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Whatsapp marketing campaign : Solutions for Better Results

Updated: Oct 24


As of September 2021, WhatsApp opened the door to send marketing campaigns through its WhatsApp Business API product using WhatsApp template messages.

Up until this change, SMS was the only practical, direct marketing method to reach customers on their mobile. The introduction of WhatsApp outbound marketing messages is a true game-changer.

We can now reach customers on their mobile numbers, share rich media with them, track how they interact with our messages, and start a conversation around what we can offer them.

Sounds very exciting, right? But lies under the hood some rules and policies that the WhatsApp team established to ensure that the WhatsApp experience remains enjoyable.

No one wants the WhatsApp ecosystem to become as spammy and intrusive as email and SMS are.

I'll try in this article to help you understand all the technicalities of WhatsApp template messages, so you can start using them immediately in your marketing outreach strategy.

What are WhatsApp templates?

WhatsApp marketing templates examples

WhatsApp Opt-in condition

The importance of being relevant with your WhatsApp campaigns

How does the WhatsApp template review process work?

How often should you WhatsApp customers?

What is WhatsApp rate-limiting?

What is WhatsApp's quality rating?

How do customers report spam on WhatsApp?

How does WhatsApp template messages pricing works?

How to get started with WhatsApp template messages for marketing?

What Are WhatsApp Templates?

According to WhatsApp, message templates are specific message formats that businesses can use to send out notifications or customer care messages to people that have opted-in to receive them. For example, messages can include appointment reminders, shipping information, issue resolution, or payment updates.

WhatsApp team needs to review and approve templates manually before you can start using them. WhatsApp checks the content of the template so that it does not violate their commerce and business policies. In addition, up until recently, WhatsApp rejected any template that they considered promotional.

The new updates to the policy allow marketing uses such as product recommendations and sharing relevant offers.

WhatsApp templates can be:

System initiated

Systems initiate messages as a response to a trigger; these are what we call notifications. The business sends a message as a response to an action.

For example, you book an appointment, so the appointment system will automatically send you a reminder one day before. You need to connect your system with WhatsApp through API integration to send these kinds of messages.

Marketing Initiated

Marketing teams execute a campaign to target a group of people for an offer or an update.

It would help if you had a WhatsApp business solution, such as the BusinessChat platform, to empower your marketing team with the ability to execute a WhatsApp campaign.

WhatsApp Marketing Templates Examples

You can always use WhatsApp to drive valuable conversations with your customers.

Below are some examples of how you can use WhatsApp for marketing:

  • Relevant deals and offers

  • Renewal reminders

  • Product recommendations

  • Cart abandonment followup

  • Price alerts

  • Product upsell offers

  • Back-in-stock reminders


WhatsApp Opt-in Condition

In the WhatsApp ecosystem, the user is the king. You can't engage with customers unless they explicitly opt-in and approve of getting messages from you.

Your WhatsApp business solution should keep track of your opt-in list.

You can opt-in customers on and off WhatsApp. For that, you need an opt-in link provided by your WhatsApp business solution provider. Below are some examples of the opt-in flows:

  • On WhatsApp:

  • Send the customer an opt-in option while he is having a conversation with your WhatsApp Chatbot.

  • Agents can send Opt-in messages to customers while having a conversation on WhatsApp.

  • Off WhatsApp:

  • Include the opt-in option on your website

  • Include the option on your Call center IVR flow

WhatsApp recommends that you give the customers the option to configure their opt-in preferences. So, for example, the customer can choose to opt-in for offers but does not opt-in for new product updates.

Make sure that your opt-out flow is also smooth and easy. It is better to allow customers to opt-out from your list than to block your WhatsApp number.

The Importance of Being Relevant with Your WhatsApp Campaigns

The more you customize and personalize the experience to your customers, the less likely they will report spam and the more likely they will continue to engage with your brand.

Drive your WhatsApp campaign from your understanding of the customer behavior and interests. Customize your message content and timing to be more relevant, like sending a wife an offer to buy a gift for her husband's birthday.

Your WhatsApp business Solution should integrate with offline and online data points to enrich the customer profile, helping you send relevant, highly personalized campaigns beyond just using the customer's first name.

How Does the WhatsApp Template Review Process work?

As we said, you need to submit your template for review before you can start using it. So make sure you submit the template at least five days before your campaign.

Below are the best practices for WhatsApp template design:

  • You can use variables within the template body, for example, Hi {Customer name}. Use these variables for personalization.

  • You can use up to three interactive buttons to encourage conversion. Use them to build a solid call to action.

WhatsApp Template submission form example
Template submission form example
  • If your campaign is in multiple languages, you need to submit a template for each language.

