WhatsApp Broadcasts & How To Use Them Effectively

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WhatsApp Broadcasts & How To Use Them Effectively

Do you want to message a large group without creating a big group chat? WhatsApp Broadcasts are the perfect solution. This feature in WhatsApp Business lets you effortlessly send targeted messages to specific groups of contacts, enhancing your marketing strategy quickly and easily.

Before we dive into the Broadcast List feature, take a moment to read through WhatsApp’s Terms of Service. These guidelines explain the acceptable and unacceptable ways to use the platform, and how you can create a high-quality customer experience. Two key points included within the guidelines are: a) ensuring you have secured opt-in permission from your contacts, and b) only sending high-quality, relevant messages.

Now, let’s explore the WhatsApp Broadcast List feature. We’ll explain what you can do with Broadcast Lists, how messages appear for your contacts, how they differ from group messages and some best practice guidelines to help you use Broadcast Lists in the most effective way possible.

What is a WhatsApp Broadcast?

The Broadcast feature lets you send the same message to multiple contacts simultaneously. Businesses can save groups of contacts into Broadcast Lists, allowing them to message the same group of customers repeatedly. 

Recipients will receive a Broadcast message as a normal message in their Chats tab. Their reply will appear as a standard one-to-one chat message and won’t be sent to other contacts in the Broadcast List.

How are WhatsApp Broadcasts different from group chats?

Broadcasts are a ‘one-to-many’ communication, whereas Group Chats are ‘many-to-many’.

A good analogy to explain the difference is that WhatsApp Broadcasts function similarly to putting a list of contacts into an email’s ‘BCC’ field and only leaving the sender’s email in the ‘To’ field. Recipients can’t see who else received the email, and when they reply, the message will only be visible to the original sender.

In contrast, Group Chats are like putting contacts in the ‘To’ field of an email. All recipients can see who else received the message, and replies are visible to everyone in the group.

What are WhatsApp Broadcast Lists?

Broadcast Lists allow you to create groups of saved contacts that you can message repeatedly without selecting each contact every time. The feature allows businesses to more effectively target their marketing messages to the most relevant pool of customers.

You can create multiple Broadcast Lists on WhatsApp Business, each with up to 256 contacts.

Broadcast Lists save time and effort, ensuring you don’t miss any important contacts when sending Broadcast messages.

Can I message people who haven’t added me to their contacts?

No. WhatsApp only delivers your Broadcast messages to people who have added your number to their saved contacts. This safeguard stops WhatsApp users from receiving spam messages from unknown sources.

If a contact isn’t receiving your Broadcast messages, ask them to check whether they have added your business number to their contacts.

How to create a Broadcast List

It’s quick and easy to create a Broadcast List. The exact steps vary slightly between iPhone and Android users, so we’ve outlined them below:

How to create a Broadcast List on iPhone

  1. Select Chats, then Broadcast Lists, then New List.
  2. Select the contacts you want to add to the Broadcast List.
  3. Click Create.

How to create a Broadcast List on Android

  1. Select More Options, then New Broadcast.
  2. Select the contacts you want to add to the Broadcast List.
  3. Click the green check mark.

How can I use Broadcast Lists in my business’ marketing strategy?

Broadcast Lists are a powerful tool for targeting your marketing messages, ensuring you send them to the right customers at the right time.

How should I select contacts for my Broadcast Lists?

You’re in complete control of which contacts you add to your Broadcast Lists. Here are some ideas to get you started. You could create lists based on the following:

  • Your customer’s previous purchasing history
  • Your customer’s preferences and interests, as stated during a sign-up process
  • Your customer’s current position in the sales funnel

What can I use WhatsApp Broadcast Lists for?

You could use WhatsApp Broadcast Lists to:

  • Advertise sale periods, events, or special offers
  • Share promotional codes or vouchers
  • Invite customers to take part in competitions
  • Announce new product launches
  • Alert customers to restocked or updated items
  • Apologise for service disruptions

Top tips for effective Broadcast messages

Follow these recommendations to help make the most of your WhatsApp Broadcast Lists.

  • Use audience segmentation to ensure messages are always timely and relevant.
  • Keep the message concise and to the point.
  • Write in your brand’s unique tone of voice, adopting a warm, friendly, engaging approach.
  • End with a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage your customer to take the next steps.
  • Ensure your customer service team promptly responds to queries or replies to your Broadcast message.

What should I avoid when using WhatsApp Broadcast Lists?

