Broadcast on WhatsApp - Not a Good Idea for Businesses?

  • Christina Wendt
  • 1/5/2021
  • 4 min reading time
WhatsApp Broadcast - Not a Good Idea for Businesses?

With a private WhatsApp account and in the WhatsApp Business app, users have the option of sending messages to several contacts at the same time via a broadcast list. For private individuals, the function is harmless. Businesses, however, should consider sending broadcast messages very carefully.

We explain:

  • What a WhatsApp broadcast is
  • How to use the function
  • Why WhatsApp Broadcast is not an optimal solution for companies and
  • What alternatives are available to you

What is Broadcast on WhatsApp?

WhatsApp Broadcast is a function that is available to users both in the normal WhatsApp version and in the WhatsApp Business App. Via so-called broadcast lists, messages can be sent to several recipients at the same time. This includes not only text messages, but also messages with media content such as pictures, videos or voice messages.

How does WhatsApp Broadcast work?

Sending a broadcast message is uncomplicated and possible with just a few clicks:

  1. Open the WhatsApp Broadcast function in the app
  2. Select broadcast list or create a new list of contacts
  3. Compose message
  4. Send WhatsApp Broadcast

The biggest difference to a WhatsApp group is that recipients cannot see the contact details of other users. The message sent is sent as a private message to recipients and accordingly appears as a single chat. The privacy of other contact data is thus protected in this respect.

Recipients of a broadcast message do not see that it is a broadcast message. Only authors see a small speaker icon in the message.

Sending broadcast messages via WhatsApp may sound interesting for businesses at first. After all, all you need is a private WhatsApp account or the WhatsApp Business App and you can send a message to several contacts at the same time without much effort. But appearances are deceptive.

In order for recipients to receive the WhatsApp broadcast, the sender must be stored in the address book. It should also be emphasised that the number of contacts in a broadcast list is limited. A maximum of 256 contacts or recipients can be added to a list.

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The Problem with Data Protection

WhatsApp is repeatedly criticised when it comes to data protection and data security. Since 2016, the General Data Protection Regulation has applied to companies in the European Union. This regulates how personal data is to be handled. WhatsApp and the WhatsApp Business App are not GDPR-compliant under closer inspection and are therefore unsuitable for commercial use. This is primarily because WhatsApp accesses the phone's address book and stores important metadata. Consequently, the commercial or business use of broadcast lists is also not compatible with the GDPR.

WhatsApp Broadcast vs. WhatsApp Newsletter

WhatsApp Broadcast is not suitable for communicating with customers in terms of functions and for data protection reasons. Is the WhatsApp newsletter an attractive alternative for companies?

After the WhatsApp newsletter was discontinued a few years ago, companies have recently been able to proactively send messages to contacts again. In addition to general information, these may also contain promotional content such as product recommendations or personalised offers.

Send WhatsApp newsletter GDPR-compliant

WhatsApp is becoming increasingly important in communication between businesses and customers. For this reason, the WhatsApp Business API has been available for some time. This product is designed for the commercial use of WhatsApp and offers companies numerous functions that go beyond the private version and the WhatsApp Business App.

Detailed explanation of the WhatsApp Business API: WhatsApp Business API - The most important information at a glance

Via Superchat, companies have the possibility to use the WhatsApp API in a data protection compliant way. This means that not only customer enquiries can be answered. Recently, companies again have the option to proactively send messages to contacts. Via the WhatsApp newsletter, current news, offers and personalised recommendations or similar messages can be sent to several customers at the same time. The dispatch takes place via pre-approved templates and an opt-in from the customers is necessary.

The biggest advantage of a WhatsApp campaign compared to an email newsletter is the significantly higher open rate. This is over 90 % and is thus four to five times higher than when sending a traditional newsletter.

Create & send WhatsApp campaigns with Superchat

Via the Superchat software, you have the possibility to create WhatsApp newsletters and campaigns. The messages can then be sent to specific target groups. Contacts are tagged in advance and grouped accordingly. Pictures or other media content can be added to the WhatsApp newsletter. Buttons within the message redirect your customers directly to your website or generate an automatic response in the WhatsApp chat.

On the one hand, you exploit unused marketing potential and optimise communication with your target group. On the other hand, your customers benefit from a modern shopping experience and receive suitable offers and information more quickly.

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Christina Wendt
Christina Wendt
Senior Content & Brand Manager, Superchat
Christina is one of our messaging experts and content specialist at Superchat. Besides communication and marketing related topics, she has an excellent knowledge of the Berlin food scene.