Posted: Wed 18th May 2022
In recent times, small businesses have started to transition from traditional email to messaging apps when communicating with customers. And for customers themselves, messaging apps such as the WhatsApp Business app provide a quick and convenient way to engage with brands and retailers.
One feature of the WhatsApp Business app that facilitates this efficient communication between business and customer is the broadcast message. When you send one of these messages, you're speaking to many customers all at the same time, but in a private and familiar place.
It can be invaluable for those occasions when you want to let customers know about a new product, or a seasonal sale, or anything else they might be interested in.
In this blog, we explain what broadcast messages and broadcast lists are. We show you how to set them up in the WhatsApp Business app, and cover some things to keep in mind so you don't run the risk of spamming or annoying your customers.
What is a broadcast message?
A broadcast message is a message you send to several customers at once.
First, you need to compile a list of people who you want to receive your message. This is known as a broadcast list (see How do I create a broadcast list? below). Having a broadcast list means you don't have to select each recipient every time you want to communicate with them.
Your customers will receive the broadcast message as a normal message. When they reply, it'll appear as a normal message in your chats screen. Only you receive the replies – the other people in the list won't ever see them.
Who can I send broadcast messages to?
WhatsApp wants to protect users from spamming on its platform. Consequently, when you send a broadcast message, it will reach only those recipients who have your business's WhatsApp number saved in their contacts.
Any customer who isn't receiving your broadcast messages probably hasn't added you to their address book.
If a customer decides to reply, their message will go only to you (as the admin). It won't be sent to other recipients in the broadcast list. If you want your recipients to take part in a group conversation, you should create a group chat instead.
In a broadcast list, only you can see the recipients, and the recipients can't see each other. This means you don't need to worry about members of the list seeing someone else's contact information.
In a way, groups are like the CC (carbon copy) function in emails, and broadcast lists are like the BCC (blind carbon copy). This makes broadcast lists more private.
How do I create a broadcast list?
Creating a broadcast list on iPhone
To create a broadcast list on an iPhone or iOS device:
go to your chats screen
tap Broadcast List
then tap New List
select the contacts you want to add, then tap Create
Creating a broadcast list on Android
If you have an Android device:
tap More Options (the three dots)
tap New broadcast
choose which contacts you want to add
tap the check mark
Using the broadcast list feature
This feature is perfect for small businesses that use WhatsApp for sales or marketing. You can create different lists for different purposes. Since any content is allowed in a WhatsApp Business app broadcast, it's possible to send personal promotional messaging.
You can use this feature for segmenting customers by interest, grouping your contacts into smaller lists so you can deliver to them more relevant content according to their interests or their level of engagement.
For example, you could create three broadcast lists:
Customers: Contacts who frequently engage with your business
Leads: Contacts who have engaged with your business only once
Prospects: Potential customers who haven't yet engaged with your business
In a single broadcast list, you can add up to 256 recipients. However, there's no limit on the number of lists you create.
How do I know if my broadcast messages are having an impact?
A key element of marketing is being able to analyse the success of your work. The Broadcast Lists Analytics feature in the WhatsApp Business app helps you understand your customers' engagement and experience.
It shows you:
who received your message
when they received it
who read it
Knowing this can help you understand how effective your messages are, and tailor them accordingly.
To check your broadcast list analytics, tap and hold the message you've sent, then tap Message Info.
How do I avoid spamming customers?
WhatsApp broadcast lists can save you precious time when you want to send the same message to many contacts at once.
But as a business, when you're engaging with customers directly, taking care of that engagement is key. So, it's important that you have customers' consent to message them with business announcements.
You could message people who have contacted you first or have requested that you contact them via WhatsApp. A good idea is to give people your phone number so that they can message you first.
If a user asks you to stop messaging them, it's best to remove their details from your address book and refrain from contacting them again. If you add someone and they don't want to be included, you could lose them as a customer. It's always important to respect people's choices.
Use the WhatsApp Business app to: