Learn how to 10x your ROI from WhatsApp marketing in 2023.
2022 saw a steep rise in the use of WhatsApp for business. Worldwide, there are more than five million businesses using WhatsApp.
The use of WhatsApp for business is no longer limited; companies use it for marketing, promotions, sales, support, and more functions.
And with the growing number of WhatsApp users (In 2022, there were over two billion people worldwide) and the preference for conversational commerce, 2023 will see more of WhatsApp for business.
If you're an eCommerce brand, it's time to prepare your WhatsApp plan for this year. That's what we help you with, in this guide.
What makes WhatsApp a must-have for businesses in 2023?
WhatsApp for business has been around. But the truth is, it's become one of the most effective channels for boosting business. Here's why we're saying so.
WhatsApp has a high open rate
WhatsApp has an open rate of 98%. That's because most people carry their mobile devices with them. So it's hard to miss a message. While earlier people were used to only having personal interactions on WhatsApp earlier, now it's common to use the channel for communication with brands.
It has a high clickthrough rate
WhatsApp’s clickthrough rate is five times more than that of SMS or email, at 45 to 60%. Moreover, since people have their devices, they can click on links in WhatsApp messages and engage in activities such as shopping, browsing products, signing up, etc., on the go.
There’s a rise in conversational commerce
Customers are becoming more demanding than ever before. They prefer to interact with brands to clear doubts and collect more information about products and services before they make a purchase. And that’s where WhatsApp’s two-way conversational abilities help brands.
It enables personalization
WhatsApp is a highly personal channel. It enables one-on-one conversations between brands and customers. Therefore, brands can collect personal data about interests, likes, demographic details, etc., and craft personalized WhatsApp campaigns to boost engagement and sales.
WhatsApp enables a human touch to marketing
Building direct and personalized communication channels helps bring a human touch to marketing. For example, customers know they can reach out to brands on WhatsApp and get their queries resolved. This convenience also helps build trust and loyalty, leading to stronger long-term customer relationships.
WhatsApp has automation abilities
Leverage WhatsApp automation capabilities to enable 24/7 interactions with customers. You can do so with the help of WhatsApp Business API and providers like QuickReply.ai that make it easy to automate communication.
To take advantage of all these benefits of WhatsApp, you must ensure your WhatsApp marketing strategy is well thought out and crafted for success. Let's look at how to get started.
How to get ready to use WhatsApp for business
1. Create your WhatsApp business profile
1. Download the WhatsApp Business API app. The app is available on Google Play Store and Apple Play Store.
2. Review the terms and conditions. Businesses need to go through each point carefully. Once reviewed, accept the terms.
3. The next step is to register. Select your country from the drop-down list and enter your phone number.
4. Add contacts to your WhatsApp Business app. You can add your phone book contacts to this list.
5. Next, create an account. Add a business name, select a business category, and add a profile picture, such as your brand logo.
6. After this, you have to create your business profile. This is the point when you add information about your business, such as the nature of your business, your USP, working hours, etc.
Once the above steps are done, you’re ready to start chatting with customers.
2. Sign up for a WhatsApp Business API provider
A WhatsApp Business API provider integrated with your Shopify store can help you with marketing, promotions, and customer engagement through their lifecycle.
It helps create customer profiles
Depending on the nature of the business, you might have different types of customers. Besides, you’ll have new and old customers. With a WhatsApp Business API provider, you can have data about all customers in one place.
It provides templates
The WhatsApp Business API provider provides ready templates for all types of messages for sales, promotions, special days, etc., making it much easier for businesses to get started. You can explore WhatsApp templates by QuickReply.ai here.
Helps enable automations
It makes automating and scheduling WhatsApp campaigns easy. You can pre-plan your campaigns, schedule the messages, and automate responses.
Analyze the performance
Once the campaigns are automated and live, you can use the WhatsApp Business API features to analyze your campaign performance. Then, based on the results, optimize the campaigns to achieve better results.
An efficient WhatsApp Business API provider such as QuickReply.ai provides all these features and more that can help you set up your WhatsApp strategy for success.
3. Understand all features
Setting up WhatsApp for Business is one thing; the other is understanding all its features well to maximize its use.
Having an efficient tool and not knowing how to use it is the most common reason why businesses fail to generate returns from their investments in marketing tools.
Here are some features of WhatsApp Business API providers:
Broadcast messaging enables you to send bulk messages to your entire list. You can also send personalized bulk messages to different segments of your list.
Set up WhatsApp drip campaigns to send reminders and follow-ups. For example, set up a WhatsApp drip campaign for abandoned cart recovery. This also helps keep customers engaged without you putting in much effort.
Create WhatsApp groups, and invite customers to join by sending a group link. This enables you to build customer communities on WhatsApp, increase engagement, and invite customers and non-customers to easily join groups.
Automate the responses to frequently asked questions. This allows you to be accessible to customers 24/7—better than making customers wait for hours. You can automate communication for different use cases by choosing the relevant chatbot. For example, QuickReply.ai provides more than 40 chatbots.
4. Identify your core use cases
WhatsApp Business API provider helps use the channel for different purposes—marketing, sales, promotions, support, etc. You can set up messages for each of these use cases so that you move systematically.
Marketing and promotions
Your marketing and promotions plan might have a lot of activities, such as promoting new products, offering discounts to boost sales, requesting customer reviews, converting COD to prepaid, recovering abandoned carts, etc. You can set up WhatsApp campaigns for all these.
While most businesses use WhatsApp for marketing and support, few use it for sales. However, WhatsApp is highly effective for sales. For example, use the channel to provide product demos before sales. Or, send explainer videos about products.
One of the biggest challenges for eCommerce stores: providing 24/7 efficient customer service. Customers expect immediate response and quick solutions. Therefore, your support system and channel have to be set up to meet these customer demands. WhatsApp allows the same.
You can use WhatsApp Business API provider for all the above functions for your business.
5. Identify your key WhatsApp campaigns
You must devise your campaign plans based on what you want to put WhatsApp to use for—sales, marketing, promotions, and support. Of course, you can use WhatsApp for one or all of your activities, but when you focus on one or a few and do them well, it can lift your WhatsApp campaigns to another level.
If you’re just getting started with WhatsApp, one way to ensure success would be to set up these campaigns one by one and not all in one go.
- Send product demo videos and documents
- Share explanatory videos
- Send information about products via PDF, video, images, etc.
- Create one-to-one selling campaigns
Marketing and promotions
- Sending bulk messages on WhatsApp can help you run marketing and promotional campaigns at scale
- You can send the messages to your entire list or segment customers and send relevant messages
- Run click-to-WhatsApp ads on social media and other online channels
- Run contests
- Set up abandoned cart recovery drip campaigns
- Promote sales, discounts, deals, etc.
- Automate order status messages, such as order received, dispatched, delivered
- Send FAQs about purchase, payments, returns, etc.
- Send generic support messages to inform customers they can reach you on WhatsApp
- Send welcome messages
- Share discount codes and links
- Enable order cancellation, tracking, etc., via WhatsApp
Also read: Step By Step Guide On How To Set Up WhatsApp Marketing Campaigns On Shopify
6. Automate your campaigns
WhatsApp supports two-way conversational marketing. And two-ways conversations have two options:
- Manual (via a human agent)
With WhatsApp Business API, you can automate and manually step in when the need arises.
Here’s how you can automate different campaigns:
- When customers reach out to you on WhatsApp with a sales query, send them an automated message with different options, such as requesting a brochure, demo, a call back from a sales representative, etc. Potential customers can choose any option and click on it to proceed.
- Once they choose their preferred option, send them the relevant automated message.
Marketing and promotions
- Create automated drip campaigns for your sales and discounts. For instance, include build-up messages, reminders, sale live now, sale ends, etc., pre, during, and post-sale WhatsApp messages.
- For new product launches, create campaigns including messages for the build-up to the launch, pre-order, and post-sales incentives.
- Create campaigns to recover abandoned carts.
- Send messages to your new customers to let them know they can reach you on WhatsApp for support. Automate this campaign—send this message as soon as a customer signs up or makes their first purchase.
- Drive customers chatting with you on other channels to your WhatsApp chatbot. This can help you enhance their customer support experience, as it will be fast, easy, and they can interact anytime.
While we’re all for automation, it’s critical to stay flexible. You should shift to the manual WhatsApp chat from the bot as soon as you sense a need to step in. The WhatsApp automated chatbot will only be able to address customer queries to one point; as conversations move further, your human customer care representative might have to take over.
7. Grow your WhatsApp list
One of the biggest challenges as an online store: growing your WhatsApp list. Think about it; consumers are already signed up for many lists of various brands. Getting them to sign up for new lists is easier said than done.
Many people still prefer to use WhatsApp only for personal interactions. And hence, avoid using the channel to communicate with brands. This makes it essential to have a strategy to grow your WhatsApp list. Here’s how to grow your WhatsApp list:
Go where your customers are to target them through advertisements. Think social media channels, search engines, and other spaces on the web. For example, run ads encouraging them to sign up for your WhatsApp list. For example, to know more, reach us on WhatsApp.
Have a WhatsApp live chat widget on your website
When customers chat with you on your eCommerce site chatbot, guide them to join you on WhatsApp chat. You can tell them it will improve their conversation experience and provide faster resolutions. Moreover, they don't have to be on your website to chat with you.
