Campaign in a Box: WhatsApp Marketing for E-commerce

Campaign in a Box: WhatsApp Marketing for E-commerce

Campaign in a Box: WhatsApp Marketing for E-commerce

A one-stop guide to building a revenue generation machine

Your customers don’t want to be bombarded with marketing content. 

They want to be part of a conversation.

Want proof? Look no further than WhatsApp’s B2C messaging trends:

  • WhatsApp users send 175 million messages to businesses every day;

  • Messages sent from businesses to customers have a 75 percent open rate;

  • Overall B2C activity on WhatsApp has grown by 80 percent since 2021.

Today’s customers have raised their expectations around personalized experiences, responsiveness from e-commerce brands, and the convenience of interacting with those brands. Message-based communication harnesses personal technology for more direct, one-to-one engagement with those customers.

The more recent tactic of “conversational commerce” is being driven by the way messaging platforms like WhatsApp are enhancing text-based communication with AI and other automations—creating authenticity and responsiveness that delivers better experiences.

WhatsApp isn’t just another way to send text messages. With the right tactics and tools, your e-commerce brand can turn WhatsApp messaging into a lean machine for generating sales and strengthening your customer relationships.

By the end of this guide, you’ll understand:

  • Why WhatsApp is such an effective platform for conversational commerce

  • How to encourage opt-ins that lead to WhatsApp conversations

  • The different marketing strategies that perform well on WhatsApp

  • How to measure WhatsApp campaign success

Set up WhatsApp for e-commerce success

WhatsApp uses AI-powered automation, strict quality assurance controls, and a suite of powerful features to deliver a more personalized user experience that prequalifies leads and increases your lead generation opportunities. 

Because of its strict quality assurance protocols, your business must be diligent in orchestrating conversational campaigns according to the WhatsApp platform’s requirements.

Why choose WhatsApp for e-commerce?

WhatsApp may look like another version of SMS messaging, but its user experience and built-in features make it a one-of-a-kind marketing tool.

Messages can be used to share not only text-based communications but also images, videos, PDFs, stickers, and location information. AI chatbots and automation tools can be used by Bird products to trigger a wide range of conversational marketing actions such as recovering abandoned carts and checking inventory for customers.

With WhatsApp, businesses can create eye-catching messages and conversations that are personalized to consumers, responsive to their interests, and quickly delivered thanks to automation. Meanwhile, WhatsApp for Business offers real-time visibility into campaign performance so you can understand customer preferences and refine your approach.

These powerful features have helped Bird customers achieve WhatsApp conversion rates as high as 80 percent.

Get WhatsApp Business Verified

Getting started with WhatsApp in Bird is a piece of cake. First, you’ll need to install WhatsApp from the Channels Library in your Bird account:

  • Click on the Channels icon in the Bird nav bar on the left side of the screen.

  • Select WhatsApp from the Channels list. On the right side of the screen, click the “Install WhatsApp” button.

  • Add a WhatsApp number to be used by Bird, or opt to purchase a new one via the Number by Bird connector. Keep in mind that this number can’t be connected to an existing WhatsApp account—it will be dedicated to this platform.

  • Share your WhatsApp PIN with your Bird account if you have already registered a number with the platform.

  • Choose a unique channel name that you can easily recognize and reference.

Once you’ve set up WhatsApp in Bird, you’ll need to get WhatsApp Business Verified. Until your account is verified, your business account will only be able to perform a limited number of functions, including hard caps on both the customers you can message and the number of messages you can send each day.

Visit the Meta Business Help Center for instructions on how to verify your business.

Obtain opt-ins for your brand’s WhatsApp messaging

One of the strengths of the WhatsApp platform is its many safeguards against spam and unwanted communications. Conversational marketing requires a personal connection with your audience, and it’s hard to achieve this when they’re getting bombarded by suspicious links and unsolicited messages from strange accounts.

Using WhatsApp for e-commerce marketing is a privilege. To preserve that privilege—and, let’s face it, to make sure you’re delivering a good customer experience—your business needs the right tools and tactics to discover your target audience and gain their active consent to receive WhatsApp messages. 

Build awareness for your brand’s WhatsApp presence

Before consumers can opt-in to receiving WhatsApp messages from your brand, your business needs to create referral channels where users can discover your WhatsApp number and connect with your business through that platform.

Here are some of the tactics your business can use to promote your WhatsApp presence:

  • QR codes: A QR code can be easily featured on your business website and other channels across both desktop and mobile devices. This code can refer desktop users to the WhatsApp mobile app, where they can send a pre-written message to your number providing explicit consent to receiving messages.

  • Pop-ups: Pop-up widgets can be created through Bird Studio to submit information that signs the user up to receive messages from your business. A QR code can also be featured in this pop-up widget.

