We're living in a WhatsApp world - your friends, colleagues, customers, and competitors are using WhatsApp. There are 2 billion WhatsApp users out there. With a huge user base - WhatsApp promotion is key. This article will cover how to do WhatsApp Marketing & discuss all the ways brands implement WhatsApp campaign. The truth is WhatsApp Marketing & Support isn't on the way. It's already here.
Looking to use WhatsApp for sales and customer support? You'll need a WhatsApp API account. Apply now for the cheapest WhatsApp API account on the market and start messaging customers in just 10 minutes with Express Sign-Up!
1. The Clarks Rats to Rudeboys WhatsApp Marketing Campaign
In 2015, footwear brand Clarks launched one of the first WhatsApp Campaigns ever. Rats to Rudeboys was an interactive storytelling campaign designed to target millennials. The campaign leveraged the Clarks Boot status among three iconic individuals throughout history. These personas were created using chatbot like marketing automation tools.
How Did The Clarks Rats to Rudeboys Whatsapp Marketing Campaign Work?
The WhatsApp bot marketing campaign allowed users to join by adding a specific number to their contacts, which they can message on WhatsApp. Once connected, users can speak to Steve Barrow, a writer from the 1960s mode scene and Stitch a reggae icon. These characters discuss how the Clarks boot helped to shape their times.
The campaign also included links to further content such as Spotify playlists to keep users engaged. Links were also offered to the Clarks e-commerce site for conversion and to social media sites for increased engagement.
Was The Clarks WhatsApp Marketing Campaign A Success?
It's hard to say that this is a successful WhatsApp campaign definitively as Clarks keeps those numbers private. Clarks wanted to increase brand awareness and brand reputation among millennials and taking the first experimental step in a new medium.
It is likely the interactive marketing strategy successfully engaged millennial demographics, but there is some work to be done especially on the acquisition front. Asking users to add you as a contact on WhatsApp is just not scalable.
Undoubtedly Clarks is using data from the WhatsApp interactions to create the next generation WhatsApp promotion. Did you know WhatsApp is also perfect for sales and customer support? Check out these blog posts to learn about selling on WhatsApp and using WhatsApp for customer service.
2. The Netflix WhatsApp Campaign
You've just finished binge-watching the new season of Grey's Anatomy - what's good to watch next? You might text your friends to see what's new out there that has a solid 5 seasons and 20 episodes in each season. Netflix wants to save you that trouble.
As you can imagine, the general idea of the campaign is to re-engage WhatsApp users who have been dormant for some time. Netflix started testing this campaign in India in 2017 and it appears to have rolled out in the United Kingdom since then.
How Does The Netflix WhatsApp Campaign Work?
Everything starts from notifications that appear when you are in the Netflix app. We suppose that for this to work you will need to have registered on Netflix with the same number you use on Whatsapp. We haven't been able to test it out ourselves. If you have, please give us a shout.
Once you've done this, Netflix will start sending you suggestions over WhatsApp. Of course Netflix isn't just spamming your WhatsApp with random TV shows or movie suggestions that you're not interested in, they know how to play the game. They'll use the same recommendation engine they've already created to serve you the content you enjoy.
3. The Hellmann's WhatsApp Campaign
Hellmann's is a mayonnaise brand that wanted to convert more people to using Hellmann's in Brazil. This campaign began in 2014 so it was truly the prehistoric days of WhatsApp marketing campaigns but because it was such a great success we have tons of information on the results.
How Did The Hellmann's WhatsApp Campaign Work?
This is one of the best orchestrated WhatsApp marketing campaigns we have ever seen. Users were acquired through a special whatscook website setup by Hellmann's. Users just enter their phone number and by doing so the opt-in to the WhatsApp campaign.
Once signed up they receive a message through WhatsApp from a human chef. The chef prompts them to upload a picture of the ingredients they have on hand. Then proceeds to give advice on what they can cook with those leftover ingredients together with Hellmann's.
Was The Hellmann's WhatsApp Campaign A Success?
Oh, you bet it was. This is one of the best WhatsApp campaigns we've seen. We know a lot about the success of this WhatsApp advertising campaign because it was presented by Unilever at the SM2 conference. The brand prompted 4 million people to visit the whatscook website through various channels. This resulted in 13 thousand people registering on the website.
