How to Use Whatsapp to Market your Business in 2024 - Step-by-Step Guide

WhatsApp has quickly become one of the most popular messaging apps with over 2 billion users worldwide.

This massive user base presents a huge opportunity for marketers to connect with customers in a personal way.

In this step-by-step guide, I'll walk you through how to effectively use WhatsApp for your marketing campaigns and business purposes.

Whether you're just starting out or looking to improve your efforts, these tips will help you succeed.


Why WhatsApp Marketing is Effective

There are several key reasons why WhatsApp can be a powerful marketing channel:

  • Huge existing user base - No need to get customers to download another new app, you're meeting them where they already are.
  • Personalized communication - Messages feel more private and authentic when sent directly to someone's phone.
  • Real-time engagement - Instantly connect with your audience and have conversations in real-time.
  • Multimedia messaging - Send images, video, and documents to capture attention better than plain text.
  • Analytics - Track open rates, engagement, and clicks to optimize your efforts.
  • Cost-effective - Very low cost compared to SMS or other paid advertising options.

The personal and real-time nature of WhatsApp makes it perfect for customer service, lead generation, promotions, and staying top of mind.

When used strategically, it can become an invaluable marketing channel.


Step 1 - Get a Business WhatsApp Number

The first step is to get a dedicated business WhatsApp number. This gives your business a professional presence separate from your personal number.

Here's how:

  • Android users - Go to WhatsApp > Click on the 3-dots menu > WhatsApp Web/Desktop > Add number and register your business number.
  • iPhone users - Go to WhatsApp Settings > WhatsApp Web/Desktop > Add number and register your business number.

You can also get a virtual business number from providers like Twilio or Hushed. This gives you added flexibility and features.

Once your business number is registered, you’re ready to start using WhatsApp for marketing!


Step 2 - Create a WhatsApp Business Profile

Take your business profile to the next level by creating a WhatsApp Business Profile. This gives valuable business info that builds credibility with customers.

Here's how to create it:

  • Go to WhatsApp Business app > Click Menu > Business Settings > Create Profile
  • Add business name, description, email, address, website
  • Upload logo, header, and product images
  • Add buttons like "Get Directions", and "Visit Website" to drive actions
  • Click “Done” and your Business Profile is created!

Pro tip - Verify your business phone number and link your Facebook Business Page for added legitimacy.


Step 3 - Build Your WhatsApp Contact List

The foundation of any successful WhatsApp marketing strategy is building your contact list. Here are proven ways to get WhatsApp contacts:

  • Utilize existing contacts - Upload phone numbers from your CRM or email lists if subscribers have opted-in.
  • Website sign-up - Add a "Join WhatsApp" signup form or pop-up to capture numbers. Offer an incentive like a discount code or freebie.
  • Social media links - Share your WhatsApp number across channels like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and ask followers to start a chat.
  • Print collateral - Include your WhatsApp number prominently on business cards, flyers, and packaging. Make it visible and easy to engage.
  • In-store signage - Use posters, banners and other signage to invite customers to chat on WhatsApp in real-time.

The key is making it frictionless for contacts to find and engage with your number. Then consistently provide value to build lasting connections.


Step 4 - Create Shareable WhatsApp Messages

Now it's time to start creating compelling content to share with your subscribers on WhatsApp. Follow these tips for success:

1. Text Messages

  •  Keep messages brief and scannable with line breaks, bullets, and emojis.
  •  Ask open-ended questions to spark conversations.
  •  Use personalized greetings to make them relatable.
  •  Send timely updates like promotions, product launches, and events.

2. Image Messages

  • Design visuals with big text, eye-catching graphics, and branded templates.
  • Create inspirational quote images and relatable memes for engagement.
  • Showcase new products, offers, and announcements visually.
  • Share before-and-after imagery and social proof of results.

3. Video Messages

  • Give behind-the-scenes access with short videos of your business.
  • Share educational how-to videos, tutorials, and demonstrations.
  • Host live Q&As and AMAs to engage your audience.
  • Send promo and commercial videos to launch offerings.

4. Voice Messages

  • Send short voice greetings for a personal touch.
  • Share motivational audio messages and mantras.
  • Give audio responses to commonly asked questions.
  • Record trainings, lectures, and audio lessons to share.

Get creative and test different formats to see what your audience responds to best. The goal is to provide value and capture attention amidst busy messaging feeds.


