By Maxine Hess
Writer | WhatsApp marketer | Creative
Posted: November 17, 2023
Updated: December 09, 2023
WhatsApp is being touted as the next big thing in marketing for eCommerce brands. But, like any marketing channel, it needs to pay its way. Here's how to make money from WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Business does what it says: it combines the personal, friends-like feel-good factor of WhatsApp, with ambitious revenue goals of businesses.
One has to lead to the other, otherwise WhatsApp would not be worth the investment.
The good news is, we have plenty of evidence that WhatsApp adds a powerful new revenue stream to your marketing mix – without a huge amount of extra work for your marketing or CRM team.
At charles are top focus is generating revenue for our customers. We work closely with customers to maximize 2 key metrics:
- Revenue per conversation (RPC)
- Return on campaign spend (ROCS)
If you're curious about WhatsApp KPIs, see our top 5 WhatsApp marketing metrics.
We care deeply about building customer relationships and human connections, but at the core, we know that WhatsApp has to be profitable for businesses. In particular, for the enterprise brands that we work with like MediaMarkt, l'Occitane and ABOUT YOU.
And we're fully invested. In these tricky economic times, profitability and efficiency is essential for both your business and ours.
Note: this article is for mid- to large-sized businesses using the WhatsApp Business API and not for small businesses using the free WhatsApp Business app.
Can you make money from WhatsApp Business?
Yes, you can make money from WhatsApp Business. And you can earn a lot of money with it. WhatsApp isn't just a messaging app; it's a revenue machine. This powerhouse of communication – now with rich marketing and commerce functionality – offers businesses the luxury of unprecedented closeness with their customers. Which leads to more sales.
Over 68% of WhatsApp's 2.2 billion users check in more than 10 times daily.
In Germany, the user base is a whopping 69 million. That's a massive audience waiting to hear from you.
WhatsApp works, as you'll see in our client success stories
And they're not just waiting to hear from you. They're eager to spend money with you. Customers love the close connections and personal interactions they enjoy with the brands they love through WhatsApp – and tend to show their appreciation with purchases.
Our clients are seeing an average RPC of €2 and for some campaigns it's as much as €30. Consumers are getting used to seeing WhatsApp as a communication channel option.
Our clients tell us that their customers are very positive about the WhatsApp experience – being able to receive bitesize messages and offers via WhatsApp, and be closer to the brands they love, in an app they love.
That aside, how do you actually make money from WhatsApp?
Here are the most popular ways our clients maximize revenue in this messaging channel:
€1. Do WhatsApp-only presales
Make your WhatsApp channel feel exclusive – and give it a separate value proposition, like exclusive access to the brand and its products that they can't get anywhere else.
Many of our clients offer presales via WhatsApp. For example, Leevje, who recently locked its website during a pre-Black Friday sale so only customers with a code sent via WhatsApp could see the offers. Some of our clients send the URL of a hidden webpage via WhatsApp only.
€2. Offer preaccess to products
Our client, Oatsome uses product preaccess very successfully.
Oatsome successfully gathered early reviews through WhatsApp to boost its public launch
It launched a new product early exclusively through WhatsApp and not only sold large amounts of it, but gathered 50 reviews to support public launch – which of course helps boost sales.
€3. Use WhatsApp automation
Many businesses are scared off by the resources WhatsApp may need. They don't need to be.
The good news is, a WhatsApp channel needs very little work when you use automation. With charles, you use our open canvas, Journeys to automate entire WhatsApp conversations.
This save you time setting up flows and enables you to set up evergreen flows that earn you money through your website – for example product finder quizzes.
Journeys is an easy-to-use WhatsApp automation feature, beloved by our clients
It also allows you to set up entire CRM flows that keep reaching out to customers over months, or even years, to keep them buying your products.
You can also set it up to answer common questions through your website so that you can focus on revenue-generating tasks.
€4. Sell during conversations
With features like charles "Chatouts" agents can turn conversations instantly into sales. While having a chat with a customer, they can find out their preferences and sizes and fill a cart with the products they want. Agents then send a link to the customer in WhatsApp that they can purchase directly from.
