Here’s how to get permission from your clients before sending them a message and how to greatly reduce your WhatsApp Business charges.
A few weeks ago I was getting coffee with Gastón, a client who owns a store selling pet supplies with several locations in Buenos Aires.
Gastón told me that his salespeople normally use their personal WhatsApp accounts to communicate with clients, but that recently the platform had blocked two of their accounts. He was very concerned that this might continue happening.
I told him how to use WhatsApp Business to contact his clients and recommended following the platform user agreement to avoid being sanctioned by the platform, but Gastón wasn’t completely convinced, since WhatsApp Business charged businesses for sending messages to clients.
Then I told Gastón a secret, which I’m now going to share with you.
This conversation with Gastón made me realize two things. One is that many businesses are unaware that they can be penalized for sending invasive marketing messages to their clients without getting their permission first.
The second is that very few businesses know that they can greatly reduce the costs of interacting with their clients via WhatsApp Business by making one small change to their marketing strategy.
That’s why I decided to write this article.
For years we at Sirena have sought to facilitate communication between businesses and clients. Thanks to our fusion with Zenvia, we are one of only a few authorized WhatsApp partners, so you can be confident you’re using a service that won’t put your client portfolio at risk.
In this article I’ll explain how you can get your clients to opt in quickly and easily while also reducing your WhatsApp Business costs by up to 90%.
I guarantee that once you apply these strategies, you’ll see how the number of clients who contact you through WhatsApp will increase without any effort on your part.
But first, a word of warning: you’ll have to commit to making a few changes to your marketing strategy for this to work.
Or you could keep sending messages to your clients from your sales staff’s personal WhatsApp accounts and hope that the platform won’t penalize you.
In short, here’s what you’ll learn from this article:
- What is an Opt-in page in WhatsApp and why it is so important to get permission from your clients before sending them a message
- How to reduce the cost of using WhatsApp Business to communicate with your clients
- How to encourage your clients to communicate with you via WhatsApp
- How to avoid breaking the WhatsApp user and privacy policies so you won’t get penalized
What is an Opt-In Page in WhatsApp?
Opting in simply means giving permission. When someone opts-in in WhatsApp, that means they consent to receive messages from a business through the platform.
WhatsApp requires businesses to send an opt-in message every time they initiate a conversation with a client. The platform has strict user and privacy policies that say businesses can only communicate with individuals if they give informed, voluntary, and unequivocal consent to receive messages through WhatsApp.
The WhatsApp requirements also clearly state that a person must give their consent actively and through a third party. Third party channels are channels that your business uses to communicate with your clients. In other words:
- Your website
- Online store
- Social media
- Traditional modes of communication
The part about the consent being active means that it must be given based on action taken by the user, such as manually entering a phone number or voluntarily checking a box.
Why it is vital to get permission from your clients before sending them a message
WhatsApp user agreements are very strict. Unwanted ads are completely banned, and if companies send messages without express permission from users they may be subject to penalties from the platform.
That’s why it is so important to be careful about how you collect opt-ins from your clients.
It’s very important that you make sure that your clients won’t receive any Spam through the app and that the primary purpose of offering WhatsApp as a communication option is to provide assistance and offer a faster, simpler purchasing process.
It’s no accident that both the WhatsApp opt-in model and WhatsApp groups, as well as the user agreements and privacy policies for obtaining consent are very similar to those proposed in the RDPG
Below I’ll explain how you can get consent to use WhatsApp Business with your clients while at the same time reducing the operation costs of capturing MQLs and increasing your contact list.
How to make it cheaper to contact clients through WhatsApp
Contacting clients through WhatsApp Business has its cost. Businesses have to pay a small amount for each conversation they start with a client using WhatsApp.
However, what many people don’t know is that there are two types of charges.
Businesses pay a fixed fee when they start a conversation with a client through WhatsApp Business, but they pay a different amount, up to 10 times less, when the client initiates the conversation with the company.
You can view this same table by clicking on “See WhatsApp Costs by Country” here
These are the rates that different Latin American countries pay for every conversation on WhatsApp Business. The column on the left shows what a business pays for a conversation initiated by the client, while the middle column shows the cost for a conversation initiated by the client.
That’s why it is always better if the client is the one who contacts you, not the reverse.
I should admit that it took me quite a while to figure this, out, but once I discovered the best way to motivate clients to contact us via WhatsApp, I implemented it in my own business and the results have been excellent.
It’s true that to implement this you’ll have to make some changes and introduce some new strategies.
But don’t worry. I’ll explain below how to quickly and easily incentivize your clients to contact you through WhatsApp.
This will make marketing much easier and allow you to comply with the WhatsApp user agreement, while simultaneously making your operating costs up to 10 times lower.
How to get clients to contact you via WhatsApp
There are many ways you can get your clients to quickly and easily contact you through WhatsApp.
Here I’ll go through the best and most popular methods that the most successful businesses are using to increase their sales through WhatsApp.
1) ClickToChat: the perfect website plugin
If you’re looking for the simplest way for your clients to contact you using WhatsApp, we at Sirena have created the ideal solution: ClickToChat
ClickToWhat is a free plugin that allows you to easily add a WhatsApp button to your website. Clients can use the button to contact you instantly.
If you have this button on your website you won’t have to create tedious forms to collect phone numbers, while at the same time clients opt-in to WhatsApp with one click.
It doesn’t get easier than that.