WhatsApp is careful to protect its users from unsolicited or spam messages, so there are a few things to be cautious of when using the Broadcast feature. To avoid having to deal with a WhatsApp ban, follow the guidelines below.

Don’t send too many messages at once

WhatsApp has security systems to flag suspicious activity, and if you send a large number of messages one after the other, it can trigger a review. Split promotional messages into batches, and limit the number you send on any working day.

Don’t Broadcast from a brand-new account

Brand-new accounts are under particular scrutiny from WhatsApp, so try to ramp up your activity slowly over time. Start with fewer Broadcast messages for the first month or two, then gradually increase these once your account is well-established.

Don’t send Broadcast messages to unknown contacts

Unsurprisingly, most WhatsApp users are wary of marketing messages that come from unknown sources. Ensure that any contacts that you plan to include on your Broadcast Lists know who you are, opt-in to receive promotional messages, and have added your business phone number to their saved contacts.

What are the benefits of WhatsApp Broadcast Lists?

There are many benefits to using WhatsApp’s Broadcast feature. Here are our top four reasons to consider using it as part of your business communication strategy.

Efficient and easy to use

With WhatsApp Broadcasts, you don’t have to type the same message to multiple contacts or copy and paste it into different one-on-one chats. With just a few clicks, You can send the same message to many different people with just a few clicks.

Maintain the privacy of your contacts

Unlike Group Chats, the recipients of Broadcast messages don’t see who else you’ve sent the message to on your list. Using the Broadcast feature maintains the privacy of each of your contacts.

Facilitate one-to-one conversations

After you’ve sent your message, recipients can reply in a one-to-one chat. Broadcast messages can be an excellent way to build strong customer relationships and encourage further interaction with your brand. Over time, this builds trust.

High deliverability and engagement

Once your customer has added you to their contact list, they’ll receive all your Broadcast messages. There’s no need to contend with picky email spam filters, which can sometimes erroneously flag wanted marketing messages as spam.

Free to use

Do you want to test out your marketing strategy before you invest in an email marketing campaign or paid-for social media advertising? WhatsApp Broadcasts are free, making them a great first choice for your promos.

What are the limitations of Broadcast Lists on WhatsApp Business?

Although Broadcast Lists are a great feature for marketing on WhatsApp Business, there are some limitations that you need to take into account when planning your strategy. The limitations of Broadcast Lists include:

Limited contacts in each Broadcast List

You can only include up to 256 contacts in each WhatsApp Business Broadcast List. If you want to send your message to more people at any one time, you’ll need to try a different marketing method.

Broadcasts can only be sent to contacts who have saved your number

If recipients haven’t saved your number, they won’t receive your message. This rule is in place to protect WhatsApp users and limit spam. However, it can limit your reach, especially if you are looking to send marketing messages to potential new customers.

Broadcast Lists aren’t interactive

Broadcasts are a one-way marketing channel, so recipients won’t see who else is included on the list or if they’ve responded. This is great for protecting the privacy of the individuals on the Broadcast List, but it makes the method less interactive than other methods. If you want to foster more group engagement, a WhatsApp group with fewer people (created with the participants’ consent) can be a better option.

Lack of scheduling

WhatsApp Business currently doesn’t offer a scheduling feature for Broadcast Lists, so each message has to be sent out manually. This may not be an issue for small to medium businesses with dedicated marketing support, but may not suit smaller companies that need to schedule messages in advance, or larger-scale marketing strategies.

Limited performance analytics and data

It’s possible to see which participants have received and read your messages, but WhatsApp doesn’t offer additional analytics beyond this. If you’re looking for a deeper dive into your analytics, such as click-through rates or conversion data, you might want to consider another marketing platform.

When should I consider using the WhatsApp Business API instead of Broadcast Lists?

Broadcast Lists can be a great option for small businesses that regularly message 100-250 customers, who are likely to have the business number saved into their contacts.

However, if you own a larger company and want to regularly send Broadcast Messages to more customers, use automated features such as scheduling, or gather analytics data for the messages that you send, the WhatsApp Business API may be the right fit for you.

The WhatsApp Business API is a paid service that is specifically designed for medium-to-large businesses that want to message customers at scale. It integrates with CRM systems and e-commerce platforms to offer advanced functionality, including bulk messaging and chatbots. 

Learn more about the differences between WhatsApp Business and the WhatsApp Business API.

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Picture of George Lineker

George Lineker

The co-founder of YourBusinessNumber, George has a lasting interest in modern communications technology, and is an advocate of simple and easy to use tools for businesses of all sizes. He has a background in mobile telecom solutions along with qualifications in business and management support services.
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