With approximately 306 billion emails being sent and received daily, it’s become harder than ever for marketers to cut through the inbox noise and get in front of customers.
But in order to connect with a consumer, you have to think like a consumer. And this means meeting them on platforms where they’re most likely to give you their undivided attention, and in ways they’re most likely to engage.
This is where conversational commerce - or cCom for short, comes into play. cCom is eCommerce that focuses on various means of conversation (such as chat) throughout the customer journey. While a lot can be said about the value of cCom in today’s industry, more and more brands today are using one particular app to start conversations with their customers…
Enter: WhatsApp, the most popular global messenger app in the world. With more than 2 billion users interacting on this platform, more and more brands today are using WhatsApp Marketing (specifically, Whatsapp newsletters) to start conversations with their customers and deliver relevant information to them faster.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about WhatsApp newsletters: including what it is, how it stacks up against traditional email newsletters, the top benefits they provide to drive marketing success, and examples of brands that are using WhatsApp newsletters to drive up to 2x higher newsletter open rates and 10x more revenue.
Whatsapp Newsletters, Explained
A Whatsapp newsletter is a message that can be sent from a brand’s Whatsapp Business account to a specific audience of customers. Like a traditional email newsletter, a WhatsApp newsletter can contain anything from:
- a special offer
- an exclusive discount
- a new product announcement
- A picture or video message
To maximize engagement newsletters on WhatsApp should not exceed 150 characters. They can also be programmed to display quick ‘reply’ buttons for the recipient or CTA buttons that easily lead them back to your website.
While the WhatsApp newsletter is a faster way to increase customer reach and engagement, it should not be treated as a 1:1 replacement of your email marketing efforts. In fact, the two can live in perfect harmony as long as you use them as they’re intended to be used (i.e. email newsletters for high-frequency communication, WhatsApp newsletters for lower frequency, highly relevant communication).
Signing up to receive newsletters via Whatsapp
In order for a customer to start receiving WhatsApp newsletters, they’ll first need to sign up via a CTA button or QR code (which can be done through our website or an email or social media campaign, for example). The best way to catch their attention (and capture their contact information) is by offering some sort of incentive - for example, a product discount or early access to an upcoming sale.
If a customer is interested and signs up to receive WhatsApp Business messages, their sign-up will trigger a WhatsApp message to your brand which signals they’re interested in what you have to offer. At this point, the customer will be prompted to opt-in to receive WhatsApp newsletters from you (and redeem the incentive, if you’ve offered them any).
Because we live in the age of consumer data privacy, any brand will automatically ask themselves one more important question...
Are Whatsapp Newsletters GDPR compliant? 🔒
The short answer: yes, especially with a double opt-in.
A good conversational commerce tool will help you build an automated flow that helps you easily collect opt-ins/double opt-ins from customers once they sign up for WhatsApp messages. From there, you can easily segment to target specific customers depending on the campaigns you want to run.
Customers will receive an explicit request from your business via WhatsApp to join your WhatsApp newsletter mailing list. Not only is this a clear means of managing expectations with the customer, but the ability to bake in the automated flow for opt-in collection makes it a seamless process for the marketer, and 100% a compliant practice for the business. And of course, subscribers may also opt-out at any time.
3 Proven Ways to Win More Customers Using WhatsApp Newsletters
Whether you’re looking to treat your most loyal shoppers, reach a larger audience, or simply use a more visual way to get in front of your target audience, WhatsApp newsletters offer a wide range of benefits to marketers.
Here are the three ways brands today are using WhatsApp newsletters to drive stronger performance from first site visit to post-purchase:
1. Increase customer lifetime value through community building
Customers are more likely to become loyal, longtime advocates if they feel like they’re truly valued by your brand. Community building—often in the form of open communication, occasional perks and offers and the play on exclusivity—is an easy and personal way to show a customer that they’re more than a transaction. In fact, 84% of consumers say that the ability to communicate directly with a brand they’re purchasing from would motivate them to join their online customer community.
WhatsApp newsletters are the perfect way to create a foundation for this community. For example, energy drink brand HOLY Energy used WhatsApp newsletters to drive higher customer engagement ahead of the launch of their new drink flavor. The brand announced their upcoming launch via various social media channels and enticed their customers to sign up to receive an ‘early access’ code via WhatsApp to shop the product exclusively. Once customers received the special code via WhatsApp, they were directed to a dedicated landing page where they could enter the code to access the new product. Not only did this drive a record 10x higher revenue on launch day, but the brand’s subscriber list increased 2x.
Read the full case study:
2. Speed up the sales cycle while building close customer relationships
Building a strong community shouldn’t begin after a customer has made a purchase. In fact, it should begin the moment they show any interest in your brand. By addressing a customer’s questions and concerns on channels they’re most likely to interact in, you can shorten the sales cycle and turn them into loyal customers faster.
For example, a bed at premium furniture company woodboom typically costs around 1,500€, and their customers make about 7 inquiries before they commit to making a purchase - resulting in a 2-4 week sales cycle. The brand wanted to combine their customer-centric style of communication and the conversion power of WhatsApp to deliver a personal experience that also shortens this sales cycle.
Woodboom implemented “Chat-Ins”, buttons, bubbles and articles that lead customers into the chat.
While customers engaged with woodboom via Whatsapp, they also had easy access to checkout buttons to keep their purchase top of mind and remove any barriers to purchase.
By engaging their customers via WhatsApp newsletters, they were able to reduce their sales cycle to 2-4 days, generate 70% of sales via the messaging app. and stay true to their customer-centric roots.
Read the full case study:
3. Re-engage customers with exit intent pop-ups
Whether it’s due to indecision or just plain distraction, sometimes your customer needs a little extra nudge to take action. One of the more popular ways to engage customers before they leave a website is through an “exit-intent”-popup: a popup triggered if a customer is about to leave the website or is taking too long to make a purchase decision. These pop-ups often contain special discounts, prompting the customer to leave their email address to receive the discount in their inbox and also stay connected to your brand. Because exit intent pop-ups are known to ‘save’ between 10-15% of lost customers, they’re an effective addition to your WhatsApp engagement efforts.
Underwear brand SNOCKS is a perfect example of a brand that turns abandonment into opportunity. To test whether indecisive customers were more receptive to receiving offers via WhatsApp newsletters vs email newsletters, the brand ran an A/B-Test using two exit-intent popups:
- the first one offering a 10% discount if customers sign up for the WhatsApp newsletter
- the second one with a similar deal to sign up for email updates.
The test showed that WhatsApp newsletters generated a 2.5x higher open rate than email and increased newsletter sign-ups by almost 150%.
Read the full case study:
How to get started with WhatsApp Marketing and newsletters with charles
All in all, reaching your customers where their friends are has never been easier.
Whatsapp newsletters are the new way to reach new and current customers, build a strong community of brand advocates and convert shoppers faster than traditional email marketing.
And the best part: getting started is as simple as staying connected. The team at charles makes it easy for brands to get started with Whatsapp newsletters: from creating seamless automated opt-in flows, to clear performance analytics that allow you to track your Whatsapp newsletter growth, to assistance with Whatsapp newsletter visuals to align strategy with brand aesthetic.
Interested in driving more customer engagement
conversion and loyalty via WhatsApp newsletters?
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