour limit, you can only send messages using pre-approved templates (order updates etc), or you’ll have to make use of the paid notifications where you’ll be charged per message sent.
This is how many users you can message within a 24-hour period. NOT the number of messages, but the number of users.
These limits do not apply to anything you send within the 24-hour period.
WhatsApp has three tiers for message send limits.
You’ll start at tier 1, and there are 2 pre-requisites for getting upgraded.
The first is the number of messages sent.
You need to double your total unique user sends within a week.
That means if you’re in tier 1 (1000 unique sends), you need to send messages to 2000 users within 7 days.
In addition, the quality of those messages cannot be classed as “low”.
Which brings us to the next point.
Each message sent is assigned a quality rating on how it was received in the preceding 24 hours.
Messages with a higher quality rating are colored green, those in the mid-range are yellow, and those that are low are red.
These ratings are linked to a phone number’s connectivity.
Again, WhatsApp has 3-levels of connectivity.
This is important because if a phone number shows a red quality score, it will be flagged. If it remains red for 7 days, it will automatically be moved to a status where you have a lower message limit for that number.
You have 7 days to increase the status from red to yellow or green.
Generally speaking, the quality score is determined by the number of people who mark your messages as spam. Which is why following the best practices for 1-to-1 communication we outlined above is so important.
In the WhatsApp manager, you’re able to create Message templates.
These templates have to be approved by WhatsApp before they can begin sending.
The kind of templates you can create are generally focused on frequently sent messages like simple welcomes and fulfillment notifications.
Once these are approved by WhatsApp, you’re able to use them in your messaging which will drastically reduce the time it takes for you to respond to frequent issues and questions.
The reason these have to be approved is because a few brands abused the lack of oversight when Messenger was released and spammed users.
As such, this is a good thing for your brand as it’ll ensure higher levels of engagement.
However, getting approval of these templates can be tricky.
A few of our clients have had their message templates denied by WhatsApp because they didn’t fall directly within one of the predetermined buckets WhatsApp established.
After we managed the communication with WhatsApp, we’ve been able to get all of the previously denied templates approved.
If you want to try this yourself, be sure you outline the validity of the template and ensure WhatsApp recognise the best use of the template and how it doesn’t break their terms of service.
We’ve already covered the general business and usage policies above.
However, WhatsApp also has a policy relating specifically to digital subscriptions.
In short, you’re not allowed to use WhatsApp to facilitate the sale of any digital product. That includes those that require a frequent subscription.
Here’s how WhatsApp words it.
This really cuts out a large market of information brands. It seems Facebook wants to keep WhatsApp as a support channel, only allowing physical product retailers to use it for sales.
OK, so we’ve been over everything you need to know when it comes to the rules and regulations of WhatsApp.
Now, we’re gonna switch gears and take a look at the best use cases and strategic hints so you can get the most out of any future campaigns.
We’ll start with the kind of message types you can send with WhatsApp, including one or two real-life use cases as examples.
More commonly referred to as live chat.
This is what you’re going to be leveraging to support your customers with complex issues.
A lot of marketers seem to think live chat is only good for answering questions or putting out fires. But with the right approach, it can be so much more.
In addition to supporting customers, you should take the time to figure out how you can guide their shopping experience. How you can use the dialogue to figure out what they need before recommending the right product for them.
If you’ve used WhatsApp you’ll know one of the key features for users is the group message functionality.
WhatsApp Groups for the Business API is similar.
You’re able to send a single message to a large number of people. However, they differ in that each user receives the message as a private chat.
As such, if they want to respond, they’ll do so on a 1:1 basis with your brand.
These automated notifications are based on the templates that WhatsApp provides.
They’re intended to help keep your customers updated and informed of key developments in their experience with your brand.
As such, they’re kind of limited in their scope and you’re not able to customize them too much, however, they are extremely useful to keep customers apprised of updates.
We’re talking about things like sending receipts, updating on delivery, and other similar messages related to account management and post purchase updates.
You can create Click to Whatsapp Ads through your Facebook Ads Manager to grow your WhatsApp following.
You can use this through the regular Facebook Ad dashboard, and with the campaign goals of traffic, messages, conversions, or post engagement.
You must also be the admin for the Facebook Business account and already have WhatsApp Business linked to your Facebook.
All you do then, is choose WhatsApp as the ad destination.
One of the primary issues a lot of brands experience when using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp as their primary form of customer communication is the lack of CRM functionality.
Sure, you’re able to quickly respond to and engage with customers. But without a detailed CRM you lack the ability to re-engage best customers or see what someone’s purchase history is.
That’s something we’ve implemented into the Jumper dashboard.
With Jumper, you get a full CRM that details the user’s full history with your company. Not just through a single channel, but across any of the conversational channels you might now be using.
Commerce has been constantly evolving to keep up to speed with modern consumers’ needs.
Websites and marketplaces allowed customers to shop a huge range of products, even from the comfort of their own couch.
Messaging apps like Whatsapp, Line, Messenger, are simply the next iteration. They’re giving consumers the power shop on their terms, ask questions, get actual product demos and build trust in a brand before they make a purchase — and all through a continuous chat. .
