WhatsApp marketing: Strategies, benefits, and examples (Enterprise guide)

Katie Leask

Aug 15, 2023

Katie Leask

Aug 15, 2023

With massive reach, amazing open rates, and breakthrough promotional features, WhatsApp is quickly becoming one of the most exciting marketing channels

The messaging platform offers an ideal opportunity for customers to interact with their favorite brands and for companies to get in front of their target audience in a new and engaging way.

However, getting started with WhatsApp marketing isn’t as straightforward as with more established channels like email or SMS. For example, midsize and enterprise brands need to consider:

    • What templates they’ll use to contact customers.
    • How to integrate WhatsApp with the rest of their marketing channels. Many traditional marketing software platforms don’t support WhatsApp natively. This often forces brands to spend lots of time, effort, and resources on integrating WhatsApp into their marketing strategy and stack.
  • How to take advantage of WhatsApp’s new conversational commerce feature. This feature can transform each customer’s shopping experience, reduce friction, and produce more conversions. Taking advantage of it requires companies to work with a certified Business Solution Provider (BSP) with expertise in creating conversational commerce flows.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about WhatsApp marketing — from its basic premise and benefits to practical strategies for engaging your customers on WhatsApp.

Here’s everything we cover below:

Table of Contents
  1. WhatsApp marketing 101: Definition, benefits, and how to get started

  2. Basic and advanced WhatsApp marketing strategies for generating more engagement and revenue

  3. 3 Examples of enterprise organizations leveraging WhatsApp’s marketing potential

  4. Take your WhatsApp marketing to the next level with Insider

We’ll also be using Insider — our cross-channel personalization platform — to show how you can put the WhatsApp marketing tactics and strategies we discuss below into action.

Insider is a Meta-verified BSP that helps brands take full advantage of WhatsApp’s marketing capabilities. Our platform also brings together the most extensive personalization capabilities for other channels, like email, SMS, Facebook Messenger, web push, on-site, and more.

To learn more, visit our website or schedule a demo with our team.

WhatsApp marketing 101: Definition, benefits, and how to get started

Any promotional activity that takes place on WhatsApp falls under the umbrella of WhatsApp marketing. This includes simple promotional messages, real-time price drop alerts, discount announcements, cart recovery prompts, and other types of marketing messages.

The term WhatsApp marketing can also include activities that don’t aim to sell a product or service but rather enhance the customer experience, like:

  • Purchase confirmations.
  • Event reminders.
  • Order updates.

WhatsApp marketing often goes hand in hand with WhatsApp customer service: the process of answering questions or helping customers find what they’re looking for. This can be done via live customer service agents, WhatsApp chatbots with quick replies for frequently asked questions (FAQs), or a mix of both.

The benefits of using WhatsApp as a marketing channel

WhatsApp offers a unique blend of benefits that most traditional channels can’t match:

  • Massive reach. With nearly 2.5 billion active users, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world. According to Statista, over 485 million of those users are in India, 118 million are in Brazil, 84 million are in Indonesia, and 79 million are in the U.S., while the rest are spread out across various countries, including Spain, Germany, and Italy. Put simply, WhatsApp’s reach is unmatched, especially if you’re aiming to grow brand awareness among a target audience located in the world’s biggest developing economies.
  • High open, clickthrough (CTR), and conversion rates. Most sources cite WhatsApp open rates as between 90-99%, with clickthrough and conversion rates anywhere from 20% to 60%. These numbers are significantly higher compared to traditional email marketing campaigns. We’ve seen this firsthand, as one of our customers experienced a 97% open rate and nearly 30% CTR on WhatsApp.
  • Easy product discovery. WhatsApp lets you add your entire product catalog and allow users to browse it right in the app. This is a great way to drive product discovery because it doesn’t require customers to go to an external site or app.
  • Novelty. WhatsApp hasn’t been exploited as much as traditional marketing channels like email, SMS, and push notifications. This makes it an exciting channel for mobile-first customers and gives you a chance to get a leg up on competitors who haven’t employed it yet.
  • Opportunity to provide real-time sales assistance. As we said, WhatsApp lets you answer customer questions in real time. If you have the manpower and technical know-how, you can provide a truly personalized shopping experience that customers usually can’t get online. 

