Your customers are waiting for you on WhatsApp.
They use it every day to message their friends and family. Now they’re using it to connect with businesses because it’s the most natural way to communicate.
Building an audience on WhatsApp now can help you unlock your next biggest marketing channel before your competitors.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how you can grow and engage your WhatsApp Business audience with different entry points on paid, owned, organic and offline channels.
Why Should You Even Care About WhatsApp Business?
According to WhatsApp’s internal data, more than 2 billion people in 180 countries are active WhatsApp monthly users that send 100 million messages a day. 70% of WhatsApp users also check it daily and 175 million people message WhatsApp Business account every day
That’s proof, if you ever needed it, that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world.
One thing is sure, customers are tired of poorly targeted, irrelevant advertisements. What customers appreciate these days is when businesses engage them with personalized offers about the topics they are interested in while keeping their data safe.
This shift in customer behavior not just only paved the way for messaging but also made it the preferred way customers want to talk to businesses. According to our latest conversational commerce report, 60% of customers prefer messaging over email or phone calls.
Messaging channels are valuable when you have targeted audience segments you can regularly engage. The real value lies in building a strategically reachable audience you can continuously grow and monetize with recurring notifications.
For a full overview of why messaging audiences are valuable, check out this post on how to grow your audience on Messenger.
Messaging channels can quickly become your next big marketing channel, especially when you consider rising customer acquisition costs on other channels…So how do you grow your audience on a messaging channel like WhatsApp? Take advantage of all of the online and offline entry points you can.
Entry Points to Grow Your Audience on WhatsApp
Entry points are various online and offline ways for customers to start a conversation with your business in a private WhatsApp chat experience. It’s crucial to use as many entry points as possible to get the most value from WhatsApp.
Why? Because entry points allow you to direct more prospects into a WhatsApp chat experience and nurture them at every stage of the funnel. And the more high intent audience members you have, the more valuable your audience is.
Paid Entry Points
Ad fatigue is real in eCommerce. Do you know those posters where you have to find Waldo hidden amongst thousands of cartoon characters? That’s your ad among the 10,000 advertisements customers see every single day.
And while It’s never easy to stand out from the crowd, if you enable customers to start talking to you right at the beginning, you’ll have better chances to convert them for sure.
Click to WhatsApp Ads
Let’s admit, the majority of online ads are not very helpful. But what if you could invite people to directly chat with you through an online advertisement. Instead of having to look for further information, they can ask their questions in real time. That’s exactly what Click to Chat ads can do.
Click to WhatsApp ads on Facebook or Instagram invite prospects into a one to one chat experience with your business on WhatsApp. When a person interacts with your ad, a conversation with your business will immediately open in WhatsApp.
The main benefit is that these ads can be easily scaled and get you a massive reach on different platforms, enabling you to drive significant new traffic into WhatsApp.
Google Paid Text Ads
93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. That’s why you need to use Google paid text ads for the ultimate cross-channel experience. Paid text ad campaigns in Google build awareness of WhatsApp as your new messaging channel among your customers.
This is the perfect opportunity to drive prospects into a private WhatsApp chat experience in their ready-to-buy moments when they are actively searching for a product or service in Google.
Organic entry points
Organic entry points are free entry points you can use to acquire more prospects and direct them into a one to one WhatsApp conversation. These are low-hanging fruits that will allow you to drive more leads – free or charge.
With organic entry points, you can target prospects who are already searching for your products or following your brand on social. As they might already have an intent to buy from you, it’s the perfect opportunity to help them move further down your funnel using conversational AI.
Facebook and Instagram Profile
Customers these days use social media channels to discover new products. The majority of them also check out a brand’s social page to get more information about the company. Using a WhatsApp entry point on social pages is a relatively easy and effective way to direct prospects into a private conversation with a brand.
Connecting a WhatsApp Business account with a Facebook page provides the option to add a Send Message CTA button. You can place a ‘send message’ CTA or clickable WhatsApp icon on your Facebook profile and enable customers to easily start a private chat conversation with your business on WhatsApp. The CTA button is pinned to the top of your Facebook page, providing an easy way to contact your business on WhatsApp.
You can also place a visible organic entry point on your business’s Instagram profile. Add your business’ WhatsApp number or a WA.me link to your bio in your profile. Or create Instagram story highlights on your business’ official Instagram profile with WA.me links that click to WhatsApp.
WA.me links are short URLs that can instantly open a conversation with your business from emails, SMS texts, apps and more. It’s a straightforward and directly visible entry point that you can pin to the top of your profile.
Social Media Posts
Invite customers to chat with your brand on WhatsApp in social posts to get a discount code. Just insert a WA.me link in your post and direct them into your WhatsApp channel.
You can also create animated videos to make your posts more engaging. Social media posts have short visibility but it’s low-hanging fruit you can leverage to grow your audience for free.
Google Organic SERP Listings
Nailing organic search is a unicorn marketing skill that brings you qualified leads for free. But once you have these leads, it’s best to start converting them as soon as possible. That’s why using a WhatsApp entry point in your Google Organic SERP Listings is so powerful. Because customers can start talking to you in a private chat conversation as soon as they find you on Google.
Optimize metadata content on your business’ Contact Us page to rank high for WhatsApp support within Google Search (when a user types your contact information or customer support number into the search box). This is how you can promote your channel organically and invite prospects into a WhatsApp chat experience to answer their questions directly in their ready to buy moments.
Owned entry points
We’re talking about owned entry points when potential customers are already on one of our owned channels, such as a website or newsletter. Using owned entry points gives the opportunity to convert prospects who are already considering buying your product. And in case the customer doesn’t convert on the website, owned entry points are the perfect opportunity to re-engage and nurture them on different channels.
Website Chat Plugin
Embed a WhatsApp entry point and display it on your website to encourage customers to ask their questions in a private WhatsApp conversation.
Review monthly traffic analytics to assess the best landing pages for targeted placement. Include your WhatsApp number on your home page, customer support page or contact page.
Website WhatsApp Icon
You can also embed a WhatsApp logo on the bottom left of your landing pages, which clicks directly to open a conversation in Whatsapp. You can also insert your clickable WhatsApp phone number on your home page, maximizing the visibility of your WhatsApp channel.
Website Contact Us Page
Encourage customers to contact you via WhatsApp by displaying a QR code or WA.me link on your ‘Contact Us page’. WA.me links are short URLs that can instantly open a conversation with your business from any entry point.
With this entry point, you can promote your WhatsApp channel on the page where customers normally search for information on how to contact a business.
In App Promotion on Android or iOS
If your business has a custom app, create an overlay screen within the logged-in customer experience to encourage customer opt-in to the new WhatsApp channel with a clear call to action button.
Use this entry point to acquire more opted-in customers and start nurturing them with regular updates about the topics they are interested in.
Email Signature Call To Action
Encourage employees to use Wa.me links or insert your business’ WhatApp number in email signature lines. Using your email signature as an entry point to WhatsAppWith, you can promote your WhatsApp channel in your emails, allowing customers to switch to instant messaging instead of having to wait hours for an email response.
Offline Entry Points
Is it possible to direct offline users into one to one online conversations and establish omnichannel experiences? The answer is, yes!
Offline entry points allow businesses to invite customers from offline channels to directly chat with them on WhatsApp. Offline entry points can be placed on out-of-home advertising, such as product packaging, receipts, billboards, subway signs and more.
QR Code on Packaging
Offline entry points allow businesses to invite customers from offline channels to directly chat with them on WhatsApp. A QR code printed on product packaging, receipts, or other offline advertising makes it easier for people to connect with your business even when they are offline. Customers can simply scan your code to start a conversation with your business in Messenger.
Customers can easily scan QR the code to connect without having to enter a long product number into their device.
You can display QR codes or WA.me links on out-of-home advertising, such as billboards and subway signs. The main benefit is that you can get a massive reach and exposure. This is the perfect opportunity to turn a traditionally non-active entry point (such as billboards) into an active entry point.
Messaging channels are the most valuable when you have a strategically reachable audience you can regularly engage with.
With more than 2 billion active monthly users in 180 countries, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging application.
You can use a great number of entry points, including paid, organic, owned and offline, to acquire new prospects and direct them into a one to one chat experience in WhatsApp. You can later monetize this audience by sending them recurring notifications.