WhatsApp has gained immense popularity in the decade or so that it was introduced. Initially people just took it as a great method of keeping in touch with their family and friends and also share great jokes and motivational messages. However, some time ago WhatsApp Business was launched and all businesses big and small stood up and took notice of the usefulness of this chat tool.
Soon businesses started using it to communicate within their employee circles, but later it became useful even in keeping a tab on their target and existing customers. This has led to the development of WhatsApp business API which is completely used by medium to large organizations in different areas like customer support, lead generation, marketing and more.
It is well known that customers do not appreciate calls during their busy hours and if you send them a promotional message to market your product or service, they will definitely read it with interest in their free time and even take appropriate action. The best part is that sending chat messages through WhatsApp business API is not even an intrusion in the privacy of the recipient because they have already given consent for the same.
Let us take a deeper look into what exactly WhatsApp business API is.
The best way to formally and seamlessly interact with a large global audience on the platform where they are most active is through WhatsApp Business API. Facebook introduced the WhatsApp Business API in 2018, a programmable API that enables companies to broadcast and receive an unlimited number of messages to a global audience and improve customer experiences on WhatsApp.
Importance of using WhatsApp business API for marketing and promotions
If you want to make the optimal use of WhatsApp business for marketing then WhatsApp business API is the best option for you. Of course you need to connect your WhatsApp business API account with an official WhatsApp marketing platform. There are many such platforms which provide your business with chatbots to connect with your target audience with the help of automated messages. This will improve the reach of your promotional campaign to a larger audience than you would otherwise be able to connect with. This method has a major impact on the success of your marketing and promotional campaigns and well designed messages will definitely draw customers to your business. This is the reason why most large and medium companies are turning towards WhatsApp business API for betterment of their business.
Digital marketing with WhatsApp
Marketers have been using cold email and SMS for decades to reach out to a large target audiences, but the open and click rates in this method only 2-4% which is very low where the investment on the processes is large and ROI is very poor. On the other hand WhatsApp ads for widespread distribution have a signigficant open and click rate of more than 90%.
With WhatsApp API you can reap the best benefits of your marketing efforts by using out rich text and multimedia communications, encouraging customers to interact, and nurturing prospects with conversational AI. You can also use the Botspice omni-channel conversational AI Platform, and redesign your digital marketing strategies for lead generation and nurturing. With the help of a no-code AI (chatbot) solution provided by Botspice, your marketing team can produce dynamic, captivating customer journeys that will yield better outcomes. Botspice also provides the ability for effortless integration with third parties to push draw pertinent user data in real time for useful, engaging customer conversations. Actual time User touch areas and data are pushed into any CRM for the sales pipeline.
These third parties in digital marketing include the popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even the lesser known platforms like Line, Zalo, We chat and more. This kind of combination of digital media techniques and the social outreach of the popular social media platforms can enhance your marketing strategies manifold.
Engage your existing customers and target audience in real-time AI query resolution to add a human touch. By offering a 24/7 authorized WhatsApp channel for any kind of customer support and assistance, you can establish a brand and earn your customers’ confidence. Botspice provides an omni channel platform to reach out to, support, and help your customers and target audience on every channel conceivable.
Digital marketers find it quite easy to integrate
Advantages of using WhatsApp business API for marketing and promotions
- You can broadcast messages to unlimited users on WhatsApp and this is possible only with the combination of WhatsApp and API platforms, because on WhatsApp you can reach out to only 256 users.
- Then again if you send messages to users with WhatsApp users then you can reach out only to the users who have added you to their contacts. On the other hand, this is not a problem with API.
- You get the ability to automate notifications on WhatsApp with integrations
- You can also understand when they get the answers to their questions and when more attention to their queries is required. Here you also need to make sure that if the query or Complaint of the customer is a complicated one then the bot should direct the communication to a human agent.
- You can almost completely automate your sales and marketing campaigns with the help of WhatsApp API and save a lot of resources which would be spent if you tried to reach each of your target audiences using human agents.
- If the customer shows interest in your first message, then you can automate API to send follow up messages which will help the recipient to decide that the product or service you are selling is according to their requirement.
In fact, there are many other benefits of using WhatsApp business API mainly because it can be customized for your benefit. This customization is the current demand in the market and it is a very effective method of inviting the recipients to take part in the entire marketing campaign and then make the decision of buying your product or service.
Getting started with WhatsApp Business API
Getting started with WhatsApp business API is very simple if you approach any of the good companies providing chatbot solutions empowered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. The abilities of the bots are decided according to your requirement and budget.
Understanding the features of WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp API has many features which are appropriate for marketing and promotions. Automated promotional messages sent to your target audience is one of the main ones. Then again you don’t need to keep the communication limited to one message as the people you have connected with can also provide their feedback or answers to your questions.
Getting approval from WhatsApp to use the API
This involves connecting with the customer support department of WhatsApp and putting forth your request. You need to provide the reason for which you want the API and you may have to fill out an online form.
Getting approval from WhatsApp for using API
This does not require you to pay money to WhatsApp, but you will have to pay the API provider according to the features you require. Hence this is an affordable method of marketing and promotion.
Finding a WhatsApp business Solution Provider
This is a difficult task because, in spite of the fact that this technology is comparatively new, there are quite a few players in the market. As with all things successful, many half baked people have started jumping on to the band wagon and trying to gain profits even by providing low grade services. Hence you should conduct a thorough research on the internet to look for genuine providers who have been in the field for a considerable period of time. You should also check their portfolio and you should choose the provider who has a few success stories with clients who have gained measurable results. Choose the WhatsApp business solution provider who has the best portfolio and also provides customized services at a reasonable rate.
