Messaging App Campaigns

9 Ways Companies Use Whatsapp for Business (Updated Feb 2019)

By December 14, 2018 February 20th, 2019 No Comments
9 Ways Companies Use Whatsapp for Business (Updated Feb 2019)

We're living in a WhatsApp world – your friends, colleagues, customers, and competitors are using WhatsApp. There are 1.3 billion WhatsApp users out there. With a huge users base – there is huge opportunity. Don't spend it on just talking with your friends! The truth is you can utilize WhatsApp for way more than just a chatting with your friends.

Many businesses are already using WhatsApp to engage with customers. Here are 8 successful marketing campaign on WhatsApp.

Psst, we are working hard to make WhatsApp available on Rocketbots ASAP. Let us know if you want you can get notified as soon as it arrives.

1. The Clarks Rats to Rudeboys Whatsapp Campaign

In 2015, footwear brand Clarks launched one of the first Whatsapp Campaigns ever. Rats to Rudeboys was an interactive storytelling campaign designed to target millennials. The campaign leveraged the Clarks Boot status among three iconic individuals throughout history. These personas were created using chatbot like marketing automation tools.

How Did The Clarks Rats to Rudeboys Whatsapp Campaign Work?

The campaign allowed users to join by adding a specific number to their contacts, which they can these message on WhatsApp. Once connected, users can speak to Steve Barrow, a writer from the 1960s mode scene and Stitch a reggae icon. These characters discussed how the Clarks boot helped to shape their times.

The campaign also included links to further content such as Spotify playlists to keep users engaged. Links were also offered to the Clarks e-commerce site for conversion and to social media sites for increased engagement.

Clarks Rats to Rudeboys WhatsApp Campaign Onboarding Message
Rats to Rudeboys Onboarding Message

Was The Clarks WhatsApp Campaign A Success?

It's hard to say definitively as Clarks keeps those numbers private. Clarks wanted to increase brand awareness and brand reputation among millennials and taking the first experimental step in a new medium.

It is likely the interactive marketing strategy successfully engaged millennial demographics, but there is some work to be done especially on the acquisition front. Asking users to add you as a contact on Whatsapp is just not scalable.

Undoubtedly Clarks is using data from the WhatsApp interactions to create the generation of engagement campaigns on WhatsApp and other messaging apps.

2. The Netflix WhatsApp Engagement Campaign

You've just finished binge-watching the new season of Grey's Anatomy – what's good to watch next? You might text your friends to see what's new out there that has a solid 5 seasons and 20 episodes in each season. Netflix wants to save you that trouble.

As you can imagine, the general idea of the campaign is to re-engage WhatsApp users who have been dormant for some time. Netflix started testing this campaign in India in 2017 and it appears to have rolled out in the United Kingdom since then.

How Does The Netflix WhatsApp Campaign Work?

Netflix WhatsApp Notification Prompt
How Netflix Prompts Users to Subscribe on WhatsApp

Everything starts from notifications that appear when you are in the Netflix app. We suppose that for this to work you will need to have registered on Netflix with the same number you use on Whatsapp. We haven't been able to test it out ourselves. If you have, please give us a shout.

Once you've done this, Netflix will start sending you suggestions over WhatsApp. Of course Netflix isn't just spamming your WhatsApp with random TV shows or movie suggestions that you're not interested in, they know how to play the game. They'll use the same recommendation engine they've already created to serve you the content you enjoy.

3. The Hellmann's WhatsApp Brand Campaign

Hellmann's is a mayonnaise brand that wanted to convert more people to using Hellmann's in Brazil. This campaign began in 2014 so it was truly the prehistoric days of WhatsApp campaigns but because it was such a great success we have tons of information on the results.

How Did The Hellmann's WhatsApp Campaign Work?

How Hellmanns Acquired Users on WhatsApp
Hellmann's WhatsApp Campaign User Acquisition Website

This is one of the best orchestrated WhatsApp campaigns we have ever seen. Users were acquired through a special whatscook website setup by Hellmann's. Users just enter their phone number and by doing so the opt-in to the WhatsApp campaign.

Once signed up they receive a message through WhatsApp from a human chef. The chef prompts them to upload a picture of the ingredients they have on hand. Then proceeds to give advice on what they can cook with those leftover ingredients together with Hellmann's.

