The international company Meta recently announced that it will expand the use of WhatsApp for businesses and allow sending marketing content.
It’s quite easy to understand that this is a great business opportunity – communicating directly with your clients on the most popular communication channel in the world, where they constantly focus their attention.
But before jumping into the water, it is important to thoroughly understand the rules in order to maximize the marketing effectiveness on one hand and avoid the risk of getting your sending account blocked on the other.
Is WhatsApp going to replace newsletters and text messaging?
(Spoiler: not yet, and it’s not going to happen anytime soon)
We all know that there is no replacement for direct and personal communication between your business and clients/leads.
Sending emails (newsletter) and text messages (SMS) have been and still are the most popular and effective channels, however, in recent years a decrease in the effectiveness of these tools was detected for 2 main reasons:
- The changes made by mail services, led by Gmail, when adding the Promotions buffer caused fewer opens and clicks on emails (you can learn how to handle this in the next article).
- Overwhelming overwhelming overwhelming – and this is true for all channels – we are “bombarded” with so many marketing messages. The truth is that we always knew this and it certainly shouldn’t stop us – we always have to fight for our place in the minds of our clients.
Each channel has its own characteristics, and we are required to adapt the messages to each channel (for example – text messages should be short with a call to action, compared to an email that can be longer and take advantage of the visual aspect by using images).
The very fact that your client has given you their permission to reach out to them in the most “private” application – obliges you to behave accordingly by using it carefully, in a respectful manner, and above all – to provide value. Try to send unique, personal content that gives “something” to your clients. Don’t just duplicate the generic messages that are sent in other channels. This is your part of the unwritten agreement between you and your client.
Is WhatsApp marketing really a revolution?
WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app in the world. We don’t need to tell you, as private users, how present this application is in our everyday life.
The future predictions show us that the usage will only expand and extend to other areas such as purchases, business ratings, and more – which will further expand the place of the WhatsApp app in the relationship between the business and its clients.
The announcement by META, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and more, about the possibility of marketing via WhatsApp – is the beginning of the revolution that will change the game, and you need to be there – the sooner the better.
What can your business do today using WhatsApp:
- Sending a WhatsApp campaign to a contact list – the campaign can and should be personalized and contain a call to action
- Integrating WhatsApp in customer journeys – a small and simple example – a new client has joined – send them a WhatsApp of all the communication channels your business offers
- Customer service, support and sales representatives can communicate with clients via WhatsApp
How does WhatsApp protect its users and what does this mean for you?
In order to maintain privacy and proper use (avoid SPAM messages), Meta company set the following rules:
- You can proactively contact your contacts only using text templates pre-approved by WhatsApp
- For your clients who responded with a WhatsApp message to the business – you have a 24-hour time slot in which you can also send “free” messages (free text) without using templates
In addition, your business contacts can easily block the business by clicking on the “Block” button at any time and even report abuse.
What to watch out for?
Even if there is a tendency to try and speed up processes, cut corners and find loopholes that will allow you to skip Meta’s strict policy, we strongly recommend you not to do so.
Meta monitors the conduct of your account and, of course, can easily and quickly block you.
Beyond that – your relationship with the clients who receive messages is just as important. Their response directly affect your account:
- The more messages they read, click and comment – the more will you be able to increase the rate of sending and, in general, your account will be ranked high
- If more and more clients click on “Block” – your client base will decrease and so will your account rating
How do you do that? How long does it take to start sending?
To send WhatsApp messages, there is an orderly process, part of which is carried out by Meta and includes several steps:
- Opening a business sending account with Meta
- Purchasing a virtual number and a package of WhatsApp messages
- Creating and approving the submission templates by Meta
inwise will accompany you through the entire process