WhatsApp Marketing Guide

Marketing 101
How to grow your business online with Africa’s largest messaging app
Table of Contents
Building your WhatsApp Business Contact List
The 3 Main Ways to Market via WhatsApp
WhatsApp for Business
WhatsApp is a fun, free, easy-to-use mobile messaging
app used by millions of people in Nigeria, Ghana, and
large parts of Africa.
Smart businesses have found creative ways to leverage
this platform to build meaningful relationships with
existing and prospective customers, and earn more
revenue. You may be familiar with WhatsApp as
an everyday user, but how well do you understand
WhatsApp as a business-boosting tool?
In this guide, we’ll show you how to turn WhatsApp into
a key part of your business’ growth strategy.
You’ll learn how to use WhatsApp to perform nonintrusive marketing, provide stellar customer support,
deepen your relationships with customers, and
ultimately, make more money.
We hope you find this resource informative and useful in
achieving your business goals. Onwards!
Best wishes,
Paystack & Techpoint
About the Authors
Paystack helps businesses in Africa get paid by anyone,
anywhere in the world. Businesses use our modern, secure
payment checkout form to deliver a payment experience
that customers love. Learn more at paystack.com.
Techpoint is a digital media platform dedicated to
telling the stories of the people and companies shaping
technology in Africa. Learn more at techpoint.ng.
Building your WhatsApp
Business Contact List
What you’ll need to get started
How to get people to opt-in to receiving WhatsApp
Case Studies
Chapter Summary
Chapter 2
Building your WhatsApp
Business Contact List
To grow your business with WhatsApp, you’ll need a
contact list of existing as well as prospective customers.
This chapter discusses ethical ways to get your customers
to opt-in to receiving WhatsApp messages from you.
Many people share their phone number with only a
trusted few.
A dedicated phone and phone number for your
business’ WhatsApp communications
A free WhatsApp account on that phone
How to get people to opt-in to
receiving WhatsApp messages
This means that if you want customers to give you their
phone number, you need to be offering something of
value in exchange.
Whether it’s a first look at discounts, or specific
information only you can provide, if you want people to
opt-in to your WhatsApp messages, the value they’ll get
from the engagement should be very clear.
How Burger and Relish builds their
WhatsApp Contact List
Burger & Relish is an American-style diner in Accra,
Ghana. They’re known for their great burgers, and they
host events like in-restaurant concerts on some evenings.
In order to build their WhatsApp list, they look out for
visitors who’re enjoying themselves at the restaurant, and
a member of the waitstaff explains that they can receive
alerts about concerts and other events via WhatsApp. The
pitch goes something like:
“Hello there, thanks for dining with us! Every week, we
have new music and menu specials here at Burger & Relish.
Would you like to get alerts about what’s happening at the
If the customer says yes, the waitstaff then proceeds to
ask for the customers’ phone numbers to add them on
How GoodWash builds their
WhatsApp contact list
GoodWash is a hypothetical laundry service in Ogun State,
Nigeria that collects customer details when they sign up to
do their laundry. Pitch:
May we have your phone number? That way, we can
send you a WhatsApp message when your clothes are
ready. We’ll also share occasional tips on how to care
for your clothes, as well as alerts on discounts and
special promotions.”
How Aisha’s Scarves builds their
WhatsApp Contact List
Aisha’s Scarves is a hypothetical shop in Lagos that sells
scarves and veils. Only a third of visitors to the store buys
scarves - the others either don’t find what they want, or
they cannot afford the scarves on display. To help boost
sales, the store owner has trained her sales staff to offer
value through WhatsApp for different types of visitors to the
For customers who buy scarves, the sales staff pitch them
this way:
“Thanks for buying from us! We’ll have fresh stock of
other great-looking scarves next month. Would you
like to know as soon as we receive them?”
If the customer agrees, the sales person adds them to their
contact list. For customers who don’t find what they need,
this is how the pitch goes:
“Do you check your WhatsApp Stories? We upload
pictures of some of our finest scarves on our
WhatsApp Stories every other day, so if you didn’t
find what you need today, I’m sure you’ll find scarves
you like within a few days.” If the prospect responds
favourably, the staff member adds them to the contact
Ask customers to save your phone
number on their phone contact list
So your customer has verbally agreed to be added to your
list. Now what? Let’s use the example of Aisha’s Scarves as
a way to show the next step.