  • Regardless of which WhatsApp service provider you use, they will have the means to submit and track the progress of your template review process.

WhatsApp template dashboard example
WhatsApp template dashboard example
  • Make sure to provide an example of how you are going to use the template.

  • WhatsApp takes formatting and its policy seriously. Therefore, make sure that your template follows the formatting and the guidelines of WhatsApp. Otherwise, they will reject it.

  • You can open a ticket with WhatsApp or your BSP to understand why WhatsApp declined your template. From my experience, it won't help :-) sorry!

After the approval of the template, you can start using it in your campaigns.

How Often Should You WhatsApp Customers?

You don't want to message customers too frequently, or they will feel annoyed.

Whether to message customers daily, weekly, monthly, or in real-time, it should depend on your marketing goals, customers' behavior, and the type of content you're sending. Read our WhatsApp Marketing guide for best practices.

What is WhatsApp Rate-Limiting?

Rate limits are controls that WhatsApp applies on the number of customers you can reach within 24 hours. WhatsApp does not control the number of messages you send to customers, only the number of users you are trying to message.

The limit only applies to customers that you initiate the conversation with and not the customers that reach you on your WhatsApp number.

WhatsApp has four rate limit tiers:

  • Tier 1: Allows your business to send messages to 1K unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.

  • Tier 2: Allows your business to send 10K unique customer messages in a rolling 24-hour period.

  • Tier 3: Allows your business to send messages to 100K unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.

  • Tier 4: Allows your business to send messages to unlimited unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.

A business starts with Tier 1 once they activate their WhatsApp business API number. After that, going to higher tiers is controlled by:

You need to warm up your WhatsApp number by engaging with more customers each day. Once you double the number of customers you engage within a seven-day time frame, WhatsApp will move you to the next tier.

What is WhatsApp Quality Rating?

Quality rating is equivalent to spam rating in the email service. The central authority of determining what spam means is the WhatsApp team.

WhatsApp monitors your engagements' quality by tracking your phone number quality rating, status, and template quality.

Your quality score impacts mainly your rate limit. But WhatsApp can take other actions like removing approved templates or even blocking your number. So, you need to take quality very seriously.

WhatsApp provides tools to help you know your quality position and understand the reason behind bad quality reviews. These tools are:

Phone number Quality Rating

Several factors influence your phone number quality, such as a business's overall reputation, frequency of messages, if the message is relevant and expected, the overall wait time to get a question answered, etc.

Green is excellent. Once you drop to yellow and red, you need to dig deep and analyze why you are getting these results. Revisit your templates, your opt-in strategy, and your bot flow. Try to understand why customers are giving such reviews.

WhatsApp Phone number quality rating and status
Phone number quality rating and status

Template Quality Rating

A red template is alarming. We recommend not only stopping the use of that template but also understanding the reasons behind the low rating. So the issue is not repeated in future campaigns.

WhatsApp Template quality rating
Template quality rating

30-day Quality history

This report will help you understand how your quality changes over time

WhatsApp 30-day quality history
30-day quality history

How do Customers Report Spam on WhatsApp?

People are in control when they message businesses on WhatsApp. WhatsApp gives customers the ability to block a business number, indicating the reason behind it.

How do Customers Report Spam on WhatsApp

How Does WhatsApp Template Messages Pricing Works?

No, WhatsApp messages are not free! WhatsApp's business model is to charge businesses on their originating messages. WhatsApp Marketing templates have the same price as all other WhatsApp templates:

  • You pay for the message you send to the customer.

  • If the customer replies to your message, then the following messages are free up to 24-hours from the customer's last message.

  • Country-based pricing (the price of sending a message to Egypt is different than sending the same message to Brazil).

  • WhatsApp also has tiered pricing, so you get a discount when you consume more.

  • If you use a BSP, they will add a mark up to your inbound and outbound messages.

  • Template Messages can include header, body, footer, and interactive buttons. You can use these parts to send media and text. WhatsApp counts all these as one message.

WhatsApp Template Form
WhatsApp Template Form

Let's take an example: if you want to send 10K messages to customers. 5K of them is in UAE, and 5K are in Saudi Arabia, and let's assume that 3K of them replied to your message. Below is the cost breakdown:

WhatsApp Pricing example

How To Get Started with WhatsApp Template Messages for Marketing?

You need to have an Active WhatsApp business API number to get started. If you don't, contact us to help you activate your number.

Conclusion

Using WhatsApp Business API to send marketing messages is the official and scalable way that WhatsApp provides to businesses.

This article provided you with the background knowledge to activate and use WhatsApp templates for marketing notifications.

That is not it. We have prepared another guide to help you launch great campaigns on WhatsApp. So go ahead and take a look.