WhatsApp marketing strategy: quick starter guide

WhatsApp marketing strategy: quick starter guide blog

By Typie

WhatsApp marketing assistant

Posted: March 05, 2024

Updated: April 23, 2024

What's a WhatsApp marketing strategy and how can you set one up? Here's how to use create a strategy that ensures high conversion, stable retention and ROI from this exciting channel. 


You may have been watching the rise of WhatsApp marketing in Europe.


It's no surprise. With its vast user base and direct messaging capabilities, WhatsApp is as a powerful channel for businesses from small to enterprise level.


If you're facing rising customer aquisition costs and searching for better ways to reach and retain your customers, WhatsApp Business can become your secret commerce superpower.


This guide covers the starting points of setting up your initial WhatsApp marketing strategy.


Because it's time to stop watching the rise of WhatsApp marketing in Europe and make sure your brand doesn't miss out.


What you'll learn:



The basics of WhatsApp marketing

WhatsApp marketing involves using the WhatsApp platform for marketing automation, marketing campaigns and guided sales.


With over 2 billion active users worldwide, WhatsApp offers a direct and personal way to communicate with your audience. Expect higher open, engagement and conversion rates than you've seen in your traditional channels.


Key aspects include:

  • High reach: WhatsApp continuously shows opening rates between 75-95%, becoming more and more relevant in times of declining reach of emails.
  • Campaigns and automation: Using tools like charles allow marketing automation flows and scaled bulk campaigns.
  • Analytics: Monitoring performance metrics like subscriber growth, engagement rates and revenue attributed to WhatsApp.



WhatsApp Business app downloads rising

WhatsApp Business app downloads worldwide have risen steadily, tripling in the last few years

(Source: Statista



Crafting a winning WhatsApp strategy

A successful WhatsApp marketing strategy aligns with your business goals. 3 key steps to get started and lay the right foundation for profit are:

  1. Grow subscribers: Similar to email subscribers you want to maximize the amount of prospects and customers you can reach via WhatsApp.
  2. Ensure GDPR-compliance: These subscribers should be collected in a GDPR-compliant way, including double-opt-in and easy opt-out. Get set up to collect and store data, and make accessible to users.
  3. Set up ongoing automation flows: The best way to collect subscribers, with minimal effort, are ongoing flows that start from your website or online store. In the charles platform, this is done with the open-canvas feature Journeys.




It's important to segment audiences for more relevant campaigns with higher engagement and sales



Best practices for WhatsApp marketing engagement

WhatsApp offers a dynamic platform to foster deeper connections and drive meaningful interactions. Open rates are around 90%, conversion rates around 20% and engagement tends to be high thanks to its rich interactive features and immediate nature.


Based on our experience with over 300 brands, here are some best practices for maximizing WhatsApp marketing engagement with the WhatsApp Business API:

  1. Personalize at scale: Use automation tools like Journeys to send personalized messages based on user behavior, preferences, and purchase history. Crafting messages that resonate with individual users can significantly enhance engagement rates. For instance, using the recipient's name and referencing their previous interactions can make the conversation feel more personal and less automated.

  2. Optimize timing and frequency: Understanding your audience's preferences regarding when they are most likely to engage with messages is crucial. Schedule your campaigns to coincide with these peak times, and be mindful of not overwhelming your subscribers with too many messages. A balanced approach can help maintain interest and prevent opt-outs. You can schedule messages in the charles platform, or add time delays to automated WhatsApp flows, from seconds to days to months.

  3. Add interactive and rich media content: WhatsApp enables the sharing of rich media content such as images, videos, voice notes, and documents. Using these features can make your messages more engaging and informative. For example, sending a short video demonstrating a product or a beautifully designed image of a new collection can capture attention more effectively than text alone. But test this. Some customers find that a quick message without an image gets a better response as it appears more natural.

  4. Exclusive offers and early access: Give your WhatsApp subscribers a sense of exclusivity by offering special discounts, early access to new products, or behind-the-scenes content. This not only rewards them for their loyalty but also encourages further engagement and shares among their networks.

  5. Use the WhatsApp API's interactive features: Through the charles WhatsApp marketing platform, you can add buttons, lists and more to WhatsApp messages – all with automation. This allows customers to respond to messages in a simple, fun way. They can answer questions you ask, and then you can store their answers to collect rich information about your customers – for more personalized and higher performing campaigns.
  6. Change your WhatsApp status regularly: Status updates are an often overlooked feature that can help keep your brand top of mind. Share updates about your brand, tease new product launches, or share promotional offers. Since statuses disappear after 24 hours, they create a sense of urgency among your audience to check them out.

  7. Get feedback and offer customer support: Encourage feedback through WhatsApp to understand your customers' needs better and show that you value their opinions. Offering prompt and efficient customer support through WhatsApp can also enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. This can be automated to reduce the effort required.

  8. Comply with GDPR and respect privacy: Always ensure compliance with WhatsApp's policies and GDPR, and respect user privacy. Gaining explicit consent before sending marketing messages and providing an easy opt-out option are fundamental practices to maintain trust and a positive relationship with your subscribers. And in the EU to comply with the law.

