Measure Your WhatsApp Marketing Performance Against These Industry Benchmarks

Measure Your WhatsApp Marketing Performance Against These Industry Benchmarks

Measure Your WhatsApp Marketing Performance Against These Industry Benchmarks

This guide reveals the essential metrics marketers need to measure on WhatsApp, plus critical benchmarks to gauge your WhatsApp marketing performance accurately.

It’s out with dated, “spray and pray” marketing tactics, and in with conversational marketing.

With a powerful combination of automation and content personalization, conversational marketing platforms are enhancing customers’ relationships with their favorite brands. Of all the digital communication channels to choose from, WhatsApp is arguably the best.

As of 2022, WhatsApp has 2 billion active users worldwide and more than 292 million downloads on iOS and Android. In short, your customers are on WhatsApp. As a conversational marketer, it’s vital to show up on WhatsApp well and meticulously measure your impact so you can make smarter decisions going forward and improve your ROI.

That’s why we’re writing this guide. We want you to be able to:

  • Navigate the WhatsApp KPI and metric landscape to monitor the right performance areas

  • Gauge your performance against global benchmarks for accurate, data-driven feedback

  • Enhance your WhatsApp messages to increase conversion and decrease opt-outs

Stop guessing and start measuring with confidence. Let’s dive into WhatsApp metrics and kickstart your optimization process.

The big three WhatsApp metrics to measure

To evaluate the effectiveness of your WhatsApp marketing campaigns, there are three metrics you’ll want to pay close attention to. 

  1. Message delivery and open rate

  2. Click-through rate

  3. Opt-out rate

If you study these three metrics and work to keep them healthy, you’ll be able to elevate your campaign’s engagement and conversion rates, plus reduce the likelihood of your recipients opting out. Depending on your organization’s WhatsApp maturity and objectives, these metrics may not be an exhaustive list of what to monitor. But if you’re just getting started, these are the three you should track at a minimum.

1. Message delivery and open rate

WhatsApp message delivery rate is undeniably the most crucial metric to track. Low deliverability means your carefully crafted messages don’t reach nearly the number of people you’re paying for them to reach. This happens often when businesses use local aggregators or low-cost wholesalers to handle their global SMS messaging. When messages don’t arrive, there’s no chance of them resonating or inspiring any sort of customer action. Make sure your voice is heard.

Naturally, with better delivery rates come better odds of more people opening your message. Open rates go up when recipients find the previewed content enticing enough to click into the message. One of the significant advantages of WhatsApp over email is its reported global open rate of 98%.

Unfortunately, not all WhatsApp campaigns get that many recipients to open their marketing messages. Low open rates can be due to several factors, including:

  • Unappealing preview text

  • Irrelevant message content

  • Poorly timed message sends

  • Haphazardly segmented lists

  • Technical difficulties with your API

To improve open rates, optimize your WhatsApp experience by:

  • Writing compelling preview texts to galvanize readers from the first word

  • Tailor your content to suit different consumer action or search triggers

  • Update your message send times to catch buyers at the right moment 

  • Tighten your list segmentation to ensure you’re reaching the right people

  • Shore up your API connection to avoid preventable deliverability issues

One last note here: Be sure to A/B test different types of preview text, send times, and segments to reveal which topics and framing resonate most with your marketplace and drive opens. Once you’ve got your message delivery rate in a good spot, bolstering your content through personalization and experimentation is a surefire way to boost open rates.

2. Click-through rate (CTR)

Once your recipients open your message, you have their attention. The trick, now, is turning that interest into action. The biggest indicator of success at this stage is your CTR. It demonstrates how many consumers took the next step after viewing the entire WhatsApp message, whether it’s writing out a reply in the conversation thread or clicking a link to take an external action.

Even if your campaign achieves a high open rate, there’s no guarantee a substantial CTR will follow. Subpar performance in this metric likely means there’s a disconnect between the preview text and the content a recipient finds upon opening the message. Perpetually low CTRs can harm a brand long-term; it often means your brand feels like spam. This can rack up customer acquisition cost (CAC) fast, too.

Low CTRs stem from issues like:

  • Impersonal or generic-sounding content

  • Lack of content interactivity or visual interest

  • An unclear or unfocused call-to-action (CTA)

To improve your WhatsApp CTRs, consider implementing the following in your messages:

  • Personalized content touches based on data about each recipient’s tastes and preferences

  • Media-rich elements such as images, GIFs, videos, and other interactive components

  • A more straightforward CTA that creates a sense of urgency for the buyer to act 

With WhatsApp templates, it’s easy to customize messages, add visual flair, and captivate users. The more dynamic your messages, the better. By personalizing the user experience (UX) and centering each interaction on the recipient’s wants, it’s far less challenging to build crucial relationships and turn prospects and customers into loyal fans.

3. Opt-out rate

Another vital WhatsApp metric is your opt-out rate. It’s decisive audience feedback that, if left to balloon throughout a campaign, should set off alarm bells in your marketing department. 

The main reason for this is the implied disconnect between your messages and your audience’s interests or needs. If many users choose to stop receiving your messages, it will significantly impact your overall ROI for the channel. It can also damage your brand’s reputation if consumers feel you’re wasting their time.