The most astonishing metric of the campaign was that users spent 65 mins on average interacting with the chef. Yes, I'm not kidding. 65 minutes. Who even spends 65 minutes texting a friend? Can you imagine the brand loyalty that was created?
4. The Absolut Unique Access WhatsApp Marketing Campaign
In 2013, Absolut wanted to promote limited edition vodka bottles. What do you do when you're an alcohol company and you need to promote? Throw a party! The company invited A-list celebrities and reserved 2 tickets for the winners of their WhatsApp marketing campaign.
How Absolut Unique Access WhatsApp Marketing Campaign Work?
As far as we can tell this is the first WhatsApp campaign by any large brand. But the formula it created has become the de facto standard for most WhatsApp marketing campaigns ever since.
What's the thing stopping us from getting into all the hottest parties? Bouncers. Absolut created Sven the Doorman who you would have to convince to get those tickets.
User Awareness? Facebook. The brand created a Facebook Campaign that let users know about the party and how they could score some tickets. User acquisition? The Facebook campaign directed users to add Svens number to their contacts and message him on WhatsApp.
Then all they had to do was convince him. How did they do that? Watch the video below to find out.
Was The Absolut Unique Access WhatsApp Campaign A Success?
Over an incredibly short period of the 3-day campaign, over 600 users contacted Sven. And it generated more than 1000 images, videos and voice messages. The campaign effectively engaged with the Argentina community and created a huge buzz trend in itself. These numbers seem small but considering the year, 2013 and the fact that users actually had to add Svens number manually, these results are stunning.
5. 263Chat & Kukurigo News Delivery
We talk about WhatsApp marketing quite often here. However, there are more fundamental ways that companies use WhatsApp Business. From where we are sitting it's hard to imagine, but in Zimbabwe, WhatsApp has become one of the primary sources of news for citizens.
This is possible because it's near impossible for the local population to afford a data plan, but mobile operators in Zimbabwe sell cheap WhatsApp only plans.
How Does WhatsApp News Delivery Work?
It's relatively simple and complicated at the same time. There are no high dollar WhatsApp marketing campaigns to attract users. Although both 263Chat and Kukorigo have websites, their primary focus is news updates on WhatsApp.
The simple part is how they get users. Since media is highly restricted in Zimbabwe people are actively seeking out sources of news that are outside the official media narrative. Both outlets actively use Twitter to attract people to join. In their posts, the chat media outlets ask users to add the phone number to their contacts and text join to the WhatsApp number.
The complicated part is how the publications use WhatsApp marketing features to spread the word. Both papers offer daily news updates using WhatsApp Broadcasts. However, this has become difficult to manage as WhatsApp broadcast groups only allow up to 256 users per group.
With over 20,000 subscribers each this means the publisher has to manage over 1,000 groups to allow their daily news broadcast to happen. Hopefully, both these publications can be accepted to the WhatsApp API soon.
6. Delhi Police Anti-Bribery WhatsApp Campaign
Governments all over the world have tried to battle corruption, or at least make it look like they are. So it's not surprising that one of the worlds largest police forces has experimented with WhatsApp marketing for reporting bribery and corruption.
How Does The Delhi Police WhatsApp Campaign Work?
The WhatsApp marketing campaign was launched on August 6, 2014. The campaign itself is relatively old school, no fancy targeting just old school advertisement. To make people aware of the campaign the Delhi Police took out ads in major newspapers and on FM Radio.
The idea of the campaign is to make it easy to send pictures and videos of any police you are acting inappropriately or illegally. Although the concept sounds great, it seems that the process after sending the message is quite bureaucratic.
According to the deputy commissioner of police Sindhu Pillai, "Once we get an audio or video clip, we ask the complainant to come to our office and give a written complaint. We get the recording checked at the forensic science laboratory to make sure its genuine and once the authenticity is established, action is taken against the errant policeman."
Hopefully, the process can become more streamlined in the future, so cases do not depend on people coming to the police station after the submission.
Was The The Delhi Police WhatsApp Campaign A Success?
