Choosing the Right WhatsApp Marketing Vendor: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the Right WhatsApp Marketing Vendor: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the Right WhatsApp Marketing Vendor: A Comprehensive Guide

Does your WhatsApp marketing vendor offer personalization, interactive content creation, analytics, and automation? Here’s how to find one if not.

Imagine tapping into a network of more than two billion users and delivering personalized messages straight to each person’s inbox. 

That’s WhatsApp for you, the most popular messaging app in the world, with potential for customer engagement as vast as its user base. The platform has swiftly evolved into a marketing juggernaut, offering businesses a direct communication line to their audience. 

But mastering WhatsApp marketing isn't as easy as jumping on the bandwagon; with great potential comes great complexity

To leverage WhatsApp's rich features—interactive buttons, video content, emojis, and more—you’ll also need to orchestrate and craft all these moving pieces. Some of them are only accessible through the WhatsApp Business API. Plus, Meta’s stringent approval process and quality guidelines mean you’ll have to proceed with care, or risk penalties, like messaging limits or even account deactivation.

This is where partnering with the right WhatsApp marketing vendor comes in. Knowing where to start can be tricky though, so we’ve put together this guide. It digs into four areas—dynamic templates, customer nurturing features, automation, and analytics—that you’ll want to pay attention to as you navigate your search for the right solution.

What to look for in a WhatsApp marketing vendor

Dynamic, engaging message templates

Message templates are the bread of butter of WhatsApp marketing. Every message you send to WhatsApp users must originate from an approved template. You need to create customizable message templates that not only engage your customers but also pass the approval process with flying colors. 

Here’s what a great WhatsApp vendor should be able to do to help you with that: 

1. Integrate rich content

WhatsApp is different from other marketing channels in that you can enhance your messages with rich content to make them more dynamic. Your chosen vendor should enable you to customize the full range of content types supported by WhatsApp, including:

  • Rich text with varied fonts and formatting options to emphasize key points.

  • Buttons to invite customers to click on interactive calls-to-action.

  • Images to visually captivate and inform audiences.

  • GIFs that add a lively, attention-grabbing element to your comms.

  • Videos to engage your audience with visual content.

  • Emojis to convey emotions or humor, making messages more relatable and human.

  • Locations to guide customers to physical stores or add context to interactions.

  • Lists to organize information for clarity.

  • Carousels to showcase multiple products or options in a single message.

Rich content makes for a more immersive experience for customers, adding flair to your message templates and making them more memorable and engaging.

2. Leverage personalization

In WhatsApp marketing, personalization is more than a feature; it’s a necessity for creating messages that resonate deeply with your audience. Look for a WhatsApp marketing vendor that can tailor your communications to speak directly to each individual customer. An ideal vendor should offer the following capabilities:

  • Personalizable variables: Top vendors will pull from customer data to insert dynamic variables into your message templates, such as customer names, past purchases, or other relevant information. 

  • Ecommerce integration: Look for the ability to integrate with your online storefront to supercharge your personalized communications. You can send out personalized product recommendations, individualized promotional offers, or updates related to the customer’s latest interactions with your brand.

  • Segmentation: This is basic but critical. Choose a partner who can divide your audience into groups based on various criteria, so you can send each group content that’s highly relevant to their interests.

  • Template customization: You need a way to modify your templates over time to better speak to your various segments as their communication preferences evolve. For example, GIFs worked well across generations five years ago, but now, they don’t resonate with Gen Z.

Every WhatsApp message is an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with a prospect or customer. Personalization is the key to unlocking those opportunities because people expect and crave content that’s highly relevant to their preferences. 

3. Manage template approvals

WhatsApp requires every message template to undergo a stringent approval process before you can proactively send it out to customers. This is because Meta is tough on spam and aims to maintain a high standard of quality for all messages sent by brands on WhatsApp. 

Here’s what a WhatsApp marketing vendor can do to guide you through approval process pain-free:

  • Give guidance on template creation: Top vendors will give you intuitive tools complete with clear instructions for crafting compliant templates, such as advice on language, format, and content that aligns with WhatsApp’s approval criteria.

