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WhatsApp Marketing in 2021: Ready-to-use Campaign Ideas for Consumer Brands in the U.K.

  • Updated: 12 April 2021
  • 7 min read

The modern consumer is always on the look for an ideal way to communicate. With recent advancements in technology and tech companies coming up with better communication channels, consumers are not left behind in adopting such channels. Today, most people use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp to communicate. 

WhatsApp is one of the most used messaging apps across the globe today, with over 2 billion active users. Every day, at least 60 billion messages are sent via this messaging app. We’re seeing Europe and the U.K. adopt it at a very high rate. In the United Kingdom, at least 80% of adults aged 18 to 24 use WhatsApp as their primary messaging tool. In the first three months of 2020, at least 65% of U.K. citizens said they use WhatsApp many times a day. 

With billions of consumers using WhatsApp multiple times each day, businesses should begin looking at WhatsApp as a new channel to communicate with their customers. Most customers are more likely to remain loyal and shop with a brand they communicate with directly if the recent Facebook Messaging Survey is anything to go by. WhatsApp gives businesses the platform to directly send marketing messages to customers, win their trust, and make them loyal to their brands. 

SMS Vs. WhatsApp: What Works Better for Marketing Communication?

When WhatsApp hit 27.6 million active users in the U.K. by the end of 2019, most people believed it was actually on its way to replace SMS. Well, that may be true considering the pace at which people are registering on this messaging app.

Although most consumers are still using SMS  today, the case is slightly different in most European countries. The majority of mobile phone users in the U.K. prefer WhatsApp as the primary messaging app. This is because it is relatively affordable compared to direct SMS. 

Today, the number of people using WhatsApp has grown significantly because of its affordability and reliability. As Statista reports, of all active mobile users in the U.K., at least 80% are actively using WhatsApp to message.

Here are some reasons why most consumers in the U.K. prefer WhatsApp to SMS:

  •  It is free while SMS is not. Mobile service providers in the U.K. charge a flat rate of 0.07 to 0.11 Pounds when sending SMS. This makes it more expensive to use SMS than WhatsApp.
  •  International messaging is expensive in the U.K. Those traveling to the U.K. find it economical to download and use WhatsApp for messaging when they are in the country because it is affordable when messaging internationally.
  •  It works on end-to-end encryption. It means that WhatsApp is secure even when you are sending messages through a public network or free WI-Fi. User privacy is a guarantee when messaging through WhatsApp.
  • WhatsApp allows for more than 160 characters which is the usual threshold for normal SMS. It also enables users to send other content like video and voice messages. 
  •  WhatsApp enables group messaging and comes with business-grade features. It offers a threaded view of all bulk messages that you send to a group of recipients. 

Ways to Leverage WhatsApp for your Business 

Although WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps globally, not many businesses and marketing professionals are using it today to reach consumers. Only 7% of professional marketers are using WhatsApp today to promote businesses. 

Every business can use WhatsApp to its advantage since the app is mainly used for messaging and communicating. Here are some ways to use WhatsApp for your business.

  1. Increase online visibility 

You can create a business page on WhatsApp and create a group for your customers. Once you create a WhatsApp business page, you can use this platform to create a complete profile of your business, like physical address, website link, and useful contacts that customers can use to reach you. 

WhatsApp also allows you to add a catalog of your products on the business page so that customers can go through them and interact with you. By creating a catalog of your business on WhatsApp, customers can go through your business without having to browse and shift attention to something else. This improves your conversion rates. 

  1. Engage with customers directly 

If you run an online store, then you know most online shoppers are always in a hurry. When customers inquire, they always expect on-time responses from your customer care desk.

WhatsApp makes it easier to interact and engage your customers through direct messaging. You can also use chatbots to automate your messages so that customers don’t have to be waiting for your response. You can also create a FAQ section on your WhatsApp business page and save customers time.

  1. Organise your contacts 

WhatsApp is a useful messaging tool for every business. You can use the app to organise your contacts using its label system. It is also possible to import all your business contacts to WhatsApp if you are using a CRM that integrates with the app perfectly. When you integrate WhatsApp with CRM, you don’t have to keep adding new customer contacts to the app because it automates the process. Consumers who have opted into your WhatsApp communication can be directly added to the WhatsApp messaging lists without manual intervention. You can also save and archive conversations with customers when you integrate with CRM.

Small businesses can also use WhatsApp messaging to:

  • Send reminders to customers on bill payment and upcoming travel itineraries.
  • Update customers about their order status. 
  • Personalise occasional wishes like birthdays, and inform customers of discounts.
  • Recommend possible actions to customers such as new products, travel packages, hotel stays, etc.
  • Remind customers of abandoned carts and persuade them to check out.

Read about WhatsApp's recent Privacy Policy update and how this impacts your brand in this article.

