|Send transactional AND non-transactional messages to opted-in leads and customers on a one-to-one and/or broadcasting basis||Connect Facebook and Instagram campaigns via Click-to-WhatsApp to respond to inquiries|
|Guide customers that initiate a conversation on WhatsApp directly from the Conversations Inbox.|
Have you heard that WhatsApp Business can be used in your conversational marketing strategy but don’t know where to start?
The WhatsApp Guide for Marketers by tyntec gives you insights on how to leverage your WhatsApp profile in outbound and inbound marketing campaigns, increase sales conversions, improve retention & loyalty.
💪 Ready to get started? Create your tyntec account and follow the next steps.
🎁 You’ve got 1,500 complimentary messages to try out WhatsApp with a live account!
📝 Need more information? Check our Ultimate Starter Guide for WhatsApp.
The WhatsApp evolution in marketing
The platform has not always welcomed the use of WhatsApp Business for marketing. As you may know, since its inception in 2018, WhatsApp has taken a strong stance against promotional messages, advertising, and, more specifically, spam in its Business API.
The main reason for this strict policy has been to avoid WhatsApp becoming a spam machine. If that happened, users would flock to other chat apps, reducing WhatsApp’s value considerably to users and enterprises alike.
However, the vision has always been that WhatsApp becomes seamlessly integrated into the customer journey - from discovery to after-sales. WhatsApp in marketing has been slowly built on the platform that enabled the user-initiated conversational marketing with massive success. Now, WhatsApp has expanded its marketing reach further with non-transactional message templates, available globally.
What does this mean for you, dear marketer?
Let’s check the primary considerations, facts, and benefits that motivate you in this WhatsApp journey.
Considerations before starting your WhatsApp journey
It may sound cliché, but before you jump straight to creating your WhatsApp account, let’s go through the critical considerations for your marketing strategy based on WhatsApp.
Depending on your goals, you may check multiple areas in this checklist:
✔️ My core audience is in a country (or countries) where WhatsApp is strong
WhatsApp is a leader in 100+ countries, but is it the leading chat app in your targeted countries? Here are the top 10 WhatsApp countries ranked by largest audiences:
But it’s not all. WhatsApp is very popular in 100+ countries and keeps growing in many territories, including Russia and France. The chat app is top-rated also in:
- Throughout Latin America, Africa, and Western Europe.
- Singapore and Malaysia.
- The Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia.
Depending on the penetration rate of your country, it’s very likely your customers and leads already use WhatsApp, even if just to connect with friends and family.
✔️ My core audience is ready to text my business
Most WhatsApp users prefer to chat with businesses instead of receiving emails or calling a hotline number, usually viewed as a nuisance.
Investigate if customers are giving you feedback on which channels they feel more comfortable talking to your brand. As a rule of thumb, Gen Z and millennials are usually faster to adopt chatting as the primary means of communication. If you target mainly these demographics, you’re on the right track.
If you’re unsure how your customers will use WhatsApp, you can test this out with the WhatsApp business app first - or tyntec’s 30-day free trial.
In the trial phase, you can add WhatsApp call-to-actions to get users’ consent without being intrusive:
- Include a click-to-chat link into your website, promotional emails, etc.
- Suggest getting notifications via WhatsApp with new product ideas, promotions and after check-out
- Communicate with existing loyal customers.
With these actions, you can measure how many inbound leads you have generated in a certain amount of time and define if WhatsApp is the right channel for your company.
✔️ My core audience is unsatisfied with the channels offered
Many companies still rely heavily on email, voice calls, and web forms. If that’s your case, it could be the right time to modernize your channels.
Legacy channels, while still relevant, have a bad rep due to slow response rates and long waiting times for issue resolution. In this digital age, it’s become unacceptable for most users to wait a day for a response.
If your KPIs show slow response and low-resolution rates, it’s time to consider channels that would help you maximize efficiency.
However, be aware that just implementing WhatsApp won’t solve your issues instantly. After all, you will need to have agents ready to answer questions immediately and/or invest in chatbots to automate responses.
✔️ My sales and/or customer team need help to accelerate response rates
If your team is overwhelmed, consider adding automation across your channels to pick up the slack of trivial, low-complex inquiries. With WhatsApp, you can certainly do that.
✔️ My competition is offering WhatsApp
One more reason to make WhatsApp available to your customers! The question here would be: how can you differentiate your WhatsApp presence from your competition? Can you provide fantastic service, increase response rates, ramp up your marketing machine?
Find out how to differentiate - and get cracking.
✔️ My current channels are not helping the company convert more sales and/or generate repeat purchases
That happens often! Especially as most companies are still focused on legacy channels that do not invite customer conversations. Check out your current KPIs - open/response/conversion rates and see where the loopholes are.