A perfect example of this is UK based Threads. A Luxury fashion brand that sells without a website or storefront — entirely through Instagram posts and personalized advise on WhatsApp.
The reason this is possible is thanks to the immediate responses and personal attention one gets on a Messaging app. That allows the customer assistants to guide users to their perfect product by asking open-ended, but directed, questions.
Which in turn allows you to offer a more authentic, direct, and personal experience.
The WhatsApp Business API allows multiple team members to help customers using both custom-written and pre-created automation as responses.
That means the goal of operating your entire sales funnel from a Messaging app is completely realistic for any brand across multiple industries.
This guided shopping approach could be used in numerous ways. The below are just a few examples.
The potential here is endless. The guided shopping approach could be used in pretty much any business where people need your advice.
From here we’re gonna switch gears again. Instead of focusing on the high-level considerations, we’re gonna get into the details on how to set things up with WhatsApp business Messaging.
If you’ve successfully applied for WhatsApp business API and linked your phone number, you’re able to create your own WhatsApp message templates.
These templates are what you can use to quickly respond to customers through automated responses.
There are 2 kinds of message templates that you can create and then send to your customers.
WhatsApp’s Session Messages are best thought of as answers to FAQs.
They’re called session messages because they can only be sent within the 24-hour customer support session window.
The intent with session messages is not to promote your product or make the sale, but to respond — quickly — to a customer query.
However, there’s something quite fun about session messages. Because they’re sent in that 24-hour customer service window, you can include whatever you want.
There are no specific format or content rules on these messages. That means text, images gifs, videos, or even WhatsApp vocal recordings are permitted.
However, you have to be aware of that 24-hour window. Once that’s passed, you have to shut this down and move to the paid message templates.
HSMs are how WhatsApp is monetizing their API messaging service.
The secret to these messages is in the name. They’re highly structured and somewhat rigid in their customization and use. However, as templates, you’re able to use them time and time again.
The downside is you can’t just put whatever you want into the HSMs.
Whatever customizations you make have to be approved by WhatsApp before any can be sent. In addition, you can only send them to users who have opted in to hear from you.
You are able to send these messages out in huge numbers though.
To create your own HSM, you need to ensure that you follow the below rules.
Template names — Your WhatsApp HSM template name can only include lowercase alphanumeric character and underscores. WhatsApp recommends using simple, descriptive names like “messagetype_123”.
Template content — the content of your template needs to follow strict guidelines — to the letter.
One of the benefits of using WhatsApp is the ability to translate your message templates.
However, WhatsApp will not translate them for you. You have to translate your message templates yourself.
These translations must follow the same rules as the initial message in your native tongue.
Before we break down the actual journey and how WhatsApp can help at each stage, there are a few considerations you need to understand before taking any action.
With all of that being said, let’s move on to the different stages of the customer journey and how you can help the customers at each stage.
The discovery phase is the initial Period when a user isn’t yet aware of your brand.
They might be aware of the problem, but aren’t yet sure of the solution. Your job is to get your product in front of them and use your bot to outline how your offering is the solution to the problem they face.
There’s a few ways you can do this.
We mentioned this very briefly earlier on.
Click to WhatsApp ads are great because they make use of the detailed targeting available in Facebook. To set them up, follow the below steps.
Set up a new ad and choose one of the following objectives.
Follow the regular steps, however, when you get to where you want to drive your traffic, make sure you select WhatsApp.
If you’ve linked your WhatsApp account correctly, the rest should be business as usual.
Now, whenever anyone engages with the add they’ll receive a message from your brand direct to their WhatsApp account.
These ads are a great way to fill the top of your funnel and get users to engage with your brand.
Just make sure you follow the best practices for creating ads that speak to your customers and highlight how you can help solve the problem they’re experiencing.
One thing you should note is how the monetization for WhatsApp is going to change in the future.
There was a time when we thought ads were going to be served within WhatsApp itself. However, recent changes give the appearance that this is no longer the case, meaning these click to WhatsApp ads are going to be the only way the platform is monetized.
That is, if the plan doesn’t change again.
Monetising the free traffic you receive from search engines is the goal for many brands.
Thing is, the conversion rates for organic traffic are low.
But they don’t have to be.
A chat widget embedded on your website can offer an extra layer of support. Support where you can help users discover the right product for the problem they’re experiencing.
With a tool like Jumper, you can integrate the chat widget with WhatsApp, collecting the necessary permissions to follow up with the user within that initial 24 hour period.
It’s not a perfect, direct route as it depends on waiting on traffic to reach out to you.
However, with the right prompt you could see a lot of people getting in touch. With you, allowing you to move them from browser to customer.
At this stage your job is to help the user compare products so they can make the right decision on which is right for them.
One of the best ways to do this would be through a mix of live chat and automated chatbots.
The chatbots can handle many of the frequent questions, and even basic answers for the early stages of guided shopping.
However, at some point it’s going to become too complex for the bots and a real support agent will have to jump in.
Perhaps to explain product details and usage in more detail, maybe to serve an in-chat checkout, or perhaps to deal with more complex questions (like how does your product Y compare to their product X?).