Examples of Brands That Use WhatsApp for Marketing in the U.K. and Around the World 

 

 

WhatsApp Marketing in 2021: How Consumer Brands Can Benefit in the U.K.. from MoEngage Inc.
  1. Clarks 

The popular shoe brand wanted to tell stories about their brand and how far it’s come, and WhatsApp seemed like the right place for it. They had live exchanges between characters from different subcultures that were part of the Clarks story, namely the Mod Era, 1960s Paris, and Reggae. This got great responses from customers and did a great job of engaging younger groups that might not have been aware of Clarks beforehand.

  1. Agent Provocateur

Buying delicates is a nuanced process and Agent Provocateur realised that customers would appreciate the privacy of a messaging application. So they started connecting personal shoppers with customers via WhatsApp, leading to a strong bump in conversions. The key insight here was that men were often at a loss for what to buy, but were keen and ready to buy. Private interactions and personal shoppers turned out to be the perfect solution. 

  1. Cardex Autoteile OHG

The German auto parts retailer added WhatsApp Business to their marketing channels and almost immediately saw an increase in orders placed (15,000+ in the first 9 months). The priority was to smooth out the ordering and communication process for customers. By using WhatsApp as the primary customer communication tool, they shifted over existing customers to the point where they now facilitate 90% of their sales through WhatsApp. 

  1. KLM

KLM is using WhatsApp to help their customers receive flight alerts and other useful information. Once a customer books a flight, they can receive booking confirmations on check-in notifications, boarding passes, and flight status through WhatsApp. 

Customers can log in to the company’s official website, enter their booking details and choose to get flight notifications through WhatsApp. You can also contact the company directly on WhatsApp and get real-time information on your bookings. There is always a customer agent behind the message to ask you for your details and update you accordingly.

  1. Hellman’s

Hellman’s came up with a campaign to encourage Brazilians to cook mayo. In this campaign, an individual is given a chance to connect with a real chef through WhatsApp.

The individual takes a photograph of the contents in their fridge and sends it over to the chef who designs a recipe and guides them through the cooking while staying connected on WhatsApp. Through this campaign, the company built emotional relationships with over 13,000 customers that participated.

Get Started with WhatsApp Marketing

Follow these steps if you want to get started on WhatsApp marketing.

Step #1: Install the WhatsApp app on your device and create a business account. You should create a name for your business using the 25 characters, upload a profile picture, and describe your business in the status section.

Step #2: Add contacts to your business account. You can do this by importing contacts who have opted-in for WhatsApp communication from your brand.  

Step #3: Create different WhatsApp groups for your customer segments to enable group messaging. WhatsApp is currently supporting up to 256 contacts per group. 

Step #4: Create WhatsApp content for different groups and post them at the right time. WhatsApp has the highest open rate compared to direct emails. This means your messages are more likely to reach customers. You just have to make the message straightforward and relevant to the target audience.

Unlock the Full Potential of WhatsApp Marketing with MoEngage

WhatsApp is an important touchpoint in your consumer’s digital journey. To be able to fully utilise the benefits, include WhatsApp as part of your omnichannel marketing strategy with your consumers. MoEngage helps you combine the power of user behaviour, interests, and analytics to kickstart your WhatsApp communication strategy - all through a single platform.

Using MoEngage, you can analyse your audience based on their demographics and behaviour attributes. Using these insights, you can create personalised omnichannel engagement strategies that extend to your WhatsApp communication. 

Three most popular ways in which brands like yours use MoEngage to execute WhatsApp marketing campaigns

  • Personalisation using segmentation: If you’re a MoEngage user, you can leverage your existing segments(or even create new ones) and create highly personalised campaigns on WhatsApp.

  • Connected experience using Flows: You could integrate WhatsApp into your existing customer journeys in a seamless manner for better engagement. 

  • Smart Triggers for real-time engagement: Trigger 1:1 WhatsApp messages in real-time and engage users during the micro-moments in their purchase journey. 

To learn more about how you can integrate WhatsApp into your campaigns on MoEngage and see an upward improvement in conversions - click here.

Conclusion 

WhatsApp gives you and your business a platform to connect and interact with customers outside the business website. As millions of people using the messaging app daily, WhatsApp proves to be one of the best marketing tools for any business. We've covered reasons why you should consider using WhatsApp today to market your business.

What's Next?

  • How do marketers walk the tightrope between personalization and user privacy? Watch here.
  • Read how brands like yours use an insight-led engagement platform to win more customers. 
  • Looking for tactics on user segmentation and automation? Watch how winning brands get this right.
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About The Author
Shalini is a passionate senior marketer and brings with her over 10 years of experience working for a number of leading SaaS companies. Her expertise spans demand generation, PR, content strategy, field, and digital marketing. Currently, Shalini heads up our European marketing division.
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