Also, consider mapping your customer journey and find out where WhatsApp - and perhaps other messaging channels, too - can help.
The best way to fully assess WhatsApp is to try it out!
With tyntec, you can test WhatsApp for 30-days with 1,500 complimentary messages. No development needed, no risk, instant benefit.
Why use WhatsApp in your marketing strategy
The world’s most popular social platform WhatsApp has become a CX success story over the past years, offering the ideal channel for consumers and companies to begin conversing on. Just as importantly, it also provides genuine opportunities for marketing because of 5 core trends and strengths:
#1 - Shift towards conversational, personalized marketing
While outbound marketing campaigns remain relevant, the shift towards Conversational Marketing is clear. Users want to interact with brands on their terms and their preferred touchpoints. After all, 64% of WhatsApp users agree that WhatsApp fostered a personal connection to businesses.
Billions of people already use the chat app as their default messaging device to connect with family, friends, and colleagues. This immediacy, familiarity, and proliferation, in turn, makes WhatsApp a natural home for creating more profound, more personalized customer relationships as the channel actively encourages a conversational style. Case study after case study shows that this approach works, driving up conversion and retention rates and encouraging re-purchases.
#2 - Omnichannel efficiency
WhatsApp is a more efficient channel for your customers to engage with. Sure, you can still send emails, but did you know that 65% of users feel more confident messaging businesses vs. sending an email?
In addition, while SMS remains relevant to push notifications at a (generally) cheaper rate than WhatsApp, the channel lacks the breadth of functionality offered by chat apps, namely multimedia options, easy two-way conversations, etc. Things get complex and expensive if a brand wants to add any media content or use two-way SMS. To add insult to injury, 68% of users call WhatsApp the easiest method of contacting a company, not the good old SMS.
While WhatsApp and SMS have similar open and response rates across the board, it takes about 90 minutes for a user to respond to an email, and only 20% of emails are ever opened.
Also, let’s touch upon voice calls. Your voice-based contact center should still exist, but imagine how great it would be if agents could help customers via WhatsApp, reducing waiting times by redirecting calls to the chat app. Such measures can retain existing customers, increase retention rates and repeat purchases.
#3 - Value and security go hand in hand
When it comes to selecting channels for your business, security plays a role, too.
While SMS and email still play a role in digital marketing, it’s mostly because they are cheap and universal. However, both channels are plagued with security issues, including phishing attempts and data breaches. Depending on your brand’s content with customers, it’s worth considering WhatsApp to enhance trust with users.
WhatsApp features robust security as all messaging is protected by end-to-end encryption. Combined, it means WhatsApp offers greater peace of mind for consumers and often incurs lower overall costs for brands.
It’s no surprise that 71% of users feel more confident about a business after messaging on WhatsApp.
#4 - Quality control to avoid spam is necessary
No matter how people try to spin it, spam is a nuisance. It may be easier for companies to blast newsletters and notifications on an unsolicited basis, but does it increase conversions and lead to loyal customers? No, it does not.
That’s why WhatsApp has been pushing companies to get active opt-ins and create standardized message templates as the groundwork to root out spam and add quality control to all outbound message flows.
The WhatsApp Business API enables a single message to be sent out to many customers at once — known as broadcasting — but such messages must always use a message template. These are pre-approved message formats that brands typically use to send notifications to customers who have opted into receiving them.
The messages themselves feature standardized text with numbered placeholders that can be personalized the message to each recipient. This ensures that quality control is baked into any broadcast-based marketing campaign, fending off the threat of consumers feeling as if they are being spammed.
#5 - Need for automation
Accenture has found that 91% of customers are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations relevant to them. But it’s no surprise that customers prefer personalized services, is it?
The core issue has been on how to personalize at scale. Because personalization does not need to be a dedicated account manager these days - it can be run by a bot.
WhatsApp works well with chatbots, enabling brands to filter inquiries, solve easy issues without human involvement, and hand over the tricky cases to a human agent with escalation procedures.
Now that you know WhatsApp is the right channel for you - or you’re trying it out! - let’s dive deeper into how you as a marketer can use it for your marketing goals.
Digital-first marketing: WhatsApp options for the entire customer journey
The good news is that WhatsApp has steadily evolved over recent months to become more ‘marketing friendly’ by offering a host of existing and new inbound/outbound features for every stage of the customer journey. Let’s explore the key options available to marketers:
Non-transactional message templates
A recent addition to the WhatsApp Business API, non-transactional messaging allows marketers to send out a missive to a customer without the need for the consumer to make an inquiry or order a product in the first instance. So long as the customer has opted-in, messaging can be sent outside of the transaction window and used to promote, market, and advertise products and services.