Why is ClicktoChat right for you?
And that’s not all. ClickToWhat provides a lot of advantages for your business:
- You can install it on the start page of your website, or on your blog or other landing pages. Just ask us and we’ll send you the HTML code to add it to your website.
- You can choose different WhatsApp Business numbers for different pages of your site.
- You don’t have to use it with WhatsApp Business. You can use it with any number you have, including personal accounts.
- You can use ClickToWhat for sales, support, after-sales support, or anything else you need.
- It is ideal for use with WordPress, the most popular content management system in the world.
- It allows for more agile client contact. When the client searches for information on their smartphone or computer, they can quickly find the contact information for WhatsApp, the platform they use every day.
Request ClickToChat for your business now:
2) Take advantage of your workhorse: social media
When you are implementing a strategy to increase the number of client conversations occurring on WhatsApp, it’s important to capitalize on your social media presence.
Your clients are there. The people who follow you on social media have already taken the first step towards making a connection with your brand. They are potential clients who you shouldn’t ignore.
When it comes time to use WhatsApp as a sales channel, use your main social networks to get your clients’ permission and direct them to WhatsApp.
Now, where should you put the call to action so your clients will contact you through WhatsApp?
Let’s find out!
a) Create a button on Facebook
There’s nothing faster or simpler than a button to connect the user directly with your representatives on WhatsApp.
And Facebook offers that option. To create a button, just go to your business page and click the blue button that says Add a button
Next, choose the Make contact option and choose Contac tus from the available options.
Next, choose the option Website Link
Then all you need to do is create a personalized link so your clients can connect directly to your WhatsApp account.
It’s very simple. Just use a link in this format:
To create a direct link to your WhatsApp, just add your phone number in international format to the end of the link, not including any spaces or symbols.
For example, if your number is: +54-112-232-0315
Your link should look like this: https://wa.me/541122320315
Now all you need to do is add the link you just created as a Website Link on Facebook and click save.
Done! You just created a WhatsApp button on your Facebook page!
b) Add your WhatsApp link on Instagram and other social media
But don’t stop there! As you know, these days Instagram is one of the main sales channels for online stores and small businesses. Capitalize on this fact by creating a button to opt in to WhatsApp Business on your Instagram profile.
It’s very easy. Use the same link you created for the Facebook button and add it as a link in the biography section of your Instagram profile. Remember that you’ll need a business profile to do it.
Now simply open the Instagram app from a mobile device. Choose the Edit profile option.
In the “Biography” section, paste the link to your WhatsApp number
Don’t forget to add a call to action to let your clients know that they can contact you instantly on WhatsApp by clicking the link.
I recommend that you also include that same link on any other social media where you interact with clients: Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest.
3) Other places to put your WhatsApp contact information
There are many other channels you can take advantage of to share your WhatsApp number so your clients can contact you instantly.
a) Flyers, graphics, your physical store
If you have a physical location for customers, you can use your window to make your clients aware that they can contact you through WhatsApp, or add your phone number to printed flyers and brochures for your business.
You can also add your number to digital publications about products or ads on social media or AdSense.
If you also use SMS texting as part of your marketing strategy, that is an excellent channel that WhatsApp recommends as a way to get clients’ permission to send messages.
b) Your online store and the purchasing process
Another option is to include a dialogue box during the purchasing process in your online store.
That way you can offer your clients the option of receiving the bill via WhatsApp, asking a representative questions, or monitoring the product delivery process.
This option is very common for retail stores, Airlines, and logistics and transport companies. Here are a few opt-in message examples:
4) Tips for increasing your WhatsApp marketing opt-ins and avoiding penalties from WhatsApp
Beyond the channel you choose to use to invite your clients to contact you through WhatsApp, its important to keep in mind that there are different ways to get permission from your clients.
The most important thing is to be transparent and always make a point of providing a satisfactory experience to your clients.
Here’s a few tips to keep in mind:
- Always try to communicate to your clients why contacting you via WhatsApp will be advantageous to them: personalized service, a more efficient purchasing process, immediate service, special offers
- Allow your client to opt-in in the quickest, simplest way possible. Opting in should never take much effort from the person trying to contact your business.
- Use the strategies that are best suited to your business model and your current communication strategies.
- You should also avoid any actions that could lead to penalties from WhatsApp or annoy your client. Be assured that if a client has an unpleasant experience with your business, they will block you and then you won’t be able to do any thing.
We all know how people love blocking a contact on WhatsApp when they get angry.
To avoid this, follow this advice:
- Don’t contact clients without prior consent. The person you’re contacting on WhatsApp should have given prior consent to receive messages.
- Don’t send unwanted ads or mass mailings. In other words, SPAM is expressly prohibited on WhatsApp.
- Don’t integrate WhatsApp Business with unauthorized providers. There are unofficial programs that will offer you the option of sending mass messages to your clients. The use of these programs is prohibited by WhatsApp and is one of the ways that the authorities identify and block offending accounts.
- It’s very easy to block someone on WhatsApp. Don’t make mistakes that could cause you to be that someone.
In this article we learned:
· What WhatsApp Business opt-in is and why it is vital to get permission from your clients before contacting them through WhatsApp
· How to reduce the fees WhatsApp Business charges for each client conversation.
· How you can motivate your clients to contact you, instead of the other way around.
· And how you can capitalize on the various modes of communication to make it easy for clients to contact you through WhatsApp.