Guide to WhatsApp Marketing with Twilio

November 08, 2022
Written by

WhatsApp Marketing Blog

Consumers today are inundated with marketing messages. So how are businesses rising above the noise? To stand out from the crowd, your brand needs to personalize your marketing content and send marketing messages on channels that customers prefer to use and engage with at high rates, like the WhatsApp Business Platform. In this blog post, we’ll share our best practices for how you can create engaging marketing campaigns with the WhatsApp Business Platform and Twilio.

Why WhatsApp for marketing

Put simply, it’s where your customers are. WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app, with more than 2 billion monthly active users. In addition, it is the messaging platform of choice in many parts of the world, including Latin America, India, and parts of Europe. If your business operates in these markets, or is a multinational company looking to expand to these regions, you need to be on WhatsApp to reach consumers there. Additionally, because consumers are frequently using WhatsApp for personal communications, they are engaging with it often and opening messages at high rates.

WhatsApp wasn’t always an option for marketers. Traditionally, it’s been used by businesses for notifications and customer service, but now marketing and promotional messaging use cases are on the rise after WhatsApp began to permit these use cases on their platform in 2021.

WhatsApp’s global popularity, high level of engagement, and new opportunity for promotional messaging presents a new avenue for innovative marketers to engage with consumers over their preferred channel with targeted and relevant messages. This can help start a conversation with these consumers, build loyal relationships, and deliver measurable ROI. For example, use marketing messages as a starting point to engage your customers by sending them a personalized product recommendation or back in stock notification, prompting them to ask any follow up questions, and then helping them complete the transaction over WhatsApp. In this way, you can drive greater conversion and revenue with WhatsApp marketing.

Types of marketing messages

Use WhatsApp throughout the customer journey to reach or re-engage customers with personalized and relevant marketing messages. There are many different types of marketing and promotional messages your business can send over WhatsApp, from new product updates and abandoned cart reminders to personalized discounts and seasonal campaigns.

Acquisition/initial outreach

Bring customers into the purchase funnel with messages sharing new product updates or seasonal or holiday campaigns.

Mobile screenshot in WhatsApp message of fall marketing message from a coffee shop


For those customers who may have engaged with previous marketing messages or added items to their cart on your website, reach out to them with abandoned cart reminders, back-in-stock alerts, or other re-engagement messages to bring them back to their purchase process.

Mobile screenshot of WhatsApp message from a clothing store reminding a customer about items left in their cart

Driving repeat purchases

Reach out to customers who have already made purchases by sending them suggested additional products or personalized discounts and offers for future purchases. Re-engaging with customers after they have made a purchase can help drive repeat purchase and loyalty.

Mobile screenshot of a WhatsApp message from a salad restaurant offering a customer a discount that's unique to them

With all of these types of marketing messages, drive greater engagement and ROI by personalizing them to the customers you are reaching out to. With the Twilio Segment CDP, use your first-party data to curate relevant and personalized marketing messages for your customers, such as abandoned cart reminders, purchase suggestions, or customized discounts.

Best practices for marketing on WhatsApp

When using WhatsApp for marketing, there are several considerations marketers need to take into account as they are moving through the stages of developing and launching a marketing campaign, from initial planning and developing creative to testing and iterating on a campaign after launch.

Getting ready to send on WhatsApp

If your brand is not already using WhatsApp to communicate with your customers, you will need to onboard your brand onto the Twilio platform before you begin sending messages. You also need to ensure that you have secured the proper opt-in from users to send them marketing messages. Following opt-in best practices will provide a better end user experience while ensuring your business is able to deliver messages as expected.

Developing creative assets

When developing creative assets to use in WhatsApp marketing campaigns, consider the different rich messaging features WhatsApp offers. Features like Buttons enable consumers to take action based on your marketing messages - for example, include a few buttons with conversation starters (e.g., “check if my size is available” or “chat with an associate”). You can also create media message templates to make WhatsApp marketing messages more visually engaging, or include links within WhatsApp messages, such as a link to the product page to allow customers to learn more or complete a transaction. This enables you to gather data about what types of marketing messages are generating engagement and turn marketing messages into conversations with your customers.

The Twilio Content API helps to manage rich content and monitor template approvals on WhatsApp to make sure you are ready to send your marketing messages. You can also manage a multi-channel marketing campaign with the Content API’s ability to help you easily reuse content between WhatsApp and other channels like SMS marketing.

Additionally, as you are developing your WhatsApp marketing strategy, consider how consumers may want to respond to your messages. Using Buttons or links provides them with a suggested next step, but they may also want to reply to your messages with questions about your product or campaign. Twilio’s Conversational Messaging Trend Report showed that 77% of consumers want to use conversational messaging to get help with selecting a product or service, so ensuring you are set up to handle and respond to inbound messages will enable you to continue to move your customers through the purchase funnel.

Engaging with customers

Try out various WhatsApp entry points to include WhatsApp as part of a multi-channel marketing campaign. Ads that Click to WhatsApp on Facebook and Instagram enable a consumer to take immediate action when they see a business’s ad and allow marketers to increase the ROI of their digital ads. With ads that Click to WhatsApp, consumers can start a conversation with a brand by clicking through from a Facebook or Instagram ad, and ask questions about the product or business.

Other entry points that businesses can use for WhatsApp range from deep-links on websites, emails, and social media profiles to QR codes on billboards or physical product packaging. Building WhatsApp entry points into your various marketing materials helps customers start conversations with a brand and enables businesses to learn which types of marketing tactics or assets are most engaging.

Additionally, as you are A/B testing various marketing templates over WhatsApp, sending messages that are personalized helps drive greater engagement with consumers. Beyond just including the consumer’s name in the message, personalized WhatsApp marketing messages can look like custom product recommendations based on previous purchases or tailored discounts for a product a consumer has in their cart. With Twilio Segment, leverage your first-party data to create these personalized marketing messages for WhatsApp.

You may want to include links in your messages, such as to a product page or to the customer’s abandoned cart so they can complete a transaction. With Twilio’s Link Shortening and Click Tracking features, you can shorten long URLs into company-branded shortened links to make messages more readable, and track click through rates to understand the message’s performance.


As you are running marketing campaigns at various stages of the funnel over WhatsApp, consider re-engaging customers who previously interacted with your marketing messages but did not convert. Sending personalized follow-up messages can help remind consumers where they dropped off in their purchase journey. For example, Twilio customer Magalu saw their onboarding conversion rate more than double when using WhatsApp instead of traditional channels.

You can also track the performance of your WhatsApp marketing strategy to optimize your messages and maximize the ROI from your campaigns going forward. With Twilio’s Messaging Insights dashboard, you can track important metrics including deliverability rates, opt-outs, and types of responses to help you understand how different marketing messages are performing with different audiences to ensure you are sending marketing content that’s receiving high engagement.

With Twilio’s APIs, tools, and the Segment CDP, it has never been easier to run engaging marketing campaigns with the WhatsApp Business Platform. Sending personalized marketing messages helps to drive conversion and increase customer loyalty.