  • Provide real-time status updates: It should be easy to keep track of the status of all of your submitted templates in real-time. Be sure you can easily see whether templates are approved, pending, or rejected at any time.

  • Offer built-in submission: You’ll want to submit templates directly to WhatsApp via your chosen platform. This streamlines your workflows and saves time switching between your template creator and WhatsApp proper.

  • Share rejection feedback: In case of template rejection, your chosen platform should be able to provide specific feedback on why it wasn’t approved, as well as suggestions for revisions and resubmission.

For marketing managers and business owners juggling tasks and channels, efficiency is key. The ability to create templates, submit them for approval, and monitor their status all within the same tool streamlines an otherwise time-consuming and complex set of processes. With a savvy WhatsApp marketing vendor, you’ll spend less time stuck in approvals and more time genuinely communicating with your customers. 

The power to nurture and re-engage customers

As a highly personalized and intimate marketing platform, WhatsApp is all about the customer journey and building customer lifetime value (LTV). Your goal should be to capture and recapture interest, nurturing genuine customer relationships for the long term. 

To that end, your ideal vendor should empower you to cater to your customers, finely tuning your strategy to the nuances of customer behavior and preferences. More specifically, a great WhatsApp vendor should help you:

1. Build out dynamic marketing journeys

Engaging customers through WhatsApp requires more than just sporadic sequences of messages. Rather, you’ll need thoughtfully crafted narratives tailored to various customer interactions and milestones. Each scenario presents a unique opportunity to connect with customers in a meaningful way.

Look for these features in your WhatsApp marketing vendor:

  • Personalization capabilities: Choose a vendor that offers advanced personalization tools so that you can tailor each message based on individual customer data, making communications more relevant and engaging.

  • Automated journey creation: Look for a platform that lets you automate moving customers through marketing journeys based on their interactions or behavior. This includes setting up triggered messages for abandoned carts, timed sequences for drip campaigns, and automated responses post-purchase.

  • Intelligent timing and scheduling: The vendor should provide functionality for scheduling messages at optimal times, avoiding overwhelming customers while still keeping them engaged. You want your messages sent at impactful, respectful times.

  • Behavior tracking and analytics: Opt for a vendor that offers robust analytics and behavior tracking. Understanding how customers interact with your messages is crucial for refining your strategies and making data-driven decisions.

2. Invite customers to fill out sign-up forms

When it comes to WhatsApp, you want customers to enthusiastically say “yes!” to receiving messages from you. Sign-up forms serve as an initial touchpoint for customers to opt-in to your messages, paving the way for direct and personalized communication. Effective sign-up forms not only make this process seamless for users, but also keep your WhatsApp subscriber list filled with genuinely interested individuals. 

Here's what to look for in a WhatsApp marketing vendor:

  • User-friendly design with customizable sign-up form templates, making it easy and intuitive for users to opt-in.

  • QR code integration for quick and convenient mobile sign-ups.

  • Comprehensive data collection to capture all the details you need, including content preferences to inform your future communications with each customer.

  • Compliance and opt-in verification to adhere to data protection laws, safeguarding your brand and your customers.

  • Data integration with your ecommerce store and CRM to capture customer information accurately, completing a 360-view of their customer profile.

3. Send one-off campaign blasts

Imagine the thrill of sending a message that sparks instant excitement; a message so targeted and timely that it feels like a personal invitation to each recipient. This is the magic of targeted WhatsApp blasts, a strategy perfect for those moments when you need to make some noise, turn heads, and get people talking about your latest event, promotion, or big announcement.

Targeted blasts are all about hitting the bullseye, and segmentation is your precision tool. The ideal WhatsApp marketing vendor transforms your audience into a canvas, where you can paint different messages for different groups. 

Think of it like an archer skillfully choosing arrows; whether it's based on customers’ past purchases, demographics, or preferences they ticked when they signed up, your message will land. Personalization takes segmentation a step further in these one-off blasts, too. Find a vendor where you can address your customers by name, recommend products that align with their past purchases, or perhaps share a special offer based on their location.

This isn’t just about sending a message; it’s about sending the right message to the right people at the right moment.