According to the BBC, the police had received over 3,700 messages from August 6th to August 10th, 2014. We've been unable to find any articles that shed light on the current situation.
However, we have sent messages to the number ourselves, but we never received any reply. This leads us to believe that this anti-bribery campaign is probably no longer ongoing. Was it because there were too many reports? Perhaps, but we'll likely never know.
7. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Election WhatsApp Campaign
A WhatsApp marketing campaign in its truest sense. With the highest number of WhatsApp users of any country, in the worlds biggest democracy, sooner or later WhatsApp would become a tool in India's elections.
How Does The BJP Election WhatsApp Campaign Work?
The primary use for messaging apps in an election is reaching out to constituents on a personal level, especially on election day. WhatsApp has a ton of potential in this arena. The concept is quite simple, collect voter phones numbers, which a political party probably already has and then broadcast to them. Easy right?
You wish. WhatsApp Business API is still mostly closed to all but huge brands, so the only choice is to use WhatsApp Business App. Remember that WhatsApp Business App is limited to 256 contacts per broadcast group. That is a lot of groups for a country of 1 billion plus. If there was ever a story that highlighted the need for WhatsApp marketing software, it's this one.
How does the BJP do it? They use about 900,000 cell phone pramukhs - party volunteers that man polling stations, to add potential voters to broadcast groups. These volunteers are then tasked to send our party election materials over these groups.
Although it sounds like a natural disaster waiting to happen, if you have enough reliable manpower it may be simpler than you think. Using forwards and broadcast groups, you'll be able to forward any message in just three forwards to all the pramukhs. The person responsible for creating the content can forward to a group of 256 provincial nodes, each of those 256 can forward to 256 regional nodes. Then each of those regional nodes can forward to 256 polling stations.
256 x 256 x 256 = 16,777,216. Just like that you've got more than enough leeway to reach a pramukh at each polling station with three forwards. Then they can forward it to constituents.
An article was just released detailing one of these pramukhs. According to Inuth, Dipak Pas - a BJP Social Media Convenor manages 1,124 WhatsApp groups in the state of Kolkata. He claims to help the party reach corners of India were "social media is a silent weapon."
Was The BJP Election WhatsApp Campaign A Success?
We're not sure yet because the election will be held in several phases from April 11th to May 19th. In the meantime, there has been quite a lot of reporting on the topic and even a reaction from WhatsApp.
Carl Woog, head of communications for WhatsApp has said political parties are attempting to use WhatsApp in a way which it was not intended to be used. There have also been reports of misinformation being spread in this manner. This has prompted WhatsApp to set up a Checkpoint Tipline. An account that users can forward their content to for real-time fact-checking.
We'll keep watching and update this article when the election is over.
8. Beck’s WhatsApp Marketing Campaign
If there is any campaign that teaches us all a lesson about how to do marketing through WhatsApp, it's this one. We actually wouldn't even consider a strictly WhatsApp campaign. However, it is genius.
You probably have numerous WhatsApp groups chats that you've created with your friends for a night out. Eventually, those WhatsApp group chats get archived or deleted, never to be seen again. What if you could give them one last hurrah the next morning and turn them into a comic strip?
How Does Beck’s WhatsApp Marketing Campaign Work?
That's precisely what Beck's WhatsApp campaign lets you achieve. The concept itself is straightforward. Find the chats from your nights out, export the text data, and turn them into comic strips.
Unfortunately the app is available on iOS only, so we weren't able to test it out. However, we have seen others use the Heroes of the Night app, and there are some slight drawbacks. The comics consist of 300 beautiful illustrations from Matthias Schardt, so sadly the drawings don't reflect the photos you shared in the app.
The app does an excellent job with matching the text you wrote to the comics. However, you can export those photos and image files or as a pdf after it's been created. Then share it back to your WhatsApp group chat. With ten different characters available, it can support relatively big WhatsApp Groups without having to reuse the same character for two chat participants.
Was Beck’s WhatsApp Marketing Campaign A Success?
It's somewhat difficult to judge if the campaign was a success. As with any brand oriented campaign, success is measured with brand lift, and we don't have that data available.
