May 1, 2023

Why we are starting with WhatsApp

A conversational quiz using Quick Replies

If the future of marketing is conversational, then we believe that WhatsApp is the channel to bring those conversations to life. There are countless reasons why brands should already be using WhatsApp to talk with their customers - the most obvious being size. A whopping 2 billion monthly active users makes it by far the most popular chat app in the world.

But as we center the conversation between brands and their customers, we think there are even more compelling reasons. Our favorite are the interactive elements native to the channel. WhatsApp has intuitive, interactive features like quick replies, lists, voice memos, images, PDFs and videos that actively encourage conversations in a way thats unique to the channel.

And it doesn’t end there. Let’s get into more reasons why your business should be tapping into WhatsApp now.

Why Businesses Should Use WhatsApp

It’s where your customers are

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app worldwide. Even more, the US is the fastest growing WhatsApp market. Customers are already interacting with brands on the platform - 1 billion users connect with business accounts on WhatsApp every week. So your customers are there, and they’re already interacting with businesses. But why are they there?

To understand WhatsApp’s rise in popularity, it’s important to know the highlights and features:

Early adopters of the app were users from countries outside of the US, where SMS and cellular plans are expensive, allowing them to communicate without the high cost. Within the US, international travelers and those with friends and family in other countries were first movers because of the ease of global communication. Since then, more and more Americans have become regular users of the multi-platform communication app for the superior group chat features and end-to-end encryption.

An early adopter advantage: less marketing noise to break through

WhatsApp has been around since 2009, but only in the past few years has it really taken off, especially in the US. On top of that, WhatsApp didn’t launch a business part of the app until 2018. It’s a less saturated conversation channel when compared to the busy email inbox or the noisy SMS space, making it a channel for you to stand out, to easily connect with your customers, and to get the benefits of a first mover.

As of late 2021, tens of thousands of businesses globally were using WhatsApp Business. That number may sound like a lot initially, but then consider what it includes. It’s both small and big businesses around the world who may or may not be using it actively and, further, who may or may not be using it well.

This is where you and your brand come in. Not only is it a chance to stand out and avoid the fight for customer attention, but also it’s a chance to show how WhatsApp marketing can be done well. You can set the tone and the bar for the conversations your customers want to receive, and we’re here to help you do that.

Imagine a world where you’re able to have a dialogue with a customer or prospect in the moment they need it the most. They’re looking for more product information or want to learn more about your brand before purchasing, and you’re able to answer their questions.

More meaningful conversations and experiences

As communicators ourselves, when we want to have back-and-forth, in-the-moment conversations to gather information, email is often the last place we turn. More often than not, we’re not even turning to SMS. More and more, we’re using messaging apps, pinging a colleague or chatting a friend, to get insight or start a conversation.

This dynamic, interactive conversation plus the audio and visual component, is possible within WhatsApp. Comparing and contrasting to email or SMS is difficult because with WhatsApp you have a whole new set of capabilities and richness not accessible in the previous channels. Think of it as the richness that’s in email, combined with the status updates that are possible in social, and supported by the interactive messaging capability only available in chat app messaging.

Better and more actionable metrics

Marketing, and more specifically messaging, is measured by the metrics it directly produces. The old standby channels like email and SMS have provided a good foundation of must have data points like delivered, opened, or clicked. But what if there was a channel that had more built-in metrics, with more meaning, that were easy to access? This is one of the top reasons we’re so excited about marketing in WhatsApp.

As a personal user of WhatsApp communicating with my friends and family, I love nothing more than the added metrics like delivered and read built right into the application. I can quickly and easily glance at a message window to check for the memorable two blue check marks to determine if my message was received and read. Whether it’s for individual or business users, sharing important metrics is core to the app and to the channel.

The more robust metrics, plus the segmentation based on those metrics, will make customer journeys deeper and more valuable. We’re excited for foundational use cases like these, built around WhatsApp metrics:

Why Businesses Should Not Use WhatsApp

That’s a great question! For some businesses maybe the time isn’t right to add a new channel. For others, maybe it’s not for their audience.

As WhatsApp continues to release new features, to grow business-based messaging, and to focus on growing the US market, the window of those who shouldn’t use it will get smaller and smaller. Some may say it’s for a younger audience, but many Boomer and Silent Generation parents and grandparents use it to communicate with their families. Some may say it’s only for a certain industry, but it’s becoming less about customer support and more about customer conversations.

WhatsApp is no longer a new channel. It’s becoming well known in American households at a time when it’s already the default communication for many communities around the world. For businesses, it’s not just another fun channel to test - it will be a critical part to marketing strategy in meeting customers in the places they prefer.