Many people give out their phone number to Aisha’s
Scarves every day because the value they receive is clear.
After customers give out their phone numbers, the sales
person who asks for the phone number also respectfully
asks the customer to save the business’ phone number as
“Aisha’s Scarves” right there at the store.
Sometimes, the customers do not save the phone number
immediately, so the sales staff at Aisha’s Scarves take the
following steps:
1. They add the customer to the office phone and send the
person an initial WhatsApp message
2. The purpose of the very first message is to introduce the
phone number as the official Aisha’s Scarves WhatsApp
account, and to invite the customer to save the number into
their phone contact list
It’s very important to remind the customer to save
the number of the business’ phone onto their phone
contacts. Some WhatsApp features (e.g. WhatsApp
Broadcasts, and WhatsApp Stories) require the customer
to have your number saved on their phone contact list
in order to work, so it’s good to get that done as soon as
Your first message to the person should be to remind them
of the value proposition, and gently nudge them to save
your number. The tone should be very friendly.
Here’s an example of how GoodWash would handle that
first message:
Hello Mr. Johnson, thanks once more for stopping by
at the laundry today. The moment your clothes are
ready, we’ll send out a reminder to you to pick them
up. Also, please don’t forget to save our business’
number as “GoodWash” on your phone. In addition to
pickup alerts, we also send out valuable tips on how
you can care for your clothes, and we wouldn’t want
you to miss out on them. Have a fantastic day!
Chapter Summary
−− Offer clear value in exchange for access to your
customers’ WhatsApp
−− People must explicitly opt-in to receiving your messages.
Don’t get phone numbers under one guise, and then
attempt to market something different to them in the
future. Explicit consent is important.
−− After the person has opted in, send a warm first
message inviting them to save your phone number onto
their phone’s contact list. This is important for them
to be able to see your WhatsApp stories and receive
WhatsApp broadcasts from you.
The 3 main ways to
market via WhatsApp
WhatsApp Groups
WhatsApp Stories
An important note about timing and frequency when
sending WhatsApp messages
Chapter Summary
Chapter 3
The 3 main ways to
market via WhatsApp
WhatsApp has 4 main communication channels:
−− One-on-one chats
−− WhatsApp Broadcasts
−− WhatsApp Stories
−− WhatsApp Groups
Each channel has its unique features and advantages
that makes it ideal for different types of messages.
We recommend, however, that a WhatsApp marketing
strategy should focus on the first three channels (we’ll
explain why later in the chapter). In this chapter, we do a
deep dive into each of the channels, and take a look at
how best to use them to grow your business.
One-on-one Chats
This is the default and primary communication channel on
WhatsApp. It involves you, the business owner, chatting
directly with a customer or a lead. It’s often the first
form of communication that your business will have with
a contact. Like we mentioned in the previous chapter,
your first one-on-one chat should ideally be to introduce
yourself, and to gently prompt them to save your phone
number to their contact list.
One-on-ones are also the primary customer support
channel. When customers have complaints, questions,
or feedback, they’ll contact you one-on-one, and you
should aim to respond to their messages as swiftly and as
helpfully as possible.
To illustrate one-on-one chats as a first line of
communication, consider this scenario d; at the close of
business, Aisha’s Scarves has 35 new contacts. She sends
each customer a personal message:
“Hello Mrs. Kofo, thanks for coming over to the store
earlier today. We’re glad that you found scarves that
you like, and we’re committed to serving you even
better going forwards.
Would you be kind enough to save our phone number
as “Aisha Scarves”? That way, you can see photos of
even more scarves you might like on our Stories and
order from anywhere and at anytime.
Have a good night, ma!”
One-on-one chats can be used for intimate communication,
responding to customer queries, upselling them, and much
more. Set up a friendly business persona, connect with
your customers with one-on-ones, make them feel special,
and let every message you send them have a clear value
WhatsApp Broadcasts
WhatsApp Broadcasts are the primary channel for sending
a mass message to multiple people, without them knowing
each other. None of your respondents have to know that
you sent the same message to more than one person.
How to use WhatsApp Broadcast
Lists to segment your contacts
In marketing, segmentation is the practice of putting
your customers or leads into different categories, for
the purpose of sending them targeted messages. The
benefit of segmentation are that you’re able to tailor both
your language and content to that target group, with the
result that you’ll see greater conversions when you send
promotional messages.
To send better WhatsApp Broadcasts, you should segment
your WhatsApp contact list into distinct target groups.
