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19 tactics to build a WhatsApp contact list for e-commerce [2023]


Building a WhatsApp list


Whatsapp list building is the cost-effective practice of collecting leads’ contact information to nurture loyalty and retain customers. Owning your contact list is vital for the success of your marketing campaigns; they depend on the size and quality of your database.

A genuine list is your brand’s biggest asset. This article will show you 19 effective methods to build your list and skyrocket your sales and brand visibility.


Deploying touch points on website and social media to collect information


What makes a great database?

How to build a WhatsApp List?

1 Ask for subscriptions during direct conversations

2 Ads that click to WhatsApp

3 Insert opt-in links on social media posts

4 Send an opt-in link from social media conversations

5 Add a WhatsApp link or button to your Instagram profile bio

6 Add a Facebook WhatsApp button

7 Add a website WhatsApp widget

8 Add an opt-in form in your navigation or footer

9 Add an exit intent pop up

10 Send an opt-in link at checkout

11 Distribute the signup form offline

12 Create QR codes

13 Add an opt-in option to self-service checkouts

14 Add the opt-in option to your mobile App

15 Use the IVR system to ask callers to opt-in

16 Send opt-in links with your SMS campaigns

17 Send opt-in links on your email outreach campaigns

18 Add an opt-in QR code to your offline ads

19 Add opt-in links to promo QR codes


-> Click here to start selling on WhatsApp with BusinessChat


What makes a great database?


Before tapping into the potential of WhatsApp messaging, your first concern should be generating leads to nurture with your well-thought marketing campaigns. When creating a database, consider the following values:

  • Quality: one of the mistakes marketers make is buying databases. These data can be outdated, spam, or fake. You can only know for sure after it’s too late. Avoid the hustle and make sure you create your own list and acquire genuine and authentic information.

  • Relevance: target people who are genuinely interested in your products or services. You can add specific information on your brand and what you offer in exchange for the sign-up to ensure that people opting in are 100% interested. You can also achieve this by choosing where to place your opt-in requests and to whom to address them.

  • Quantity: once you achieve the first two values, you must keep trying to expand your database. No number is enough; keep working on including new audiences while perfecting the list you have so far.


Three contact list characteristics: quality, quantity, relevance

Now take a deep breath, and let’s dive right in to discover an extensive list of methods to start the one-mile journey.


How to build a WhatsApp List


You must build a qualified customer database to achieve your desired profit. Let’s see what methods you have at your disposal.


1 Ask for subscriptions during direct conversations


People come across new brands all the time, whether online or offline. A google survey revealed that more than half of surveyed shoppers used Google search to discover or find new brands. This number is too significant to be neglected. If people end up in your inbox through one of the many touch points, you can ask for their subscription as they contact you for the first time on WhatsApp.

There are many scenarios you can use to your advantage. Send an opt-in link if they have a conversation or query processed by your WhatsApp chatbot, or if they are waiting for an agent to respond to their query, or as soon as they receive an answer and just before you close the conversation.


Asking for opt in during direct conversations

2 Ads that click to WhatsApp


Traffic on social media channels can be nurtured and guided toward a more suitable customer journey. Your ads on social media, like Facebook and Instagram, must link to WhatsApp. Here’s a fact: the average website bounce rate is between 20% to 70%. Up until 50%, there is no cause for alarm, but you should think about what’s driving traffic off when it's going higher. One reason could be that websites are not always optimized for mobile phones, which is how most people browse the internet these days. To win potential leads and help them navigate your business properly, stop sending them to your website and send them to WhatsApp instead. Your CTA on all ads should be WhatsApp.



Ads that click to whatsapp

3 Insert opt-in links on social media posts


Casual posts on all social media accounts are usually addressed to the community following you. Leverage that traffic and ask them to subscribe to your WhatsApp account. You can simply insert an opt-in link whenever convenient.


Insert opt in links on social media posts


4 Send an opt-in link from social media conversations


Social media conversations are losing momentum, but they are still relevant. Still, most people will feel overwhelmed by subsequent spam messages and block the number after they’ve received their purchase. It’s something I am personally guilty of doing! To win the leads contacting you on messenger or Instagram, send them an opt-in link and direct them to WhatsApp, their favorite app.


Send an opt-in link from social media conversations


5 Add a WhatsApp link or button to your Instagram profile bio


Social media accounts allow you to add links to the profile's biography section. Add a link to WhatsApp and send them an opt-in form when they contact you. Once they opt in, they will be directed to your account for more interactions.

Now, you can also add a WhatsApp button to your Instagram profile, though it’s only visible on the mobile app.


