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WhatsApp marketing is now becoming a staple in almost all the major ecommerce industries - especially with the inception of the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp Business API.

The giants in the field and the small growing business ventures can equally benefit from the huge potential WhatsApp as a communicative platform provides, with access to a large segment of customers who are using the app.

But WhatsApp marketing requires you to make ways to let your customers know that you are on WhatsApp, and further make yourself accessible to the customers.

WhatsApp by nature, is communicative and companies use this aspect to reach out and grow a positive relationship with customers.

The “grow” part comes later. And the “reach out” part is a little tricky to begin with. How do you reach those countless customers on WhatsApp in order to grow your sales, or how can you help your prospects reach you on WhatsApp?

We can tell you how! Here are the best strategies and practices that businesses have proven to be effective to build a huge WhatsApp list and ultimately widen your business horizon.

PS. As per WhatsApp’s Commerce and user privacy policy, it is important for you to get an opt-in before you use it for sending business messages.

Strategies To Build a Huge WhatsApp List for Business

Add a “Chat with Us” widget to the site

Most businesses use a traditional live chat option on their website, which might work to some extent but the underlying potential that conversations bring into a business transaction is lost to the dry nature of normal live chats. Instead of this, invite conversations on the messaging app, which will result in a more natural and organic flow of conversation.

To do this, add a “Chat with Us” button on your website that will make it easier for your audiences to reach out to you directly for support or assistance. This is more of a personal and invitational way to reach customers via WhatsApp. You can answer queries related to the products they are interested in, like product sizing, shipping details, discount related queries etc.

Take a look at Shumee, a popular toy brand's website homepage. They have inserted a handy Chat with Us button so that customers can instantly reach out to them with any queries they might have. This allows for you to move with a hands-on approach towards converting all the simple queries into sales.

Promote Your WhatsApp link on Social Media

Social media can be very useful tools in promoting literally anything. This isn’t something alien to marketers as everyone knows they should be where the customers are. Apply this fact into the process of expanding your WhatsApp list with maximum effect.

For this WhatsApp Business App provides you with a short link that can be shared around, so that customers can start a chat with you directly using the link. When a customer clicks on the link from a device with WhatsApp already installed, it instantly opens up to a secure chat between just the two of you. And if the customer opens the link from a browser, they will be sent to a web page with your business’s info and your default message. From here, customers can click “Continue to Chat” to open up a chat with you.

You can generate the link from the Business App by visiting More Options and then Business Tools. You can create and/or edit a default message to send out to customers when they open the link. The short link can be copied so that you will be able to add it to your social media bio, Instagram stories, posts and more.

Promote Your WhatsApp Link in Emails

Just like promoting your WhatsApp short link on social media, you can share your short link on the emails that you send out to your customers. Emails have remained a very effective marketing and promotional tool for a long time.

Often businesses add their social media page links in their email newsletters so that customers can stay connected with the brand and in turn be notified on anything new that’s going down with the brand. Emails have remained a very effective marketing tool for a long time.

Similarly, add a WhatsApp short link to your brand’s newsletters so customers can reach you on the chat app. Here you can make use of the potentials of email marketing to aid your WhatsApp marketing strategies. Emails aren’t as conversational as WhatsApp messenger but with the professionality and seriousness that accompanies an email, you have a higher chance at effectively expanding your WhatsApp list.

Run a WhatsApp Only Contest

When has incentivizing never worked? Anything can be done with a clever treat, accompanied by a clever challenge. Apply the same theory to boost your WhatsApp customer list into greater proportions. Contests have always been a great way to improve customer engagement and it is safe to say that you could do more with it.

Running a WhatsApp contest is a very powerful tool for building your audience base.

Hubspot found that companies that ran contest-driven marketing campaigns have seen an average of 34% gain in customers/contacts per campaign. That’s a huge development for what seems like a simple marketing campaign.

You can cleverly craft and launch an opt-in-to-win contest for WhatsApp, where customers could easily join. The “easy to join” element is also very important in a way that this could affect the kind of reception and response your contests will draw in.

An ingenious WhatsApp Only Contest will fetch you a significantly higher number of contacts on WhatsApp along with increased engagement. That’s a good “two birds with one stone” example, if you are into idioms and what-not.

Enable Restock Alert Subscription via WhatsApp

Something about Restock Alerts brings happiness just as much as Out of Stock alerts can be a mood kill. But focusing on the happy part, a well-worded, personalized restock-alert can go a long way when it comes to retaining customers and nudging buyers into new purchases.

WhatsApp is a great way to inform customers about products that are back in stock and available for purchase. Let’s say, a particular product ran out of stock. In this scenario, instead of the conventional notify me button where businesses ask for the customer’s email address, ask for WhatsApp subscription, so you can notify any stock related updates via the chat app.

Think of it like smoothly “sliding into DMs” but you are marketing on WhatsApp. This is a great way to expand your WhatsApp customer contacts and in turn grow your business’ reach. The possibility of a sale after a friendly and informational chat could mean that the customers might be comfortable (and probable) in purchasing more from you down the road.

Offer to Send Order Alerts on WhatsApp

Order alerts are too crucial to a sale. We say this because it plays a huge role in reassuring customers about the order that they have placed. Customers want to know and receive information and updates related to the purchase they make.

When a customer completes a purchase on your store, offer a field that asks them to provide their number if they would like to be notified of order details via WhatsApp.

They will be more likely to subscribe owing to the fact that customers always want to be made aware of any updates related to their product after completing the purchase. You are tasked with relieving this post-purchase anxiety, so why not utilize the situation and expand your WhatsApp list in the process.

Run Click to WhatsApp Ads

Instead of taking your customers to your social media page or your store website, you could ask them to message you on WhatsApp if they are interested in any particular product that you are promoting. This can be done along with social media promotions, like on Facebook where you can add a small “Send Message” button so that your customers can reach your chat just with a click.

This means that promotions and ads of your brand on social media will be able to fetch you results on two levels; by promoting your brand products and by inviting customers to reach you on WhatsApp.

You can learn more about click-to-WhatsApp ads here.

Ask for Referrals

A referral campaign to boost your WhatsApp list can have surprisingly positive results. Referrals work on the principle that people will trust suggestions that come from their own people, their peers and circles.

Referral incentives can work wonders if you have the right deal for the right actions. Ask your existing customers to refer their friends to join your business’s WhatsApp list in lieu of practical and attractive discounts, rewards or offers.

Grow Your Business Along with Your WhatsApp Customer List

As a business that is starting out a marketing journey on WhatsApp, the very first thing you need to get is consent. WhatsApp is a very efficient marketing platform but you can’t expect people to find you just like that, you need to invite them into a business relationship on WhatsApp. Growing your WhatsApp list is a primary point, if you are to sell effectively on the platform. You need to establish yourself among a decent amount of WhatsApp users before you can start selling to them on WhatsApp.

To get consent, it is important that you approach the expansion tactics organically as well as strategically in order to get maximum effect. This is why you need to make sure that people opt-in-to your list.

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