WhatsApp is opening new doors of communication between businesses and consumers. From being used to offer shopping assistance to buyers, sending abandoned cart reminders, running broadcast promotions and much more, ecommerce businesses can be seen leveraging the various features of the WhatsApp Business API in many ways to improve the shopping experience they offer to customers.
But for WhatsApp marketing to work, you need to get noticed and nudge consumers to reach out to your business on the messaging platform. While adding a WhatsApp button to your website does the trick in most cases, it is very consumer-dependent and can be slower in growth.
That’s where click-to-WhatsApp ads come in and we’re here to talk all about them!
What are click-to-WhatsApp ads?
Click-to-WhatsApp ads are similar to the Facebook and Instagram ads that you see with the ‘send message’ button. But instead of taking a consumer to the messaging section of the platform, these ads open a conversion in WhatsApp.
Here’s an example of what a click-to-WhatsApp ad looks like:
For now, click-to-WhatsApp ads can be run on the following placements:
- Facebook news feed
- Facebook marketplace
- Instagram feed
- Instagram explore
- Facebook stories
- Instagram stories
Why should you explore click-to-WhatsApp ads?
Click-to-WhatsApp ads are still new to most business marketers and advertisers. But here are a few reasons we think it is a promising channel to make use of:
- Considering there are 487 million WhatsApp users in India, a majority of your target audience (no matter which industry you are in or what you sell), is using the messaging platform actively.
- If you sell internationally, you can also tap into the 2 billion strong WhatsApp user base across the globe.
- Studies have found that over 55% of people feel more connected to a brand if they use messaging apps for communication.
- Consumers want to message businesses and interact with them before making a purchase.
- 38% of consumers say they make a purchase after a good chat session with a business.
- Chatters spend 60% more per purchase than non-chatters.
- Maintaining a conversational relationship with customers helps boost retention which is 5-25 times cheaper than acquisition.
- An average user opens the WhatsApp app 23-25 times daily.
But that’s not all. If statistics are to be believed, WhatsApp is proven to deliver promising results as well for businesses. Here’s a recap of some WhatsApp marketing statistics we shared in our previous post with the help of our partners:
- The messaging app can help generate 200-300 leads on a daily basis by making customer communication easy
- Broadcasts and promotions run on WhatsApp see a 99% open rate on most campaigns owing to its regular use
- WhatsApp marketing campaigns also see 45-50% click through rates on campaigns due to its intuitive call-to-actions
- Businesses can recover upto 60% of abandoned carts through WhatsApp marketing campaigns and automated reminders
- The messaging app has the potential to streamline customer support and improve service efficiency by 200%
- With strategic WhatsApp marketing campaigns, businesses can improve their engagement rate by almost 83%
When you consider WhatsApp’s usage and the performance of campaigns across a buyer’s journey, you’ll know exactly why combining your social media ads strategy and WhatsApp marketing efforts is the hack to getting more conversions in a competitive market.
Different ways to use click-to-WhatsApp ads for your ecommerce business
There are a number of ways in which ‘send message’ campaigns have been used on social media ads. You can replicate the same strategy for click-to-WhatsApp ads as well!
Note: These types of ads are best suited for product purchases that require some amount of hand holding or persuasion to sell. For example, when you sell custom-made apparel products and require consumer details to place an order. At all other times, provide your audience a direct route to the site for making a purchase; the longer the route, the lesser are your conversions.
Here are some different ways in which you can use this ad format:
1. Take orders and bookings on WhatsApp
If you are making use of the WhatsApp Business API, your Business profile probably has a catalog set up to display the products/ services you offer. You can promote this catalog through Facebook and Instagram ads with a deal that can be availed only on messaging you on WhatsApp.
2. Take pre-bookings/ pre-orders
In case you’re launching a limited-edition product or a new collection, you can also secure pre-bookings/pre-orders through click-to-WhatsApp ads. It’s a much smarter way to capture consumer intent and interest in the to-be-launched item, share details of the same and secure the sale through conversations - similar to how an Apple employee can convince you to pre-book an iPhone just by talking to you about the features it will have.
3. Offer shopping assistance
If you have a new type of product in the market or something that often requires assistance to make an informed purchase, leverage click-to-WhatsApp ads. Use your social ads to promote the product, but instead of taking the consumer to your website, bring them to the chat app to offer assistance on things like variants available, sizing, fits and more. You can also close the sale on conversation using WhatsApp commerce once the consumer has the information they need!
4. Recover abandoned carts
Everyone has retargeting ads set up on social media to recover abandoned carts. But instead of taking the visitor back to the page they left your website from, what if you struck a conversation instead? Use click-to-WhatsApp ads to understand cart abandoners, offer help and send product recommendations to capture the sale!
5. Get to know customers better
Another way to use click-to-WhatsApp ads is to get to know your existing customers better. For instance, you could run an exclusive deal for customers who share their birthdate with you on WhatsApp or ask for their location to send them hyper-personalized deals and discounts in the area.
Alternatively, you can run a dedicated click-to-WhatsApp ad to target existing customers for collecting feedback.
