That’s how close is a business today from connecting with a potential customer on their most personal messaging app: WhatsApp.
Facebook reports say that 58% people feel more confident messaging a business than calling and 55% people feel more confident connecting with business over text than email. Driving your customers to WhatsApp can make it a better user experience for your customers.
WhatsApp has over 2413 million (241.3 crores) users today in India alone. And today, the mere mention of WhatsApp Marketing grabs the attention of all big and small businesses.
We know you have endless questions and we’ll resolve all of those. This article will help you answer:
What is WhatsApp Marketing?
What is WhatsApp API?
Do you need to invest money into WhatsApp Marketing?
And is it even worth jumping into this bandwagon?
Is it any better than text message marketing or the manual handling of customers on WhatsApp?
What is WhatsApp Marketing
The use of WhatsApp to reach potential customers and meet marketing goals is called WhatsApp Marketing. Different businesses use WhatsApp differently for marketing purposes
WhatsApp Marketing is NOT:
- Setting up WhatsApp ads
- ONLY using WhatsApp API
WhatsApp Marketing is:
- Using WhatsApp as a universal call to action CTA across channels for users to start communication with business
- Setting up Instagram/Facebook ad campaigns and adding CTWA (Click to WhatsApp) as the Call to action button
- Automating the above process for seamless customer communication
- Running campaigns on WhatsApp with your contact list (much like email subscriber list)
- Studying the performance of your messaging campaign (open rate, engagement rate, conversion, etc)
- Using WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business or WhatsApp API. (WhatsApp API though is recommended for leveraging WhatsApp’s strength for marketing purposes)
WhatsApp vs. WhatsApp API
WhatsApp alone was never meant for business use, so WhatsApp Business was launched to cover the gaps with these features:
- Adding business website to your WhatsApp profile
- Working hours
- Business Description
- Catalog of products which your customers/contacts could see (without the usual social media distraction)
However, this too didn’t solve major problems for the businesses because personnel was constantly needed to resolve customer queries and having one business account on one phone, was a challenging limitation on how many customers one person could deal with at a moment. There were no analytics, no automated funnels,and countless other things that WhatsApp API offers.
WhatsApp API is not an application, unlike WhatsApp & WhatsApp Business. It is an interface which connects a Business with WhatsApp on its customers phone. It is made by Meta and distributed to ISV (Independent Service Providers), who in turn distribute it to the businesses.
WhatsApp API is the interface that the ISV uses in their WhatsApp tools and softwares that they provide.
Top WhatsApp Marketing tools & softwares:
- Whatsender Profile
- Rapid Planner
- Lead Myntra
What are the benefits of using WhatsApp API?
- Retargeting the customers with different campaigns
- Easy chat – both automated and manual
- Team setup with multiple people who can all operate from one WhatsApp number of your business
- Leads management system
Must-Haves to integrate your Business with WhatsApp API?
- WhatsApp API is not provided to individual users. It is only for registered businesses with trading licenses and relevant documents.
- You need a phone number which is not registered for any other WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business account.
- You must have a verified Facebook Business Manager account.
How can you use WhatsApp marketing?
There are three major forms in which businesses have been using WhatsApp Marketing and you can too:
- Already have a customer contact list?
Add it to your Company’s WhatsApp and start running your WhatsApp campaigns. Share offers, birthday wishes, product launches, customized messages, added in cart, product delivery messages and recommendations.
See how Netflix does this!
- Running FB/Instagram ad campaigns
By directing the leads to your Business WhatsApp you are also capturing their contact numbers. Right after the customer lands on your WhatsApp, you can take care of the immediate query. Whether or not a sale happens, the customer has become a part of your WhatsApp campaigns and you can leverage this for your WhatsApp Campaigns henceforth.
- Organic leads to WhatsApp
You can integrate your business WhatsApp number with Instagram, Facebook and on your website. When a potential customer finds you organically on these platforms, they can reach you on WhatsApp by clicking on this button.
Features that make WhatsApp API attractive for businesses:
- Automated messaging feature that responds immediately to your customers who arrive at your WhatsApp
- Use of automated messages for managing customer sales funnel by letting customers choose between your different services, providing relevant information, asking for feedback, etc.
- You can add tags to customers so that similar customers or customers in similar stage of sales could be grouped together. Then you have a set of micro-audience that you can retarget on WhatsApp with offers, campaigns, and so on.
- Your team can manually handle customers as well for more personalized needs
- The interface allows you to assign an appropriate customer relations person for when you identify that customer needs help with one category.
- It lets you keep your supervision over the entire communication process and asses your customer relationship team, ensure that the customers are taken good care of, understand if there are gaps in the funnel, and more.
Is WhatsApp API Free?
Unfortunately it is not. WhatsApp API is the interface used by WhatsApp tools and softwares. These softwares each have different price plans for businesses and have features corresponding to the price.
The two types of prices that you pay for these tools and software are:
- Monthly or yearly subscription fee for using the interface and tool
- Per message fee which can be anywhere around 0.3 paise to 0.6 paise (this number can differ) for each message you share
Depending on the pricing plan you opted for you get variables in these fields on a WhatsApp API platform:
- Number of agents that you can add on the backend
- Chatbot with automation and triggers
- Message Broadcast
- Limited or unlimited free conversion per month
- Number of chatbots and number of chatbot flows
- Number of Keywords for Auto-Reply
- Third party apps that can be integrated like Zapier, Hubspot, Shopify, Pabbly, Connect.
How can you use WhatsApp Marketing creatively?
Group messaging with a twist:
Micro groups by adding your customer and their friends/partners into the process of selecting a product can be an incredible boost to your business.
Master use of Multimedia:
Why stick to text messaging when WhatsApp offers video sharing, Images, GIFs, and audio notes? It’s time to break out of the traditional text messages and interact with your customers in a hyper engaging way.
Sharing Value-Adding Content:
You can add value in your customer’s life by sharing content that will be useful to them. This also helps you build trust and loyalty to increase your open rates & build a community of warm leads.
This was a creative strategy used by a Boots company. Footwear manufacturer and retailer Clarks put a new spin on mobile marketing with an interactive storytelling event through WhatsApp. This resulted in a huge boost to the sale of its Desert Boots.
Clarks assigned characters to its salespeople with the names of historical figures to tell a story about the boots. WhatsApp users had a live-chat with different characters related to the history of the boot and received images, videos, music, and messages that gave them an interactive and appealing documentary experience.
Now you must have figured WhatsApp Marketing is making all the noise and driving business for big and small businesses. You can take your business to the next level by combining WhatsApp API with other social media platforms to drive customers to WhatsApp. Are you tight on budget and free reach to your potential customers could be a to your business?
Then you can leverage the power of SEO & Digital Communication and Branding for FREE. Don’t worry if you feel foreign to the subject. We have a FREE Masterclass on creating SEO Driven Content That Sells and another FREE Masterclass on Digital Storytelling. See you in the hands-on practical class where you learn how to boost your business digitally.