With an average user base of around 2 million, WhatsApp has become a major player in the global business sector. In today's digital era, the app has become the preferred platform for customer interactions. Businesses don't just prefer WhatsApp for its popularity but also for the numerous additional features that the app offers. One of the many features that businesses utilize is the ability to broadcast to a group of people or a wider audience via WhatsApp. WhatsApp broadcasts are not the same as groups. In other words, the two are not equal.
What is WhatsApp Broadcast?
WhatsApp’s Broadcast feature allows users to send private text & multimedia messages to a list of multiple recipients. To initiate a broadcast message, users need to create a broadcast list by choosing the desired recipients that they wish to interact with. The broadcast list allows companies to send important notifications & business/product updates to either their entire customer base or a specific group of customers.
A WhatsApp broadcast enables organizations to build a community and keep them engaged through personalized messages. Many business owners have also successfully utilized this feature to get the word out and engage their customers by sending critical marketing notifications like deals, coupons & referral offers that entice customers to initiate a conversation. Here is an overview of WhatsApp Broadcast on Gallabox:
What is a WhatsApp group?
As the name implies, a WhatsApp group is nothing but a group created by an administrator to share, discuss and communicate important notifications & ideas with a specific group of acquaintances, friends or loyal customers. Unlike the broadcasts, WhatsApp groups work on an open invite system where the person who creates the group invites other users to join.
Business owners can create a separate group for individual target audiences and use these WhatsApp groups to have private or semi-private conversations with the group members. In addition, business owners can also create a group for their own employees for internal communications.
How to create a WhatsApp group:
Open WhatsApp and tap the ‘CHATS’ section.
- Click on the ‘Options’ (three dots symbol) at the top-right of the app.
- Select ‘New Group’ from the list of options.
- Add the group information (group name and group profile picture) and tap Next.
- In the next step, select the participants that you want to add to the group from the list of contacts.
- Tap ‘Create’ to create the group.
WhatsApp Broadcast vs WhatsApp Group: Which one is best for your business?
Both WhatsApp Groups and Broadcasts provide immense benefits to any business. However, it is important to understand the key differences in their application. This will help determine the right purpose and the right audience for each feature. Let's look at some of the key differences between the two features that you need to consider before you start using them.
One-way communication vs multi-way communication
WhatsApp broadcast messages are one-way communications where the person who is sending the message is the admin and the users who receive the message can only communicate with the admin. In a WhatsApp group, all the users can see and reply to any message that is sent by the admin. So, the group is more conducive to widespread marketing activities while a broadcast list is more geared towards targeted and personalized marketing efforts.
Restrictions on the number of people you can target in your marketing campaigns
Business owners can add 256 unique contacts to a single WhatsApp group or WhatsApp broadcast list. Business owners can create numerous groups and broadcast lists based on their business requirements and target market sectors. That being said, business owners can also use a hack to increase the number of users that they can invite to a WhatsApp group by sending invites via a share link.
Protecting individual preferences and privacy
When it comes to privacy, WhatsApp broadcasts offer more privacy to recipients because each and every message is sent as a private message. Therefore, businesses can have a private & personalized conversation with any customer that engages with the broadcast message. It is also important to note that customers will only receive your broadcast messages if they have stored your number.
On the other hand, business owners need to strategically send messages that are relevant to the entire group when it comes to a WhatsApp group. Another important privacy feature of WhatsApp broadcast lists is that a user cannot see the other users who are part of the list. In a WhatsApp group, all the users can see all the members who are part of the group.
Adding contact numbers to groups vs broadcast list
If business owners wish to send broadcast messages to a customer, they need to save the customer’s contact number. Only saved contact numbers can be added to a broadcast list. As mentioned earlier, customers can only view the broadcast messages of contact numbers that they’ve stored on their mobile. On the contrary, business owners can add any particular number to their WhatsApp group even if they have not saved it.
What happens if a customer blocks your business number
WhatsApp allows users to block messages from a particular contact. When a user blocks a business, they will stop seeing any broadcast messages or normal chats from the business. However, if a user who has blocked the business is in a group, they will still receive updates that are shared in the group.
The only way to check if a user has blocked you is by consistently monitoring the broadcast list and identifying customers who are regularly not receiving any of your messages.
How easy is it for customers to opt out?
Customers can easily exit both the WhatsApp group and broadcast list whenever they wish to. In the case of a broadcast list, customers just need to remove the contact number of the business from their phone number to stop receiving broadcast messages. Exiting from the group is much easy as the customers jut need to go to the group profile and click on the ‘Exit Group’ button.
Note: The admin of the WhatsApp group and broadcast list also has the power to remove people and delete the entire group/list. Since a WhatsApp group can have multiple admins, this is also a point to consider.
WhatsApp Broadcast is best for businesses
Based on all the information that we’ve seen so far, it is clear that both WhatsApp Group & Broadcast offer excellent benefits. However, the broadcast list is more suitable for business owners that look to create a personal connection with a large group of customers. This feature is a great way to create or share important notifications, updates and content with a broader audience. In addition, WhatsApp broadcasts are easy to implement and send. This makes it the best fit for businesses that are looking for a global reach.
How to create a WhatsApp Broadcast
WhatsApp’s Broadcast feature can be a great way to not only create an engaging relationship with customers but also a lot of exposure to your business. Businesses can create groups for customers, employees or for other departments that they want to update. The following is a simple step-by-step guide on how to create a WhatsApp Broadcast list:
- Open WhatsApp on your phone.
- Tap ‘More Options’ (Three Dots button) Broadcast Lists at the top right of the Chats screen.
- Tap on ‘New Broadcast’ and select the contacts you want to add to the list.
- Tap the checkmark and create.
Limitations of WhatsApp Broadcast for businesses
Yes, WhatsApp Broadcast is better than groups for your marketing campaigns. But there are some limitations, especially if you are a business looking to scale fast.
- You can only send to 256 people at a time.
- It's not easy to segment your contacts.
- Analytics are limited. You cannot understand what exactly worked and what did not
- Testing and optimizing are tricky.
- WhatsApp broadcast is only for one-way messages
- You cannot add a tracking link to your message
- Like WhatsApp group, people can opt-out of broadcasts and leave.
These limitations of WhatsApp broadcast aren’t deal-breakers, but you should be aware of them. If you are looking for a far more superior solution for your marketing campaigns, you should check out Gallabox.
Suggested Read: Tips to master WhatsApp Business Broadcast: Send bulk messages to your customers in a few easy steps
Execute marketing campaigns on WhatsApp by broadcasting with Gallabox!
If you are a business owner, you might be leaning towards creating a broadcast list and experimenting with the results after you’ve read this article. If so, you can overcome some of the limitations of WhatsApp Business broadcasts with the help of Gallabox. Gallabox is a leading WhatsApp Business Service Provider who has years of experience offering comprehensive WhatsApp solutions for businesses from all walks of life. Just book a free consultation now to learn how your business can benefit from a personalized WhatsApp broadcast strategy.
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