How Can WhatsApp Broadcast Lists Help Your Business?

Many businesspeople and marketers make the mistake of ignoring WhatsApp’s Broadcast List, particularly in the United States and Canada, where the solution is not widely used. That is a mistake because WhatsApp has become one of the most popular and pervasive mediums in history, with around 900 million users around the world.

More importantly, WhatsApp contains a feature that makes customer contact fast and simple. The feature is called Broadcast Lists , and some observers think that it could revolutionize social media marketing. The Lists could be revolutionary because unlike some past efforts at such marketing, they actually work.

One reason why many entrepreneurs have shied away from social media marketing is its ineffectiveness. Most of the social media messages, such as Facebook and Twitter, have a tendency to be ignored. People pay attention to WhatsApp because it is a highly focused and streamlined communications medium.

What Is a Broadcast List Anyway?

The major difference between WhatsApp and other social media is that it was designed as a pure communications medium rather than an advertising platform. The app’s creator, Jan Koum , and his boss, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have repeatedly said there will be no advertising on WhatsApp.

Instead, Koum came up with an alternative in the form of Broadcast Lists. WhatsApp’s Broadcasting feature allows users to send one message to a select group of contacts. This allows for highly focused communication, but it is a little different than a standard WhatsApp Message.

Recipients can respond to a normal WhatsApp Message; a recipient cannot respond to a Broadcast List message. This makes it perfect for business to customer communications such as sending out an alert about a sale or special.

The interesting thing about the Lists is that the number of contacts is limited to 250–263. The reason for this is probably to prevent spamming, which has destroyed some highly effective communications mediums, including email.

How WhatsApp Broadcast Lists Work for Business

The best way to utilize WhatsApp Broadcast Lists is to direct them at highly engaged or loyal customers; for example, people that eat at a restaurant on a daily or weekly basis or regular shoppers at a store.

A fashion store or website might use a Broadcast List to tell a group of select customers that it has some new dresses in stock. The idea here is that those customers that are highly interested in fashion will tell other fashionistas about the dresses.

A coffee shop might use a list to tell loyal customers that it is giving out free samples of its new blend at five o’clock today. A furniture store might use the list to tell people who bought couches that it just put a large number of slipcovers on clearance.

The optimum result for this stratagem is for the message to go viral and for the customers to send out the message themselves. If it works, this could generate the most powerful form of advertising of all: word of mouth from friends, family, coworkers, etc.

Obviously, a very different kind of message will be needed for Broadcast List marketing. Standard advertisements and traditional ad copy probably will not work.

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What an Effective Broadcast List Message Should Look Like

An effective Broadcast List message should look like a text to friends or family, not an advertisement. It should sound as if you are sharing a secret with somebody you like or are doing them a favor.

Instead of saying there is a great sale at Jane’s Boutique, Jane could take a picture of a dress on sale and type a message that says, “I cannot believe the price they are selling this at.”

She would then send out those words with the picture as a Broadcast List message. The idea is to convey select special information, not to create an advertisement for a general audience. A car dealer might take a picture of a new model on the lot and send it to a list of people that bought similar vehicles.

A great way to take advantage of Broadcast Lists is to use them to publicize special and unique occurrences. If no such event is happening, perhaps a business owner should create one.

A restaurant could hold a wine tasting or a premiere of a new recipe from the chef for example. A shop could announce that it is donating 10% of its proceeds from tomorrow’s sales to a popular local charity.

Another way to use a List would be to reward customers. Send out a code word and state that every customer that mentions the code word while making a purchase could get a discount or a free sample.

Broadcast Lists for Customer Service

Beyond marketing, Broadcast Lists could be a powerful tool for customer service. One way they could be used would be to keep customers informed of developments or potential problems, such as service outages.

A delivery service could use a list to tell customers what time to expect delivery for example. A hairdresser could tell customers what days she plans to be out of town. An auto dealer could notify customers of recalls and other potential problems.

A CostEffective Solution

Perhaps the most important attribute that WhatsApp Broadcast Lists have is that they are a simple and cost-effective solution. If you know how to send out a text, you can create and use a broadcast list.

That means no special software, expensive applications, or professional expertise is needed to send one out. Instead, all you need is a phone and WhatsApp, which is available at the App Store, Google Pay, and the Windows Store for around 99¢. Most experts recommend that you should create a new WhatsApp account specifically for your business and have a smartphone that you only use for business purposes to send out Broadcast Lists.

Once you have those basic tools, the only real limitation to WhatsApp Broadcasting is your imagination. Marketers and entrepreneurs are only now beginning to explore the boundaries of this new media. That means you can get on the ground floor of a new and exciting business and marketing opportunity at little or no cost.

For startups and other businesses on a budget, WhatsApp Broadcast Lists could be the ideal solution for basic business communications.

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