6. Take customisation orders
If you’re into print-on-demand or product customization, conversations can lead to higher conversions for you. Instead of having a consumer go through the options available on your social media page or website, use click-to-WhatsApp ads to start a conversation. Lead the conversations with defined questions and choices using the different features of interactive messages available through the WhatsApp Business API.
Simply put, there’s no one way to use click-to-WhatsApp ads. You can leverage them in many ways to capture consumer intent, customer data, build a subscriber list, keep buyers engaged and grow your business!
But to be able to set up click-to-WhatsApp ads, you require getting a few basics in place.
Requirements for setting up click-to-WhatsApp ads on Facebook and Instagram
1. Get a WhatsApp Business account
The very first step to getting started with WhatsApp ads is to set up a business account. You can do this by either using the WhatsApp Business App or signing up for a WhatsApp Business API solution provider like Interakt or Zoko.
This account is different from your regular number as it includes more details around your business. From a profile picture (logo), to business name, address, website URL, catalog and more, a WhatsApp Business account unlocks new features of the messaging app for you.
2. Add WhatsApp Business number to your Facebook page
Once your WhatsApp Business account is created and verified, the next step is for you to connect it to your Facebook account; this will also auto-connect it to your Instagram account which should already be linked to your Facebook page. This is a mandatory step and can be completed from your business page’s settings.
Here’s how you need to do it:
- Go to Facebook business page
- Click ‘settings’
- From the left-hand side menu, click on WhatsApp
- Choose your country code
- Enter your WhatsApp number and click ‘send code’
- Input your OTP to confirm the number
Once you have the above set up, you’re ready to create click-to-WhatsApp ads for your business.
How to create click-to-WhatsApp ads?
1. Define your business goal and objectives
Just like normal social media ads, make sure you have a clear business objective and goal in mind before setting up a click-to-WhatsApp ad. It could be to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, boost customer engagement, collect customer feedback, qualify leads and so on.
2. Understand ad placements
As mentioned before, click-to-WhatsApp ads are right now restricted to only a few placements. You can target your audience through these ads on the Facebook and Instagram news feed, stories, Facebook marketplace and Instagram explore.
Take a careful look at all the placements and how your ad graphics as well as copy will appear. This will help you optimize the visual experience you deliver, leading to better engagement on the campaigns.
For example, for stories, you would require longer images as compared to feed placements that can be tackled with usual square graphics.
3. Prepare your ad copy and graphics
Next step is for you to prepare your ad copy and graphics for the campaign. We recommend creating at least two versions of your ad campaigns so you can keep them fresh and prevent ad exhaustion that leads to lower conversion rates.
Remember to follow through the best practices of keeping your ad copy crystal clear and actionable, and your ad graphics eye-catching. Here are some resources to help you plan them better:
- Optimizing your ad creatives for maximum conversions
- 12 ad copy strategies you should be experimenting with
4. Set up your ad in Ads Manager
Once you have everything ready, the next step is to go into your Facebook Ads Manager to set them up. Here are the steps you will need to follow for creating your click-to-WhatsApp ads:
- Go to Ad Creation in your Facebook Ads Manager
- Choose your ad objective
- Set your campaign budget
- Click on Ad Type and select Click to Message
- From the Messaging Apps section, select WhatsApp
- Choose your Audience, Placements, Budget and Schedule
- Select your ad format and complete the ad set up as guided
- Publish your ad when the set up is complete
You can get a detailed step-by-step guide and other options available here.
5. Set up WhatsApp automations
As you start to run click-to-WhatsApp ads alongside the ongoing broadcasts and promotions you’re leveraging the messaging platform for, you’re soon going to have a lot of conversations to take care of.
To stay on top of all conversations, we recommend making the most of automations using a WhatsApp Business API solution provider. From creating custom workflows that help consumers explore products available to understanding your shipping policy, checking order status and more, make the most of automations to keep things streamlined.
A few workflows that we do recommend automating as you start running click-to-WhatsApp ads include:
- Welcome flow
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Customer support
If you have a Shopify store, setting up these automations is made easy with the help of apps that are official WhatsApp Business API partners. They provide you pre-built workflows and chatbots that can help you tackle conversations from click-to-WhatsApp ads at scale.
You can explore all WhatsApp apps for Shopify stores here.
6. Go live, measure and optimize!
With everything in place, you’re all set to go live with your click-to-WhatsApp ads. Now it’s time for you to measure the performance of the ad campaign and how it adds to your business goals.
A few metrics you should be looking into apart from ad audience reach and cost per message, are the number of conversations initiated, average conversation length, conversation to conversion rate and actual sales.
Should you run click-to-WhatsApp ads?
DTC businesses are already exploring WhatsApp marketing to convert website traffic into subscribers and keep customers engaged across their buying journey.
Leading brands on Shopify have found adding WhatsApp as a communication channel with their customers has helped them dramatically improve the experience they offer, boost engagement, retention and their conversion rates as compared to other platforms.
So yes, we do think you should be trying out click-to-WhatsApp ads