For instance, if you own a men’s clothing store, your
segmented WhatsApp Broadcast lists could look like this:
−− Customers who love suits
−− Young customers into the latest styles
−− Older customers with more conservative tastes
−− VIP customers
When you send messages, your language to the “Older
customers with more conservative tastes” Broadcast list
would be a little more formal, while the language you use
for “Youthful customers into the latest styles” could be a
little less buttoned-up.
Segmentation helps you send Broadcasts that are more
likely to get read, and have a higher probability of leading to
orders or purchases from your business.
If your messages are too generic or relevant to only
one segment of your customer list, naturally, the other
respondents will see no value in your message, and could
over time learn to de-prioritize your messages, possibly
stop reading them, or even delete your business’ contact
from their phones.
Segmentation also helps you share relevant content.
Consider, for instance, a car mechanic’s store, with the
following segmented Broadcast Lists.
−− Toyota car owners
−− V6-engine car owners, etc.
They could easily send out tips on “How to protect your
Toyota from car jackers” as a WhatsApp broadcast to only
the “Toyota car owners” segment.
This set of customers would get real value from this type of
message, they would be more likely to engage well with it,
and over time, they’ll come to recognise the owner of the
car mechanic shop as a domain expert that they can trust.
The effects of consistently sending your clients high
value information via WhatsApp broadcasts may not be
immediately obvious, but they help your business in the
long run. People will start to think of your business as
credible, and as a result, they’ll recommend people in their
network to use you, which will drive more sales.
How to set up WhatsApp Broadcasts
Whatsapp broadcasts are easy to set up.
A contact list
A list of preferred segments that your contacts
will fit into
Using a hypothetical car mechanic’s workshop, Abel’s AutoCare, we’ll show you how to create a WhatsApp Broadcast
list, in this case, a Broadcast list for only customers who’re
Toyota owners.
(For the purpose of this tutorial we’re using WhatsApp
for Android, since that is what is used by the majority
of people in our part of the world, but the general flow
works the same for other phone operating systems.)
Launch your business’ WhatsApp
application on your mobile device, and
click on the overflow icon
The overflow icon revals a menu
option, tap on New Broadcast to select
from your WhatsApp contact list, the
contacts that you wish to add to the
broadcast list
After clicking on “New broadcast”,
you’re shown a list of all your contacts
who use WhatsApp. Tap on only the
names of the contacts who you wish to
add to the Broadcast list. As you tap to
select contacts, their profile pictures
appears at the top of your screen. You
may tap on the
icon attached to
each profile picture to remove one
or more of the previously selected
After selecting all the contacts you wish
to add to the list, you should tap on the
green icon at the right bottom of the
screen with a
in it. Tapping on this
icon creates the list.
The new broadcast list is saved
with a default name, a reflection of the
number of contacts on the list, in this
case “4 recipients”. To rename the list,
and differentiate it from other possible
Broadcast lists that your business may
create, tap on the section that reads tap
here for broadcast list info (annotated in
the accompanying screenshot).
After following the prompt to tap for
broadcast list info, the screen in the image
below will show. Tap on the pen icon
to rename the group to a preferred name
After changing the name, in this case,
to “Toyota Car Owners”, you can then
proceed to send them targeted messages
What happens when contacts reply
to Broadcasts
When contacts reply to Broadcasts, it starts off a private
one-on-one chat with you. No-one else who received the
Broadcast will see the reply
Limits to WhatsApp Broadcasts
You can add a maximum of 256 people to WhatsApp
Broadcast Lists, but you can have an unlimited number
of Broadcasts Lists, so if you have more than 256 people,
simply create a separate list to handle the remaining
Additionally, contacts will only receive WhatsApp
Broadcasts if they have your number saved in their
phone’s contact list.
WhatsApp Stories
WhatsApp Stories allows users to share a stream of photos
with contacts. The contacts may view these photos,
comment on them, or simply keep swiping to see others.
WhatsApp Stories are great for marketing products and
services with great visual appeal, and coupled with great
captioning, they could drive sales for many businesses.
A perfume store, T Perfumes,
marketing their perfumes on
WhatsApp stories
How Aisha’s Scarves uses
WhatsApp Stories
Aisha’s Scarves sells scarves, and the look of the scarves
go a long way towards shaping a prospective customers’
decision to buy.
