After the newsletter is canceled: Companies can proactively write to customers on WhatsApp again

Using a new message format on WhatsApp, every business customer can once again send informative messages about products and news directly. However, some rules and costs must be observed.

There is good news for all companies using WhatsApp Business. Because the company has now also introduced so-called non-transactional notifications in Germany, which are very reminiscent of the popular WhatsApp newsletters, which have been banned since the end of 2019. About the WhatsApp API Product recommendations can now be sent to customers based on past purchases, offers or information. In order for companies to be able to use this option at all, they have to observe a specific data protection rule – and the feature is not completely free either.

Customer communication on WhatsApp has been greatly optimized thanks to new features

WhatsApp is the largest messaging app in the world. Facebook’s subsidiary has over two billion users, and the features in the app have long gone beyond the simple exchange of messages. Even a payment for WhatsApp is in the room and was recently reintroduced in the test market in Brazil. A few years ago, companies were even able to send newsletters via WhatsApp, but this was no longer possible after the abuse of mass messages and other policy violations. Since then, the businesses have only been able to open restricted message templates To fall back on.

But now there is an alternative. MessengerPeople reportsthat with WhatsApp Business a form of proactive approach to customers is now possible again. To first tests in Indonesia and Mexico the non-transactional notifications are now also being rolled out in Germany. They are also available in the following markets: Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Nigeria, Egypt, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica and USA. Matthias Mehner, Messaging Expert, Managing Director and CMO of MessengerPeople, explains:

With the new type of proactive WhatsApp notifications, WhatsApp is expanding its focus to establish WhatsApp as an indispensable tool for the entire customer journey. For us, this is a big step towards a real conversational commerce offering […].

Alert messages for new stocks, reminders for reorders, personalized product recommendations or messages with information on current discounts are possible. Customers can also register for alerts about price changes or company news.

WhatsApp: Addressing companies is now possible again, © MessengerPeople, WhatsApp, Adobe Stock

An opt-in for customers is essential for the new WhatsApp feature

The keyword is to register: Companies are only allowed to use the new message format if they have received an opt-in from the users who want to notify them. These opt-ins must WhatsApps opt-in guidelines and at the same time comply with the legislation in force in your own country, or in the EU also the GDPR. A simple opt-out option must also be provided, as Mehner states in his extensive blog post on the subject.

Sign up on WhatsApp for corporate news
Sign-up on WhatsApp for company messages, © MessengerPeople, WhatsApp, Adobe Stock

If users think the news is inappropriate (even though they signed up for it), they can simply report a business. So that the experience is really valuable for the users – and ultimately the companies themselves – WhatsApp checks every message template that a business creates as part of the new feature. This should also be done against spam and dubious content. Matthias Mehner also advises on the MessengerPeople blog to ensure that customers:

  1. expect a message
  2. Receive personalized messages that are relevant to the individual sent
  3. Receive company news in a timely manner (after an interaction)

You can find information on the implementation and approval of WhatsApp notifications, for example in another blog post by Matthias Mehner read up.

So is there a WhatsApp newsletter again?

The question that companies may now ask is to what extent the non-transactional notifications are similar to the old newsletter format on WhatsApp. When asked whether there would be such a newsletter again, explained Matthias Mehner towards OnlineMarketing.de:

The WhatsApp newsletters were more of a gray area. The difference to today is that it is now explicitly allowed by WhatsApp, but the quality of the messages is also monitored much more strictly. The principle The company sends information to its customers via WhatsApp but you could compare it to the past, yes.

No matter what you call it, the new feature comes as close as possible to a newsletter in the messaging app for companies. Therefore, the use should at least be considered in every business in order to further optimize customer communication in messenger marketing.

It should be noted, however, that the WhatsApp notifications are not completely free. While customers can write to companies free of charge, the latter have to pay to send such notifications if they are sent to customers outside of a 24-hour service window. At the moment one costs Notification in Germany 0.0766 euros. The prices vary slightly from country to country.

The CEO of the holiday pirates at MessengerPeople also emphasizes the potential of the new offer, David Armstrong:

We see it as a great opportunity to be able to send our customers the latest offers that they are interested in directly to the lock screen of their smartphone in real time.

The travel portal Urlaubspiraten.de had over a million subscribers to its WhatsApp newsletter before it was banned.


The content of this article is largely based on information from MessengerPeople, which was kindly made available to OnlineMarketing.de.

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Source: OnlineMarketing.de by onlinemarketing.de.

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