In today's market, customers prefer to shop and interact with their favorite brands via the internet. WhatsApp grew to be the most popular communication app in the world. Over 2 billion people use it daily to exchange messages with friends and family, and to connect with their favorite brands.
Any business, large or small, that aspires to succeed, must nurture meaningful interaction with its customers. Sometimes, especially when the size of the target audience increases, it’s impossible to maintain regular and effective communication with each customer manually. Luckily, with WhatsApp Broadcasts you don’t have to.
What is a WhatsApp Broadcast?
WhatsApp Broadcast is a feature that allows you to send a message, an image, a video, or a document to multiple customers at once. This might be irrelevant for most private users. Marketers and business owners, on the other hand, see an enormous value in this feature, as it helps them reach a much greater audience of potential customers.
A broadcast message appears as a private message in a chat between a WhatsApp Business account and its customers. If the recipients respond to the broadcast message, it will come in an individual chat. This is different from WhatsApp groups because only you and the customer will be able to see it, and not the entire audience of the campaign.
How to send a WhatsApp Broadcast?
Sending a Broadcast message with the WhatsApp Business app is quite straightforward. The first requirement is to have a broadcast list. This is a list of the WhatsApp users you wish to send a broadcast message to.
The second requirement is a bit tricky. When you send a message to the broadcast list, only recipients in the list who have your number saved in their phone's address book will receive the message. The ones who didn’t add your number to their contacts won’t receive any messages sent via WhatsApp Broadcast.
If you haven’t already created a broadcast list, this is the procedure for Android and iPhone:
- Open WhatsApp.
- Tap the three dots at the top right corner of the screen.
- Tap New broadcast in the menu.
- Search for or select the contacts you want to add.
- Tap the checkmark to create the new broadcast
At some point, you may want to edit your broadcast list. To do so, you need to:
- Open your Broadcast Lists.
- Tap the three dots at the top right corner of your screen.
- Tap Broadcast list info.
- In the List Info screen, you can: (1) Change the name of your broadcast list. (2) Add or remove recipients from the list by tapping Edit list.
- Open WhatsApp.
- Tap Broadcast Lists at the top of the Chats screen.
- Tap New List at the bottom of the Broadcast Lists screen.
- Search for or select the contacts you want to add.
- Tap Create.
If you want to edit a broadcast list:
- Open your Broadcast Lists.
- Tap the "i" icon next to the list you want to edit.
- In the List Info screen, you can:
- Change the name of your broadcast list.
- Add or remove recipients from the list by tapping Edit list.
The broadcast lists appear on your Chats screen in the WhatsApp Business app, alongside the rest of your chats.
Limitations of the WhatsApp Business app
This WhatsApp Broadcast feature is quite convenient if you want to send a message to multiple users at once. However, it does come with some limitations you’ll need to consider. Apart from the fact that only users who saved your number in their phone's address books can receive your broadcast messages, WhatsApp limits the number of users each broadcast list can have within the app.
One broadcast list can have only 256 unique contacts. So, If you want to send a message to 1000 users, no problem - simply create four different lists. However, there are over 2 billion WhatsApp users worldwide. Your campaign may have a target audience of hundreds of thousands of potential customers.
And if that’s not enough to give you a headache, WhatsApp doesn’t allow importing contacts saved in excel. If you collected numbers from your Shopify store, you’ll have to add each number to WhatsApp manually.
And last, but not least, there’s no analytics. Any marketer knows how crucial reports are in determining the effectiveness of your campaign. Without analytics, you don’t know how many messages were read or replied to. Good luck developing and planning your next campaign without knowing the results of your previous campaigns.
How to send more than 256 messages at once on WhatsApp Broadcast?
In 2018 WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Business API to help businesses interact with their customers. If you want to use WhatsApp Business API, you need to verify your business’ number through one of the official WhatsApp Business Solution Providers (BSP) and use a customer communication platform such as Rasayel to unlock all the possibilities WhatsApp has to offer.
API or Application Programming Interface allows two applications to communicate and exchange data with each other. In this case, the API is the bridge between WhatsApp Business and your account at Rasayel. On our platform, this data can be utilized using tools specially designed to optimize your key communication processes, enhance your marketing strategy, track results, and never lose a sale on WhatsApp.
