14 Ways to Personalize Your WhatsApp Marketing

14 Ways to Personalize Your WhatsApp Marketing

14 Ways to Personalize Your WhatsApp Marketing

Unlock the secrets to personalized, people-focused marketing on WhatsApp with these 14 bespoke strategies.

Picture a bustling farmer’s market where vendors are calling out to you, inviting you to buy their produce, their honey, their flowers. You drown out the cacophony as you stroll along.

Suddenly, one vendor catches your attention—not because they're louder, but because they remember you. They recall your love for ripe mangoes, and this time they’re offering you a mango smoothie. 

The vendor's personalized approach stands out in stark contrast to everyone else’s monotonous, generic attempts to get your attention. This vendor made your farmer’s market experience uniquely delightful because they spoke to you directly, with a personal touch.

In the digital bazaar of today's marketing, sending a generic batched message is like shouting in a crowded market. Your message might be received, but it won’t be remembered. Personalized marketing, on the other hand, is like the vendor who remembers you; their message resonates and results in a richer customer experience. 

Leading brands are waking up to the value of 1:1 WhatsApp conversations and relationships. Through WhatsApp, businesses can send targeted messages, offers, and updates directly to individual customers at scale, making it a highly effective platform for personalized marketing.

The basics of personalized WhatsApp marketing

Think of WhatsApp marketing as the art of curating text messages so fine-tuned and specific, they feel as if they've been crafted exclusively for each customer. Here are 14 need-to-know strategies for personalized WhatsApp marketing:

1. Tailor your message content

Tailoring messages is more than just addressing a recipient by their first name. It’s about understanding the unique characteristics, needs, and aspirations of different customer personas and creating content that speaks directly to each one.

Not everyone cares about the same things, and how you tailor your messaging should reflect this. For example, you could alert your Gen Z customers to a restock of a hot item that went viral on TikTok, but millennial buyers might be more interested in discounts on your tried-and-true products.

By aligning your content with the specific life situations and preferences of your audience, you increase the relevancy of your messages and strengthen the bond with your customers.

2. Thoughtfully segment your audience

Segmentation is the process of categorizing your audience into distinct groups based on shared characteristics or behaviors. By dividing your user base into segments like “frequent shoppers,” “new subscribers,” “high-value” or “dormant users,” you can focus your marketing efforts more effectively.

Using WhatsApp, new subscribers could receive a series of welcome messages, introducing them to your brand's offerings. Meanwhile, dormant users might appreciate a special "we miss you" discount to rekindle their interest. 

The key is to understand the nuances of each group, and then send messages that are not only personalized but also relevant to their current relationship with your brand.

3. Use dynamic variables

Sending thousands of tailored messages? Sounds impossible, or, at the very least, incredibly time-consuming. But that’s the kicker; you don’t have to draft each tailored message manually. 

This is where dynamic variables come into play. By injecting personalized fields such as [First Name], [Last Shopify Purchase], or even [Last Purchase Category], you can craft a message template that automatically adapts to each recipient. It’s that simple: Create once, with placeholder fields, then set your messaging on autopilot.

By using dynamic variables in conjunction with message templates, a message like, "Hi [First Name], we noticed you loved our [Last Shopify Purchase]. How about trying our new [Latest Collection]?" becomes "Hi Sarah, we noticed you loved our summer dresses. How about trying our new fall coats?" 

You can even take it a step further and dynamically pull in links to specific store products you know they’ll love. 

Bird can create these personal variations on the backend with little effort on your part. With dynamic variables, even as your audience grows, the intimacy of your messaging will remain intact.

The importance of intuitive timing and triggers

Timing is everything when it comes to marketing, but not enough people talk about that. It's not just about what you say, but when you say it. The right message, if delivered at the wrong time, either won’t land or will go ignored. 

So naturally, finding key moments in a customer's journey and using them as triggers for your WhatsApp communications will amplify the effectiveness of your messaging. Let's dig deeper into how you can make sure your personalized messages are perfectly timed and aptly triggered.

4. Choose the best time to message customers

Every audience has its rhythm; it’s up to you to match their tempo. Some users may be most active during their morning commute, while others check their messages late at night before bed. By utilizing analytics tools to check open and click-through rates based on time, you can identify these peak engagement times for your audiences.

If you find that most of your users are active on WhatsApp from 6 to 8 p.m., schedule your promotional messages during that window. Not only does this increase the chances of your message being read, but it also prevents your message from getting lost amidst a sea of other notifications. Remember, it's about catching your audience when they're most attentive and primed for engagement.

5. Set triggers based on behavioral events

Responding promptly to user behavior shows that your brand is in tune with its audience. Event triggers allow you to send messages based on specific actions a user takes (or doesn't take).

Consider a user who abandons their cart. An automated WhatsApp message sent within a few hours could remind them to check out if they simply forgot. On the other hand, an instant post-purchase “Thank You,” or a quick survey about their shopping experience can deepen their connection with your brand.

Additionally, recognizing milestones with WhatsApp messages—like a user's birthday, first-purchase anniversary, or new loyalty tier—can provide opportunities to send celebratory messages or exclusive offers. In essence, event triggers allow your brand to be contextually relevant, ensuring your interactions feel organic and timely.

A few advanced personalization techniques

As digital communication evolves, so do the techniques available to marketers. The key to staying ahead in the personalization game is to stay adaptable, leveraging more and more advanced tools and methodologies as they arrive on the market.

Let's explore some cutting-edge techniques that’ll take your WhatsApp marketing to the next level.

6. Lean on highly personalized chatbots

The word “chatbot” might evoke imagery of frustrating, robotic interactions. However, with the advancements in AI and natural language processing, modern chatbots powered by modern LLMs like OpenAI can provide deeply personalized, excellent experiences. Especially on platforms like WhatsApp, where quick responses are expected, chatbots can simulate human-like conversations while providing instantaneous solutions.

For example, on WhatsApp, if a user inquires about a specific product's availability, the chatbot can not only check your inventory but also provide complementary recommendations if that customer’s preferred item is out of stock. Furthermore, chatbots on WhatsApp can use dynamic variables to mention the user's name, purchase history and even contextually understand previous chat threads.

Another advantage here: Customers don’t need to click on a link to go to your website, visit their cart, and so on—everything happens directly within WhatsApp. When conversations and purchases happen all in one place, you’ll see higher conversion rates and boosted brand loyalty because it feels easy to be your customer.

In short, chatbots allow you to automate at scale without losing the personalized, human touch.

7. Leverage interaction data as much as possible

Every customer interaction provides a treasure trove of insights. By tapping into the reservoir of user data generated by your customers—from purchase history to shared feedback—you can craft WhatsApp messages that truly resonate.

In practice, this could look like noticing how a group of your customers purchase exclusively eco-friendly products. You could then send them tailored promotions about your brand's sustainable initiatives or new eco-friendly product launches to engage them more effectively. 

The idea is to see every bit of data as a puzzle piece, helping you form a clearer picture of your audience's desires, needs, and behaviors.

8. Run A/B tests

In the dynamic environment of WhatsApp, where user engagement is paramount, successful messaging is a continuous work in progress. A/B testing, or split testing, can confirm or deny your conversational marketing hypotheses. By sending two variations of a message to different subsets of your WhatsApp audience, you can determine which version resonates more.

Perhaps you're wondering which type of media works best with Gen X, or you're weighing the impact of emojis in your WhatsApp messages. Throw it all at the wall, and see what sticks. By analyzing which version garners more reads, replies, or link clicks, you can continuously refine your messaging strategy for the platform.

For WhatsApp marketers, A/B testing lets you be both creative and data-driven in your approach to building stronger relationships and subsequently sourcing more revenue for your business.

How to master multi-channel personalization

Your customers are all over the Internet, engaging with their loved ones and favorite brands across multiple platforms and touchpoints. From emails to social media to messaging apps, your customer jumps around. 

Therein lies both the challenge and opportunity conversational marketers have before them. The challenge: Maintaining a consistently personalized experience across platforms. The opportunity: Engaging customers in a richer, multi-faceted conversation that fosters greater loyalty.

