Whatsapp marketing vs Email marketing
October 18, 2023

Whatsapp Marketing VS Email Marketing

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Ecommerce marketers are shifting their focus from mere impression generation to prioritizing customer engagement and retention. Traditionally, email has been the go-to channel for connecting with and capturing the attention of customers. However, there's been a notable rise in the preference for WhatsApp as a communication channel in recent years. 

According to HubSpot, 40% of users confess to having at least 50 unread emails in their accounts, and 15.8% grapple with spam filters. While reportsreveal that a significant 81.1% of internet users now favor WhatsApp over other channels, underscoring its growing prominence in effective communication strategies.

It's crucial to consider the benefits of email versus WhatsApp marketing in light of these challenges.

Email VS WhatsApp KPIs

To truly understand how these characteristical and other differences can impact your marketing strategy, let’s dive into KPIs reports and benchmarking statistics and decide which is the better marketing channel. 

Open rate

WhatsApp demonstrates an impressive 98% open rate, significantly outperforming traditional email with its modest 20%. This noticeable difference can be attributed to several factors.

 Firstly, the immediacy and intimacy of WhatsApp communication instill a sense of urgency and personal connection, prompting users to promptly open and respond to messages. Additionally, the widespread use of smartphones and the prevalence of real-time notifications contribute to the heightened engagement observed on WhatsApp.

 Conversely, email encounters challenges like inbox clutter, spam filtering, and evolving user behaviors, collectively contributing to a lower open rate. 

Read time

WhatsApp consistently achieves remarkably fast read times, often within the initial three minutes of delivery. This swift response is fueled by the platform's widespread popularity as a preferred communication channel, especially within personal circles like friends and family. The nature of instant, real-time messaging on WhatsApp prompts users to promptly interact with incoming messages. In contrast, email read times usually trail behind, with messages running the risk of being overlooked. Emails are susceptible to inbox overload, spam filters, and a generally more relaxed approach to checking and responding.

Click through rate

WhatsApp boasts an impressive click-through rate exceeding 50%, attributed to its effective personalization, direct communication, and swift user engagement and short wait times. 

In contrast, email experiences a more modest 2.5% click-through rate. One contributing factor to the lower engagement in email campaigns is the hesitancy among recipients to open external links. 

This highlights the challenge faced by email marketing in encouraging users to actively interact with the provided content compared to the more immediate and personalized nature of WhatsApp interactions.

Return on investment

When evaluating the return on investment (ROI) between emails and WhatsApp marketing, the numbers reveal a compelling story. Email marketing boasts a respectable ROI of $36 for every dollar spent, signifying its effectiveness in reaching and engaging target audiences. 

On the other hand, WhatsApp marketing takes the lead with an impressive ROI of $90 for each dollar invested. What adds another layer to the comparison is the potential for automation within WhatsApp campaigns, where the ROI can soar to an astounding $130 per dollar spent. 

This underlines the growing significance of instant messaging platforms in marketing strategies, especially when coupled with the efficiency gains of automation. As businesses navigate the digital landscape, weighing the dynamic and high-impact returns offered by WhatsApp, the  strategic choice becomes evident. 

Why WhatsApp is the better marketing channel? 

Conversational nature

While email has long been a landmark in the marketing toolkit, WhatsApp introduces a dynamic and interactive dimension to customer engagement. The advantage lies in the conversational nature of WhatsApp, fostering real-time, one-on-one interactions that feel personal and immediate. 

Unlike the more formal structure of emails, WhatsApp allows businesses to establish a more direct and fluid communication channel with their audience. This conversational approach not only enhances user experience but also opens avenues for quick query resolution, building a sense of trust and fostering a stronger connection between the brand and its customers.

 In essence, the shift towards WhatsApp in marketing strategies signifies a move towards more personalized and responsive communication, especially that reports from Spectrum, 70% of individuals expressed that messaging has had a 'positive impact on their perception' of a brand. Additionally, 66% have made purchases following interactions with a brand on WhatsApp.

It’s only logical to capitalize on the platform's ability to facilitate meaningful conversations in the fast-paced digital landscape and changing consumer behavior. 