You need to be able to hand conversations off both ways. From agent to bot, and bot to agent. That’s the only way you can offer the right level of service at this stage of the customer journey.
Here’s how we manage to handle this at Jumper.
This is where all of your hard work pays off.
However, there’s often a problem brands experience here, and that’s the lack of continuity.
Brands spend so long talking to customers through chat and then simply redirect them to a separate, normal, static landing page.
The conversion rates of which are low because you’re forcing the user to change their behavior to fit your needs.
You need a service that can serve an in-chat checkout. One that allows the user to confirm and pay within the chat they’re currently engaged in.
This not only has a higher chance of working, but it’s also just offering better service.
No matter how much effort you put into helping your users, convenience will always be their top priority.
Adding an in-chat checkout is the best way to offer the convenience they want and need.
The easiest way to increase revenue is to look not for new customers, but instead focus on those who have already purchased from you.
There’s a few ways to do this.
The first is through automated follow-ups.
Automated follow-ups are only permitted on WhatsApp within the initial 24 hour period unless they’re offering some form of notification (like a delivery update).
So, on one level you should be following up with those who engaged with your brand but didn’t purchase.
We’re talking basic cart abandonment sequences here. You’re able to send a few reminders in that 24-hour period after they last engaged.
In addition, you’ll also be able to leverage paid broadcasts.
Paid broadcasts allow you to reach out to all of those on your WhatsApp list with whom you have a good sender reputation.
You can use this message type to re-engage those who have opted in for specific lists and messages from you.
However, make sure that the message you’re sending is one that will generate some form of return. A couple of potential messages could be;
There are plenty of other options out there, you just need to make sure it’s worth you paying for.
To help a little tangible example to this piece, we’ve pulled three of the best WhatsApp marketing examples and explained them below.
We’re also working on a much more comprehensive piece that will break down exactly who’s doing what with this incredibly effective marketing channel.
EF has over 600 schools in more than 110 countries. Their primary offering is language training and cultural exchange programmes aimed at both students and professionals.
They wanted to start more conversations with their potential customers, and so decided to implement a WhatsApp engagement campaign on their website.
They added WhatsApp as a contact channel on their web pages which led to a huge increase in opened conversations and the conversion rate of conversations to customers.
The response rate for the WhatsApp campaigns was 2X higher than other methods they’d been using.
The conversion rate was 3X higher than their next best conversion channel, phone calls.
And the cost was a full 30% lower than using phone calls to qualify and sell to prospective customers.
Huge gains from the simple addition of a new contact channel.
WhatsApp is a great way for you to connect with your customers. As evidenced here, it can be an easy way to help your customers discover and connect with you in those early stages.
And from there, you can better explain why your products are the right fit for them.
OTTO is a major European ecommerce brand.
They needed a better way to handle customer support to help guide their customers to the best product for them.
This is a key stage in the purchase journey. If you can offer a great level of service when the customer is considering your brand, you all but confirm the purchase. Something OTTO managed to do very well.
In the past, OTTO’s customer success team was somewhat overwhelmed. They were using email and direct phone calls to handle repetitive requests like delivery status or answering questions about the user’s account.
OTTO trained their service teams to handle responses via WhatsApp.
By cutting out the long response times of email and the difficulty of scale associated with phone calls, OTTO achieved some impressive results.
When a customer reaches out with a query or for some assistance with their account, getting them a personalised response quickly is key to making your brand stand out.
OTTO have proven that a simple addition of WhatsApp can help you hit everything a customer needs from you.
This is what we’re all after. After highlighting your brand as the one that can solve the user’s problem, it’s time to make the sale.
WhatsApp is the perfect channel for taking users over that last step, as demonstrated by Pollo Campero.
They used WhatsApp to engage with users and lead them to a purchase through a 1–1 conversation.
By engaging through WhatsApp they were able to reduce the processing time for orders by 75%.
Asking leading, but pointed questions helped the user find the perfect dish for them, leading to an overall 16% increase in orders placed.
Churn is one of the biggest revenue killers for modern brands.
And it’s also inevitable. However, a lapsed customer is not lost revenue. There are plenty of methods to bring them back into the fold. Something PlayKids attempted with WhatsApp marketing.
PlayKids products help improve child development through literature and games.
To improve the relationships with new and existing customers, PlayKids implemented a WhatsApp strategy. The strategy was to help them more efficiently deliver ongoing order updates, news, and updates of new products in-store.
After a while they also experimented in new ways such as sending bedtime stories through WhatsApp for parents to read to their children.
These messages had a profound effect on their marketing, specifically related to re-engaging lapsed customers.
PlayKids are a great example of how a novel approach can have dramatic effects on your brand’s key metrics.
WhatsApp is going to be one of the biggest breakout and most impactful channels for marketing, sales and support beyond 2020.
The brands that stand to make the most are those already running experiments through the channel.
It can be complicated to get up and running. However, with the right partner, that process can be made much easier.
If you’re considering setting up a WhatsApp Business API for your brand, get in touch with our partner team of experts today.