September 22, 2022 10 min read

How to set up and send WhatsApp Newsletters (+templates)

Written byPim de Vos

Traditional marketing channels like email are becoming more and more saturated. Consumers receive at least 10 newsletters every day and they delete most of them without reading.

Why? Because of channel fatigue. Channel fatigue occurs when your audience gets so many marketing messages on a specific channel that they get overwhelmed by them and stop paying attention. And as you know, all of our email inboxes are bombarded by too many newsletters every day.

As a marketer, this leaves you with two options:

  1. Keep optimizing your emails, hoping your opening rates will go up by 1% or 2%
  2. Switch to a channel where there is no competition yet, such as WhatsApp

In this article, we’ll discuss why you should go for option two: the WhatsApp newsletter. We’ll explain what it is and how you can send them.

What is a WhatsApp newsletter?

WhatsApp newsletters are paid bulk messages via WhatsApp to share relevant and valuable information with customers. WhatsApp is on the rise as an important new channel for marketers. With over 2 billion active users worldwide, it’s safe to say your customers are on there. And you know how the saying goes: always go where your customers are.

An example of a WhatsApp newsletter.
A WhatsApp newsletter example. Source: Meta

The benefits of sending newsletters on WhatsApp

There are multiple benefits to sending newsletters via WhatsApp.

First of all, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world. Currently, it has over 2.4 billion active users worldwide. Aside from using WhatsApp to talk to friends and family, people are now also using it to communicate with businesses. “Go where your customers are” is a fundamental marketing rule, and the numbers don’t lie.

The popularity of WhatsApp in numbers.
Source: Statista

Besides that, WhatsApp has way higher opening rates than email. With all our inboxes being flooded by newsletters every day, email newsletter fatigue is growing. According to research from Gartner, WhatsApp messages have an average opening rate of 90%+, while email has an average opening rate of 22%.

The opening rate of WhatsApp vs the opening rate of email
Source: Gartner

Sending newsletters on the WhatsApp Business app vs the WhatsApp Business API

You can send WhatsApp newsletters via WhatsApp’s broadcast feature. This feature comes in all of WhatsApp’s products, but as a business, you can only use the following options:

Regular WhatsApp

✅ WhatsApp Business

✅ WhatsApp Business API

The WhatsApp Business app was created for small businesses with low message volumes. It can only be used by four users at the same time. The app is free of charge, but can only send a maximum of 256 newsletters a day. More importantly, the app has no guaranteed data protection.

The WhatsApp Business API was created for medium and large-sized businesses. It enables businesses to manage WhatsApp Business with multiple users, automate repetitive workflows, get in-depth insights into performance and customer happiness, and send out 800 newsletters a day. The API does not come with its own interface, and can therefore only be accessed via a customer engagement platform such as Trengo.

From here on out, we’ll discuss how to send WhatsApp newsletters with the WhatsApp Business API.

Why you need pre-approved template messages

You can use the broadcasting feature to send WhatsApp newsletters to your customers. However, to prevent spam, outbound messages can only be sent by using template messages. These templates have to be approved by WhatsApp before you can send them out. When you use the API via a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider such as Trengo, the approval process is fast and smooth and can be done within minutes.

Here is an example of what a WhatsApp Business newsletter template looks like:

Hey [1],

We are excited about the new rollout of our family of products and as part of our launch, we will be discounting the whole line of products on [2] for all of our VIP customers.

We are looking forward to seeing you at our VIP event!

Cheers,

[3]

You can personalize your WhatsApp newsletters with variables. The numbers between brackets are variables for the following:

  • [1] is the variable for your customer’s name
  • [2] is the variable for the date your business will run the promotional offer for your customers
  • [3] is the person’s name and title or department that’s sending the message.

Message limit for WhatsApp newsletters

Pre-approved templates aren’t the only measure WhatsApp takes to avoid spam. Another is that you can only send WhatsApp newsletters to a limited number of customers a day.

If you decide to choose Trengo to use the WhatsApp Business API, you can send out 800 WhatsApp newsletters a day. You don’t have to send all 800 at once, you can spread this out as you see fit (i.e. two audiences of 400 customers).

WhatsApp newsletter costs: an overview

Last but not least, you’ll need to set aside some budget. Because sending WhatsApp newsletters is very cheap, but it’s not free.

WhatsApp newsletters are what WhatsApp calls ‘business-initiated messages’. Below, you can see how much that costs you per newsletter. If your country is not on the list, check out the pricing list for all countries.

The costs of business-initiated WhatsApp Business API messages per country.
Source: Facebook

Note: the first 1000 conversations every month (both user and business-initiated) are completely free of charge.

📚 Read more: WhatsApp Business pricing: all you need to know

How to get a sign-up for your WhatsApp newsletter

You now know how to set up and send a newsletter on WhatsApp, but how do you get people to sign up?

There are multiple options:

  • An online sign-up form (make sure to ask for their phone number)
  • A WhatsApp link (which sends your customer to a WhatsApp conversation in which they can sign up)
  • A QR code

At Trengo, we organize an event called WhatsApp Commerce. To gather sign-ups, we sent out physical cards with the following QR code (go ahead and try it yourself 😉

How to get an opt-in for your WhatsApp Business newsletter

Just as with email, you need to ask for customers to opt in to your WhatsApp Business newsletter. As we said earlier, WhatsApp wants to prevent spam on its platform. By collecting opt-ins, you prevent getting reported as spam too many times.

You are free to come up with your own method to collect these opt-ins. There is no formal way of doing this. Possibly the easiest way to do it, however, is by using buttons.

For our WhatsApp Commerce event, we also needed to create an opt-in for attendees. We did this with an automated message. After scanning the QR code, attendees only had to hit send.

WhatsApp newsletter templates per use case

Now that you know how to technically set up a WhatsApp newsletter, it’s time to get to what it’s all about: the creative. At the end of the day, no matter the channel you’re using, it’s all about what you’re saying.

Need some inspiration? Use one of these WhatsApp newsletter templates. We’ve put together templates that can be reused regularly. All information between brackets can be personalized.

Promoting a discount

Hi [name]!

Next week, you can get a [percentage] discount on the following products!

💰[product]

💰[product]

💰[product]

💰[product]

💰[product]

Simply use promo code [code] on our website.

Happy shopping!

Promoting an event

Hi [name],

Great news: we have just announced the line-up for [event name]! 🎉

We loved having you last year, and we hope you can make it this year too. Early bird tickets will go on sale starting [date and time].

Don’t miss out! 🔥

Back-in-stock alert

Hey [name]!

You recently tried to purchase [product], but sadly, it was out of stock 😟

But there’s GOOD NEWS! 🥁🥁🥁

It’s back in stock. You can order it here: [link].

Sharing new content

Hi [name]!

We just released our new podcast [episode title]. This time, it’s all about [podcast summary].

You can listen to it on:

📻 Spotify: [link]

📻 Soundcloud: [link]

📻 YouTube: [link]

I hope you enjoy it, [name]!

The bottom line: WhatsApp newsletters are the future

If your customers are on WhatsApp, why isn’t your business? With email inboxes across the world being flooded with newsletters, opening rates are at an all-time low. At the same time, WhatsApp messages have an average opening rate of 90%+.

With Trengo’s WhatsApp newsletter tool, you get access to the WhatsApp Business API. This enables you to send WhatsApp newsletters with the following benefits:

  • Reply to questions with multiple users
  • Automate responses with chatbots, rules, and auto-replies
  • Get in-depth insights into your newsletter’s performance

Start a 14-day free trial at Trengo

Written by Pim de Vos

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