  9. Continually optimize: Monitor the performance of your WhatsApp marketing campaigns closely. Analyze metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to understand what works best for your audience. Use these insights to continually refine your strategy and improve engagement over time.


Sticking to these best practices can help you give customers the best experience in WhatsApp. As a result you'll enjoy higher engagement and stronger relationships - leading to higher revenue, profit and retention.



WWF Game with charles

The interactive features of the WhatsApp API are powerful for boosting customer engagement. A roleplaying game we made for WWF engaged 10,000s of people for an amazing 15-20 mins.



See more on how to retain customers in WhatsApp.


Analyzing and maximizing ROI of WhatsApp

To ensure your WhatsApp marketing efforts are profitable, focus on key metrics like open rates and conversion rates. charles offers in-depth analytics to track and improve these metrics. According to Forbes, businesses using WhatsApp marketing see a higher engagement rate compared to traditional email marketing.



WhatsApp marketing profitability (revenue per conversation) has quadrupled in four years

WhatsApp marketing profitability (which we measure in revenue per conversation (RPC)) of charles' customers has quadrupled in 2 years



Real-world WhatsApp marketing success stories

A rising number of European consumer brands are finding success with WhatsApp marketing.


For example, ABOUT YOU, a charles customer, leveraged WhatsApp to drive significant sales and customer engagement during Black Friday. 



ABOUT YOU WhatsApp marketing with charlesGlobal eCommerce brand ABOUT YOU has had great success with WhatsApp and the charles platform


See more customer stories here.


To sum up: don't wait to grab the WhatsApp marketing opportunity

WhatsApp marketing offers a unique opportunity to connect with customers on a platform they use daily.


Brands who get there first will have a huge advantage over their competitors. (See more reasons why you shouldn't wait to start with WhatsApp marketing).


By personalizing your approach, leveraging automation features like charles' Journeys, and focusing on measurable results, you can transform your business communication and drive significant revenue.


Remember, it's not just about sending messages – it's about building relationships.


Interested in exploring WhatsApp marketing for your business? Schedule a 30-minute demo with one of our experts to see how charles can help you maximize your WhatsApp marketing strategy.


FAQs about WhatsApp marketing strategy

What is a WhatsApp marketing strategy?

A WhatsApp marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan for businesses that sets out how they will use WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging app, to communicate with customers directly and personalize their experience. This strategy involves using WhatsApp Business to send updates, offers, and engaging content, manage customer service inquiries efficiently, and build strong, lasting relationships with your audience. 

How do you start a WhatsApp marketing strategy?

1. Assign a WhatsApp owner: Identify a dedicated team member to lead your WhatsApp marketing efforts, typically within your CRM or email marketing team.


2. Choose the right WhatsApp partner: Partner with an approved WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, like charles, that offers advanced automation, rich analytics, and comprehensive support to ensure your success.


3. Set clear goals and KPIs: Define what you aim to achieve with your WhatsApp marketing strategy—whether it's increasing sales, improving customer service, or building brand awareness. Establish KPIs such as revenue per conversation (RPC) and open rates to measure success.


4. Create engaging content: Develop content that resonates with your audience, including exclusive offers, product updates, and personalized messages.


5. Ensure compliance and privacy: Adhere to GDPR and other privacy regulations, ensuring that your strategy respects user consent and data protection laws.


6. Monitor and optimize: Continuously analyze performance data to understand what works and refine your strategy for better results over time.

How can we integrate WhatsApp into our existing marketing strategy?

To integrate WhatsApp smoothly, start by setting specific goals like increasing revenue or improving retention. Next, segment your audience for personalized messaging. Remember, the charles Success team can guide you through this process, ensuring WhatsApp seamlessly complements your existing marketing efforts. Choosing the right solution provider, like charles, is key to maximizing your strategy's impact.

How do we track the success of a WhatsApp marketing strategy?

Measure success with metrics like revenue per conversation (RPC), conversation rates, campaign ROI, click rates, open rates and opt-out rates. The charles platform offers analytics to monitor these, and the Success team will meet you regularly to discuss them and suggest improvements.

How do we grow our WhatsApp audience within GDPR rules?

Grow your audience by clearly asking for opt-ins and explaining subscription benefits. Use charles for GDPR-compliant opt-ins and expert guidance. Selecting a provider like charles ensures responsible subscriber base growth.

Will my WhatsApp Business Solution Provider help with my WhatsApp marketing strategy?

Yes, your WhatsApp Business Solution Provider should help you with this. As WhatsApp is quite new in Europe, it's important that you get set up right from the beginning. Your provider should offer support in setting KPIs and goals, identifying which tools to use and optimizing campaigns on an ongoing basis.

How do I choose a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider?

Choose a provider that offers advanced automation, detailed segmentation, comprehensive analytics, and marketing tool integrations. Ensure they're a trusted Meta and WhatsApp partner. charles offers these features and more, plus access to an industry-leading Success team to support your strategy and optimize campaigns. See more on Best WhatsApp marketing tools.

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