Think product recommendations based on a customer’s buying history or gentle nudges about an abandoned cart, personal offers, price updates, digital events, and back-in-stock notifications.
Promoting a new collection
The benefit of using a ‘send a message’ on WhatsApp as a call-to-action on campaigns is to capture consumers acting on impulse who want to uncover more about a particular product or service but wish to remain in control of the conversation crucially, their privacy at all times.
In addition, instead of driving customers towards a generic landing page or website, direct chats can enhance lead generation and assist customers in finding the best right product or service for their needs.
Known in WhatsApp tech jargon as ‘wa.me links’, conversation starter buttons are placed on a brand’s website that, like Click to Chat, open up WhatsApp when clicked on. Again, this enables customers to chat with a live agent/bot and request more information about a product, service, or the company itself.
For example, if your phone number is 6123 4567, the country code is +39, your WhatsApp link will be https://wa.me/3961234567.
The company collects the person’s phone number and can create a link to chat with them. By clicking the link, a conversation automatically opens with the person.
Competitions and contests
Advertising campaigns with customer participation have become bread and butter for many business-to-consumer companies. Be it a text-to-win or a selfie campaign, companies can get creative on leveraging WhatsApp for their promotional outreaches.
The common denominator for these campaigns is that users have to get in touch first to become eligible for a prize. In the WhatsApp world, that would mean making clever use of the ‘support window,’ a 24-hour timeframe triggered with a message by the user. During that time, message templates are not needed, nor any pre-approval from WhatsApp to communicate with the user.
Companies advertise a campaign - for example, inviting customers to send their Christmas wishlist for a prize - via various channels: website, outdoor advertising, TV, and WhatsApp itself. All customers have to do is send a WhatsApp message following the campaign invite to start engagement!
Once the user message is received, the company can engage with the customer, preferably via a chatbot. The business can also ask for a user opt-in to keep sending notifications, therefore deepening the customer experience and helping the brand to increase its contact list over time.
Guided shopping and clienteling
Bring the in-store shopping experience to customers’ smartphones by introducing ‘Clienteling 2.0’. Consumers can receive in-app recommendations via chatbot or hook up with a live agent to ask for specialist advice and tailored suggestions based on their purchase history.
This also powers sales associates who work in physical stores to communicate with customers between the selling/consultation and after, continuing the communication flow after the customer has left the store.
That said, appointment scheduling can also be handled in WhatsApp and any follow-ups after a consultation to convert into a sale. Notably, the platform is being deployed to service the entire customer journey.
For instance, tyntec client Tailorman uses WhatsApp to make it easier for customers to schedule appointments for measuring and adjusting as well as shorten the entire measure-to-delivery cycle:
Your customer has converted - but the job is not yet done. Make sure your marketing objectives are met by guiding your customer towards order fulfillment and post-sale service.
For example, let your customer know that the order has been received, when it’s expected to arrive and how to check the order status.
Such simple notifications give your customers a sense of trust and personal connection with your brand, planting the seed for a loyal customer in the future.
Reward loyal customers with in-app notifications about any points accrued or special offers to thank them for their continued commitment to the brand. This can be done directly after an order has been delivered. Alternatively, loyalty rewards can be sent out on an ad-hoc but targeted basis using the new non-transactional messaging feature.
⭐ Resources worth your time
If you aim to use WhatsApp throughout your customer journey - and use it as a customer service channel - consider IVR deflection.
The use of WhatsApp in connection with an IVR system aims to alleviate the pressure of voice-based contact centers, especially at peak times, to divert inquiries that don’t need the sole attention of an agent. Easy, straightforward questions can be easily deflected to WhatsApp to accelerate resolution rates.
If this is an option, check our IVR deflection tutorial here.
Unlike flat, static emojis, virtual ‘stickers’ enable marketers to showcase their brand using customized visuals, even animations. Get the stickers right, and they can become a regular part of the customer’s messaging within their digital social circle, spreading the branding far and wide without the need for a costly marketing campaign.
When a customer sends a WhatsApp message to a brand, the business has a 24-hour Support Window to reply. The brand’s replies can be designed, personalized, and sent without WhatsApp’s approval. The Support Window can also be used for marketing initiatives, so long as any messaging is directly related to the customer’s request. If not, marketers should consider using a non-transactional message instead.
During the support window, companies do not have to use message templates, therefore using freeform messages. This means it’s entirely possible to provide more promotional-like messages during this timeframe as well - provided the non-transactional messages are in line with the customer’s request and aren’t intrusive.
Entry points are how customers can get in touch with your brand. A phone number is an entry point, as well as call-to-actions in your social media, website, etc.
Building WhatsApp entry points can be associated with every step of the customer journey:
- Pre-purchase: share information with customers who want to learn more about a product or service.