Was The Hellmann's WhatsApp Campaign A Success?

Oh, you bet it was. We know a lot about the success of this WhatsApp campaign because it was presented by Unilever at the SM2 conference. The brand prompted 4 million people to visit the whatscook website through various channels. This resulted in 13 thousand people registering on the website.

The most astonishing metric of the campaign was that users spent 65 mins on average interacting with the chef. Yes, I'm not kidding. 65 minutes. Who even spends 65 minutes texting a friend? Can you image the brand loyalty that was created?

Video Overview of the Hellmann's WhatsApp Campaign.

4. YOOX WhatsApp Personal Shopping

Using WhatsApp for business doesn't necessarily mean running a campaign. Rather than a campaign for the masses, this is an elite service for Extremely Important People or EIPs.

For YOOX, this was a natural development. YOOX noticed that their personal shopping team was regularly using their personal WhatsApp account to communicate with customers. In addition, members of the personal shopping team insisted that clients didn't want to login to the YOOX app and preferred to receive products suggestions and complete transactions in WhatsApp instead.

YOOX WhatsApp Personal Shopping Service
The YOOX WhatsApp Personal Shopping Service

How Does YOOX WhatsApp Personal Shopping Work?

YOOX uses WhatsApp Enterprise to connect everything that is important to the experience. Staff from the personal shopping team are able to communicate with their clients, clients are able to confirm purchases directly through WhatsApp and notifications about shipping are piped in as well. This creates a one-stop solution for customers.

Does YOOX WhatsApp Personal Shopping Deliver Results?

In short, yes! YOOX reported that they were even able to sell a €80,000 item over WhatsApp. You see, 40% of higher-margin in-season revenue is coming from just 2% of its highest-spending customers. Net-a-Porter, the parent company of YOOX, is tapping into an existing group of customers to drive that revenue even higher. And by doing so it is creating even longer lasting relationships than before.

5. Agent Provocateur Ménage à Trois WhatsApp Campaign

Of all the WhatsApp campaign efforts we've seen this is definitely the hottest!. It ran just for a just a few 10-hour windows in 2016. The chat was available from 10 am to 12 pm from December 6th to 9th and December 13th to 16th.

How Did The Agent Provocateur Ménage à Trois WhatsApp Campaign Work?

The initiative was part of a larger campaign called Naughty or Nice. Which allowed users to move between different scenarios in an interactive video. Part of the campaign involved a Ménage à Trois in a WhatsApp group chat. And this was truly a Ménage à Trois because it involved you, your partner and an Agent Provocateur shopping assistant.

Screenshot of The Agent Provocateur Ménage à Trois WhatsApp Campaign
Screenshot from the Ménage à Trois WhatsApp Campaign

Was The Agent Provocateur Ménage à Trois WhatsApp Campaign A Success?

Keep in mind, this was quite a small campaign that ran for a very limited time. It's difficult to know if the campaign was a financial success. But experimentally it produced some very interesting results:

  • 112 conversations took place in the app
  • 31% of the chats resulted in physical store visits
  • 61% of the chats converted into substantial website traffic.

If you need to define a place where the borders between our personal relationships and our relationships with brands cross, this WhatsApp campaign is undeniably one of those places.

6. The Absolut Unique Access Whatsapp Campaign

In 2013, Absolute wanted to promote limited edition vodka bottles. What do you do when you're an alcohol company and you need to promote? Throw a party! The company invited A-list celebrities and reserved 2 tickets for the winners of their WhatsApp campaign.

How Absolute Unique Access WhatsApp Campaign Work?

As far as we can tell this is the first WhatsApp campaign by any large brand. But the formula it created has become the de facto standard for most WhatsApp campaigns ever since.

What's the thing stopping us from getting into all the hottest parties? Bouncers. Absolut created Sven the Doorman who you would have to convince to get those tickets.

User Awareness? Facebook. The brand created a Facebook Campaign that let users know about the party and how they could score some tickets. User acquisition? The Facebook campaign directed users to add Svens number to their contacts and message him on WhatsApp.

Then all they had to do was convince him. How did they do that? Watch the video below to find out.

The Absolute Unique Access WhatsApp Campaign Video Overview

Was The Absolute Unique Access WhatsApp Campaign A Success?

Over an incredibly short period of the 3-day campaign, over 600 users contacted Sven. And it generated more than 1000 images, videos and voice messages. The campaign effectively engaged with the Argentina community and created a huge buzz trend in itself. These numbers seem small but considering the year, 2013 and the fact that users actually had to add Svens number manually, these results are stunning.

7. Buyagift Whatsapp Promotion Notifications

Buyagift is a UK company specializing in gift experiences they are something in-between a standard eCommerce site and a Groupon type company. As you can imagine, there is a huge amount of competition in this sector. For a company like Buyagift, experimenting with and optimizing every stage of the funnel is crucial.

How Do The Buyagift WhatsApp Notifications Work?

E-commerce companies always ask you to sign up to their mailing list to receive the best promotions. But how many of us actually open those emails? Buyagift encouraged users to sign up for WhatsApp alerts instead.

Are Buyagift WhatsApp Notifications A Success?

Sadly we haven't found any actual data to share. But we do know one thing for certain, messaging apps engagement rates are miles above email. We've seen 600% higher click rates on messaging apps vs email.

8. OYO WhatsApp Booking & Notifications

With WhatsApp dominating the messenger landscape in many if not most developing countries, it's not surprising that OYO an Indian hotel booking site is taking the lead in using WhatsApp for Enterprise.

How Do OYO WhatsApp Booking & Notifications Work?

What OYO has set up here is not technically groundbreaking. Users can use the WhatsApp channel in 3 main ways:

  • Receive a booking confirmation
  • Receive hotel directions on the day of check in
  • Cancel their booking.

Are OYO WhatsApp Booking & Notifications A Success?

Although not technically groundbreaking, convenience wise it is astonishing. WhatsApp ability to run smoothly even on the lowest tier devices and a minuscule amount of data consumption creates accessibility for everyone. It could mean that you spend all of 3 seconds getting the address you need instead of spending 10 minutes opening their app and trying to load your booking history.

9. KLM Booking & Notifications

KLM supports Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Twitter and WhatsApp for booking notifications.
The Messaging Apps KLM Support

KLM is one of the most forward thinking companies we have seen when it comes to adopting and using messaging apps. Thanks to KLM's use of the WhatsApp Business API, passengers can receive their flight information and notifications on WhatsApp. After booking their flight on KLM website, flyers can receive their booking confirmations, boarding passes, check-in notifications, and flight status on their WhatsApp app. The whole process makes it easier for passengers to receive all their flight details and documentation on their favorite platform in a single place whether they are in the office, home, or en route to the airport.

How Do KLM WhatsApp Booking & Notifications Work?

You can select WhatsApp, Twitter or WeChat for KLM booking notifications.
Channels KLM Makes Available for Booking Notifications

After you've entered all the necessary booking details on, you'll be offered the option of getting your flight documentation via your Messaging apps. If you've missed this page and you still want to activate your notifications you can actually message KLM directly at +31 20 649 0787 on WhatsApp. Although we haven't recently booked a flight on LKM we have tried messaging the number and you'll be pleased to find that there is a friendly customer service agent on the other side who will ask you for your booking details and then patch through the notifications once they are confident that you are who you say you are.

Video of KLM WhatsApp Booking Notifications

Once you've opted in for WhatsApp notifications, KLM will send you your flight information directly through WhatsApp. The app will remind you when it's time to check in and then send a scannable photo boarding pass that you can use at the gate.

Flyers can also ask questions 24/7 such as whether they can change their seats, etc. KLM can answer questions in several languages including English, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. After ending the chat session, I didn’t get any further notifications, travel recommendations, or other promotional campaigns, which is something I expected.

Are You Looking For Even More WhatsApp Success Stories?

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Iaroslav Kudritskiy

Iaroslav Kudritskiy

Iaroslav is the driving force behind the conversational design at Rocketbots and the creator of the Rocketbots Academy courseware. His previous roles designing information management systems and horizontal knowledge transfer strategies at Kodak Alaris, Xaxis & Light Reaction. A graduate of the MBA program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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