How WhatsApp interactivity helps Jack Wolfskin boost personalization

As third-party cookies decline due to increasing browser restrictions, innovative outdoor brand, Jack Wolfskin, turned to WhatsApp to gather valuable first-party customer data – while generating revenue and boosting loyalty.

Michael Walter Jack Wolfskin, charles WhatsApp marketing case study

Michael Walter
Senior Direct Marketing Manager


opt-in flow completion rate


click-through rates


subscribers in first few weeks

"We need to find new ways to gather customer data for improved personalization. WhatsApp's interactivity is an ideal solution."

edit Challenge: gather first-party data for better personalization

As cookies disappear, so does an important targeting tool for brands. How can brands continue to engage the right customers at the right time and maintain their revenue? For Jack Wolfskin, WhatsApp is a powerful answer.


Michael Walter, Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Jack Wolfskin, explains: "Cookies are dying and we're searching for alternative ways to learn about our customers. It's the same for everyone – in Germany and elsewhere."

McKinsey found that consumers were more likely to consider buying from brands that personalize and were more likely to make repeat purchases. Businesses will need to find new ways to personalize messages without relying on cookies.

Death of Cookies: Leveraging a Zero-Party Data Strategy Forbes 

Jack Wolfskin is one of the leading outdoor clothing companies in Europe, and has been for over 40 years. A large factor in its longevity is that it continues to evolve with the times – using the latest technology available, in both its products and its marketing.


Jack Wolfskin wanted to be one of the first to ride the WhatsApp marketing wave in Europe and, in line with their innovative ethos, to test out the channel – in particular to gather valuable first-party customer data to truly understand their customers and improve personalization.



Using WhatsApp to stay relevant

WhatsApp is an app that's used by almost 3 billion people worldwide and a broad range of age groups. Michael and his team felt WhatsApp was a powerful way for the brand to attract a younger audience, while also engaging its existing customer base. 


"As an established brand, many of our customers are over 40-years-old. But we need to stay relevant to younger age groups too. Email is a channel that's not really used anymore by younger people. They use other channels like WhatsApp. WhatsApp is now part of daily life, with young people checking it many times a day."



Age groups using WhatsApp

WhatsApp users are spread quite evenly across age groups (Source)



"WhatsApp offers the chance to have personal conversations with customers. In Facebook and Instagram, you put out content and hope people will engage – you don't have full control over whether or not it's consumed. In WhatsApp, people take notice of you."



Why charles?

The Jack Wolfskin team had observed the success that consumer brands were having with WhatsApp marketing thanks to industry expertise from chatmarks combined with charles' dynamic platform. 



Jack Wolfskin WhatsApp opt-in website charles



After some initial conversations and the creation of a solid business case, Jack Wolfskin launched their first WhatsApp marketing use case focused on data-collection and personalization in August 2023: "Black Friday was coming up and we knew this was a key opportunity to kick off our WhatsApp marketing activities."

route Solution: interactive WhatsApp opt-in flows and campaigns

Once the technical set up was complete - in line with legal and GDPR regulations – Michael and his team had 1 month's lead time to add a WhatsApp element to their Black Friday campaign.


To start gathering first-party customer data, they set up a WhatsApp opt-in flow using charles' WhatsApp automation feature, Journeys – using this opportunity to learn more about customers.



WhatsApp opt-in flow Journeys Jack Wolfskin charles

Overview of the automated WhatsApp welcome flow for Jack Wolfskin. Once set up in Journeys, it runs in the background – triggered by a keyword and ultimately sending customers a discount code. 



Jack Wolfskin now advertises the new WhatsApp newsletter channel on its website, through emails and in ads, offering a €10 discount for new subscribers (as it does with email). Customers that tap the link are led through an automated double opt-in (one element of staying GDPR compliant). Before receiving the discount, customers need to answer 3 questions.


These questions take the form of automated WhatsApp messages with buttons (up to 2) or lists (up to 12 items), that customers can tap on.


