Don’t start with “What’s up?” – The right way to market on WhatsApp

Imagine an enormous billboard proclaiming: “An extraordinary opportunity is knocking on your door.” We are currently opening WhatsApp to our clients as an additional marketing channel, as a means for sending a large number of messages – and you should already be seeing the numbers adding up.

Of course, you’re already very familiar with the application that sends off messages at the speed of light. So no, we’re not going to teach you how to use WhatsApp, but we are definitely going to show you how, with a single clumsy message, you can ruin your relationship with your customers. And believe us, this can be a very costly error. WhatsApp enforces an extremely strict SPAM policy and may block your account if too many customers ask to be removed from your distribution list after receiving your marketing message.

Those of you who are already using WhatsApp for marketing purposes should be familiar with the rules of the game. This knowledge is absolutely critical, as your customers are already experts at playing the WhatsApp game. A recent Nielsen study found that over half of consumers tend to buy more from a vendor that allows said consumers to send them direct WhatsApp messages. In fact, consumers prefer direct communications with businesses over WhatsApp to phone conversations with customer service representatives. Still, to communicate smoothly with your customers, in a way that will increase conversions, it’s highly recommended that you know what NOT to do and how to avoid mistakes that will lead to your customers to end their dialogue with you.

6 mistakes you’re making when sending marketing messages over WhatsApp

1. You’re being too chummy

We’ve seen businesses that address their customers by their first names and that begin their messages with slangy greetings, such as “What’s up?” or “How’s it going?” That’s a mistake. It’s true that WhatsApp affords us an opportunity for nearly 100% unmediated communications with our clients, but we need to keep in mind that the people receiving our messages very likely don’t know who we are, nor can they identify us. The right way to start off a message is to politely introduce yourself (or the name of the business), to explain the reason for reaching out directly, and to carefully describe your added value. Stay away from slang, quips, and emojis, in favor of actual words. Your primary objective at the moment is to create a positive first impression.

Example message:

“Hi Joe, this is Joanne from ActiveTrail. As a long-time client of ours, we wanted to let you know that it is now possible to send proactive marketing messages over WhatsApp. I’m sure that this is a winning card that will fit in well with you marketing strategy. How would you like to receive additional information about this new feature?”

2. You’re sending too many messages

While our new feature most definitely offers you a legal method for sending multiple messages over WhatsApp, it doesn’t mean that you can now wantonly SPAM your customers. Carefully plan the number of weekly messages you would like to send out, their content, the file attachments, and, most importantly, their delivery schedule. Recommendation: Send WhatsApp messages only to those customers that have previously asked that you be in direct contact with them or with whom you have a long-standing relationship. In addition, take steps to weave these messages into the relevant automations, as part of a customer journey that is already taking place over your other marketing channels.

3. You’re not being straightforward enough

Long, tedious messages will, at best, be ignored by customers, and at worst, will prompt them to unsubscribe. As such, be careful to compose short, clear-cut, direct, and speedy messages that provide recipients with all of the necessary information at a single glance. Don’t take advantage of your customers’ addiction to reading WhatsApp messages. Your messages will be opened on short order, but if they aren’t straight and to the point, they’ll be deleted just as fast.

Example message:

Hi Mariah, this is Jake from ActiveTrail. Pursuant to your inquiry regarding purchasing a WhatsApp marketing package, I’d be happy to have a call with you so that I can match the best package for your business. When would be convenient for you to speak?”

homme avec son telephone
Long, tedious messages will, at best, be ignored by customers (Photo: Deposit Photo)

4. You’re not being creative enough

Textual messages are nice, but you’ll be happy to know that we also let you send images, documents, videos, catalogs, newsletters, presentations, and more. Let your brand speak for itself, and whenever the opportunity presents itself, switch out words for visual messages.

5. You’re inconsistent

You’re enamored with WhatsApp because it’s a direct, speedy marketing channel, but you generally forget to display your brand at the forefront of your communications with your customers. To make sure they can identify your brand each time you send a message, we recommend giving your brand a language, a face, and its own identity. Be consistent and maintain familiarity as much as possible in your messaging, in the way you address your customers, and in your color selection. Never forget to add contact information, such as address, email, phone number, etc. By doing so, you will increase customer recognition and loyalty, and improve your profile’s credibility.

6. You’re not being “human” enough

Since the launch of WhatsApp business in 2018, we’ve become accustomed to bots on WhatsApp. This is a welcome development, of course, but sometimes we forget that bot communications aren’t particularly suitable to marketing messages. Even in the case of automated marketing messages, you would do well to give them careful consideration before sending them out, especially to the messages’ emotional side. Messages that look like they’re automated, mass messages, won’t usually strike a chord with most of your distribution list. As such, we recommend adapting your messages in a way that will make each of your customers feel as if your message was written especially for them.

Example message:

Hi Greg, this is Adrianne from ActiveTrail. I just wanted to thank you for your interest in purchasing a WhatsApp package for your business. I know how busy you must be, so next time, simply send me a message here and I’ll make sure to contact you. Have a great day!”