A complete walkthrough for WhatsApp Broadcast

The concept of Broadcast Messaging is not new nor difficult to understand, it is simply the desire to get a message out to a large group of people in the shortest amount of time. Marketers will no doubt think of using it for promotional messages and consumers will immediately think of receiving an avalanche of congratulatory messages from friends and family over the holidays. While true, the broadcast function can also be used for other purposes as well, such as sending severe weather alerts or alerting the public of emergencies.

As messages provide a more personal touch and are more instant than emails, many marketing, and customer service teams have begun to include broadcast messages into their social messaging strategy in recent years.

What is WhatsApp Broadcast?

Reaching the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time is no doubt important, but the key lies in ensuring that the recipients receive the message through a reliable platform. When governments and public organizations need to notify the public urgently, messages are usually relayed by SMS through the major network providers. However, when it comes to promotional marketing, the focus and methods are different.

The logic behind the message blast

When choosing the right service provider, apart from taking the price of the target audience’s commonly used platform into consideration, the sender should also be aware of whether did the supplier provide:

1. Encryption tools that can be used to deal with the privacy issue

2. Analytical features that allow you to evaluate the performance

Lacking an efficient system to store and analyze valuable information such as customer response rate of promotion functions and blog comments will ruin your chance.

Other than the number of broadcasting messages,

1. Size of the database used to store information about your contacts

2. Structure and size of the content of your message

3. Archive capacity

Once you have chosen your service provider, the first thing is to upload your contact database to your supplier’s platform. Therefore, convenience is also a vital factor as I bet you would never want to waste your time entering your client’s contacts one by one.

Features of WhatsApp Business Broadcast

With more than two billion WhatsApp users around the world, it is no doubt that WhatsApp also ranks among one of the most popular sales channels. Apart from the huge user base, here are 3 simple reasons why you (and your boss) should start converting customers on WhatsApp:

- The average user checks their WhatsApp more than 23 times daily

- WhatsApp processes more than 65 billion messages every single day

- 80% of all WhatsApp messages are usually read within 5 minutes

With such ingrained habits, WhatsApp can better close the distance between businesses and customers. This is because WhatsApp messages are better integrated into customers’ lives and habits than older communication channels such as email and SMS. Therefore, businesses stand a better chance of attracting attention and increasing customer engagement and eventually, conversion, through WhatsApp conversations.

Small businesses can get started quickly with the free WhatsApp Business App for more familiarity as it has the same user interface as the regular WhatsApp App.
However, there are a couple of features that set the WhatsApp Business App apart:

1. Verified Business Profile

Provides key business information such as your address, business description, email address, and website.

2. Labels

Allows you to organize your contacts or chats with labels, so you can easily find them again. Read on to see how should you make good use of labels.

3. Quick replies

Save and reuse messages you frequently send so that you can easily answer common questions in no time.

4. Create a catalog of products and services for easy browsing

Although the Business version has more features than the regular version, when it comes to handling conversations, each Business account only allows a single user to log into the app to reply to customers. Even if you use WhatsApp Web simultaneously, businesses can only reply to a maximum of two customers at the same time. That’s not all, any additional – or even accidental – logins will log out existing users, resulting in loss of unsent messages and workflow bottlenecks.

How to send broadcast messages with WhatsApp Business?

If you are operating a small business with one or two staff members to answer your customers’ queries, you can start broadcasting messages using the WhatsApp Business App’s limited broadcast function.

1. Create a broadcast list

The advantage of creating a Broadcast List is that you can finely segment your customers and create an unlimited amount of Broadcast Lists.

That being said, do note that each list can only have a maximum of 256 people added to it. By segmenting your customers into lists, you can send a message to up to 256 people at once, and the recipients will receive a broadcast message that looks like a personal message from you right in their conversation log with you. However, we strongly recommend that you do not send a large number of messages at once as it might result in your account being blocked.

1. Tap on “Broadcast List”

2. Tap on “New List”

3. Select the customers that you want to add to the list

2. Using WhatsApp Labels

Adding labels is a great way to segment your customers. The best part about WhatsApp’s labels is that they can also be added to individual message bubbles. For example, you can add labels to all positive reviews and view all of them at the same time. This way, you will be able to easily screenshot the reviews and share them on social media! Apart from that, you can also label suggestions from customers and review them all at once to make improvements.

You can also create broadcast lists for specific customers using labels. For example, you can label all customers who have given your business a positive review and add them to a broadcast list to send them a thank you offer.

Limitations of WhatsApp Business Broadcast

Apart from WhatsApp broadcasts, you can also forward messages on the WhatsApp Business App. However, each message needs to be forwarded individually. Just think about the hassle!

1. WhatsApp Business’s Forward function, also known as WhatsApp Broadcast only allows you to forward a message to up to 5 recipients at any one time. Think about the number of times you’ll need to repeat this copy and paste action for 500 customers!

2. Next, what if you have a thousand or even ten thousand customers? (P.S. You’ll need to manually add each contact individually before being able to forward a message to them)

3. Last but not least, spare a thought for your employees who might start steering clear of WhatsApp and stop replying to your WhatsApp Broadcast messages.

Although this article mentioned the Broadcast Lists function above, keep in mind that messages can only be broadcasted to a maximum of 256 people in one go. What happens when the number of customers increases? (OS: This should be a happy problem… shouldn’t it?) In addition, with the WhatsApp Broadcast function, everyone in your Broadcast List receives the exact, same, message. Thus, if you want to personalize your message a little by including their names, good luck on sending out the personalized texts one by one.

In addition, if you think about it, the biggest problem with the WhatsApp broadcast list function is not the cap on the number of people, but the fact that you cannot broadcast a message to someone who isn’t in your contacts. What a bummer.

That’s not all, when broadcasting messages, you risk being reported by customers and blocked by WhatsApp, leaving you uncontactable on WhatsApp. This not only results in tons of lost leads but also gives your customers and potential leads a negative impression of your business.

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