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In today’s competitive environment, bulk messaging has become a necessity. With companies needing to provide instant notifications to a large group of customers, they start looking for communication channels that are capable of helping them. While SMS has predominantly been one of the best bulk messaging applications, WhatsApp has grown in popularity in the past few years. Since new businesses that are looking for bulk messaging options might be a little confused, we created this article to provide clarity to help them.
What is SMS Broadcast?
SMS broadcasting is the process of sending bulk text messages to a large number of users. Generally, SMS broadcasts are used by businesses to send important notifications & offers to their customers. For a long time, SMS has been considered one of the best channels to broadcast messages because it was easy to set up and track. SMS also had a high message open rate, which made it an ideal bulk messaging option.
Benefits of SMS Broadcasting
Even in today’s digital landscape, there are several benefits to using SMS broadcasting. Some of them are listed below.
Broadcast messages that are sent through SMS are sent as personal messages to each user. In addition, receivers will not be able to see that the SMS messages are sent as bulk messages.
Device & Connectivity
SMS messages can be sent to all types of mobile devices, even the most basic ones. Moreover, customers need not have internet access to receive SMS messages. Therefore, businesses can reach a high number of users through SMS.
Good Message-Open Rates
SMS has predominantly had good message-open rates (around 80-90%) and this is true even in today’s competitive digital world. This means that your message will be able to reach a majority of your target audience.
Easy to Set-up & Use
SMS broadcasting is quick & easy to set up. Most applications allow you to create a campaign in just a few steps & send the messages instantly. In addition, there are also applications that allow you to create lists using ‘.csv’ files.
One of the most notable benefits of SMS broadcasting is that it is quite cost-effective. Since there are a host of third-party applications offering budget-friendly options, business owners can create a high ROI marketing campaign using SMS broadcasts.
Drawbacks of SMS Broadcasting
The following are some of the cons of using SMS broadcasting. As a business owner, it is important to understand these drawbacks to ensure the effective use of SMS bulk messaging.
Only Text Messages
One of the critical drawbacks of SMS broadcasting is that it only allows users to send text messages. Businesses cannot add rich media like images, videos, etc., to create more attractive messages.
Business owners need to partner with third-party applications to send bulk SMS messages to their customers. This can expose them to unnecessary risks & increase the strain on their business operations.
SMS text messages can only have 160 characters. This is a significant limitation that can hinder your business’ marketing strategies as it doesn’t allow for more creative or descriptive messages.
While SMS messages can be tracked easily, there is no way to know whether a message that is delivered has been read by the customer. Also, SMS broadcasting has stopped growing for some time and hence it doesn’t allow advanced analytics.
In today’s age, there are several SMS applications that filter out messages based on their intent. Therefore, business owners must make sure that their messages are not sales-oriented to ensure that they don’t get filtered as spam.
What is Whatsapp Broadcast?
WhatsApp allows users to send bulk messages to a list of contacts. WhatsApp Business users can add 256 contacts to a broadcast list & send messages to them. With the use of the API, business owners can increase the limit to 1000 contacts per list. With WhatsApp increasing in popularity, WhatsApp broadcasting has become a popular marketing tool among business owners.
Benefits of Whatsapp Broadcasting
WhatsApp broadcasting has become a staple today because it offers several benefits to business owners. Some of them include
WhatsApp has over 2 billion users worldwide, which makes it the perfect platform for businesses looking to reach a diverse audience. In addition, WhatsApp has one of the highest message-open rates. So, businesses can rest assured that their customers will read the message.
Rich Media Assistance
With WhatsApp broadcasts, business owners can send creative messages with images, videos, GIFs & other rich media to clients. This allows them to showcase their products better & increase their sales.
Save Specific Lists
WhatsApp broadcast lists that were created can be saved and reused again. Since business owners need not add each contact every time they wish to send notifications, they save time, effort & money.
Increased Conversation Options
WhatsApp allows for instant two-way communications. So, a WhatsApp broadcast message can lead to several conversational threads where the users can share their thoughts & opinions, make purchase decisions or even pay for a product using WhatsApp Payments..
Encryption & Privacy
WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption support for all messages. This extends to broadcast messages. In addition to the increased security, WhatsApp’s business/commerce policy also makes sure that customer privacy is ensured at all steps.
Further read: What is WhatsApp broadcast and how to send messages?
Drawbacks of WhatsApp Broadcasting
While WhatsApp broadcasting is popular, there are some critical limitations that businesses need to be aware of. They are:
Strict Business Policies
WhatsApp has a strict business policy that restricts businesses from several domains from using the application. In addition, WhatsApp’s commerce policy outlines several business messaging guidelines. Business owners who don’t adhere to these guidelines risk being blacklisted from using the application.
