By Maxine Hess
Writer, charles | SaaS branding | Conversational marketing
Trying to make emails and ads that stand out Black Friday? Feeling like it's a losing battle? Our top tip: get 90% open rates in WhatsApp instead. Start now and you can easily be ready by November 25 🏃
We don't want to stress you out, but it's October already. If you're like us, summer is a distant memory, and you're knee deep in leaves, pumpkin lattés and Black Friday (November 25), Cyber Monday (November 28) and the holiday season.
You've probably already prepared your marketing strategy, but we urge you to put WhatsApp in it. It's an exciting new channel that's easy to slot in with your existing campaigns, and that will give you that extra sales push you need.
Your brand doing Black Friday on WhatsApp is achievable and we will fast-track you.
Get charles in early October, be onboarded in 1 week and you could be promoting your Cyber Week campaigns on WhatsApp this year
Last year, 10 of our clients sent 23 WhatsApp campaigns and earned a total of €21k in revenue.
The revenue per recipient was €1.70. This year we expect even better figures.
This year, our unstoppable client SNOCKS is so confident, it's challenging itself to bring in over €250k in revenue with WhatsApp alone and gain 100k WhatsApp opt-ins through charles. Which we know won't be a problem for Johannes and the team 💪
How to get WhatsApp Business ready in 5 steps
Your customers already have WhatsApp on their phones. You just need to piggyback onto it. Sign up for our WhatsApp software in early October, build an audience in November and enjoy WhatsApp for Black Friday (and beyond). Here's a handy timeline:
- Choose a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (by early October)
- Get software and integrate with your systems (onboard by late October)
- Get as many customers as you can on WhatsApp (late October to November 25)
- Learn how to use WhatsApp as a business channel (early-mid November)
- Play and have fun! (early-mid-November)
1. Choose a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider
The WhatsApp Business Cloud API is now available to everyone, which is great. However, unless you're a developer, you'll find it hard to make use of it.
That's why companies like us exist. We're give you better functionality, the ability to share chats between teams, work on your desktop, create automated campaigns and more. Essentially, we provide the link between the API and the ROI.
Business Solution Providers (BSPs) like us give you the right software, technological know-how and chat expertise to use the full potential of WhatsApp Business.
Your BSP will (should, at least) help you:
- Set up a WhatsApp Business account
- Integrate its platform with your existing systems like Shopify, Slack and others
- Learn how to use the platform
- Understand how best to chat with customers on WhatsApp
- Make a success of WhatsApp marketing campaigns
- Start and grow your WhatsApp audience
- Continually grow revenue with this channel
You pay per WhatsApp message, so your business growth is in your solution provider's interest. Because your success is tied together, you know you've got a WhatsApp expert working hard for you who cares about your business goals.
Your customers already have WhatsApp on their phones. You just need to piggyback onto it.
We're proud to be a WhatsApp BSP and Meta Partner. You can see our WhatsApp BSP partner page here
The charles platform is clean, bright and easy to use.
Here, a chat agent is dropping a product into chat with a customer.
2. Get software and integrate with your systems
You'll need to get your WhatsApp Business platform installed and this will need to be integrated with your existing systems. With charles, you can be ready in as little as 21 days from signing up to live chat.
Your software should integrate with your existing systems like Shopify (charles makes this easy!), to
minimize disruption and maintain the data and messenging systems you already have
So if you start in early October, you could be sending your first messages by the end of the month. This is plenty of time to build an audience (more below), send test campaigns, train agents and get to know the platform.
3. Get as many customers as you can into WhatsApp
You can't do a Black Friday WhatsApp campaign if you have no phone numbers. The first thing you need to do is get customers into WhatsApp and opted in to chat with you (to be GDPR compliant).
How many people should you get into chat? It depends on your business but we would say between 150-500. 50 would be too small an audience to be worth the cost.
There are many ways to invite and incentivize customers into your WhatsApp Business channel. We call them "Chat-ins."
