Click to WhatsApp Ads: What’s the hype all about?

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DTC brands are winning with WhatsApp. At QuickReply, our DTC customers send 2 million monthly WhatsApp messages to recover carts, notify about upcoming orders, request reviews / referrals, and convert COD orders into prepaid among many other use cases for which WhatsApp is gaining popular appeal.

And for good measure. WhatsApp messages are characterized by terrific open rates, upwards of 90% and above, a 2-way interaction channel, a rich media format.

First, what are Click to WhatsApp ads?

Click to WhatsApp ads are advertisements that direct clicks to a company’s WhatsApp inbox. This is fundamentally different from the traditional approach of leading clicks to landing pages, employed by marketers since the beginning of digital advertising.

Brief about click to WhatsApp Ads

“Okay, got it. What is the hype all about?”

There are 2 reasons why we are bullish on CTWA to beat the traditional model.

1. CTWA enriches your retargeting database:

Just 2% of clicks to product landing pages result in a conversion. In the other 98%, the only asset you get is a pixel to retarget later.

In the case of CTWA, every click to a company’s WhatsApp inbox guarantees the advertiser a phone number to retarget later.

With the average CTR of Meta ads standing at 0.5%, following are the conversion metrics for every 10,000 clicks to your ads

**Click to WhatsApp ads: 0.5%10,000 = 50 phone numbers to retargetNon CTWA ads: 0.5%10,000 = 50 pixels to retarget

So, the question is - would you prefer 50 new phone numbers or 50 new pixels?

A non-question, really.

Click to WhatsApp Ads and Non- Click To WhatsApp Ads
Chrome will sunset 3rd party cookies in 2024.

What does it mean for you?

3rd party cookies are the glue between your website and ad networks for effective retargeting. When visitors exit your website without completing your business goal, these cookies are called by ad networks to display your brand’s ads everywhere your visitors go.

With this bridge getting cut off, brands that rely on retargeting for growth, are going to face tricky waters.

This is why there is a strong push for investment in building a 1st party data system. 1st party data refers to data points that customers hand over to brands, willfully, to receive brand communication. In fact, publications like Digiday now have a resource directory, dedicated to helping marketers navigate the cookie demise.

So, what is an example of 1st party data?

Phone numbers

The more phone numbers that you collect, the better are your chances to retarget these contacts through channels like WhatsApp.

Here are some reads on how DTC brands are running systematic processes to collect phone numbers

[1] Boldfit adds QR codes to its packing and collects hundreds of phone numbers in the process

[2] How Meadbery collects and retargets phone numbers using Click to WhatsApp ads

2. You can retarget phone numbers at much, much cheaper costs during peak hours and festive seasons

Unlike other Meta ad-delivery formats, WhatsApp messages are fixed cost. This means that every time you trigger a WhatsApp message, you will incur the same cost, irrespective of the day, time, and month of the year.

In contrast, other Meta ad-delivery formats work on a bidding model. Advertisers with fat wallets outrageously raise bids during peak seasons like Valentine’s, Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday among others.

This has major implications for growth teams during peak seasons. In the same budget, marketers can now serve multiple WhatsApp messages as compared to very few impressions over the Meta network, because of the price jacking that happens during peak times.

Here’s the lowdown on WhatsApp’s pricing model.
Targeting Customers At Peak Hours and Festive Seasons that too at Lower Cost

Thinking beyond conversions - CTWA is tailor-made for engagement first, conversions second

A common question around CTWA that we get from our customers and would-be customers, is - “but what are the conversion rates that we can expect out of CTWA?”

To which our answer is - do not add CTWA to your mix if conversions are your only lens to evaluate.

Sure, you should be concerned about conversions. They are the reason for your existence. But you’d be thoroughly disappointed if you measured your CTWA results for conversions alone.

Instead, focus on the number of conversions initiated between your brand and its audience.

CTWA’s texture is shaped to encourage a round of conversations between the two parties vs. a “click and browse” texture of other ad-formats that lead clicks to landing pages.

The implication of this shift in approach applies to various e-commerce categories where the purchase decision involves considerable thought, personalized information, or a higher level of trust.

  1. High-Value Items (e.g., Jewelry, Electronics, Furniture): High-value purchases often involve a significant financial investment. Customers usually have numerous questions about features, warranties, and return policies. Personalized conversations can provide reassurance and tailored information, leading to higher conversion rates.
  2. Customized or Personalized Products (e.g., Custom Clothing, Personalized Gifts): Products that are customized or personalized require a detailed exchange of information to ensure the final product meets the customer's expectations. Direct communication facilitates this exchange, improving customer satisfaction and reducing the likelihood of returns.
  3. Health and Wellness Products (e.g., Nutritional Supplements, Fitness Equipment): Purchases in this category often require a deep understanding of the customer's specific health goals or conditions. Conversations can help in recommending the most suitable products, fostering a sense of trust and personal care.
  4. Beauty and Skincare Products: The effectiveness of these products is highly subjective and depends on individual needs, skin types, and concerns. Direct communication can assist in providing personalized advice and product recommendations, increasing customer confidence in their purchase decisions.

Wrapping up

CTWA is a strong-footed step in conversational commerce, a puzzle brands have been trying to fix for eternity. Combine a conversational intent (think “lead-gen” but for e-commerce), and the ability to retarget these contacts at much cheaper prices than traditional retargeting modes, and you have a potent growth mix for advertisers looking to build a trust layer before the much-coveted purchase. Adding 1st party data in the form of phone numbers also insulates brands against the upcoming cookie-demise.

If you are looking to launch your first CTWA campaign, feel free to reach out to me. I am available at Having launched CTWA for multiple DTC brands, we sure learnt a thing or two and three 😊

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