WhatsApp & WhatsApp Business users can only add saved contact numbers to WhatsApp broadcast lists. So, business owners must ensure that they have the correct contact numbers of their customers to include in the broadcast lists.
In continuation to the previous point, WhatsApp also need to get consent from the contact before sending any business communication. While this ensures customer privacy, it also hinders businesses from sending instant messages to new users.
Device & Connectivity
Since WhatsApp cannot be installed on several basic mobile devices, businesses can lose access to some customer segments. WhatsApp also requires an active internet connection to work, so it is not suitable for conversing with geographical regions with connectivity issues.
While business owners can check the number of customers who opened their messages, the application doesn’t allow extensive analytical support like clickthrough rates, time-on-message, etc.
Related Post: Send 1000 messages at once on WhatsApp
Difference Between SMS Broadcast and WhatsApp Broadcast
How do I create a WhatsApp Broadcast list?
We have now provided a brief overview of both WhatsApp & SMS broadcasting. We hope that this has helped you make up your mind about your preferred bulk messaging tool. If you have chosen WhatsApp to communicate with a large group of audience, let’s look at how to create a WhatsApp broadcast list.
Creating a Broadcast List on WhatsApp Business
The following steps show how to create a broadcast list on the business application.
- Open WhatsApp Business & tap on More Options
- Tap on ‘New Broadcast’.
- Search & add the contacts that you want to add.
- After adding the contacts, click on the Tick mark.
- Now your Broadcast list is created. You can edit the list by tapping ‘Broadcast
- List Info’ under ‘More Options’.
- In the list info screen, you can tap on ‘Edit’ to change the name of the list.
- You can also add new contacts by tapping ‘Add Recepient’ & remove contacts by tapping the ‘X’ mark next to the respective contact.
- You can also delete the entire broadcast by clicking ‘Delete’ under ‘Delete Broadcast List’.
Creating a Broadcast List on WhatsApp API
WhatsApp Business only allows 256 contacts per broadcast list. However, you might want to add more contacts as you grow. In that case, you can partner with a WhatsApp Business Service Provider like Gallabox & send up to 1,00,000 messages at a single time using WhatsApp API broadcasts.
You can check our WhatsApp Broadcasts guide for 2023 to get step-by-step guidance on WhatsApp API broadcast creation.
Related Post: How to send WhatsApp Messages from Google sheets
Is there a limit on the number of contacts I can add to the WhatsApp broadcast list?
While there are no limits to the number of broadcast lists that can be created, the basic WhatsApp & WhatsApp Business applications only allow you to add only 256 contacts to each broadcast list. Therefore, you can only send 256 messages at one time. To overcome this limit, you need to use WhatsApp Business API. The business API, which was created to help SMBs connect with their customers, allows you to broadcast messages to up to 1000 customers at a single time.
The 1000 message per day limit is a Tier 1 limit that can be increased by verifying your brand & engaging with more customers on a regular basis. Ultimately, you can scale up your communications to Tier 3 (sending messages to 100,000 users per day) with a good WhatsApp BSP like Gallabox.
What is the difference between sending a message to a group and sending a broadcast message?
Messages that are sent through WhatsApp broadcast are delivered to the private chat screen of each customer This allows them to reply to the message & have personalized conversations with the business. Since broadcast messages are targeted one-way communications, they are perfect for marketing & sales communications.
When messages are sent via WhatsApp groups, they are delivered to the group where all the users will be able to see the message and respond to it. Since a group acts as a public forum, it doesn’t allow for personalized responses. Since groups allow multi-way discussions between customers, they are perfect for shared feedback, reviews & responses.
You can check out our WhatsApp Broadcasts vs Groups article for a more in-depth discussion on the differences.
Why is WhatsApp Broadcast hands down the best option for marketing?
As mentioned, broadcasts can allow targeted messaging to the customers. By creating broadcast lists for various customer demographic, your business can send personalized notifications, product announcements & promotions to specific customer segments. When compared to SMS messages, broadcasts allow you to add pictures, videos & other rich media to increase their impact. In addition, WhatsApp broadcasts use end-to-end encryption to secure sensitive data. So, you can rest assured that your business can keep your customers updated about the latest products, services & offers with minimal security threats.
With all these benefits, it is clear that WhatsApp broadcasts are the perfect fit for today’s business marketing environment. If you are looking to take advantage of WhatsApp broadcasting but are confused about how to start, you can reach out to Gallabox. Our team has experience in providing excellent WhatsApp broadcasting, chatbot & workplace solutions to clients across different sectors. Sign up now to get a free trial of our services!
If you found this article helpful, you might want to check out these related resources,
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