9. Sync WhatsApp with your other marketing channels

A disjointed brand experience can be jarring for users. Imagine receiving a promotional email about a sale, but when you inquire on WhatsApp, the chatbot or support rep doesn’t know about it. Sync your marketing efforts across channels, and your customers will receive a more flawless customer experience.

Integrating WhatsApp with your CRM system, for instance, ensures any user data collected on one platform is instantly available on the other. Additionally, bridging all of your marketing efforts across email, social media, and your website allows for cross-channel promotions. You can even connect WhatsApp to your customer support helpdesk, Salesforce, and more for a more unified experience.

For example, a user who visits your website by clicking a link sent through WhatsApp can receive an email reminder to keep shopping, or vice versa. By syncing WhatsApp, you have the chance to connect with most customers on a channel they already love and use with the most up-to-date information.

10. Implement multimedia elements effectively

WhatsApp is a lively platform. People are used to messaging casually, sending images, GIFs, videos and emojis. Yes, text messages still have their place, but personalizing your messages with multimedia elements adds depth and richness, enhancing their impact. It also makes your marketing more engaging and memorable. 

So send a user a personalized video greeting on their birthday or anniversary. Or, if a user recently browsed a particular category on your website, drop them a GIF or image highlighting a new arrival in that category so they’re enticed to learn more.

Remember, people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. By integrating multimedia into your personalized WhatsApp marketing strategy, you're not just sending messages; you're crafting experiences.

Metrics and KPIs for personalized marketing on WhatsApp

With WhatsApp being a relatively new channel for marketing, it’s vital to understand how to measure the success of your personalized interactions. To be sure you’re answering your audience’s needs and preferences, you’ll want to keep close tabs on engagement levels and the tangible returns from your personalization efforts.

11. Measure engagement with four critical metrics

Engagement metrics serve as a testament to the relevance and resonance of your personalized messages. These metrics can tell you whether your tailored content is hitting the mark or falling flat:

  • Deliverability: How many people did you target with a specific campaign? And how many of those users actually opened or read your message? With Bird, you can track open rates and read rates

  • Click-through rates (CTR): If you include links in your messages, CTR will tell you how many recipients were intrigued enough to click. This gives insight into the effectiveness of your calls-to-action (CTAs).

  • Response rates: On a platform like WhatsApp, two-way communication is crucial. Monitoring what percentage of recipients reply to your messages can indicate the level of interest your customers might have.

  • Drop-off and conversion rates: You can track what users do at each level of interaction with WhatsApp chatbots. Where do users tend to drop off? Where do they tend to convert? 

12. Track the ROI of personalization

Almost every marketing initiative’s overarching goal is this: Drive a strong return on investment. With the extra effort involved in personalization, it’s that much more important to quantify the business benefits of those activities. These metrics can prove that personalization as a strategy works, showcasing its value to stakeholders.

  • Attribution tracking: If a WhatsApp user visits your website and then completes a purchase, you can attribute that revenue to WhatsApp personalized marketing. 

  • Customer lifetime value (CLV): Personalization aims to build deeper connections with users. By measuring CLV over time, you can understand if your efforts are truly resulting in longer-lasting and more profitable customer relationships.

  • Incremental revenue: Compare the revenue generated from personalized campaigns against non-personalized ones. This difference can highlight the direct monetary impact of personalized WhatsApp marketing.

  • Cost savings: Automated personalization often reduces the need for headcount. Be sure to calculate the savings in terms of time and resources.

The hurdles of personalized WhatsApp marketing

Despite being a highly effective channel for personalized marketing, WhatsApp marketing is not without its data privacy and compliance challenges. Thankfully, some solutions can make sure that your personalization efforts keep pace with your business growth. 

13. Balance data privacy and security concerns

As marketers increasingly harness the power of data to offer bespoke experiences, customers are becoming more and more conscious of their digital footprints. Striking a balance between personalization and privacy is vital.

WhatsApp has strict compliance policies in place to avoid spam and keep the platform spam-free. Therefore, the platform sets a high barrier to entry, evaluating every brand on the quality of its messages. Brands need to earn the right to advertise on WhatsApp. 