Choosing the right BSP based on your business needs
First of all you need to assess your requirements, because what is suitable for customer support may not be suitable for marketing and promotions. Hence, you should consult your BSP for the right solutions for your requirements. You need to provide them with your business name, URL, industry, region where you wish to provide your services, country of company headquarters, intended usage, a prediction of messages you expect per day, when you intend to launch service. This information will be assessed and the provider will decide whether they will be able to provide such services to you.
Setting up your WhatsApp business API account
Creating a WhatsApp business API account
The first step is to download WhatsApp business app from the Google play store or Apple app store. After this you need to approach the suitable BSP according to your research and give them the above mentioned business details. These details will be checked and verified by Facebook and they will approve your account in 2 to 3 weeks. You will also get your messages approved by WhatsApp when you start your sales or promotional campaign.
Understanding the technical requirements and integration process
Usually this service is provided by the company providing you with the API and bot automation. However, you should have some people in your staff understand the method to operate the API according to your requirements. You also need to understand how to integrate the new technology with the tools that you have already installed, like a good CRM system.
Configuring message templates and message types
This is simple because WhatsApp message templates are easily available online and at reasonable prices. In fact, some of the good BSPs provide the message templates as well, making the task easier for you. You need to ensure that the message contains all the information about the product or service that you are selling. At the same time, you need to get the message approved by WhatsApp and make sure that it is in compliance with their policies. The message should not contain any ungainly words or meanings which can offend the recipient.
Obtaining customer consent for marketing messages
This is very important because if you intrude upon a customer’s privacy then it will have a negative impact on your business. This is why it is necessary to take the consent of the target customers before you start sending them promotional messages. This can be done simply by sending them a message asking for their permission, and you should also provide them an easy option like ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when you send them the initial message.
Managing opt-ins and opt-outs
This is simple because you can use AI powered workbots to separate the messages of permission sent by the customers.
Creating and running marketing campaigns on WhatsApp
Understanding the rules and guidelines for marketing on WhatsApp
You can easily do this by consulting your business API provider. They are well aware of the rules and regulations and when you approach WhatsApp for a permission to use API for their business they will also give you a list of their rules and compliance conditions.
Defining your target audience and objectives
This is the most important part of any marketing campaign using any method including WhatsApp API. Of course if you are running a sizeable business then you already know your target customer base and you will also be clear about your objectives. In this manner you will be able to reach the right audience with the appropriate business message which attract the recipients to look at the benefits of dealing with your company.
Creating engaging and relevant content for your marketing messages
If you really want your WhatsApp sales campaign to succeed then you should ensure that you choose the verbiage properly. It is not a good idea to use difficult to understand words or technical jargon. The messages should be worded keeping in mind the concepts of the recipients.
Using multimedia and interactive features to enhance customer engagement
Creating the content for marketing messages replete with multimedia and other attractive methods is ideally best done by a digital marketing expert. Needless to say that if you are running a medium sized or large business then you are using digital marketing. Hence it is a good idea to allow your digital marketing experts to formulate the marketing messages.
Managing the time and frequency of the messages
This is important because if you allow a large gap between messages then the audience is likely to lose interest. On the other hand very frequent messages will irritate them, hence make sure that you send the messages with the right frequency. At the same time, it is not a good idea to send someone a promotional message in the late evening or night because at this time people are usually relaxing or chilling out.
Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns
The metrics for this are different with different business, but generally speaking you can simply consider the number of customers interacting with you after receiving your messages. You can also look at the increase in sales of your product or services.
Best practices for WhatsApp Business API marketing
Personalizing your marketing messages
Personalization is the main challenge and requirement of the modern day marketing practices. This is because, customers want to feel special and this can be done by personalizing the marketing and promotional messages that you send them. You should collect the important data about your customers including their special days and formulate your campaign in such a way that they feel care for. This can be done simply by using their names in your messages and often providing them special deals on their birthday or some other important occasion.
Avoiding spammy and promotional language
This is absolutely necessary as we have discussed already, it is necessary to maintain a code of conduct while sending sales messages, which should be tasteful and provide the customers a reason to get associated with your company.
Respecting customer privacy and data protection laws
This is very important because any flaw in this area will not just cause you to lose your customer, but can also land you in a messy legal case which will tarnish the reputation of your company.
Incorporate customer feedback to improve marketing strategy
It is understood that customer feedback is the main thing that should drive your marketing campaign. It is a good idea to include a section of feedback from the customer when you send them a marketing or promotional message. All said and done, no matter where you stand in the market, there is always room for improvement. Of course you may have employed and hired the best marketing minds, but even with this you need to pay attention to customer feedback, so that you can give them what they want.
Metrics and evaluation
Measuring the success of your WhatsApp business API marketing campaigns
WhatsApp business API marketing is one of the many different strategies you use in your overall sales and marketing effort. However, in the past few years it has been observed that WhatsApp marketing is a cut above the rest. You can evaluate the success of your campaign not just with the sales you achieve, but also by the customer feedback, which ensures that you stand a cut above your competition.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) of WhatsApp business API marketing
The KPIs for WhatsApp business API marketing are a summary of all the different ideas discussed above. The increase in sales along with appreciating comments from customers will gauge the real success of your WhatsApp business API marketing campaigns.
Tools for monitoring and analyzing customer interaction on WhatsApp
Such tools will be given to you by the company that is providing you the API access. You can keep a tab on the activities and communication of your customers with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning based tools like chatbots and workbots.
WhatsApp business API marketing is the best method to reach out to your existing and target customers. Well drafted and tasteful promotional messages will ensure that your audience will at least appreciate your endeavor even if they don’t make a purchase immediately. This is the reason that WhatsApp business API marketing is becoming popular among the business community.