High opt-out rates may be due to:

  • Irrelevant or uninteresting messaging content

  • Poorly calibrated messaging frequency

  • Non-compliance with local or international regulations

To reduce opt-out rates and keep them to a minimum, you must:

  • Craft pertinent content that addresses the right pain points and interests

  • Adjust messaging frequency to avoid inundating potential buyers

  • Ensure WhatsApp compliance with all privacy and security obligations

Also, keep in mind that you can’t make the opt-out process difficult or impossible for consumers. To stay compliant, you owe them a frictionless way to unsubscribe from your marketing messages. Otherwise, your organization can be hit with severe consequences, including fines.

That said, if your messaging content, frequency, and CTAs are on point, recipients shouldn’t feel the urge to cut the cord with your marketing campaigns.

How to gauge your WhatsApp performance against industry benchmarks

Don't measure your metrics in a vacuum. To truly gauge campaign performance, benchmark your WhatsApp performance against the broader industry and your other marketing channels, like email and social. As you’ll soon see, those who take the time to optimize their content, tone, and strategy to suit the platform’s strengths instead of simply repurposing content from another channel see the greatest ROI overall.

Note: The data cited in this section is covered in the MessageBird guide, Is WhatsApp Marketing Worth It? Key WhatsApp Marketing Statistics and How to Calculate Your ROI. We recommend combing through this content to further deepen your understanding of WhatsApp benchmarks.

WhatsApp open rates

The baseline open rate for businesses on WhatsApp is 58%. In this scenario, companies are simply moving email campaigns over to WhatsApp without any personalization or media-rich content considerations.

Organizations that work to improve their targeting on WhatsApp by crafting timely, relevant marketing messages often outperform this baseline by a wide margin. After optimization, open rates typically register between 75-79%, a boost that often translates to substantial revenue growth.

WhatsApp CTRs

WhatsApp CTR benchmarks are similarly tantalizing for marketers who haven’t realized the platform’s full potential. The baseline CTR is around 15%, which, again, refers to the rate of return for businesses who simply repurpose email content on WhatsApp without optimizing it first.

Interestingly, some MessageBird customers outperform this benchmark by a considerable margin. Some examples include:

  • Expert, a Netherlands-based company, with a conversion rate of 80%

  • Matahari, a department store that improved conversion by 2.5x across over 15 million messages

  • Heracles Almelo, a football club, that scored a 95% WhatsApp engagement rate and saw CTR skyrocket

These CTR success stories had several common trends, such as fine-tuned audience segmentation, an avoidance of copy-pasting content verbatim from another channel, and spam detection and reduction.

WhatsApp vs. email

It’s safe to say WhatsApp marketing campaigns consistently generate a higher ROI than email-based initiatives targeting the same audience. The latter’s average open rate and CTR across all industries, based on Hubspot data, sit at 38.49% and 8.29%, respectively, failing to match WhatsApp’s prowess.

These numbers feed into noticeable differences in CAC and related ROI. Most businesses see an ROI  on WhatsApp that ranges from 200% to 800%, with industry being the key differentiator. With such high engagement rates compared to email marketing, it’s no wonder companies are investing more in WhatsApp.

The use case isn’t tied solely to marketing, either. Matahari found that WhatsApp was five times more more effective than email for their specific customer base. After switching from email to WhatsApp for their support communications, the company saw a spike in its customer satisfaction and a sharp decrease in the cost of handling client requests.

WhatsApp vs. social

Comparing WhatsApp benchmarks with social benchmarks is less of an apples-to-apples conversation than email is, primarily because more variables are at play. Instead of sending a finite number of messages to a pre-defined list of recipients on WhatsApp, social media marketing relies much more on inbound consumer interest to start conversations, including paid ad acquisition.

That said, high-level numbers paint a similar picture of why WhatsApp eats social media’s lunch when it comes to consumer engagement and conversions. According to Hootsuite, a reasonable engagement rate is between 1% and 5%, with Instagram engagement for accounts with over 175,000 followers hitting 4.59% in 2022. 

Data from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023 shows that worldwide CTRs were between 1.35% and 1.38% compared to WhatsApp’s baseline, with no personalization, of 15%. When you consider that businesses may spend upwards of $25,000 per year on social media advertising, moving client conversations to a channel that feels more immediate and conversational can drive down CAC.

It’s time to optimize your WhatsApp performance

By benchmarking your performance and understanding the benefits of WhatsApp compared to other channels, your marketing team can make more informed decisions about which budget investments will bring the highest return. While the exact costs can vary depending on your specific strategy, industry, and goals, high engagement rates and CTRs make WhatsApp an affordable way to reach customers where they are.

If your WhatsApp metrics are far below these benchmarks, it’s important to audit your messaging content and campaign strategy to ensure you’ve got all best practices and audience considerations covered. On the other hand, if your metrics are above these averages, you could experiment and scale WhatsApp’s success for your business even further. The sky's the limit.

Remember, these comparisons and benchmarks should be guides rather than definitive targets. Every business and audience is unique, so make sure you do your due diligence and build objectives and corresponding strategies that take your marketing reality into consideration.

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

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