  • SMS/email: If you are already communicating with consumers through SMS or email, these channels can help you promote your WhatsApp presence. Redirects to a landing page, the WhatsApp mobile app, and replies to the email or text message can all help you obtain opt-ins.

  • Embeds into process flows: Keep an eye out for process flows in your e-commerce experience where WhatsApp opt-ins can be easily integrated. The checkout process, account notification settings, new account registration, email newsletter opt-ins, and other process flows may offer effortless opt-in opportunities with your customers.

Target opt-in tactics to the right consumers

Two key features of WhatsApp’s strong user experience are its ad-free platform and its very low rates of spam messaging. This makes it easier for your brand’s messages to connect with their target audience.

However, this quality assurance results in a high CPM for businesses targeting their messages to specific audiences. For this reason, we recommend that e-commerce brands target their WhatsApp messages to highly engaged audiences who are likely to participate in a conversation. 

Here’s a handful of high-value use cases you may want to consider:

  • Customers who have initiated a conversation via WhatsApp. These users have demonstrated their interest in communicating via WhatsApp messaging, so the likelihood of engagement is high.

  • Retargeting. Consumers who have engaged with your website, abandoned a shopping cart, or made a past purchase are a natural messaging target.

  • Consumers who are very close to a conversion. WhatsApp messaging can support bottom-of-funnel engagement to drive sales and revenue.

  • Post-conversion follow-up. A thank-you note, questions about their shopping experience, and other communications can help your business retain customers and strengthen brand loyalty.

Create a pop-up sign-up form

Bird makes it easy to create an omnichannel pop-up widget that can be deployed anywhere on your website. A pre-built “Manage WhatsApp Subscription” flow can then be added to the pop-up form to manage opt-ins to receive WhatsApp messages.

Use our simple guide to create a custom sign-up form for your business website. Once your form is created, select Omnichannel Widget in your Inbox settings on Bird. Click on the “Notifications & Popups” tab and select “Create new pop-up message” to create your pop-up sign-up form. 

Plug in your e-commerce data

Personalized, dynamic experiences depend on accurate audience data. Successful conversational marketing needs to understand who it’s talking with, and what might be of interest to that individual.

Which customers might want to buy pants? Maybe the ones who have previously purchased shorts. It’s a simple concept, but it requires a centralized approach to collecting and contextualizing the attributes of your WhatsApp contacts.

Use customer data to target message delivery

Bird Contacts offers a centralized location for consolidating contacts, managing customer data, and creating audiences to target with WhatsApp messages. 

A key tool in this process is Bird Connectors, which provides integrations with external e-commerce tools to synchronize customer data and make it available for audience targeting and other automated marketing processes.

Connectors can be used to facilitate a wide range of messages sent by automated triggers. Abandoned Shopify shopping carts, for example, can trigger a reminder message that the purchase isn’t complete. Shipping integrations can keep customers updated on when an order will arrive at their home.

Simple templates can create targeted messages to audiences based on any number of dynamic fields based on customer attributes. All of this complex data management happens on the Bird backend, resulting in a streamlined end-to-end experience for e-commerce marketers.

Install an e-commerce connector

In just a few clicks, your business can install a connector and begin synchronizing third-party customer data with the Bird platform. 

Under the Contacts tab in Bird, find and click the “Install your first connector” button. Scroll through the Connector Marketplace for the application you want to connect, then click “Install” and follow the steps.

Design the perfect WhatsApp audience

Once Connectors are sharing customer data in Bird, your business can create a custom audience through the platform’s Contacts solution. Contacts is a powerful audience builder capable of targeting a precise consumer segment with personalized messaging. 

This granular targeting is key to enabling marketing conversations that are specific to the message recipient, rather than generic and spammy. By outfitting templates with dynamic fields and auto-populating data, e-commerce marketers can create countless audience variations with minimal effort.

Build a granular audience for messaging campaigns

Bird Contacts offers a simple, rules-based interface for creating custom audiences for any campaign. By creating specific conditions to define your audience, personalized messages sent via WhatsApp are positioned for higher conversion rates and greater revenue generation.

Bird users can choose between a list of pre-set template conditions to define their audience, or they can create their own. 

Design your first WhatsApp audience

Alignment between your WhatsApp messaging and the target audience is key. Once you know the campaign goal and the type of messaging you will use, visit the Contacts section of Bird and begin building your custom audience.

After clicking “Create audience,” use the drop-down tools to define your audience based on relevant attributes and events. You can add as many conditions as you want to create a highly targeted, granular audience. 

As with any marketing channel, keep in mind that too many constraints could create too narrow of a defined audience, impacting the ROI of your messaging campaign.

Create the message, start a conversation

The messages sent to your opted-in audience is where the rubber meets the road in your WhatsApp marketing strategy. Quality creative is essential for success in this marketing channel—to meet not only WhatsApp’s quality assurance standards but the expectations of your target audience as well.