How to create a Broadcast list
Creating a broadcast list with the WhatsApp Business app takes too much time. You have to search for or select the contacts and add them manually.
One of the most convenient features of Rasayel is that you can add contacts to the WhatsApp Broadcast list from Excel File or any Spreadsheet app.
Furthermore, when you create your spreadsheet with contact numbers, you can include variables that can be utilized when you create your campaign. For example, you can add a column for the gender of each contact in your list. This variable will automatically determine how you address each user in your Message template.
Uploading contact lists for your WhatsApp Broadcast is easy and you can create a new broadcast list in a minute.
Start by selecting the contacts you wish to send a broadcast message to and follow the remaining steps:
- Select “Contacts”
- Click “Import contacts”
- Click on “Download CSV sample” to make sure your CSV is in the right format.
- When you’re ready, click “Upload .CSV file”. Select the file from your computer, and click “Open”
- You can then start importing your contacts by clicking on “Import records”
That’s it! You’re now ready to create a WhatsApp campaign using your newly updated list!
Begin by selecting the Campaign tab on your left hand-side on the screen and proceed to follow the rest of the steps:
- Select “Campaigns”. Click “Create a campaign”
- Enter the name of your campaign. It’s a good idea to make the name as descriptive as possible while keeping it short and concise. For instance, use “Promotion July 2022 - 1st Batch” instead of “Promotion 1”.
Then, select the WhatsApp number that you wish to send your message from. Click “Continue”.
- Now you’ll need to define your audience. You can filter through your contact list using one or more of the following:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Created (Date)
- Custom data attributes
In the following example, I’ve filtered the list using the following:
- Email address contains “rasayel.io”
- Tags is “partnerships”
- Rasayel customer is Yes
Any contact that matches those filters will be selected for the campaign. Select “Continue” when you’re confident with your list and ready to compose your message.
- Compose your message. You’ll need to select a WhatsApp template from the list. For more information on templates, please refer to this guide (this isn’t published yet).
Since this message will go out to multiple users, you have the option to use data attributes for your template’s variables/placeholders. That will ensure that each contact receives a message that is relevant to them. In the following example, I’m using “User display name” for the first placeholder and keeping the second placeholder static. You can also define a fallback text for attributes that may or may not exist for your contacts, as shown:
- When you’re done composing your message, click “Preview campaign”. You’ll see the following:
Preview mode gives you a summary of your campaign before you launch it, including a preview of how it would look on your contact’s phone. At this stage, you still have the option to modify your campaign.
- When you’re ready, hit Publish! That’s it! A successful launch will return you to the main campaigns page, where you can track the progress of your campaign, including delivery and open rates. Keep in mind that for WhatsApp, some contacts might have their “read” indicators disabled. For those, you will only receive a delivery confirmation.
How many users can you message with WhatsApp Broadcast?
WhatsApp limits how many unique users your business can send messages to on a daily basis. This does not apply to the number of messages you can send, only the number of users you are trying to reach. Furthermore, it doesn’t apply to messages sent in response to a user-initiated message within a 24-hour period.
There are four messaging limit levels:
- 1K business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
- 10K business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
- 100K business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
- An unlimited number of business-initiated conversations in a rolling 24-hour period.
Messaging limits are increased or decreased automatically based on:
- your phone number status,
- phone number quality rating, and;
- how often you initiate conversations with unique customers.
All WhatsApp Business accounts start with a limit to 1K conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
Each time you initiate a new conversation with a unique customer WhatsApp will determine if your limit should be increased. This determination is based on the following criteria:
- your phone number status is Connected
- your phone number quality rating is Medium or High
- you have been at your current messaging limit for at least 48 hours
- in the last 7 days, you have initiated X or more conversations with unique customers, where X is your current messaging limit multiplied by 2
Advantages of sending WhatsApp Broadcast using Rasayel
Managing tens, or even hundreds to thousands of messages daily is easy with a customer communication platform built especially for WhatsApp. The ability to integrate with WhatsApp or any other platform via API makes Rasayel the tool that can help your business grow effortlessly.
With Rasayel you can automate conversations, deploy chatbots, develop campaigns, send or schedule bulk messages, create templates, and track results. Ultimately, it’s the tool that can help you sell better and faster. Try it now for free.