The customer's answers are stored automatically on their profile with tags in the charles' platform – to build clearer customer pictures and to use later on in campaign targeting. Later, as Jack Wolfskin integrates WhatsApp with other platforms, this information will be synced with other databases.



3 questions, 1,000s of new subscribers


The new, information-gathering WhatsApp opt-in flow looks like this in the charles automation feature, Journeys:


1. What styles are you interested in?

Customers can choose: Male, Female or Other.



WhatsApp ask gender add tags charles Jack Wolfskin




2. Which activities are you interested in?

Customers choose from 7 activities on a WhatsApp list: Trekking, Bikepacking, Ski touring and others – and can add up to 4 more interests if they like.



WhatsApp ask interests opt-in flow Jack Wolfskin charles




3. What's your email address?

Customers can enter a text response here that will be added to the customer profile (and eventually will be synced with the CRM integration).



WhatsApp ask email address opt-in flow Jack Wolfskin charles





This way of gathering customer data is far more precise than traditional tracking, which may not give a true picture.




Jack Wolfskin charles WhatsApp opt-in flow choose list activitiesThis is a WhatsApp "list" which can be easily set up in Journeys (built on the rich functionality of the WhatsApp Business API). Jack Wolfskin uses these to learn about customers during its opt-in flows.



"In email, we track where someone clicks," says Michael. "Traditionally, we make general assumptions. For examples, if someone clicks on on a product for children, we assume they're interested in children's products. But in reality it could have been a one-time thing, just for a gift.


"In WhatsApp, in our welcome flow, you can say outright, what products are you interested in? What activities – bikepacking, trekking, ski touring? We can be more specific. Then we can build very granular audiences and send out more personal communications in future."


Where does WhatsApp fit in the marketing mix?

For Jack Wolfskin, WhatsApp forms an important part of its direct marketing, sitting among its other channels as part of a true omnichannel strategy.




Integrations charles

WhatsApp integrations with your other tools, like CRM and service software are critical to the success of WhatsApp and offering an excellent customer experience



However, Jack Wolfskin plans to do more storytelling in WhatsApp as it expands and innovates further with the channel. 


Managing the WhatsApp channel smoothly

By choosing to work with a marketing agency like chatmarks in combination with charles, Jack Wolfskin can manage WhatsApp very efficiently.


"We establish our WhatsApp content calendar together, based on our main marketing calendar, and cross-check and approve campaigns. Then charles and chatmarks do the bulk of setting up and executing WhatsApp campaigns."




WhatsApp enterprise blueprint

Get our free WhatsApp enterprise guide to learn more about how to manage and scale a WhatsApp marketing channel in your company – efficiently and profitably

Results: 1,000s of customers entering data and room to grow


Jack Wolfskin's WhatsApp test has been successful. The team is still making more learnings before rolling out WhatsApp in other countries and for more use cases.


"90% of people completed our opt-in flow," says Michael. "This is an incredible number – especially compared to email – and shows the power of WhatsApp to engage customers. It's interactive, immediate and it's working really well. Our WhatsApp welcome flow has already helped us learn the preferences and email address of 1,000s of customers."



WhatsApp engagement process Jack Wolfskin and charles

Subscriber collection (opt-ins) is key to any brand's WhatsApp strategy. It's also a moment of the customer journey that should also be used for data collection, GDPR permissions and making sales. Then, to continue generating revenue, you can plan campaigns, retargeting and 1:1 sales.




While Jack Wolfskin is focusing on building WhatsApp subscribers right now, they have also experimented with WhatsApp campaigns through charles' Campaigns feature


"We were successful with our first campaign on Black Friday. Since then, we're working on generating more and more subscribers to build our audience. We also sent out a Women's Day campaign to female WhatsApp subscribers, thanks to our data gathering efforts."




WhatsApp campaign womens day Jack Wolfskin charles

Jack Wolfskin uses charles' Campaigns feature to set up WhatsApp marketing campaigns like this one for International Women's Day (which achieved a 23% click-through rate)




Michael and his team are delighted with WhatsApp, and see it as having huge potential for the future.