- Purchase: enable customers to choose items for purchase and send purchase updates.
- Customer care and loyalty: provide customers’ post-purchase support for a product or service, increasing repeat buys and retention.
The use of entry points will help your inbound marketing with multiple organic options, such as your website and social media, and paid options to go beyond your established audience.
Automation and Integrations
With tyntec, you can decide how to integrate WhatsApp:
API integration: you already have a system (marketing, contact center, eCommerce, etc.) and need WhatsApp to be connected with it.
- Use our API reference to integrate WhatsApp into your system
- Use our integration tutorials for standard SaaS such as Salesforce, Hubspot, and more, as shortcuts to accelerate your integration.
Conversations Inbox: you don’t have a system to integrate WhatsApp or have the developer resources to work on an integration? Use our Conversations Inbox to manage your entire customer journey from one dashboard.
That means the Conversations Inbox is the place where all customer communications connected to your marketing initiatives are managed - by your marketing, social media, customer service, and any other teams that are relevant for you.
Let’s explore the main features of the Conversations Inbox to connect your WhatsApp profile to marketing initiatives.
Broadcast messages to several customers
tyntec’s Conversations Inbox enables businesses to manage all digital conversations held on a brand's CX channels — including WhatsApp — via a single intuitive interface that support agents and even chatbots can access. Critically, Conversations Inbox's powerful functionality allows a company to manage the entire channel's comms in one place, including sending, receiving, and managing message broadcasting.
Send one-to-one messages
Do your customers need personalized help to move down the sales funnel? Follow up with engaged customers on a one-to-one basis using the Conversations Inbox:
- Allocate leads/customers that need to be followed up in your ‘Favorite’ list.
- Approach your leads/customers with a pre-approved message template.
- Answer to their responses directly on the tool.
Connect Facebook and Instagram campaigns via Click-to-WhatsApp to respond to inquiries
Say that you have a campaign running on Facebook and/or Instagram, with a click-to-WhatsApp call to action. Once a lead/customer clicks on the ‘send a message’ CTA and asks a question, that inquiry will land on the Conversations Inbox.
The following features that support you in this scenario:
- Set up an automated response on the tool, mainly if agents handle the inquiries and they need time to respond
- Add a chatbot to your campaign that can answer questions as they come
- Create quick replies that help your agents accelerate response times to address common questions about your product or service.
Guide customers that initiate a conversation on WhatsApp directly from the Conversations Inbox
You already learned that it’s possible to capture the lead/customer for a WhatsApp conversation from your website, social media, etc., by using strategic entry points and wa. me links.
Imagine that a lead is checking your website and clicks on a conversation button to ask a question. Just like any inbound initiative you create, all of those inquiries will land on the Conversations Inbox.
Depending on the volume of inquiries, you can decide if a chatbot would help you scale conversations without losing personalization. The important thing is that you create escalation points from bot to human agent throughout your journey.
Available to all relevant teams in your company
Managing campaigns and customer inquiries are usually taken care of by different departments within a company, such as marketing/social media, customer service/contact center, etc. That means handling customer engagement is no easy feat, as multiple teams can be involved.
Conversations Inbox solves this issue with a simple solution:
- Add all the people in your organization involved in marketing and CX
- Allocate them to different teams
- Let the different people and teams collaborate directly on the Conversations Inbox to clarify questions. No additional collaboration tool is needed!
Let’s imagine the following situation:
Your marketing team has created a campaign on Facebook to generate more leads, whereby people can connect with your team via WhatsApp. However, some inquiries are very specific or technical and demand the involvement of your technical support team.
In that scenario, you can:
- Collaborate with your technical support team on the tool, collecting the questions from your lead and relaying them back, so there’s no agent change during the conversation.
- Assign the conversation to a specialized team, who can then pick up the inquiry until the question is answered.
That means your teams won’t miss a beat!
Expand to other messaging channels
Depending on your geography and demographics, you may need to implement other chat apps beyond WhatsApp. With Conversations Inbox, you can easily integrate new channels, incl: Viber, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and more. If you already use webchat, you can incorporate that, so your team is distracted by different tools.
Getting started is easy – and for free.
The following steps are to create your WhatsApp Profile and start rocking your customer engagement! 🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻
- Create your tyntec account and submit all the information for your WhatsApp Profile
- Once your WhatsApp Profile is live, test it out!
- Collect your opt-ins and define your entry points
- Create your message templates
- Start exchanging messages with your customers!
#1 - Getting started with WhatsApp
#2 - Create your message templates
#3 - Create non-transactional message templates
#4 - Marketing options
- Setup click-to-chat ads tutorial
- Create conversation button (wa.me links) tutorial
- Create entry points tutorial
- Create and send stickers
#5 - Conversations Inbox