How to get started with WhatsApp marketing (WhatsApp Business App vs. WhatsApp Business Platform)

WhatsApp offers two different products for companies that want to use it for marketing:

  1. WhatsApp Business App: This app is suitable for small businesses and solopreneurs who want to manage one-to-one communications with their customers. It’s a free and easy-to-use texting interface, but it’s also limited, as it doesn’t provide an API or a way to manage communications at scale. If you don’t need to send mass marketing campaigns, manage large contact lists, or use any of the other advanced functionality, the app is a quick way to get started with WhatsApp marketing.
  2. WhatsApp Business Platform (formerly known as the WhatsApp Business API): This is WhatsApp’s offering for mid-sized and enterprise brands. It gives you full flexibility to manage conversations programmatically, use the full range of WhatsApp marketing and customer service capabilities, and integrate with other solutions, like customer relationship management (CRM) systems, chatbots, and so on. Unlike the app, this platform isn’t free, as you’re charged for each customer conversation. You can get more details on the pricing in Meta’s documentation.

How to get started with WhatsApp marketing (WhatsApp Business App vs. WhatsApp Business Platform)

WhatsApp offers two different products for companies that want to use it for marketing:

  1. WhatsApp Business App: This app is suitable for small businesses and solopreneurs who want to manage one-to-one communications with their customers. It’s a free and easy-to-use texting interface, but it’s also limited, as it doesn’t provide an API or a way to manage communications at scale. If you don’t need to send mass marketing campaigns, manage large contact lists, or use any of the other advanced functionality, the app is a quick way to get started with WhatsApp marketing.
  2. WhatsApp Business Platform (formerly known as the WhatsApp Business API): This is WhatsApp’s offering for mid-sized and enterprise brands. It gives you full flexibility to manage conversations programmatically, use the full range of WhatsApp marketing and customer service capabilities, and integrate with other solutions, like customer relationship management (CRM) systems, chatbots, and so on. Unlike the app, this platform isn’t free, as you’re charged for each customer conversation. You can get more details on the pricing in Meta’s documentation.
WhatsApp Business Platform vs WhatsApp Business App

Because the WhatsApp Business Platform is complex to set up and manage, most mid-sized and large businesses work with a dedicated Business Solution Provider (BSP) for their WhatsApp marketing needs. 

BSPs are companies whose expertise in the WhatsApp Business Platform has been verified by Meta. They can be found in the Partner Directory (sometimes under a subsidiary or parent company), so you can easily check if the company behind the WhatsApp marketing tool you’re considering is a BSP.

Insider MindBehind WhatsApp BSP Meta directory

The benefit of working with a BSP is that they can help you take full advantage of WhatsApp’s marketing potential while giving you a nice UI to manage your contact lists and campaigns (as opposed to using the WhatsApp Business Platform programmatically).

For example, a BSP can go through the laborious process of creating your WhatsApp business account. They can also get your templates approved and help you store and manage them in a convenient way.

On that note, templates are prebuilt messages that you can use to start conversations with customers. They’re the only type of message that brands can use to start conversations with customers who:

  • Haven’t messaged them first.
  • Haven’t sent them a WhatsApp message in the past 24 hours.

WhatsApp message templates have to be approved by Meta’s team before you can start sending them. This means there will be a small delay between when you create a template and when you can use it.

Most BSPs offer a variety of templates that you can use after customizing your brand’s name, colors, and other identifying characteristics. At Insider, we have a free WhatsApp template explorer that you can use to browse our templates. You can even send them to your phone to see how they’d look in a real scenario.

Insider WhatsApp template library

Basic and advanced WhatsApp marketing strategies for generating more engagement and revenue

Before we dive in, note that Insider offers pre-built templates for putting each one of the strategies below into action. As a result, brands that use our platform can start sending personalized WhatsApp messages within minutes after the setup, as they don’t have to start the process from scratch.

With that out of the way, here are eight ideas for using WhatsApp in your marketing:

  1. Welcome new leads and incentivize first purchases. This is an easy way to confirm the opt-in was successful, set a positive tone for the engagement, and point potential customers to the next steps in their journey. You can even throw in a first-purchase discount as an incentive for subscribers to become new customers.
Insider WhatsApp lead welcome template with discount

2. Promote newly arrived products. WhatsApp’s high open rates make it an ideal tool for driving product discovery. Whenever you get a new product or collection, you can promote it via a WhatsApp bulk message. Or, if you want to make your most loyal customers feel special, you can send them the promo a few days before broadcasting it to everyone else.

Note: Insider’s advanced segmentation makes it easy to target VIP customers, as well as customers who’ve spent over a certain amount with your brand.

Insider WhatsApp template announce new collection

3. Recover abandoned carts. Cart abandonments have always been a big problem for eCommerce businesses. Due to its high open and conversion rates, WhatsApp is a fantastic channel for tackling the issue. You can even throw in a discount for users with a high discount affinity (Insider can help you segment them) in order to sweeten the deal.