We do know that currently, the app is listed as the 193rd most popular app in the entertainment category of the iTunes App Store. However, that info doesn't reveal a lot. Never the less, this is one of the most refreshing WhatsApp campaigns we've ever seen, and we hope the app gets updated in the future with more features.
9. The Tikkie WhatsApp Sticker Marketing Campaign
If I'm guilty of anything, it's complaining that banks can't innovate and I'm suffering because of it. However, every so often a bank proves me dead wrong. This is one of those times.
The Tikkie app was created by ABN AMRO in the Netherlands to solve a pervasive but elementary problem. How do we split the bill? But not only did they create the app, but they all also made the only smart WhatsApp marketing campaign in banking I have ever seen and it's taken directly from the LINE marketing playbook.
How Does The Tikkie WhatsApp Sticker Campaign Work?
Having to split the bill or deal with transferring money is inconvenient, but talking about who owes who money is awkward. Tikkie solved the inconvenience problem, then took it a step further to turn an embarrassing moment into a glorious opportunity for a WhatsApp marketing campaign.
Tikkie app users are onboarded into the campaign when they receive a notification from the Tikkie app letting them know that a sticker pack to help them with the awkward situation of reminding someone they owe you money is available.
All users need to do is click the add to WhatsApp button, and the sticker pack is added to WhatsApp. On the surface, you would think of this as a branding exercise, but it is much more that than.
Since the WhatsApp sticker packs are all about lending money, splitting the bill and getting your money back. The branded stickers will be sent to the people who are experiencing the problem that the Tikkie app is solving. Genius!
How To Create A WhatsApp Sticker Marketing Campaign
WhatsApp has made it very easy to create stickers for WhatsApp. To create the stickers themselves you'll need to make sure each WhatsApp sticker has a transparent background, is exactly 512 x 512 pixels and is less than 100kb in size. You also need to provide an icon that represents your WhatsApp sticker pack in the sticker tray.
Onboarding users is just as easy. WhatsApp has provided sample code that can be added to your app. Once users have your app, they will be able to add your WhatsApp stickers in one click. For more info, check out WhatsApp documentation on creating a sticker pack.
10. The Makro WhatsApp to Santa Campaign
Makro is a South African big box store that runs lucky draws via their website, Facebook, and Twitter. For Christmas 2019, Makro is running a WhatsApp based campaign called WhatsApp to Santa. Users can enter the competition by scanning a QR code to add Makro on Whatsapp.
How Does The Makro WhatsApp to Santa Campaign work?
Upon scanning a QR code, a first message is already ready for the user to send. Once they begin the conversation they will be navigated by prompts in each message. A website link for Terms & Conditions is shared before users are asked to provide personal information (a full name, email address, and valid South African cell number).
Ideally, the user journey could be more direct. Users receive a generic welcome message to Makro Chat, then must select the option Enter Santa's Trolley Dash from a menu. Reducing the steps users need to take in an engagement campaign is always a plus. More festive emojis wouldn't hurt either. The campaign was marketed with the slogans Dear Santa and WhatsApp to Santa but they didn't use a Santa emoji once.
The last action required is to submit the name of an item from the Makro Festive Toy Gift Guide Catalog, shared in PDF form and as a website link. Sharing WhatsApp images instead of a PDF, with relevant links to the online catalog, could improve the flow of the user journey. Files and links that direct users out of WhatsApp before the end of a mapped conversation should be limited.
Is the Makro WhatsApp to Santa Campaign a Success?
Makro's WhatsApp services for customers are impressive. We tested out all the services on the Makro Chat main menu. Store Finder, for example, is an efficient service that allows users to share their WhatsApp location and receive the address, contact information and opening hours of the nearest Makro store instantly.
By offering free, efficient services through WhatsApp Business API Makro can retain customers who have participated in their campaign and bring awareness to their useful WhatsApp services like Check My Order Status. The return to main menu option after users register for the WhatsApp to Santa draw encourages shoppers to engage with Makro on Whatsapp Business beyond the promotion, and hopefully for their future customer service needs.
11. The Saffola Beat The Crave WhatsApp Marketing Campaign
The Saffola Beat the Crave WhatsApp Campaign, designed by WATConsult, was created to generate brand awareness for Saffola's new Active Slimming Nutri-Shake. This campaign was created exclusively for the Indian market.