Use WhatsApp QR code
Have your WhatsApp QR code in different places—in your email signature, in your targeted ads, in social media posts, in posters, on your product package, etc. Alongside the QR code, add a small note telling customers to scan it and join your WhatsApp chat.
Also read: All you need to know about QR codes for WhatsApp business opt-ins
8. Run click-to-WhatsApp ads
Just like Facebook and Instagram have the ‘click to message’ button, you can have ‘click to WhatsApp’. This will bring your customers to your WhatsApp chat.
This strategy is still new to many brands and customers but has enormous potential. For example, you can take orders, and pre-orders, offer shopping assistance, recover abandoned carts, etc.
Offer shopping support and assistance
When you have a new product or something where customers require your assistance, you can push Whatsapp through click-to-WhatsApp ads.
You can run ads on social media, and instead of taking customers to the product page, take them to WhatsApp, where you can chat with them about the product or answer their queries.
Take orders on WhatsApp
If you use WhatsApp Business API, you’ll probably have a catalog for your products/services. You can promote the catalog via different channels, such as social media ads, email campaigns, etc.
When you run these campaigns, offer deals and discounts that can be availed only via WhatsApp. That way, they’ll have to engage with you on WhatsApp.
For example, 'Check out our new season collection. Unlock a 15% discount by clicking on the WhatsApp link, and send us a message 'view catalog'.
You can run click-to-WhatsApp ads to take pre-orders, too. So, for example, if you launch a new product or when products go out of stock, you could allow customers to pre-order the products. But bring in click-to-WhatsApp here.
When you run ads and social media campaigns to promote your new orders, allow customers the option to pre-order by clicking on your WhatsApp link.
Similarly, instead of collecting email addresses or phone numbers to notify customers of product restock, make them click on ‘click-to-WhatsApp’.
Depending on your products and services, customers may wish to get them customized. And where there's customization, a one-on-one conversation is imperative.
That's where click-to-WhatsApp can help you ease the process. Take customers to your WhatsApp chat, where they can send instructions and tell you their requirements.
Moreover, you could have questions and choices set in your WhatsApp chat via the interactive chat features available with WhatsApp Business API.
Recover abandoned carts
When customers leave their carts without making purchases, you have to pull up your socks and do everything it takes to revive that lost sale.
This is where click-to-WhatsApp can help. Remind customers of products in their carts via email, social media, and push notification campaigns. Through these, drive them to your WhatsApp chat, where you can understand why they left the cart and try to reverse their decision.
9. Set up retargeting and remarketing ads
The biggest challenge in eCommerce is converting. Even after running campaigns to recover carts, offer discounts, etc., driving customers to transact is hard. And that’s why you need to do more.
That brings us to retargeting and remarketing ads. These marketing tactics help you attract new and old customers by sending them reminders about products they are interested in.
There are many benefits of retargeting and remarketing ads:
- They help you complete the buyer's journey
- Increase conversions
- Helps increase customer lifetime value
- Generate awareness about products and business
- Reduces cart abandonment rate
- Reduces customer churn rate
- Helps introduce or market products
There are many ways to run retargeting and remarketing ads involving WhatsApp:
- Send retargeting ads on WhatsApp—remind customers of products they liked
- Run remarketing and retargeting ads on other channels such as social media, web, etc., and drive customers to your WhatsApp chat by adding a link in them
Also read: How to improve your retargeting ad conversions using WhatsApp
10. Set up cart recovery automation on WhatsApp
One of the biggest advantages of setting up cart recovery campaigns on WhatsApp is that it’s an ‘always on’ channel, which means it’s hard for customers to miss your messages.
And this can help bring customers back to your cart faster. However, people are busy and might miss your message in between all their personal chats. And so, it’s best to set up a drip campaign.
For example, if a customer misses reading your first message, you should have an automated second message ready. Or, if a customer reads the message but doesn’t take action, you should set up automated incentive-sharing to encourage them to take favorable action.
Here’s what you can do:
- Send an automated reminder about items in the cart
- Send them a message that offers help to them to make purchase decisions
- Offer an incentive to encourage them to make the purchase
- Create fear of missing out or urgency around the product
- Offer higher discounts that are irresistible
- Have a one-on-one conversation
- If need be, switch from automated messages to human-to-human interaction
- Introduce them to more products, share recommendations, upsell and cross-sell
11. Segment your WhatsApp list
Marketers apply customer segmentation when using email, SMS, and other channels. But when it comes to WhatsApp, most ignore segmentation. Instead, they send out broadcast messages to their entire list.