In app purchases

At the core of WhatsApp's functionality lies the pivotal feature of in-app purchases, seamlessly facilitated by the integration of catalogs or storefronts and the convenience of WhatsApp Pay. This robust combination not only empowers businesses to exhibit and sell their products within the messaging platform but also streamlines the entire transaction process for users. In contrast, traditional email lacks the integrated and immersive nature of WhatsApp, often requiring users to navigate external links or attachments for product details and purchases. The catalogs or storefronts in WhatsApp provide a visually appealing display, significantly enhancing user experience, while the secure framework of WhatsApp Pay ensures smooth and efficient in-app transactions. This stark comparison underscores WhatsApp's prowess in creating a user-friendly and comprehensive ecosystem, redefining how businesses interact with users and highlighting the limitations of email in offering a seamless blend of product exploration and hassle-free purchasing directly within the messaging app.

Nailing your WhatsApp strategy is a whole lot simpler when you're working with a platform that's always adapting to the latest trends and market demands. BusinessChat steps in as the practical solution – an easy-to-use, WhatsApp-specific tool designed to cater to ecommerce merchants. This platform isn't just about growing subscriber lists; it's about honing and testing messaging strategies, delivering standout customer service, and boosting sales through automations. 

Characteristical differences

To help you understand how WhatsApp marketing is a better option for your ecommerce, we’ve outlined the main characteristics of both channels. 

Opt in and opt out policy

The opt-out systems for both email and WhatsApp share similarities. In both cases, it's essential to include an unsubscribe link in the footer of every email and an opt-out link or button with each WhatsApp message. However, WhatsApp provides an additional advantage. Alongside the opt-out feature, businesses can incorporate a survey or feedback request, enabling them to gain insights into customer concerns and improve future communications.

In contrast to email, WhatsApp's policy encourages ecommerce entities to incorporate an opt-in link in their campaigns, allowing them to communicate only with leads who have actively expressed interest. This strategic approach ensures a higher return on investment (ROI) by reaching out to genuinely interested prospects, reducing the likelihood of blocks or unsubscribes. 

Message length

You enjoy the freedom to determine the length of your emails and incorporate numerous images or multimedia formats to showcase products, share customer experiences, and convey information effectively. On the contrary, WhatsApp imposes a character limit of 1024. This limitation can be advantageous as contemporary audiences often lack the time and attention span for lengthy texts. Ideally, your WhatsApp message should not exceed 2 to 3 sentences. However, you can mitigate the character limit constraint using WhatsApp's quick reply buttons, providing additional information for those interested in delving deeper.

CTA buttons

Emails are limited to including links as a Call to Action (CTA), directing users to your ecommerce platform or catalog. However, this approach can be counterproductive as people are often hesitant to click on external links.

 In contrast, WhatsApp offers a more user-friendly experience with CTA buttons and quick reply buttons. The quick reply buttons provide detailed information on various potential FAQs, such as physical store location and working hours. 

Meanwhile, the CTA buttons seamlessly guide users directly to your WhatsApp catalog, allowing them to explore your product list without leaving the app. This streamlined process enhances user engagement and encourages interaction within the WhatsApp platform itself.


The pricing models of most email platforms hinge on two critical factors: the frequency of your monthly email marketing campaigns and the size of your subscriber list. Consequently, marketers are billed a fixed monthly rate, entitling them to send a specified quantity of emails. Pricing structures can vary widely, spanning from free services to monthly fees of $175 or more, such as Mailchimp. Mailchimp, for example, offers four plans. For 5,000 contacts, the premium plan costs $175/month and provides 150,000 monthly sent emails, along with unlimited users and audiences.

In contrast, WhatsApp adopts a per-message cost structure, where you pay as you go, in addition to a monthly subscription fee for your marketing automation platform. WhatsApp prices are contingent on the country, and a subsequent ROI comparison will reveal the profitability of this channel, irrespective of your contact database. 

Notably, WhatsApp provides free entry points and session conversations, enabling communication with a customer for 24 hours while incurring the cost of only one message. This flexible pricing model enhances cost-effectiveness and efficient communication.

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