← Back to the blog

How to advertise on WhatsApp?

Written by 
5 minutes

Digital marketers already know it: you can't advertise on WhatsApp just like you would on Facebook Messenger. This messaging app is not a prospecting tool. It is a powerful loyalty catalyser. And that's (much) more important than you'd think.

Can you really advertise on WhatsApp? And what about the mailing list restrictions? How can you make the most of this messaging app while respecting the RGPD? ChayAll, a specialist in professional messaging and remote customer service, will help you to figure this out.

WhatsApp and advertising: a matter of nuances…

Advertising on WhatsApp: Facebook's (big) backtracking

This was, in many ways, the backtracking of the year! Ever since Mark Zuckerberg's social network snapped up WhatsApp in February 2014 for $19 billion, many of us have been anticipating an imminent monetization of the instant messaging app. Rumors have been circulating since 2018 about the addition of targeted WhatsApp ads in the status bar. The rumor intensified in late 2019 after WhatsApp's cofounders quit the company on disagreements over the app's monetization.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has finally given up on the project. Better still, "The team in charge of WhatsApp ads has been disbanded" states an article in the newspaper. 

Building user loyalty rather than advertising on WhatsApp

It must be said that Facebook relies heavily on WhatsApp messaging, an app that is racking up records: 

  • It's the most widely used messaging app in over 130 countries across the world.
  • 40% of customers have made their first online purchase via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
  • WhatsApp has the image of an intuitive app, easy to use, without unwanted advertising or spam.

As reported in a Facebook press release, the WhatsApp team is instead focusing on "creating new features to help businesses succeed". This is why they created WhatsApp Business (on phone and desktop) and WhatsApp Business API. Both WhatsApp Business solutions have been upgraded with some interesting features. These include catalog automation to help companies better promote their products, etc.

As you can understand, it is not possible to advertise on WhatsApp. But there are better things to do than advertising: converting prospects and retaining existing customers, for example. And this is where it gets interesting: a 5% increase in customer loyalty boosts sales by 25-95%! This is where WhatsApp complements Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Live Chat, and Google's Business Messages. That's why ChayAll includes all these platforms in its messaging tool, which you can integrate into your website or e-commerce in a few clicks!


How to (still) do marketing on WhatsApp?

Build up your WhatsApp database and user base

It is not possible for your company to advertise on WhatsApp Business per se. Also, you can't search for users or pay to acquire users (you'll be out of compliance with the RGPD, the famous regulation on personal data protection). But you have other options than ads. If you succeed, you can just bend down and pick up the fruits of your hard work! WhatsApp requires marketers to do a lot of hard work, but with an impressive conversion rate.

Before advertising on WhatsApp, you should first build up your contact list: 

  • Share your WhatsApp Business phone number so that your prospects add you to their contact list. Of course, you need to give them a good reason to do so: a gift, a discount, an informative added value, etc. For example, the BBC launched a "WhatsApp Ebola Crisis" channel to inform readers about the latest developments in the deadly epidemic. Absolute Vodka had also integrated WhatsApp into its "Absolute Unique" marketing campaign. Prospects who wanted to attend a very exclusive party organised by the brand had to convince a WhatsApp chatbot, "Sven", to invite them.
  • Legally collect the phone number of your prospects. Again, you will need to give them a good reason to do so. You can add a phone field to a form to download a white paper, for example. You can also redirect traffic from your advertising campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and other social networks into WhatsApp. Do this by adding a WhatsApp button to an Instagram story or Facebook page.

Use your company's mailing list to advertise on WhatsApp

Before going any further, you should know that mailing lists are limited to 256 contacts within the WhatsApp Business app. To get around this limit, you need to use the WhatsApp Business API, through an approved WhatsApp partner like ChayAll. The mailing list allows you to send a mass message. Each contact will feel like they have received a message that has been specifically designed for them.

You can send rich content through WhatsApp? Video, images and links, to enrich your content and your communication. This way, you can easily promote your products and services.

Your company's mailing list works on a "blind copy" principle. Be careful: make good use of it so that your contacts don't delete you from their contact book. Finally, the WhatsApp Business API allows you to customize sent messages to add the contact's first and/or last name.

Do you need help integrating the WhatsApp Business API into your marketing strategy? ChayAll, the business messaging specialist, can help you do so!

ChayAll offers you the possibility to add WhatsApp, but also Messenger, iMessage, Live Chat, Telegram, and Instagram DMs to your website. Improve your communication by allowing each customer to send you an instant message from their iPhone or Android smartphone.

Written by