Sell in chat with charles' Commerce feature
If the customer is already logged in to your online shop, all the better, they can buy in as little as one click. Meaning you lose fewer customers on the way to the checkout.
This works because charles integrates with your online shops like Shopify and WooCommerce.
€5. Show you know your customers
The more relevant your WhatsApp messages, and the offers and products you send, the higher the conversion.
It's important to get ask your customers preferences and store them for future use. In Journeys, their answers in WhatsApp are stored automatically as tags in the charles platform – and will go to Shopify and Klaviyo if you've integrated these.
Segment audiences for higher conversion. This is how you build an audience in charles.
You can then use this information to segment campaigns later on, so that only dog products go to dog lovers and cat products go to cat lovers, for example.
This way, you not only sell more, you avoid annoying customers and losing them.
€6. Send fewer campaigns
This may seem counterintuitive if you're a hardcore sales person. But in WhatsApp, just as with friends (and school parent groups) less is more.
I used to be a high frequency, high relevance guy. Fast was never fast enough. As I’m getting older, I realise that being patient pays off. charles has been a big part of teaching me that.Florian Keller, founder, Pferdegold
Our clients find that a slow, steady approach of 1-2 campaigns per month to each subscriber works better than a quick burst of messages and sales, but then a drop off – because so many people unsubscribe.
€7. Make data-driven decisions
Numbers matter in marketing. Make sure you spend time on your WhatsApp marketing strategy and keep iterating as you go. Continually check analytics and tweak campaigns to improve performance and increase sales.
See how our customer BRAINEFFECT uses analytics to make more sales in our recent webinar
For example our client BRAINEFFECT recently had set out 4 weeks of Black Friday campaigns. It found that the first week didn't work as well as it thought, so used those learnings to immediately tweak the final 3 weeks and improved sales by doing so.
€8. Invest in a revenue-focused WhatsApp platform
Some WhatsApp platforms are just that. A WhatsApp platform. You need more than that. You need ongoing, proactive support to help you use this new, powerful tool in the most profitable way possible.
WhatsApp comes with extra costs compared to channels like email
charles stands out because of our incredibly dedicated, friendly and knowledgeable success team. They are wholly focused on making your platform as profitable as possible, and helping you run your WhatsApp marketing campaigns in the most efficient possible way. Even giving you cost saving tips.
Our success team regularly runs webinars – like this one with SNOCKS – to share knowledge and help brands learn how to generate the most revenue with WhatsApp
Brands choose us because we go many steps further than most to make WhatsApp marketing seamless, efficient, and, most importantly, lucrative.
€9. Use WhatsApp for retention
WhatsApp is an amazing retention tool. Treat people like friends in this close, personal channel and they'll stay with you for a long time – and want to keep buying from you.
See our guide to retaining customers in WhatsApp, with 7 message templates
Use WhatsApp wisely for a wide range of customer uses, and offer extra value, including back in stock notifications, nurture messages, order tracking and reminders, and you'll find people coming back and back for more.
To sum up: how to make money from WhatsApp
WhatsApp is not just a messaging tool; it's a revenue generator for brands when used in the right way, and an excellent retention tool.
By embracing WhatsApp as a key marketing channel, you're not just reaching your audience – you're building meaningful connections that lead to lasting relationships and increased revenue.
Make sure you include strategies – like pre-acess to products, WhatsApp automation, segmentation and using analytics to inform decisions – and in your WhatsApp strategy and you'll be making €1,000s or even millions in WhatsApp in no time.
charles helps brands get started in the most profitable way possible. We set you up for success right now, and stay with you for longterm success.
Ready to make money from WhatsApp?
That's what charles' WhatsApp marketing platform is here for. Our platform and support are both optimized to generate the most revenue possible in the long term. Sign up for a free 30-min demo to see how it all works.
FAQs about making money in WhatsApp
How do I make money in WhatsApp?
First, get the WhatsApp Business API through a revenue-focused provider like charles, that offers good ongoing support.
Then implement our strategies above :)
How much does WhatsApp cost?
You pay a fee to WhatsApp for every conversation you have with a customer. See our guide to WhatsApp API pricing here.