But customer segmentation can help make your WhatsApp campaigns stronger:
- Improve content relevance
- Help with personalization
- Reduce churn
- Boost engagement
- Improve ROI
The above are just some reasons you must segment your customer list for WhatsApp campaigns. Now let’s look at the different segments you must consider:
Separate customers into different groups based on their behavior. For example, their purchase behavior, spending capacity behavior, average order value, specific periods when they spend more, etc. Then, send targeted WhatsApp campaigns based on customers’ past behavior to improve sales.
Demographic segmentation is the easiest way to separate customers based on factors such as age, gender, marital status, profession, education, etc. it helps brands with better personalization, improved product relevance, and targeted marketing.
Psychographic segmentation is based on customers' interests, personalities, lifestyles, and interests. For example, you can separate customers into groups based on their social class, values, attitudes, activities, etc.
People tend to change their shopping patterns based on seasons. Therefore, seasonal segmentation considers customers' purchase patterns based on the time of the year, seasons, time during the month, etc.
12. Integrate WhatsApp commerce
Your customers are busy. They want everything to be done at their fingertips. And that’s exactly what WhatsApp can help you with.
You can even take orders on WhatsApp—your customers need not go to your website to place orders.
You can integrate WhatsApp commerce in your Shopify store. This way, customers can place orders directly via WhatsApp.
Here’s an example:
13. Monitor and optimize
While you may have set up the best WhatsApp Business API and campaigns, you will still need to monitor your WhatsApp strategy constantly.
Unless you monitor, you will not know what's working well and what's not. Then, based on your analysis, optimize your campaigns.
When you use a WhatsApp Business API app such as QuickReply.ai, monitoring and optimization become much easier as the app is designed to factor in these features.
Moreover, with the analytics and insights dashboard, you can clearly see your various campaigns across segments. This helps you take better action.
Must-have campaigns on WhatsApp for 2023
Send WhatsApp broadcast messages to your segmented lists or your whole list to promote products and services.
Hi (customer name),Our new collection is out now! Early birds get a 10% discount.
Abandoned cart recovery
Recover lost sales when customers leave products in carts without making purchases by sending reminders about their cart, offering discounts on those products, etc.
Hi (customer name),
You’ve forgotten your favorite items in the cart. We’ve saved them for you.
(add image of product)
Go to the cart.
Convert COD to prepaid
Getting customers to prepay is much better than COD. It means it's a for sure sale, with lesser chances of deliveries bouncing and more cash in your account. Encourage customers to convert COD orders to prepaid by using WhatsApp campaigns. It's much easier as it's a quick, 'always on' conversational channel.
Hi (customer name),
You can save $20 by changing the COD payment method to prepaid.
Change to prepaid.
Order status alerts
Sending order status alerts on WhatsApp is easy to give customers a quick summary of their orders—order placed, confirmed, dispatched, shipped, delivered, etc.
Hi (customer name),
Thank you for your order. Your order is confirmed and will be dispatched shortly. We will send you more updates soon.
Meanwhile, you can check your order status here: (link)
Product review requests
Customer reviews and feedback are the best social proof for eCommerce businesses. Requesting reviews over WhatsApp can make the collection process faster and more convenient for your customers.
Hi (customer name),
We'd love your thoughts about the (product name) you recently purchased from our store.
Unlock a discount on your next purchase by sharing your review.
Share review now.
One of the best ways to know customer sentiments about your brand is to ask them for feedback. Doing it via WhatsApp is a much faster and easier process.
Hi (customer name),
Thank you for your consistent support of our brand. Please share your feedback so that we can make your experience better.
How likely are you to recommend our brand to your friends?
To share your feedback, reply to this message.
Customers expect quick customer support from brands. And WhatsApp covers that requirement. In addition, customers can chat on the go and get quick solutions to their queries.
Hi (customer name),
Need help making the right selection? We’re here to help.
Let us know if you have any questions by replying to this message.
Success with WhatsApp
While WhatsApp for business is still nascent, various industries are seeing success. Take, for instance, three merchants that use QuickReply.ai:
Auric, an ayurvedic health and wellness brand, used QuickReply for one-on-one selling, COD to prepaid conversion, and customer support automation and achieved cart recovery by more than 100%. Their paid orders went up by 71%.
Another brand, The Pillow Company, doubled its conversion rate with 3-stage abandoned cart recovery campaigns and saw a 60% increase in net sales. Similarly, clothing brand Attic Salt doubled conversions on cart recovery and promotional campaigns.
If you’re a Shopify brand looking to set up a WhatsApp strategy for your business, you’ll need a WhatsApp Business API app like QuickReply.ai to cover all your processes. The app, built exclusively for eCommerce stores, is the most preferred tool of Shopify merchants.