How to use WhatsApp for business purposes
With over two billion users worldwide, WhatsApp hardly needs an introduction. But relatively few people know that there’s a version for corporate marketing purposes as well: WhatsApp Business. Its additional features help you to semi-automatically manage customer questions and messages. Let’s see how exactly WhatsApp can be a great addition to your marketing automation strategy…
As a company or organisation, it’s important to be wherever your target audience is: on social media, in their mailboxes, on Messenger, even in live chats. All with one sole purpose: to build a tighter relationship with the customer.
For that matter, we think that the possibilities and the true business potential of one specific channel is underestimated. Even though your customers and prospects may spend a lot of time sifting through their crowded mailbox or scrolling their sheer endless Facebook timeline, the real sweetspot to communicate with your customers today, is WhatsApp.
What’s the buzz with WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business is a separate app that works just like the ‘regular’ WhatsApp. However, it offers a number of additional features such as a company profile and an automated answer functionality. You can also build in standard answers, allowing you to respond to frequently asked questions with one click. In short, you’ll spend less time on the recurring stuff that nevertheless helps you build a better relationship with your customer.
Send automated messages via WhatsApp API
WhatsApp API allows you to send automated messages with 2FA security codes, status updates (very useful for the delivery status of parcels, for instance), appointment reminders, and so on.
One of our favorites is the one below: KLM's automated communication to help individuals and families informed about their trip.
Customer support (by live chat) is another valuable feature to take advantage of. Leasing company ALD Automotive, for example, is running part of its customer care through WhatsApp. It’s also possible to manage conversations with an automatic chatbot via WhatsApp. Even integrating existing helpdesk software, such as Zendesk, is possible with WhatsApp Business so that your customer service can continue to work in a familiar environment.
Running a newsletter program via WhatsApp
WhatsApp is also an excellent channel to keep customers, suppliers and other contacts up to date via short news updates. You can use text (including emoji’s), web links, images and video to get high read and click-through ratios. But do keep in mind that WhatsApp doesn’t send out your newsletter fully automated. Managing your contacts and sending the newsletter itself are still semi-manual processes.
By using mailing lists — not to be confused with groups — you can send a message to as much as 256 people at once, with just one click. And the good thing is: when people reply to that message, they only reply to you as a sender (and not to the entire list, as is the case with groups).
In addition to their monthly newsletter, our colleagues at Intracto also send updates via WhatsApp. This allows them to quickly inform their subscribers with relevant updates.
And what about e-commerce?
A fairly recent addition to WhatsApp Business’s list of cool features is the product catalog, and by expansion, the associated e-commerce functionalities of Facebook Shops. This will allow you to display your key products or services in your WhatsApp company profile, and embed them in the conversation with your customer as well. And what’s more: it’s possible to order and pay for products online from this catalog, without leaving WhatsApp. How’s that for user-friendliness?
Still not convinced about WhatsApp’s potential for your business?
Here are 5 strong reasons that should change your mind.
- WhatsApp is a widely-used messaging platform, so your target audience
is probably already on it.
- It’s a proven fact that people prefer chats over phone calls.
- WhatsApp excels in permission-based marketing.
- You can personalise WhatsApp conversations in a jiffy.
- WhatsApp is free, so what do you have to lose?
WhatsApp is increasingly claiming its spot in the marketing strategy of companies, from sending out newsletters to transactional messages and even customer care. WhatsApp enables you to be present where your customers are. Now many automation platforms are offering the possibility to integrate WhatsApp into their tools, this fast and personal way of communicating is becoming a mainstay in business environments.