Add a WhatsApp link or button to your Instagram  profile bio

6 Add a Facebook WhatsApp button


Your Facebook page can include a button for people to contact you on messenger or WhatsApp. The wise choice is to add a WhatsApp button instead of messenger and collect contact information as they opt-in.


Add a Facebook WhatsApp button

7 Add a website WhatsApp widget


Websites are among the first traffic generators for your business, especially if you are an SEO genius. To exploit this significant traffic, you can add a WhatsApp widget. It will help guide visitors on your website and engage them, probably stopping them from bouncing quickly. The chatbot can handle the process seamlessly, sending the opt-in form, collecting contact information, and directly sending them to your CRM.


Add a website WhatsApp widget

8 Add an opt-in form in your navigation or footer


Website visitors’ behaviors differ significantly. One way to ensure your sign-up form has sufficient exposure is to add it at different locations. Add one form at the footer to capture the attention of people searching for more information on your brand. Add other forms as pop-ups on different pages and the navigation bar.


Add an opt-in form in your navigation or footer

9 Add an exit intent pop up


It might not be an exaggeration to say that half of the traffic on your website will bounce within seconds of the search. You can target these people specifically by adding an exit intent pop-up that appears when a visitor moves the mouse off the page. Targeting options allow you to disable these pop-ups for regular or otherwise familiar visitors. Make it worth their time; add an offer to make sure they stop and go through it.


Add an exit intent pop up

10 Send an opt-in link at checkout


Most businesses usually neglect checkout. Guess what? Checkout is not the end of the road. Securing a purchase is good, but securing a loyal customer is even more critical. Add a signup form at the end of the checkout process. Be clear on what you are offering for this specific segment. Will you send them how-to guides, usage tips, relevant recommendations, etc?


Send an opt-in link at checkout

11 Distribute the signup form offline


45% of surveyed shoppers said they researched a purchase they plan to make in-store. Many consumers still prefer to check the item they plan to buy before deciding. That’s why stores still witness a significant number of visitors. Create and distribute an offline opt-in form to your store visitors to win these people.

You can also distribute these forms at any event you are hosting offline.



12 Create QR codes


Creating QR codes and placing them on visible points throughout the store, on product packages, items’ wrap-up paper, and factory information section is the greatest visual way to entice people to discover your brand. QR codes can also be added to employees’ business cards.


Create QR codes

13 Add an opt-in option to self-service checkouts


Self-service counters can include the option to opt-in to WhatsApp. The automated process doesn’t require any extra effort. Just make sure you choose one way to insert the form so that you don’t confuse customers; it can be a QR code, a link at the checkout counter, etc.


Add an opt-in option to self-service checkouts

14 Add the opt-in option to your mobile App


Mobile apps are still popular with many people, especially those who deal with only a few brands. These are loyal, and it will be great if you can capture their attention and direct them to your WhatsApp account to keep nurturing your relationship with them. If you have a mobile app, add an opt-in link or form.


Add the opt-in option to your mobile App

15 Use the IVR system to ask callers to opt-in


If you own a large company, then the chances you own an IVR system are high. While you want to focus on messaging customers, as that’s the new favorite trend, you can still use the IVR to program a flow to ask customers to sign up.


Use the IVR system to ask callers to opt-in

16 Send opt-in links with your SMS campaigns


For customers to shift to WhatsApp, they need to know you have an account there. Send SMS campaigns with opt-in forms to WhatsApp to make the change happen. Make sure your message and CTA are clear because most people will be suspicious of external links.


Send opt-in links with your SMS campaigns

17 Send opt-in links on your email outreach campaigns


If you are still using email outreach tactics, you can add a signup form to convert leads and customers to WhatsApp. The percentage might be small since most people no longer check their emails, but you will win a few subscribers in the worst-case scenario.


Send opt-in links on your email outreach campaigns

18 Add an opt-in QR code to your offline ads


Offline and outdoor ads, such as billboards, are perfect for inserting QR codes leading to WhatsApp. These ads are highly visual and eye-grabbing. Magazines and newspaper ads are also one more way to advertise and use to insert QR codes.


Add an opt-in QR code to your offline ads

19 Add opt-in links to promo QR codes


Promotional offers shared as QR codes are one way to insert a link to opt-in. Referral links should also include a signup request. As promotions and discounts are the backbones of e-commerce, you will receive significant results.


Add opt-in links to promo QR codes

What a list, right? Do whatever possible to build a loyal community around your brand. The above methods will yield a significant contact information list. But that's not the end! You must handle the information properly to protect against data infringement and customize it for your upcoming campaigns. WhatsApp API and CRMs will be great assets in this journey.



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