One way that brands need to protect themselves is by guaranteeing customers receiving messages have all said “yes” to receiving communications. Without opt-ins, your brand could be fined, and your quality score will go down. Thankfully, MessageBird handles customer opt-ins on your behalf to protect your brand from any compliance flags.

It’s also important to engage individuals on WhatsApp who will take action based on your message. Be sure to focus your messaging only on prospects who are close to converting, people who’ve visited your site or made a purchase before, or transactional use cases, such as automated order confirmations and shipping notifications. These customers already want to hear from you, so focus your efforts there to drive additional sales and avoid coming across as spam.

14. Scale personalization as your business grows

The expectation of personalized content will likely skyrocket, even as your business grows. Meeting this demand, while maintaining quality, can be challenging. But with the following tactics, scalable personalization becomes feasible:

  • Automate processes: Tools like chatbots, dynamic content generators, and automated workflows can handle a larger volume of personalized interactions without compromising on quality.

  • Segment efficiently: Instead of hyper-personalization for each individual, consider segmenting your audience into groups based on behavior, preferences, or demographics. This allows for relevant messaging without the need for one-to-one customization.

  • Train your team: As you scale, you may need more hands on deck to approach conversational marketing more thoughtfully. Ensure that all team members understand the importance of personalization and are equipped with the tools and knowledge to execute it effectively.

  • Regularly review and adapt: As you scale, some strategies might become less effective. Continuously monitor your efforts, gather feedback, and adjust your approach accordingly.

Matahari and Expert’s success with personalized WhatsApp marketing

Nothing underscores the effectiveness of a strategy more than a real-world success story. Here are two businesses that didn’t just adopt WhatsApp personalization, but saw incredible revenue results from it.

Matahari reaches untapped audience, boosts conversion rates by 2.5x

Matahari, a department store chain that’s 139 stores strong and the largest retail platform in Indonesia, saw its marketing campaign engagement rates start to drop. Despite having 1.75 million customers, SMS and email marketing campaigns simply weren’t delivering results. That’s when they saw the potential of WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in Indonesia, as a way to breathe new life into their marketing efforts. 

By implementing WhatsApp marketing and chatbots, Matahari’s conversion rates jumped to 6.5%, nearly 2.5 times higher than the industry average of 2.6%. The company found that WhatsApp customers are almost three times more likely to convert than those acquired through traditional online channels. The company also was able to identify and target its most profitable customer segment and send them exclusive offers to capture additional revenue. 

Expert achieves 80% conversion rate through personalized support at scale

A Netherlands-based consumer electronics company with locations all over Europe, Expert found it difficult to field customer questions coming from online channels in a personalized, knowledgeable way. That personal service that Expert’s customers came to expect would be better found from local store experts. Yet, as online sales began to scale, Expert needed a way to translate its approachable, informed customer experience to its messaging channels—particularly WhatsApp.

Expert added a WhatsApp button to each product page on their online storefront and built a concierge service so that customers with inquiries could be connected for a real-time chat with one of Expert’s 225+ agents. WhatsApp, with its one-on-one messaging format, effectively transferred the in-store experience to an online channel. Meanwhile, Expert was able to quickly capture inbound leads through WhatsApp and convert 80% of those leads into sales. 

Meet your audience where they are

WhatsApp marketing lies at the unique intersection of personalization and brand, offering businesses the intimacy of having a conversation right inside a customer’s inbox. You get to be the vendor that remembers your customers and cuts through the noise by talking to them one-on-one. 

WhatsApp is more than another marketing channel; it’s a direct line to your audience. In regions like Asia and Europe especially, it’s a lifeline for brands to nurture a one-on-one relationship with their customers and centralize the customer experience all in one place. 

By making every interaction feel tailored and personal, brands can truly position themselves as a trusted companion in the customer's journey. Remember: Personalization isn’t a mere tactic; it’s the root of genuine, meaningful engagement. 

Meet your audience where they are, and you’ll build relationships that can’t help but last. To get started at your organization, reach out to our team of experts at Bird today.

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Your new standard in Marketing, Payments & Sales. It's Bird

The right message -> to the right person -> at the right time.

By clicking "See Bird" you agree to Bird's Privacy Notice.