The Beat The Crave campaign sends entertaining WhatsApp audio clips users can listen to when they need a distraction from their unhealthy food cravings. The clips are available on WhatsApp and the campaign's microsite.
How Does The Saffola Beat The Crave WhatsApp Marketing Campaign Work?
Users enter their WhatsApp number on the campaign's microsite, allowing an official #BeatTheCrave account to send the first message. Upon conversation start, users are informed to text "Unfriend" to stop receiving messages. Then, the user receives the first WhatsApp voice note. From then on, whenever the user is struck by a craving they send #BeatTheCrave a message and receive a motivational text or WhatsApp voice message.
The idea is, users can distract themselves with Saffola's WhatsApp diet buddy until the craving passes. There are several styles of voice message that Saffola sends to help people deal with cravings in different ways, from rap music to comedy sketches, to expert advice from a celebrity nutritionist.
Is the Saffola Beat The Crave WhatsApp Marketing Campaign a Success?
With over 340 million WhatsApp users reported in 2019, India has the largest WhatsApp audience. The Beat The Crave WhatsApp campaign increased Saffola's Nutri-Shake product sales by 483% within the first month according to WATConsult.
The campaign also revealed some interesting user preferences across India's geographical regions. Some WhatsApp voice messages were more popular than others, depending on the users' region. For example, celebrity advice was preferred in Kolkata while comedic messages won out in Mumbai and Delhi.
Not surprisingly, this campaign won the 'Best Use Of WhatsApp' Award at the 2019 Shorty Awards and received significant media attention in India.
12. The Adidas Rent-a-Pred WhatsApp Marketing Campaign
Did your football teammate bail on you again? Well Adidas is here to bail you out. To promote the new Predator20 Mutator footwear, Adidas has launched the Rent-a-Pred WhatsApp marketing campaign. Rent-a-Pred is a WhatsApp hotline that helps amateur teams find replacements when a teammate drops out last minute.
Not just any replacement, but a ringer, which is a seriously good player that gives your team an unfair advantage. Footballers recruited are some of London’s top talent, including F2Freestylers, Eni Aluko and even the legendary Kaka! How do you hire a ringer exactly?
How Does The Adidas Rent-a-Pred WhatsApp Marketing Campaign Work?
The WhatsApp hotline is promoted on Adidas Instagram, complete with a cheeky launch video. To generate buzz, Adidas also enlisted the help of Instagram influencers like @street_panna and @timpitman93.
Don't get upset when your playmate cancels on you. You might end up getting an upgrade! Rent a ringer in 3 simple steps. First, message PRED to the Rent-A-Pred WhatsApp hotline at 07444 081 752.
Then, start chatting. You’ll have to share some basic information such as the time and location of the match. WhatsApp is perfect for this purpose, as it allows you to share private information one-to-one with the Adidas team.
If selected, you'll be notified on the morning of the game. It's that simple! You'll receive, as Adidas puts it, a 100% unfair support, from a pro footballer. This WhatsApp marketing campaign only lasted for 6 days, but has delivered amazing results!
Was The Adidas Rent-a-Pred WhatsApp Marketing Campaign A Success?
Yes! It's one of the smartest marketing gimmicks we've seen in a while. It played with the concept of unfairness with comedic effects. Through the association with the unfairness of Predator20, the campaign successfully emphasized the quality of the product.
Plus, the campaign was taken up and reported by other blogs and media. Particularly, the clip of Kaka was featured on more than 60 online publications including ITV News bulletins, SPORTbible and Sky Sports News. On social platforms, the Kaka appearance reached over 5 million views. Think of all the free publicity!
More importantly, the campaign helped Adidas build intimate relationships with a smaller community of consumers. it allows for a conversation, rather than just a broadcast. One thing to note, this kind of high profile campaign is costly, and not all companies have the resources and budgets like Adidas. Seems unfair? It is unfair.
Are You Looking For Even More WhatsApp Success Stories?
We've got them coming! We'll be updating this blog regularly with more WhatsApp marketing campaign examples. If you're interested in more info on how to use WhatsApp Business you'll want to check out: