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 – WhatsApp promotion is key. This article will answer the question, how to do WhatsApp Marketing & discuss all the ways brand implement WhatsApp Marketing Strategy. The truth is WhatsApp Marketing & Support isn't on the way. It's already here.
Many businesses are already using WhatsApp to engage with customers. Here are a bunch of successful WhatsApp Campaigns:
- The Clarks Rats to Rudeboys Whatsapp Marketing Campaign
- The Netflix WhatsApp Engagement Campaign
- The Hellmann's WhatsApp Brand Campaign
- YOOX WhatsApp Personal Shopping
- Agent Provocateur Ménage à Trois WhatsApp Marketing Campaign
- The Absolut Unique Access Whatsapp Marketing Campaign
- Buyagift Whatsapp Promotion Notifications
- OYO WhatsApp Booking & Notifications
- KLM Booking & Notifications
- 263Chat & Kukurigo News Delivery
- Delhi Police WhatsApp Anti-Bribery Campaign
- Bharatiya Janata Party WhatsApp Election Campaign
- Sorabel WhatsApp Shopping & Customer Support
- Beck's WhatsApp Marketing Campaign
- Cozinha da Loli WhatsApp Sales Campaign
- The Tikkie WhatsApp Sticker Marketing Campaign
1. The Clarks Rats to Rudeboys WhatsApp Marketing 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 Marketing Campaign Work?
The campaign allowed users to join by adding a specific number to their contacts, which they can 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.
Was The Clarks WhatsApp Marketing Campaign A Success?
It's hard to say that this is a successful WhatsApp campaign 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 next generation WhatsApp pomotion.
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?
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 marketing 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?
This is one of the best orchestrated WhatsApp marketing 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. This is one of the best WhatsApp campaigns we've seen. 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?
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.
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 Marketing Campaign
Of all the WhatsApp marketing 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 Marketing 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.
Was The Agent Provocateur Ménage à Trois A Successful WhatsApp Marketing Campaign?
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 marketing campaign is undeniably one of those places.
6. The Absolut Unique Access WhatsApp Marketing Campaign
In 2013, Absolut 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 marketing campaign.
How Absolut Unique Access WhatsApp Marketing 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 marketing 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.
Was The Absolut 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 is one of the most forward thinking companies we have seen when it comes to becoming a WhatsApp brand. 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?
After you've entered all the necessary booking details on KLM.com, 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.
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.
10. 263Chat & Kukurigo News Delivery
We talk about WhatsApp marketing quite often here. However, there are more fundamental ways that companies use WhatsApp for Business. From where we are sitting it's hard to imagine, but in Zimbabwe, WhatsApp has become one of the primary sources of news for citizens.
This is possible because it's near impossible for the local population to afford a data plan, but mobile operators in Zimbabwe sell cheap WhatsApp only plans.
How Does WhatsApp News Delivery Work?
It's relatively simple and complicated at the same time. There are no high dollar WhatsApp marketing campaigns to attract users. Although both 263Chat and Kukorigo have websites, their primary focus is news updates on WhatsApp.
The simple part is how they get users. Since media is highly restricted in Zimbabwe people are actively seeking out sources of news that are outside the official media narrative. Both outlets actively use Twitter to attract people to join. In their posts, the chat media outlets ask users to add the phone number to their contacts and text join to the WhatsApp number.
The complicated part is how the publications use WhatsApp marketing features to spread the word. Both papers offer daily news updates using WhatsApp Broadcasts. However, this has become difficult to manage as WhatsApp broadcast groups only allow up to 256 users per group.
With over 20,000 subscribers each this means the publisher has to manage over 1,000 groups to allow their daily news broadcast to happen. Hopefully, both these publications can be accepted to the WhatsApp API soon.
11. Delhi Police WhatsApp Anti-Bribery Campaign
Governments all over the world have tried to battle corruption, or at least make it look like they are. So it's not surprising that one of the worlds largest police forces has experimented with WhatsApp marketing for reporting bribery and corruption.
How Does The Delhi Police WhatsApp Campaign Work?
The WhatsApp marketing campaign was launched on August 6, 2014. The campaign itself is relatively old school, no fancy targeting just old school advertisement. To make people aware of the campaign the Delhi Police took out ads in major newspapers and on FM Radio.
The idea of the campaign is to make it easy to send pictures and videos of any police you are acting inappropriately or illegally. Although the concept sounds great, it seems that the process after sending the message is quite bureaucratic.
According to the deputy commissioner of police Sindhu Pillai, "Once we get an audio or video clip, we ask the complainant to come to our office and give a written complaint. We get the recording checked at the forensic science laboratory to make sure its genuine and once the authenticity is established, action is taken against the errant policeman."
Hopefully, the process can become more streamlined in the future, so cases do not depend on people coming to the police station after the submission.
Was The The Delhi Police WhatsApp Campaign A Success?
According to the BBC, the police had received over 3,700 messages from August 6th to August 10th, 2014. We've been unable to find any articles that shed light on the current situation.
However, we have sent messages to the number ourselves, but we never received any reply. This leads us to believe that this anti-bribery campaign is probably no longer ongoing. Was it because there were too many reports? Perhaps, but we'll likely never know.
12. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) WhatsApp Election Campaign
A WhatsApp marketing campaign in its truest sense. With the highest number of WhatsApp users of any country, in the worlds biggest democracy, sooner or later WhatsApp would become a tool in India's elections.
How Does The BJP WhatsApp Election Campaign Work?
The primary use for messaging apps in an election is reaching out to constituents on a personal level, especially on election day. WhatsApp has a ton of potential in this arena. The concept is quite simple, collect voter phones numbers, which a political party probably already has and then broadcast to them. Easy right?
You wish. WhatsApp Business API is still mostly closed to all but huge brands, so the only choice is to use WhatsApp Business App. Remember that WhatsApp Business App is limited to 256 contacts per broadcast group. That is a lot of groups for a country of 1 billion plus. If there was ever a story that highlighted the need for WhatsApp marketing software, it's this one.
How does the BJP do it? They use about 900,000 cell phone pramukhs – party volunteers that man polling stations, to add potential voters to broadcast groups. These volunteers are then tasked to send our party election materials over these groups.
Although it sounds like a natural disaster waiting to happen, if you have enough reliable manpower it may be simpler than you think. Using forwards and broadcast groups, you'll be able to forward any message in just three forwards to all the pramukhs. The person responsible for creating the content can forward to a group of 256 provincial nodes, each of those 256 can forward to 256 regional nodes. Then each of those regional nodes can forward to 256 polling stations.
256 x 256 x 256 = 16,777,216. Just like that you've got more than enough leeway to reach a pramukh at each polling station with three forwards. Then they can forward it to constituents.
An article was just released detailing one of these pramukhs. According to Inuth, Dipak Pas – a BJP Social Media Convenor manages 1,124 WhatsApp groups in the state of Kolkata. He claims to help the party reach corners of India were "social media is a silent weapon."
Was The BJP WhatsApp Election Campaign A Success?
We're not sure yet because the election will be held in several phases from April 11th to May 19th. In the meantime, there has been quite a lot of reporting on the topic and even a reaction from WhatsApp.
Carl Woog, head of communications for WhatsApp has said political parties are attempting to use WhatsApp in a way which it was not intended to be used. There have also been reports of misinformation being spread in this manner. This has prompted WhatsApp to set up a Checkpoint Tipline. An account that users can forward their content to for real-time fact-checking.
We'll keep watching and update this article when the election is over.
13. Sorabel WhatsApp Shopping & Customer Support
This isn't a WhatsApp marketing campaign, but Sorabel does use WhatsApp for Business marketing to increase customer loyalty and drive revenue. Sorabel, formerly known as Sales Stock, is an Indonesian eCommerce retailer that has been around since 2014. Since then they've grown to 600 staff of which 200 are focused on direct customer interactions.
Indonesia is a mobile-first market, you'll notice even on the desktop the Sorabel website shows up in a mobile-optimized view. Chatting is key because e-commerce is not as straight forward as in the USA. You can just put in their credit card and pay. That is why Sorabel has made themselves available on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Line.
How Does The Sorabel WhatsApp Business Account Work?
Sorabel was one of the original brands that Facebook had accepted to test the WhatsApp Business API. Interestingly, we found a Twitter post from 2015 detailing that Sorabel had changed they're WhatsApp number. It seems like they were rewarded for using WhatsApp for Business before there was a WhatsApp Business.
Sorabel uses its WhatsApp Business Account in two main ways. They help their customers look for products when they're not interested in browsing on their own. They also use the account to send notifications about shipping & payment.
For Sorabel the payment process can get complicated as once check out is complete the company allows the customer to complete the payment via bank transfer and gives 48 hours to do so. Once the bank transfer has been made the company asks the customers to forward them the transfer information.
We suspect this process may be prone to hiccups, so it is quite helpful to be able to talk to an actual person on WhatsApp in real time to resolve any payment problems.
Is the Sorabel WhatsApp Account A Success?
According to Wahyu Saputra, the head of customer-facing products at Sorabel, the introduction of WhatsApp was a tremendous success. It has become the number one source of inbound traffic and has good engagement with 90% of outbound messages read, which is twice as high as SMS.
However, when we tried to send a message to their verified WhatsApp Business Account, we didn't receive any response. We'll keep you updated on this situation.
14. Beck’s WhatsApp Marketing Campaign
If there is any campaign that teaches us all a lesson about how to do WhatsApp marketing, it's this one. We actually wouldn't even consider a strictly WhatsApp campaign. However, it is genius.
You probably have numerous WhatsApp groups chats that you've created with your friends for a night out. Eventually, those WhatsApp group chats get archived or deleted, never to be seen again. What if you could give them one last hurrah the next morning and turn them into a comic strip?
How Does Beck’s WhatsApp Marketing Campaign Work?
That's precisely what Beck's WhatsApp campaign lets you achieve. The concept itself is straightforward. Find the chats from your nights out, export the text data, and turn them into comic strips.
Unfortunately the app is available on iOS only, so we weren't able to test it out. However, we have seen others use the Heroes of the Night app, and there are some slight drawbacks. The comics consist of 300 beautiful illustrations from Matthias Schardt, so sadly the drawings don't reflect the photos you shared in the app.
The app does an excellent job with matching the text you wrote to the comics. However, you can export those photos and image files or as a pdf after it's been created. Then share it back to your WhatsApp group chat. With ten different characters available, it can support relatively big WhatsApp Groups without having to reuse the same character for two chat participants.
Was Beck’s WhatsApp Marketing Campaign A Success?
It's somewhat difficult to judge if the campaign was a success. As with any brand oriented campaign, success is measured with brand lift, and we don't have that data available.
We do know that currently, the app is listed as the 193rd most popular app in the entertainment category of the iTunes App Store. However, that info doesn't reveal a lot. Never the less, this is one of the most refreshing WhatsApp campaigns we've ever seen, and we hope the app gets updated in the future with more features.
15. Cozinha da Loli WhatsApp Sales Campaign
We write a lot about the best WhatsApp marketing campaigns and how to replicate them, but in our own experience interacting with businesses, we know best marketing is excellent customers service. We know this because receiving personal and thoughtful customer service is so rare these days that when it happens, it's incredible – and we literally tell everyone we know about it.
The way small businesses are using WhatsApp in Brazil is the perfect story to illustrate this concept. In Brazil, 91% of internet users have WhatsApp, and 80% check their WhatsApp hourly. With the meager cost of using WhatsApp on your phone compared to a website on your computer, Brazil is quickly becoming the perfect poster child for the messaging app customer funnel.
How Does The Cozinha da Loli WhatsApp Sales Campaign Work?
Cozhinha da Loli is a small business that are experts in making baked goods. They are not experts in building websites or e-commerce funnels. Instead of learning how to do these the traditional way, they use much simpler solutions.
Instead of a website with a product catalog, this bake shop uses Instagram for its product portfolio. Instagram makes it easy to keep the menu fresh because adding a new item takes a few seconds. It also makes it easy for Brazilians to view because everyone can get Instagram on their smartphone.
Once the user has figured out what they want, they click the WhatsApp link on the Instagram page and start messaging the small business over WhatsApp.
The conversation enables them to agree on a few simple things: the price of the cake and when it should be ready. One last interaction happens over WhatsApp – one that traditional e-commerce folks would consider clunky, payment.
Since there is no easy way to arrange payment, Brazilians have resorted to sending bank transfers to pay. Then they use WhatsApp to send the record of the transaction to the small business owner as proof of payment.
Is The Cozinha da Loli WhatsApp Sales Campaign A Success?
There is no doubt that this business model is successful in Brazil. Although the way the payment is made would dissuade consumers from going this route. When interacting with small businesses, Brazilians don't have a choice because traditional payment gateways are too expensive for small business owners to set up.
This business model has been so successful that WhatsApp is in the process of creating a few innovations to solve the payment gateway problem. The first is the WhatsApp Product Catalog, which will enable businesses to create a menu with pictures prices and product descriptions all inside WhatsApp. They are also testing a payments system in India to make payments possible.
16. The Tikkie WhatsApp Sticker Marketing Campaign
If I'm guilty of anything, it's complaining that banks can't innovate and I'm suffering because of it. However, every so often a bank proves me dead wrong. This is one of those times.
The Tikkie app was created by ABN AMRO in the Netherlands to solve a pervasive but elementary problem. How do we split the bill? But not only did they create the app, but they all also made only smart WhatsApp marketing campaign in banking I have ever seen and it's taken directly from the LINE marketing playbook.
How Does The Tikkie WhatsApp Sticker Campaign Work?
Having to split the bill or deal with transferring money is inconvenient, but talking about who owes who money is awkward. Tikkie solved the inconvenience problem, then took it a step further to turn an embarrassing moment into a glorious opportunity for a WhatsApp marketing campaign.
Tikkie app users are onboarded into the campaign when they receive a notification from the Tikkie app letting them know that a sticker pack to help them with the awkward situation of reminding someone they owe you money is available.
All users need to do is click the add to WhatsApp button, and the sticker pack is added to WhatsApp. On the surface, you would think of this as a branding exercise, but it is much more that than.
Since the WhatsApp sticker packs are all about lending money, splitting the bill and getting your money back. The branded stickers will be sent to the people who are experiencing the problem that the Tikkie app is solving. Genius!
How To Create A WhatsApp Sticker Marketing Campaign
WhatsApp has made it very easy to create stickers for WhatsApp. To create the stickers themselves you'll need to make sure each WhatsApp sticker has a transparent background, is exactly 512 x 512 pixels and is less than 100kb in size. You also need to provide an icon that represents your WhatsApp sticker pack in the sticker tray.
Onboarding users is just as easy. WhatsApp has provided sample code that can be added to your app. Once users have your app, they will be able to add your WhatsApp stickers in one click. For more info, check out WhatsApp documentation on creating a sticker pack.
Are You Looking For Even More WhatsApp Success Stories?
We've got them coming, we'll be updating this blog regularly. Subscribe here to get updates as soon as we publish them. If you're interested in more info on how to use WhatsApp for Marketing you'll want to check our Ultimate Guide to WhatsApp Business.