Step 5 - Automate Messages with WhatsApp Business API

Manually messaging each subscriber can become time-consuming. The WhatsApp Business API allows you to automatically send alerts, reminders, notifications, and responses.

You can integrate it directly using code or use third-party tools like Chaty, MailerLite, ManyChat, Hoiio and others to simplify automation.

Key automations to use include:

  • Welcome message - Send a warm personalized onboarding message when a new contact signs up.
  • Appointment reminders - Remind customers about upcoming appointments or events.
  • Shipping notifications - Send tracking updates and delivery confirmations.
  • Follow-up messaging - Schedule follow-ups after purchases, queries, and trials.
  • Product reorders - Notify customers to repurchase when supplies run low.
  • Lead nurturing - Send tips, how-tos and special offers to warm up leads.

Automation takes your WhatsApp marketing to the next level with set-it-and-forget-it sequences that nurture relationships.


Step 6 - Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Messaging apps have become the go-to channel for customer service. Use WhatsApp to provide 24/7 support and resolve issues quickly.

  • Set up away messages - Let customers know response times if you can't answer 24/7.
  • Respond ASAP - Be available to respond to questions and concerns in real-time during business hours.
  • Hire engagement agents - Outsource to virtual assistants to manage WhatsApp inquiries.
  • Take conversations private - Move long conversations to emails or calls to resolve issues faster.
  • Create FAQ bots - Use chatbots to answer frequently asked questions automatically.
  • Follow up on issues - Check back with customers to ensure they're satisfied with the resolution.

Seamless customer service via WhatsApp boosts satisfaction and loyalty. Be transparent in your availability and response times to set clear expectations.


Step 7 - Run Contests, Polls and Surveys

Make your WhatsApp community more engaging by running polls, contests and surveys. It's an easy way to get feedback and spark viral sharing.

  1. Contests - Run caption contests, photo challenges, and giveaways to increase shares and engagement.
  2. Polls - Ask for quick feedback on products, services, and content. Make fans feel heard.
  3. Surveys - Send longer satisfaction, feedback and testimonial requests via WhatsApp Survey apps.
  4. Quizzes - Create fun trivia quizzes, and personality tests and share results on WhatsApp.

Gamification makes marketing fun! Offer prizes and rewards to incentivize participation and get higher response rates compared to other channels.


Step 8 - Promote WhatsApp on All Channels

Don't keep your WhatsApp marketing efforts siloed. Promote it across all your channels to maximize growth.

  • Add WhatsApp click-to-chat or contact buttons on your website and emails.
  • Share your WhatsApp number on packaging, invoices, business cards, and print ads.
  • Post your number on social media bios, channel art, and occasionally within content.
  • Run WhatsApp QR code ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Boost word-of-mouth by incentivizing referrals and sharing.

The more places you feature your WhatsApp number, the faster you'll grow your subscriber list. Promote it prominently but don't overdo it to avoid looking spammy.


Step 9 - Analyze Performance and Optimize

Review WhatsApp analytics regularly to identify what campaigns and messages are performing best.

Within WhatsApp Business:

  • Check delivery, read and engagement rates for messages.
  • See total messages sent, responses, and other activity.
  • Check who is engaging the most and least to inform your strategy.

Third-party tools like Chatmeter and Watly also offer deeper analytics. Use these insights to fine-tune your efforts for better results.


Success Stories to Inspire You

To show you the amazing possibilities of WhatsApp marketing, here are some success stories:

  1. Sneakers brand HRX increased sales by 60% with WhatsApp broadcasts about new product launches.
  2. Tourism company Costa Rica Paradise got 50% of visitors to book packages after sharing travel content and offering support via WhatsApp.
  3. Food delivery service Just Eat saw 33% more orders after launching WhatsApp ordering bots in the UK, France, and Brazil.
  4. Nonprofit CHOICE saw 40% higher donation conversions when donors could complete gifts easily via WhatsApp chat.
  5. Online school Shaw Academy was able to enrol 2,000+ students through WhatsApp course promotion and chatbot admissions support.

The results speak for themselves! Adopting WhatsApp thoughtfully can transform how you interact with customers.


Now It's Your Turn!

WhatsApp marketing is an opportunity you don't want to miss. Follow this step-by-step guide to start building meaningful connections and driving amazing business growth.

Remember to always get consent, provide value, automate carefully, respond quickly, and optimize based on data.

With some creativity and strategy, you'll be on your way to messaging marketing success.

Here's to more loyal customers and sales via the world's favourite chat app! Chat soon :)

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