Abandoned cart alert WhatsApp Insider

4. Promote items with fresh discounts. This is a great tactic whenever you’re trying to clear inventory by discounting certain items in your catalog. Just make sure to mention the original price, the discount price, and how fast the items are selling out to induce a sense of urgency.

Insider WhatsApp price drop alert

5. Confirm successful purchases or bookings. Keeping users informed about their order status is essential for meeting their expectations and avoiding unnecessary customer service tickets. You can use WhatsApp to confirm that their order was successful or take things further by broadcasting messages when the ordered item is picked up from your warehouse.

Insider WhatsApp template order confirmation update

6. Remind customers about upcoming events or reservations. A simple WhatsApp reminder about an upcoming flight, restaurant booking, meeting, or any other scheduled event can save your customers lots of headaches. This is another great way to improve the overall experience without trying to sell anything to your customers. 

Insider WhatsApp event reminders

7. Celebrate occasions with a discount. This could be a birthday, anniversary, or just a small gesture for customers who’ve been with your brand for a certain amount of time. In any case, personalized celebrations are a great way to surprise customers and show your appreciation.

Insider WhatsApp template celebrate customer birthday

8. Transform the shopping experience with conversational commerce. Conversational commerce is the newest and most advanced WhatsApp marketing functionality. It lets you create end-to-end buying experiences that allow customers to discover, browse, and buy products without leaving WhatsApp. This drastically lowers the friction during the shopping journey, makes for easier product discovery, and gives you a way to provide fast pre- and post-purchase customer support.

Insider Whatsapp conversational commerce mens shoes

Conversational commerce can also be used for different purposes outside of selling products. For example, you can use it to qualify potential customers based on criteria that are relevant to your business — e.g., their age, country, the products or services they’re interested in, and so on. 

Insider Whatsapp conversational commerce survey

The novelty and flexibility of this feature make it very enticing to midsized and enterprise brands looking for new ways to generate engagement and revenue.

As a Meta-verified BSP, Insider can help you set up your conversational commerce flows and ensure they guide customers through a smooth WhatsApp journey. 

For more details, additional strategies, and examples, check out:

3 Examples of enterprise organizations leveraging WhatsApp’s marketing potential

The three brands below all used Insider’s WhatsApp Commerce suite to:

  • Send personalized promo messages and price drop alerts.
  • Build automated WhatsApp campaigns.
  • Enable conversational commerce.

How Brazil’s biggest home goods platform achieved 3.5x higher conversion rates

MadeiraMadeira is the biggest home goods platform in Brazil, offering over 300,000 products. 

According to their COO Robson Privado, the company wanted to work with a technology partner that could help them enable effective cross-channel communications with their customers and visitors. Insider was an ideal pick due to its broad channel support and its fast integration and setup process.

Since WhatsApp is the biggest communications app in Brazil, it was essential for MadeiraMadeira to make the most out of their WhatsApp marketing efforts. Thanks to Insider’s ease of use, they were able to start sending personalized WhatsApp messages minutes after the setup

When compared with their average conversion rates (CR), their new personalized WhatsApp messages produced a 3.5x higher CR.

Overall, MadeiraMadeira’s marketing team managed to run some of their most successful WhatsApp campaigns thanks to Insider’s personalized, contextual, and timely communications. These campaigns included all kinds of WhatsApp marketing messages, including:

  • Reminders.
  • Promotions.
  • Order confirmations.
  • Purchase confirmations.
  • And much more.

Here’s what Pamela Melo, Marketing Manager at MadeiraMadeira, had to say about working with Insider:

“I would definitely recommend Insider to any brand that is looking to bring better value in its customer communication. Insider has a unique way of tying together channels in one single journey where we were actually able to communicate better with each customer. On top of that, the Insider team is very open to new ideas and is always looking to innovate. The Insider team is also really supportive of all the crazy ideas that we have.”

How a global beauty brand boosted recovered revenue and repurchase rates by 30%

One of the most transformative industry leaders, a multi-brand beauty company headquartered in Paris, was looking to grow:

  • Revenue per customer. 
  • Recovered revenue.
  • Repurchase rates.

They wanted to do that by creating highly personalized experiences and delivering them to their customers’ preferred communication channels.

Based on their data, they found that WhatsApp could help them get in front of their target audience. After a call with our team, they were also impressed by the channel’s promising conversion rates.

