How to collect a WhatsApp Business opt-in (+examples)
Do you want to reach out to your customers via WhatsApp?
If you want to collect subscribers, you first need to ask them to opt-in to your WhatsApp Business newsletter. Just as with email, the opt-in acts as a filter to ensure only customers interested in your business are receiving your messages.
In this blog post, I’ll guide you through what exactly a WhatsApp Business opt-in is and share some of the best ways to collect opt-ins. Let’s get started!
What is a WhatsApp business opt-in?
A WhatsApp opt-in is the agreement of your customer or prospect to receive messages from your business via WhatsApp. To prevent spam, WhatsApp introduced the 24-hour rule for businesses. This means you have a 24-hour window to respond to customer-initiated messages. After that, you can't reach out. From that point, you can only send pre-approved template messages to initiate a conversation. Opt-ins must be collected before sending these messages to your customers via WhatsApp.
If you send messages to customers who didn’t consent, they can block you or report your account for spam. Your business quality rating can get lower, which may even result in your account being suspended in the long run.
Also, those who opt-in are more likely to engage with you, as they’re explicitly interested in your brand and the content you’ll share.
WhatsApp Business opt-in requirements
There are some requirements you need to follow when collecting opt-ins. According to WhatsApp’s new policy, you must:
- state that a person is opting in to receive messages from your business on WhatsApp
- state the business’s name that a person is opting in to receive messages from
- comply with applicable law
What are the best ways to collect WhatsApp Business opt-ins?
There are multiple options to collect WhatsApp Business opt-ins:
- An online sign-up form asking for their phone number
- A WhatsApp link which sends your customers to a WhatsApp conversation in which they can sign up
- A QR code
You are free to come up with your own method to collect these opt-ins. There is no official way of doing this. Here are some of the best examples to collect WhatsApp Business opt-ins.
1. Website opt-ins
The best place to get started is definitely your website. After all, both your customers and prospects come here to find out more about you.
You can collect opt-ins on your website by either using a pop-up, banner or CTA snippet in website locations that would particularly attract your customers’ attention.
Here’s an example of a website pop-up. You need to clearly communicate the value and benefits of opting in to receive notifications via WhatsApp. In this case, customers can sign up to receive inspirations, new arrivals and the latest discounts from you on WhatsApp.
“Sign up for SwiftStep’s WhatsApp newsletter!Get inspiration, new arrivals and the latest offers on WhatsApp. Feel free to contact us too!”
“Thank you for signing up!You’ve successfully opted in to stay in touch with us on WhatsApp. You’ll get the latest updates and special offers from us.”
Tip💡: You could also collect opt-ins via a WhatsApp Business chatbot on your website. The best way to add a WhatsApp chat icon on your website is by using Trengo’s multichannel chat widget. Thanks to this widget, your customers can contact you via a WhatsApp button on your website.
2. Exit intent pop-ups
There are times your customers may need a little extra nudge to take action. That’s where exit-intent pop-ups come in. Exit intent pop-ups can save between 10-15% of lost customers. If you don’t use them, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
An exit intent pop-up may offer a special discount to encourage customers to leave their phone number to receive the discount on their WhatsApp— and stay connected to your brand.
For example, SwiftStep offers a 20% discount if customers sign up for the WhatsApp newsletter. Right after signing up, the customers receive the discount code and get signed up for future notifications. They also get a link to SwiftStep’s website to redeem the code.
3. In-store WhatsApp opt-ins
If you have retail outlets, you have a great opportunity to collect WhatsApp opt-ins.
You can display a QR code on a strategic location in your store, like near the cash register or storefront window. When customers scan the code, they'll be taken directly to your WhatsApp Business account, where they can opt-in to your WhatsApp newsletter and engage in real-time conversations with the store.
Of course, you first need to encourage them to scan the QR code by promising to send them gift cards, special discounts and new product updates on WhatsApp.
Another idea is to collect WhatsApp opt-ins during checkout at the cash register. The store assistant can communicate that a special discount is offered for the customers that subscribe to the WhatsApp newsletter. She can then provide a QR code or direct them to your website to collect opt-ins.
By connecting to their customers via WhatsApp, retailers can improve their overall customer experience and increase sales at the same time.
4. Existing channels of communication
You can promote your WhatsApp Business newsletter during a customer’s journey through an existing channel of communication.
Let’s assume you’re a travel company. You could send a WhatsApp Business opt-in form during the booking process. You could communicate that if they signup, customers would get travel tips, inspirations and special discounts straight to their WhatsApp.
As an e-commerce company, you could send a small card with a QR code in your product packaging. For example, you could write on the card: “Thanks for shopping with us! Scan the QR code and subscribe to our WhatsApp newsletter to get a special discount for your next order.”
5. Offline marketing campaigns
You could also turn the opt-in link into a QR code and add it to your marketing materials.
Here’s another example from Arabian Adventures. They added a QR code on their business card and handed them to travellers landing at the Dubai Airport. With this QR code, customers could easily opt-in to WhatsApp with a single scan and start chatting with the travel agents right away. This was one of the most successful marketing campaigns for them, as they were able to increase their digital sales by 43%.
6. Collect WhatsApp opt-ins during your events
During an event we organised last year at Trengo, we got a little bit creative with our QR codes. We served our guests small chocolates with our branded QR codes on them.
When attendees scanned the QR code that is attached to it, they started a conversation with our WhatsApp Business account with a message ready to be sent. All they had to do was to hit ‘send’ to sign up for the newsletter.
Last but not least: Give subscribers a chance to opt-out
I know you don’t want your customers to unsubscribe, but hear me out: opt-outs have several advantages.
First of all, it’s customer-friendly! By giving them the option to say “no” and choose the messages they actually want to see, you show your customers that you respect their privacy and are committed to ethical communication practices.
Second, you’ll reduce the block rate as only people who are really interested in your newsletters will get them. You will not bother other customers.
Besides, you’ll be able to see who opted out. This will help you improve your marketing campaigns in the future.
Start collecting WhatsApp Business opt-ins
Those who opt-in to your WhatsApp newsletter are interested in your business and what you have to offer. Make sure you send non-spammy messages that offer real value. By doing so, you'll create an audience of excited customers who are eager to engage with you.
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