"WhatsApp is a fantastic channel for us. Because we know customer preferences, we can send customers targeted recommendations about which products they might be interested in, and how they can use them. And we can have engaging conversations about the outdoors. 


"In future, we're aiming to do more content-based campaigns. We have so many great stories to tell. Our main goal is that if someone's considering buying outdoor clothes they should consider Jack Wolfskin, and WhatsApp can definitely help us with that goal."


If Germany continues to work well, Jack Wolfskin aims to expand to other countries, starting in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), then perhaps Poland, UK and Benelux. There are also plans to send shipping information in WhatsApp.


WhatsApp CRM integration is key to the future


A key step for the future is to integrate charles with Jack Wolfskin's CRM platform. This will help coordinate data, improve the customer experience and reach customers in the right place at the right time.



Emarsys WhatsApp integration blog header charles main

charles integrates with Emarsys, Klaviyo and more, and can do custom integrations for other CRM tools



"Our main goals in the next 2-4 months are to grow our WhatsApp channel and integrate it with our other channels, like email, so we can orchestrate different channels."


The company is currently implementing a new customer engagement platform. charles will be integrated with this platform so WhatsApp data can be combined with other channels like email – which opens up new use cases and a new level of personalization and flexibility.


"For example if someone didn't open an email we can say, ok, let's send them a WhatsApp message," says Michael. 


"This will create cost efficiencies. We can start with free email sendouts and follow up with WhatsApp if they didn't engage."


WhatsApp is also a great competitive advantage for Jack Wolfskin and can even help their resellers sell their products:


"I don't think there are any competitors doing this with WhatsApp. We've already had some interest from Bergfreunde, who sell Jack Wolfskin products. They're very interested in what we're doing with charles." 

In addition, WhatsApp customer support may soon become a reality.


"Our customer service team is watching what we're doing with interest," says Michael. "The new charles Zendesk integration is very interesting for us. We've just launched a customer-to-customer service – where our 'best' customers consult with new customers about our products, telling them what they should buy for their activities. Right now it's handled via an app but could be done through WhatsApp."


WhatsApp service integrations zendesk, gorgias, freshdesk blog header main

charles integrates WhatsApp with Zendesk, Freshdesk and Gorgias for easy, powerful WhatsApp customer service




stars 3 WhatsApp use cases for Jack Wolfskin

1. First-party data collection

Screenshot 2024-05-02 at 14.20.25

Gathering valuable first-party data for future targeting and higher performing campaigns – and to combat the decline of third-party data.

2. Testing assumptions

Screenshot 2024-05-02 at 14.20.34

With WhatsApp, Jack Wolfskin can ask customers questions directly, instead of assuming facts – like whether a customer is buying for themselves or for someone else.

3. Loyalty program

Screenshot 2024-05-02 at 14.20.12

50% of people signing up to the WhatsApp newsletter are Jack Wolfskin club members. The team plans to build on this, as WhatsApp is a perfect channel for loyalty and retention.

💛35 What's next?


Integrate charles with Jack Wolfskin's new direct marketing platform


Create more content-based, storytelling WhatsApp campaigns


Potentially expand to DACH, Poland, UK and Benelux

The future of Jack Wolfskin and WhatsApp looks promising.

"I'm excited about WhatsApp," says Michael. "This is just the beginning.

"We're aiming to bring WhatsApp to the bigger sales channels in our company. We can tell other teams that it's really working out for us and back this up with numbers – we have great audience and revenue numbers. We will also think about expanding to other countries."

Jack Wolfskin also appreciates the quality of charles' software and support: "I'm very happy with Oli [Customer Success Manager] and charles."

Michael and Oli meet on a weekly basis. Oli makes sure that the Jack Wolfskin team is always aware of new WhatsApp features and charles developments. Additionally, Oli gives expert input on campaign ideas and is responsible for reporting some core KPIs to keep the brand on track.

"5 years ago it was not possible to do what we're doing now," says Michael. "WhatsApp is opening itself up more and more to the business sector and this opens up more opportunities for brands like us to capitalize on." 


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