When Aisha’s Scarves uploads photos of her scarves,
she does not just upload tens of scarf pictures at a time,
because she understands that too many options often
leaves customers paralyzed by choices. Instead, she selects
her best scarves, finds good lightning, and takes photos of
them with a good camera before she uploads the images to
her WhatsApp Stories.
And for every image uploaded, there’s a caption that
describes the scarf, such as “soft, cashmere wool scarf
from Indonesia,” adding an additional tactile sense that
could prompt someone to make a purchase.
Limits to WhatsApp Stories
Contacts must have your phone number saved on their
phone to be able to see your WhatsApp Stories.
The stories also disappear after 24 hours, but customers
may save them by taking a screen shot of their phones
while your business’ pictures are on display.
WhatsApp Groups
WhatsApp Groups are the fourth channel of communicating
on WhatsApp. With WhatsApp Groups, multiple people
share a virtual chatroom and can see each others’
We discourage most businesses from using Groups for
marketing, unless if managed by a highly skilled community
While you have complete control over when Broadcasts go
out and what they say, as a business owner, you have no
control over the behaviour of other contacts. As a result,
despite your good intentions and strategy, one or more
of your contacts might abuse the group, annoy some of
your customers, and risk leaving a bad impression of your
business on a number of them.
Limits to WhatsApp groups
You can add a maximum of 256 people per WhatsApp
An important note about timing and
frequency when sending WhatsApp
To get maximum returns on WhatsApp marketing, you
should pay close attention to timing when messaging
contacts. Different messaging times might work well for
different contact segments.
Over time, through trial and errors, you’ll develop a sense
of which segments are most receptive at certain times. For
example, are your customers young workers who may not
yet have cars? Try to send messages early in the morning so
they can read them on their ride to work, or around 5:30 PM
so they may read on their way back home.
As a business owner, experiment with different send
times until you find a sweet spot where you get your best
responses, and make the most sales.
Also consider the frequency of your messages. Mobile
messaging is an extremely personal communication
channel, and your customers will not look kindly on you if
you’re messaging them constantly. In fact, if you message
too frequently, they may block your account entirely.
Chapter Summary
−− Leverage WhatsApp Broadcasts to segment your
contact list, so that you can send targeted messages
−− It’s important to get your contacts to add your phone
number to their phone contact list. This allows them
to see your WhatsApp Stories, and to receive your
WhatsApp Broadcasts.
−− One-on-one messages works well for providing
customer support and deepening relationships with
−− Be sensitive to the timing and frequency of your
messages to your contacts
WhatsApp for Business
Business Profiles
Messaging Statistics
WhatsApp Web
and lots more
Chapter 4
How to get paid via WhatsApp
So you’ve engaged your contacts and someone wants to
pay you for your goods or services - how do you collect
payment in a quick and secure way through WhatsApp?
One way to do this is through Paystack’s Payment Pages
Paystack Payment Pages
Using Paystack, businesses can create a simple form on
the internet through which their customers can pay them
online, quickly and securely. Businesses can use Paystack
Payment Pages to collect one-time payments, as well as
recurring payments.
Once the payment form is created, you can take the link
and share it with customers via WhatsApp.
Accepting one-time payments with
Payment Pages
Aisha’s Scarves doesn’t have a website, but using Paystack
Payment Pages, the owner can create a simple online form
through which her customers can pay her. Once the form
is created, she can then share a link like paystack.com/pay/
aishas-scarves through WhatsApp.
Here’s a typical flow for how Aisha’s Scarves could use
Paystack’s Payment Pages to get paid through WhatsApp:
−− Aisha takes a photo of a new scarf
−− She creates a Paystack Payment Page for that particular
−− She uploads the photo to her WhatsApp Story and adds
the following tag to it:
“Peruvian blue silk scarf from Morocco for only 3,500
Naira. Click on this link to order and pay for it: www.
−− Customers click on the link from her WhatsApp Story,
place an order, and pay
A screenshot of Aisha’s Scarves’
Payment Page for her Moroccan
Accepting recurring payments with
Payment Pages
Some businesses offer the same services to particular
customers over and over again. To charge customers
easily, and remove the reluctance of entering card details
every time, you can use Paystack Payment Pages to accept
recurring payments.
We’ll demonstrate how to use this feature with
Abel’s Auto-Care.
