How to Use WhatsApp Broadcast List for Marketing: A 4-step Guide

WhatsApp Broadcast List is one of the most underutilized features of WhatsApp yet if used well the feature would turn out to be the magic wand you have been looking for.

WhatsApp is the most popular instant messenger in the world, and with a few real challengers save ‘younger sister’ – Facebook Messenger, and SMS, in Uganda, and most of the developing world, the Facebook-owned platform should be a darling to any serious business development practitioner, business owner or salesman.

It is estimated that 70% (seventy per cent) of the people that have WhatsApp installed on their phones use it several times every day!

Taking WhatsApp Marketing as the process of using WhatsApp to; identify and connect with prospects, nurture leads and convert opportunities into customers, or generally the process of reaching out to potential customers using or through WhatsApp, I am going to discuss for you how you can use WhatsApp broadcast lists to meet that end.

What is ‘WhatsApp Broadcast List’?
WhatsApp defines ‘Broadcast Lists’ as saved lists of message recipients that you can repeatedly send broadcast messages to without having to select them each time (you want to send a message). With the Broadcast List feature, you can send a message to several of your contacts at once.

Only your contacts who have also saved your contacts in their phones can receive the broadcast messages in their WhatsApp inboxes.

How to use WhatsApp Broadcast List to Promote Your Business.

Below is a free step by step guide. If you are not familiar with the inbound methodology some of the steps below might seem unnecessary but patience never killed a man, and learning is always a good idea.

1. Ask yourself the basic yet important questions
Before you start using broadcast lists, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a good product and is the product ready for my market?
  • Do I have the right contacts? The right contacts are people who fall within your target clientele.
  • Do my contacts have my WhatsApp number saved as a contact on their phones? (Without this, your broadcast messages will not reach the intended recipients’ inboxes. Such a message is called a bounced WhatsApp message).
  • Do I have the permission of my contacts to communicate with them through WhatsApp?* Without some form of permission (opt-in) from the recipients, you will be sending not just ordinary messages but Spam, and to be honest, lots of your messages will certainly be ignored.

The above questions will help you lay a good foundation for your use of broadcast lists in marketing. Answer each in the affirmative before you proceed.

2. Perform a contact list segmentation
List segmentation is the grouping of contacts into small, more discrete groups in order to deliver to them more relevant content. Existing customers, for example, might find information about ‘new arrivals/stock’ more valuable and yet non-customers might find discount offers more appealing.

You may, for example, start with 3 groups;

  1. Existing customers; people who have made a purchase at least once.
  2. Leads; people who have shown interest and not made any purchase yet.
  3. Prospects; potential customers who have not yet even shown interest.

Even better, you could add location, product, language and influence into your segmentation criteria and come with say, ‘a list of existing customers from Kampala city area’ so you may share with them offers for free deliveries for certain sizes of orders.

When it comes to WhatsApp broadcast lists, there’s no such thing as shooting 5 birds with one stone. You have to be specific, and respectful.

3. Prepare a Content Strategy
Now that you know whom you are going to communicate with and why you can sit down and prepare your content strategy.

In your content strategy, you should clearly state the objectives, goals, content topics, content types and formats, tools required to prepare the content as well as editorial and publishing calendars to cater for schedules for content development and publishing.

An example of a content topic is “new arrivals this week”. For more on strategies visit our blog or consider enrolling for a digital marketing internship placement.

4. Design your messages and start running campaigns
It is tempting to start designing content much earlier on in the process but please try as much as you can, not to start to design your content before you are done with the previous three stages.

Using the content strategy in ‘3’ above, create content and send the right content for the right members of each of your broadcast lists according to your publishing schedule.

Some more quick tips;

  • Give before you ask.
  • Do not be overly promotional.
  • Respond to every reply in the shortest time possible. Remember WhatsApp is an instant messenger
  • Keep your lists healthy at all times by removing contacts that do not open your messages or don’t receive them at all.

Article updated in January 2019.