Blessing Osadolor, our UK Customer Success Manager, works with clients every day to increase their success in WhatsApp. Here are her tips to get 1,000s of customers into WhatsApp before Black Friday:
"Use your email subscribers: these are your customers already, you have their email address, and they expect to hear from you. Send an email saying, "Hey we're on WhatsApp now, come and say hi!" Add a wa.me link link to send them straight to chat. Set up an automated opt-in flow so you a) reduce your work and b) make sure you're GDPR compliant.
Use your thank you page: you can add a link to WhatsApp here. Tie it together with delivery updates, which customers really appreciate having on WhatsAppp. And use the thank you page of your email newsletter.
Replace your email newsletter with a WhatsApp chat bubble and start having conversations instead of one-way Klaviyo sendouts.
Add posters in store: put a QR code and a discount on them to get people into WhatsApp. Put them near the checkout and offer a receipt through WhatsApp. Get creative here to catch attention. This can be very effective because you then know a customer's location if they make a purchase with your in-store discount.
Put a banner on your website. You could offer exclusive early drops for Black Friday for people who sign up for WhatsApp, for example.
Post an Instagram story announcing that you're in WhatsApp and offer a discount or a competition when customers sign up for your WhatsApp messages.
Use paid ads: this way you can target the right people. It could be existing customers or people who match your ideal customer profile (ICP). You can also use your Black Friday campaign creative for these.
But do this soon! The cost of paid ads goes astronomically high right before Black Friday and the holiday season. Now is the time to get people into chat and save ad spend."
With the right touchpoints, you can get 1,000s of customers into chat before Black Friday
4. Learn how to use WhatsApp as a business channel
You may use WhatsApp already to speak with family and friends, but it's different when you're talking as a business. You have a responsibility to get the right opt-ins and talk to your customers in a respectful way.
Your BSP should support you here. At charles, for example, our Success team helps you take your first steps:
- Product onboarding: we show you the different features of our platform and the full potential of WhatsApp for your use case(s). Clients are usually very excited to see what's possible at this stage.
- Guides: we give clients readymade guides, like our "Chatiquette" guide on do's and don'ts of talking with customers in WhatsApp.
- Readymade WhatsApp messages (called "templates" by WhatsApp):
We help brands get going with examples of how they could word messages. For example, to a customer who responded "No" to an offer:
Ok, shame. Can we ask you why you didn't want this discount? Can we do something better?
If you change your mind in the future, your discount is still here for you!
Button: Get discount
- Proactive check-ins: after a couple of weeks, we check to see how you're using our platform. Can we help you identify more sales opportunities? Could we optimize your marketing campaigns? Are you writing your messages according to best practices? Are you sending enough campaigns/too many? Are you being GDPR compliant?
- Continual nurturing: WhatsApp is about relationships and growing your business in the long-term. We work hard to help you get more customers into chat, get more from the relationships you already have, reactivate customers, learn more about your contacts for better segmentation and more.
At charles, you have a dedicated Success team ready to help you get more from WhatsApp as a channel.
5. Play and have fun!
Time to enjoy playing around on your new platform and see what does and doesn't work.
Send campaigns to yourself to see how it feels to receive them. Get feedback from your colleagues. Once you're feeling confident, send some small test campaigns to a small number of customers.
How long should the text be? Do questions work? How much can/should you automate? How many emojis? Image or no image? CTA at the top or bottom?
We'll help you with this, but you know your brand and your customers better than anyone. Above all, stay true to you and enjoy finally being able to have personal, direct relationships with your customers, in a space they already love to be.
Test text length, offer amount, time of send, wording and more
There's still time to make WhatsApp the star of your Black Friday marketing strategy. Just be sure you start as soon as possible so you can be familiar with this new channel. We're here if you need us.
Let's get you started
Tell us about your business and we'll make you a 30-min presentation with use cases we think would generate revenue and help build relationships with your customers on Black Friday, based on your business goals. Talk soon!