Abel’s Auto-Care services the cars of many of his clients
every month. It’s a standard service that costs 15,000 Naira
per month. To ensure that his clients do not feel reluctant
to make the commitment to service their cars, and to ease
their payments experience, he persuades them to sign up
for his monthly subscription plan and then lowers the cost
to 14,000 Naira for customers who subscribe to that plan.
A screenshot of Aisha’s Scarves’
Payment Page for her Moroccan
After paying once, the customer doesn’t need to manually
enter the card details in the months that follow. Every
month, their accounts are simply debited by 14,000 Naira,
automatically. It’s convenient for the customer, and good
business for Abel.
His customers can easily cancel their subscription at any time.
It’s easy to get paid via Payment Pages
shared on WhatsApp
Here’s another way that Payment Pages can be used with
Recently, Ikoyi Spectacles Inc. (a hypothetical eye-wear
company) set up a foundation to help children with eye
problems. They reached out to some of their customers to
introduce the Foundation and to ask them to contribute to it.
This is the kind of WhatsApp message that would go out:
Hi there,
Last week, we launched the Ikoyi Spectacles Foundation
to help little children with eye problems. We’ve pledged a
sum of 10 million Naira to this cause, and we’d love you to
be a part of this.
If you’re in a position to, please click on this link to donate
a small amount [paystack.com/pay/ikoyi-spectacles-inc].
The kids will forever be grateful to you.
Learn more about Paystack
Payment Pages
You can learn more about Paystack Payment Pages by watching
this short video. If you need help setting up Paystack, our
Customer Success Experts are happy to help! Kindly send us
an email at [email protected], or request a phone call!
You can also learn more from our Help Desk at
Tracking payments made
through WhatsApp
Businesses who receive payments on WhatsApp via
Paystack are able to keep track of all incoming payments on
the Paystack Dashboard.
The Paystack Dashboard can be accessed on a laptop, and
via a companion mobile experience called Paystack Go!
Paystack Go! has multiple benefits:
−− You can keep track of payments details on your mobile
device while on the move
−− It works offline and in places with bad cell reception,
so you can always keep up to date on your business’
−− You can quickly send payable invoices, and keep track of
who has paid you, and who has remaining debts
−− You can monitor your business performance metrics
such as revenue earned per day, week, month etc.
Check out this blog post to learn more about Paystack Go!
Please, note that business owners are only able to use these
features when they register their businesses with Paystack,
a process that takes only a few minutes.
If you need help getting set up with Paystack, our Customer
Success Experts are happy to help! Kindly send us an email
at [email protected], or give us a call at +234 908 566
You can also learn more from our Help Desk at paystack.
Chapter Summary
−− There are simple tools available to help you accept
payments via WhatsApp, such as Paystack Payment
−− Mobile tools such as Paystack Go! also help you track
the payments made through WhatsApp
−− In addition to accepting one-time payments, it’s
extremely easy to set up automatic recurring payment
subscription plans for your customers
WhatsApp for Business
WhatsApp recently announced the launch of a brand new
free app called WhatsApp for Business, which is exciting
Here are some of the benefits of the new app, as described
by WhatsApp
Provide customers with useful information
such as a business description, email or store addresses,
and website.
Save time with smart messaging tools —
quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked
questions, greeting messages that introduce customers
to your business, and away messages that let them know
when you’re busy.
Review simple metrics like the number
of messages read to see what’s working.
Send and receive messages with WhatsApp
Business on your desktop.
People will know that they’re talking to a
business because you will be listed as a Business Account.
Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts
once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number
matches the business phone number.
The app is currently only available for Android devices and
available for download only on Google Play in Indonesia,
Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S, but WhatsApp says that
it’ll be launched all over the world soon, so we should have
access to it soon in Africa.
This all goes to show that there has never been a better
time to invest in leveraging WhatsApp to grow your
Modern businesses cannot afford to overlook the internet
as a growth engine. The internet expands the reach of your
organization to create relationships with new customers,
and also helps deepen your relationships with existing
Marketing with WhatsApp represents some of the most
powerful benefits of the internet - it’s a simple, affordable
way to build and connect with existing and potential
customers at scale.
While we’ve offered many ideas here, it’s important to
mention that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes
to online marketing, there are only guidelines. Be creative
with your approach, offer real value to your customers and
leads, and improve your reputation as a domain expert in
your field while driving sales through the connections that
you build.
We’re excited to see you succeed with some of the ideas
shared here, and we wish you every possible success in life
and in business!
Best wishes!
Paystack + Techpoint