Running an online store is challenging. Competition in ecommerce is fierce these days, and capturing the attention of potential customers is easier said than done.
One way to engage with your audience is through email marketing - for which the automation tool Klaviyo is king.
But, as far as attention goes, your customers are way more likely to read their WhatsApp messages than open your emails - 3-4x more likely, as a matter of fact. This doesn’t mean you should stop using Klaviyo. But you should consider supplementing your email marketing with the WhatsApp strategies we outline below.
Why email marketing works and how WhatsApp can make it stronger
The problem with ecommerce and customer retention is that online stores and brands can feel somewhat... impersonal. You look for a pair of shoes you like, find an online store that sells them at the best possible price and with the best shipping options, never to visit the store again.
You might even forget the name of the store completely. Which is why post-purchase follow-up flows are so essential to keeping your brand's name top of mind with your customers.
Klaviyo’s email marketing automation tool lets you do just that: remind customers of your brand being out there. Send them updates with new products, deals and offers. Wish them a Merry Christmas.
But email can feel quite impersonal too, and tends to end up in cluttered inboxes or spam folders. With WhatsApp? No such problems.
WhatsApp marketing is a type of direct message marketing which lets you promote your brand through WhatsApp. Instead of in between spam emails, your WhatsApp marketing ends up among messages from your customers’ closest friends and family.
It doesn’t get much more personal than that. And this shows in WhatsApp marketing’s open rates (95%+). Best thing yet? WhatsApp marketing is always consent-based, as the messaging platform doesn’t allow any type of unsolicited and automated advertising.
5 WhatsApp strategies you can use next to Klaviyo today
The best thing about running WhatsApp marketing campaigns next to Klaviyo is that the two don’t need to conflict at all. You can run your favourite email flows and boost them by adding WhatsApp marketing to the mix.
Here are 5 WhatsApp strategies for ecommerce you can try today, without needing to change your Klaviyo setup.
Especially in D2C ecommerce, you can benefit loads from building hype around an upcoming product drop. Give your audience sneak peeks well in advance and let them sign up for a WhatsApp pre-order notification.
Before your hyped up product is available to anyone else, send out a WhatsApp alert to everyone who opted in to let them make a purchase first.
By including a payment link in the WhatsApp message, customers-to-be can make sure they get their hands on your exclusive new product before anyone else.
Sales, exclusive deals and regular promotions are an essential part of ecommerce. Seasonal sales like BFCM can give major boosts to your sales and revenue numbers. Best to make sure your customers don’t miss the start of one of your sales.
Let customers opt in to product sale alerts on WhatsApp
Of course, you need to send out emails using Klaviyo well in advance, too. But you’ll need as many eyes on your sale as you can get.
Let people sign up to receive a WhatsApp alert when a product, collection or your entire store goes on sale. These WhatsApp messages will blow your email open rates out of the water, so why not add them to the mix?
Back in stock notifications
Getting customers to your online store is hard enough already. Getting them to make a purchase adds another challenge to the mix. Imagine the horror of potential customers making it all the way to a product page, only to find a product out of stock.
You should give these people the option to receive a notification through WhatsApp the moment you restock the product. The moment that WhatsApp message hits their inbox, they’ll see it, open it, and it’s highly likely they’ll make a purchase.
Let customers opt in to back in stock notifications
While you should also offer the option for back in stock emails, these run the risk of ending up in the wrong folder, or not being opened at all. Hedge your bets by using both email and WhatsApp back in stock notifications.
An online store visitor who converts into a paying customer is worth a lot. You should never let these go. With every repeat purchase, these customers are even more likely to come back to your store.
One way to boost retention is to offer customers a discount on their next purchase once they reach your checkout page. Instead of only automating an email using Klaviyo, try adding an option to checkout that lets customers receive their discount on WhatsApp. Keeps their email inboxes nice and uncluttered.
Finally, this WhatsApp strategy is one that most ecommerce businesses will already be running via email anyway. The only thing you’ll need to do is tweak, copy and paste it so it works in a WhatsApp format, as well.
Add a CTA to your online store to let visitors sign up for your WhatsApp newsletter. Be explicit about how often you’ll be sending these out, so they’ll know what to expect.
Next, just take your email newsletter content, repurpose it (keep it short and simple) and start sending out your WhatsApp newsletter. Make sure you redirect readers to your store while you’re at it.
Get started with WhatsApp marketing using ShopPop for your Shopify store.
Note: this blog was originally published on ShopPop
If you run an ecommerce store, you should consider supplementing your Klaviyo email marketing flows with the WhatsApp strategies we outline in this article.