Automated WhatsApp conversations

Imagine a world where you can answer every customer query on WhatsApp instantly with the perfect response—accurate, with a personal, relatable touch. You can achieve such results by blending automated chatbots with human interaction, the WhatsApp combo that is redefining customer engagement in the digital age.

This blend of automated efficiency and human empathy is a strategy that guarantees every customer interaction on WhatsApp—whether with a bot or a person—feels authentic, connected, and satisfying. Remember, every WhatsApp chat is an opportunity to impress, engage, and delight your customers. With automation, you’ll be able to do so at scale and jump right in when the thoughtfulness and support of a human is necessary.

Here’s what your WhatsApp vendor should be able to do automation-wise:

1. Create chatbots powerd by AI connectors like OpenAI

In the fast-paced world of instant messaging, responsiveness is key. A standout WhatsApp marketing vendor offers the magic of AI chatbots through native integrations; they’re smart, agile, and ready to engage your customers 24/7. 

Picture a chatbot that not only answers FAQs, but guides customers through their entire journey—from providing detailed product information to handling transactions, scheduling deliveries, and more. 

The beauty of these no-code solutions? They put the power of automation in your hands, so there’s no tech wizardry required. This equips you to tailor your chatbot to your brand's unique voice and customer needs.

2. Escalate to a human as required

But let's face it, sometimes the human touch is irreplaceable. Whether it's sealing a crucial deal or navigating a complex support issue, there are moments when only a human-to-human conversation will do. 

The ideal WhatsApp vendor understands this, offering a seamless transition from a chatbot to a human in a shared inbox. This means your team can effortlessly jump in at the right moment, taking the baton from the chatbot to add that crucial human element, so that no customer need goes unmet.

The ability to see where you’re getting the best ROI

In the ever-evolving game of WhatsApp marketing, playing by intuition just doesn't cut it anymore. It's all about knowing—really knowing—where your efforts are hitting the mark and where they’re falling short. You need a WhatsApp vendor that works hard to make sure the money you spend on messaging is money that’s working hard for you.

Here’s what to look for in a WhatsApp marketing vendor to get the most bang for your buck:

1. Use powerful analytics tools

Look for analytics tools that show you exactly what you’re spending on what, and what results your campaigns are producing. Use these metrics to make data-informed decisions on what messages and campaigns need tweaks or total overhauls, pivoting your strategy with confidence and precision. 

Whether it’s identifying the most engaging content or understanding customer behaviors, look for analytics tools that ensure that your WhatsApp marketing strategy is always data-driven, smart, and cost-effective.

Quick recommendation: If you’re still unsure if WhatsApp marketing is really worth your time or investment, unpack the black box that is WhatsApp marketing performance in this guide.

2. Look for no-code support

Gone are the days when launching a marketing campaign on a new channel felt like rocket science. WhatsApp marketing should not feel complex, technical, or like it needs a whole team of engineers to wrangle APIs. 

Enter the era of no-code support. The right WhatsApp marketing vendor empowers you to set up, launch, and automate campaigns with the ease of pressing some buttons and clicking through a few menus. It should be that easy. 

It’s about putting the power back in your hands. No more waiting in line for engineering resources; your creativity should be the only limit.

But what if your customers aren’t on WhatsApp?

More than two billion people are on WhatsApp, but we need to acknowledge a simple truth: It’s not likely that all of your customers are active on WhatsApp. WhatsApp dominates in parts of Europe and Asia, but it doesn’t encompass every demographic or geographic location. This is where diversifying your channels becomes essential. 

In your quest for the perfect WhatsApp marketing vendor, it's wise to consider platforms that offer more than just WhatsApp. Your customers are scattered across various platforms, each with their own preferences and habits. Find a vendor that supports (and aligns) omnichannel communication across email, SMS, Instagram, and more. You’ll maximize WhatsApp’s potential without sacrificing the chance to interact with customers who need you to meet them on other channels. 

In short, leave no customer behind, no matter where they are or what platform they prefer. Choose a marketing strategy and vendor like Bird that’s as versatile and dynamic as your customer base itself. 

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

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

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

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