Fortunately, your business has great tools and resources to create messages that drive a conversation. Text, images, GIFs, and emojis are all at your disposal. Bird’s Studio comes equipped with capabilities to help you create high-quality messages that will win approval from WhatsApp and engagement from your audience.

Messaging strategies for conversational commerce

Personalized content and responsive automation allow for more interaction via WhatsApp than through SMS or other communication channels. This engagement can take many different forms to generate value for your customers and revenue for your business, including:

  • Product catalog integrations. User behavior, including past browsing history on your e-commerce site, can be used to dynamically insert products into your WhatsApp messaging to make that content more relevant to the user. Instead of blasting out messaging highlighting a single product to your entire audience, each user receives messaging around a product chosen specifically for them.

  • Chatbots. AI-powered chatbots can engage in a conversation with users to check product inventory, offer recommendations, and provide other basic services on a 1-to-1 basis. These chatbots can help keep the brand experience centralized on WhatsApp instead of referring users to your website and leaving it up to them to find what they’re looking for. Bird Flows can be created to facilitate these experiences and automate conversations with your target audience.

  • Trigger-based messaging. Abandoned carts and other consumer actions can trigger a WhatsApp message that offers a discount, a reminder, a recommendation, or lead nurturing tactics.

  • Dynamic variations of a single message. Bird’s platform lets you seamlessly create multiple versions of a single message to tailor WhatsApp interactions for different products, geographies, languages, and other differences—without having to create new messages from scratch.

  • Integration with customer support solutions. Through customer care integrations like Zendesk, WhatsApp messaging can facilitate customer service queries related to order status and other customer-initiated questions.

Create a WhatsApp message and send it via Bird

By designing a custom WhatsApp message and connecting it to an audience, you can create and launch your first WhatsApp campaign. 

Under the Create Content tab in Bird, click on “Create new message project” and follow the prompts. You can then choose the text and visual elements of the message and adjust other settings, such as support for additional languages and any variables to enable the use of dynamic data. 

Once your message is WhatsApp-approved, view the campaign details to make sure your message recipients are set to the appropriate list or audience. If these details are correct, your message is ready to send!

Measure success and adjust your strategy

Your first WhatsApp campaign probably won’t turn in record-setting results. No matter how that messaging performs, though, you can count on excellent campaign data to generate insights about your WhatsApp strategy and how it’s received by your audience.

In some cases, those results can arrive quickly—within hours, if your messaging is delivered to a bulk list of consumers. Once you have a solid base of campaign data, you can analyze those results to calculate messaging ROI and identify strategic changes that may improve your next campaign’s results.

Analyze your WhatsApp marketing results

WhatsApp performance data takes a few different forms, all of which offer valuable insights regarding customer engagement and revenue generation. 

Here are three ways WhatsApp performance data can be used to assess your campaign results:

  • Message deliverability. What percentage of your target audience opened and/or read your message? How many engaged the message by responding or clicking a referral to your website? These key performance indicators (KPIs) provide some baseline insight into how compelling and/or relevant your message was to your audience.

  • Post-click revenue attribution. It’s easy to calculate ROI for a conversation, purchase or other action that takes place entirely within the WhatsApp experience. The tougher question is: how does a WhatsApp message contribute to engagement and/or revenue that occurs outside of the WhatsApp platform? By tracking and connecting this activity between WhatsApp and your website, you can build a more comprehensive view of your message’s true ROI.

  • Chatbot engagement and qualification. Chatbot ROI can be measured from multiple different perspectives. On the one hand, customer service chatbots create time savings for e-commerce employees who don’t need to handle these queries themselves. At the same time, deeper chatbot engagement can offer insights into a customer’s level of engagement and where they drop off if they don’t follow through with a conversion.

Review the results of your first WhatsApp campaign

Bird’s Analyze Performance tab offers excellent tools and visual reporting features to help you understand your campaign’s performance. 

Evaluate your first campaign’s performance on its own and in comparison to any other campaigns run on other channels. Metrics such as total recipients, delivery rate, open rate, and clicks offer quick, clear insights into how effectively your messages are connecting with your audience.

Over time, you can change certain elements of these campaigns to test whether new message elements result in changes to your campaign performance. A/B testing will be a valuable tool in optimizing your WhatsApp strategy and realizing the platform’s potential as a revenue generation machine.

The hard part is over. Now comes the payoff.

Bird’s WhatsApp results speak for themselves.

With its engaging user experience, reliable analytics, and ability to integrate with powerful automation tools, WhatsApp is an indispensable channel for connecting with your e-commerce audience. 

Everything you need to build WhatsApp success is available on the Bird platform. 

You already know how to create a campaign from start to finish. Now the fun begins: it’s time to take what you’ve learned and craft new WhatsApp campaigns offering even more impact and revenue potential than the ones that came before.

The foundation is set. It’s time to build on what you’ve started.

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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.