They started by using Insider’s pre-built opt-in templates to start collecting phone numbers, which quickly grew their subscriber base by 7x.

Insider WhatsApp opt-in pop-up mobile app

Then, they used our cross-channel journey builder (called Architect) to build and automate their new WhatsApp campaigns. Here are three ways they utilized Architect:

  1. Real-time price drop alerts: Thanks to Insider’s price drop alert template and advanced segmentation, the company was able to send highly personalized price drop messages to their VIP customers who had a high discount affinity. This tactic resulted in a 67% increase in conversion rate and a 2.3x boost in revenue per customer.
Insider WhatsApp price drop alert

2. Replenishment reminders: Using Insider’s powerful segmentation again, the brand targeted loyal customers who had purchased over $150 of products in the last 45 days. They built a replenishment reminder that alerted this segment that their product would soon run out, resulting in a 30% increase in repurchase rates.

Insider WhatsApp replenishment campaign

3. Back-in-stock messages: The company’s highest-intent customers often couldn’t buy what they wanted because of item unavailability. To tackle this serious issue, the company started sending real-time back-in-stock alerts, leading to a 45% increase in recovered revenue.

Insider WhatsApp back in stock alert

How one of Europe’s leading fashion retailers achieved a 3.75x conversion rate uplift

One of Europe’s fastest-growing fashion retailers, operating across 19 countries, was facing serious challenges with their traditional digital marketing channels, like email, SMS, and web push.

Their conversions, revenue, and customer engagement were stagnating. As a result, these channels weren’t enough for the brand to achieve their customer lifetime value (CLTV), revenue, and profitability goals.

That’s why they decided to explore WhatsApp as a new marketing channel. Specifically, they wanted to integrate WhatsApp into their overall marketing strategy to:

  • Send timely and relevant messages based on real-time behaviors and advanced segmentation.
  • Uncover and engage customers who have a high risk of churning.
  • Find ways to engage VIP customers in a more strategic way.
  • Reduce their high cart abandonment rates.

The brand decided to work with Insider, as our team had already helped brands like Adidas and Decathlon deliver personalized WhatsApp experiences. Our pre-built templates helped the brand collect tens of thousands of opt-ins in a few days from their site, mobile app, and QR codes on their physical receipts.

And within just six days, this brand was able to start broadcasting personalized WhatsApp messages. The results included:

  • A 97% open rate.
  • A 29.9% CTR.
  • Over 25x return on investment (ROI) compared to email in just the first 60 days. 

Take your WhatsApp marketing to the next level with Insider

As a Meta-verified BSP, Insider can help you:

  • Create a WhatsApp business profile.
  • Set up the WhatsApp Business Platform.
  • Build templates, get Meta’s team to approve them, and manage them on our platform.
  • Increase your conversions, retention, and revenue, with simple automated messages, personalized product promos, price drop alerts, order updates, event reminders, and other kinds of WhatsApp marketing messages.
  • Analyze key metrics for your WhatsApp marketing campaigns, like open rates, deliverability, CTR, conversions, revenue, and more.
  • Use WhatsApp Commerce to transform your customers’ shopping journey with an end-to-end buying experience inside WhatsApp. With this new capability, you can allow your customers to browse products, add them to their carts, and even complete their purchases without leaving WhatsApp.

At the same time, Insider also supports many other channels and capabilities outside of WhatsApp. 

Our platform lets you create personalized experiences across every touchpoint customers have with your brand — from your website and mobile app to channels like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS, email, push notifications, social media ads, and more.

You can use Insider’s versatile toolset to:

  • Aggregate your customer data — from CRMs, customer support chatbots, analytics software, and any other online or offline source — in our Actionable Customer Data Platform (CDP)
  • Identify and target the right audiences with over 120+ segmentation attributes, including traits (e.g., countries, iOS or Android device types, and so on), behaviors (e.g., purchase history and channel interactions), preferences (e.g., product X or product Y), and more. 
  • Predict behaviors with our AI-powered intent engine. For example, you can see how likely customers are to respond to discounts, how much they’re projected to spend, and how likely they are to buy or churn.
  • Build and automate personalized marketing campaigns across any channel.
  • And much more.

For more details on how Insider can help you reach your business goals, schedule a demo with our team.


Katie is an award-winning content marketer with over seven years of experience in content strategy, development, and copywriting. As Global Content Director at Insider, she currently oversees content strategy across 26 regions. Fun fact: Katie read 64 books last year (for which she owes a long commute and two week-long holidays where she spent approximately six hours a day with her nose in a book).