WhatsApp Broadcast List is one of the most underutilized features of WhatsApp, the most popular instant messenger in the world, and with a few popular alternatives save Facebook Messenger and SMS in Uganda and most of the developing world the Facebook-owned platform should be a darling to any business development executive,  salesman or start-up.

As announced by WhatsApp in February 2020, some 2 billion people around the world use WhatsApp every month. That is 1 out of 2 Smartphone holders globally, and more than 2 in 3 smartphone users in the world if you exclude China where the app is blocked.

What’s WhatsApp Marketing?

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.

What are WhatsApp Broadcast Lists?

Broadcast Lists are 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.

What’s the difference between a WhatsApp ‘Broadcast List’ and a ‘WhatsApp Group’?

Unlike groups, contacts that are in a broadcast list cannot see each other (in the list) and messages sent through the feature are delivered to each individual separately. Any reply to a broadcast goes directly to the original sender and other members in the list are not able to see it.

Is Broadcast List similar to Bulk SMS?

Yes. However, with Broadcast lists, you can only send messages to your contacts that are registered WhatsApp users. Also, only your contacts who have also saved your contacts in their phones can receive the broadcast messages.

How to use WhatsApp Broadcast List to Promote Your Business.

Below is a free step by step guide. If you know the basics of the inbound methodology some of the steps below might already be familiar to you.

  1. Handle the basics, first.

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 be delivered to the intended recipients’ inboxes.
  • 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.
  1. Perform a contact list segmentation

Once you are sure you have the right product, the contacts who have your contact on their phones and you have some form of permission to send them messages through WhatsApp, you are set to go to the next level; segmentation.

List segmentation is the grouping of contacts into small, more discrete groups in order to deliver to them more relevant content. You may, for example, start with 3 groups;

  • Customers; people who have already interacted with you and made a purchase at least once.
  • Leads; people who have shown interest but have not made a purchase yet.
  • Prospects; potential customers who have not yet shown interest

Even better, you could add location, product, language and influence into your segmentation criteria.

List segmentation will help you understand clearly whom you are going to talk to and inform you of the kind of content and offerings to share. For example, you might want to make some more money off your past customers by offering them a fixed percentage discount on their next purchase.

  1. Prepare a Content Strategy 

Now that you know who you are going to communicate with and why, you can prepare a viable content strategy.

In a content strategy, you will clearly state the objectives, goals, tools required and organise editorial and publishing calendars. You will also need to highlight your content topics, at this point. 

  1. Design your messages and start running campaigns

It is tempting to start designing content much earlier on in the process but you need to resist the temptation to be disorganised as this would subbotage your performance in the long run.

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

Some more quick tips;

  • Don’t be overly promotional.
  • Give before you ask.
  • Respond to every reply in the shortest time possible. Remember WhatsApp is an instant messenger

BONUS:

Keep your lists healthy at all times by removing contacts that do not open your messages and those that do not receive the messages at all.

Next, I will share with you about reporting and analytics.

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