How to Collect WhatsApp Opt-Ins + 7 Tips To Building A Strategy

Miodrag Magyar
Last updated April 3, 2024
How to Collect WhatsApp Opt-Ins + 7 Tips To Building A Strategy

Since it was created, WhatsApp rejected ads & protected its users against bad experiences & spam, promoting safety, security & integrity on and off its services. In fact, all email & messaging providers try to eradicate spam messaging and ensure a high-quality user experience. One of the most effective ways to avoid unwanted communication is by enforcing opt-in policies.

What is A WhatsApp Opt-in?

An opt-in is consent or permission that customers give to receive messages from a business. If you send messages to customers who haven’t given you their permission to do this, you are in direct violation of WhatsApp’s Business policy and risk being reported. If your business gets reported by multiple customers for unwanted messaging, WhatsApp may restrict you from using its services or completely ban your account.

Importance of WhatsApp Opt-in

The importance of collecting consent before sending out messages cannot be overstated, affecting legal compliance, building user trust, and ensuring high message deliverability rates. Let’s delve into why opt-ins are significant for both businesses and customers.

Opt-In For Business

  • Legal Compliance
  • Building User Trust
  • Ensuring Message Deliverability

Opt-In For Customers

  • Control Over Communications
  • Enhanced User Experience
  • Privacy Protection

Benefits of WhatsApp Opt-in for Businesses

Getting consent to message customers on WhatsApp might seem like a small step, but it actually results in great ROI for businesses. Here are some ways an opt-in can

Better Customer Engagement

When customers agree to receive your messages, they’re more likely to pay attention to what you send them. This open line of communication keeps them engaged with your brand, updates, and offers.

Higher Conversion Rates

Messages on WhatsApp have a personal touch that emails or other forms of communication might lack. This can lead to better responses and more sales since customers feel a direct connection with your business.

Improved Customer Service

WhatsApp allows for quick replies and personalized interactions, making customer service more efficient and satisfactory. Customers can ask questions, get support, and receive instant feedback, which boosts their overall experience and satisfaction with your business.

How to Collect WhatsApp Opt-Ins: Step-by-Step

When you’re setting up to send messages to customers over WhatsApp, sticking to a few important rules will help everything run smoothly. Here’s the rundown:

  1. Choose How Your Audience Can Sign In: You can ask for opt-ins in different ways, on your website, via email, or right inside your app.
  2. Make Sure Your Sign-in Process Meets WhatsApp’s Requirements: To stay in line with the WhatsApp Business Messaging Policy, you need to make sure you always follow the opt-in guidelines by Meta. Right off the bat, tell your customers that by opting in, they’re agreeing to receive messages from you on WhatsApp. Don’t forget to mention the name of your business. You must be upfront about the nature of your business & what types of messages customers will receive.
  3. Include Custom Opt-ins: Instead of a one-size-fits-all opt-in, offer your customers choices on what types of messages they want to receive. These categories can be anything from reservation updates to policy updates, appointment reminders, order updates, relevant offers or product recommendations, etc. It makes the opt-in more tailored & relevant to them.
  4. Prevent Opt-outs by Setting Clear Expectations: Get clear permission for different types of messages and don’t send too many. Make sure you explain everything in simple terms so people understand exactly what they’re signing up for.
  5. Make it Easy to Opt Out: Make sure customers can easily say “no thanks” to specific types of messages if they change their minds. Include an unsubscribe button in every message, or have a settings page on your website where preferences can be adjusted.

Examples of Approved WhatsApp Business Opt-in Methods

One of the best ways to get consent from your customers is by making sure they’re excited to hear from you. Here are some popular methods you can use to collect WhatsApp opt-ins:

1. Website Opt-in

Your website is often the main channel for collecting customer opt-ins. Anyone visiting your website is likely to have an interest in your brand and products.

  • Sign-Up Forms: One of the easiest ways to collect opt-ins is by adding a simple form on your website where customers can enter their phone numbers. Just make sure to specify that by signing up, they agree to receive your WhatsApp messages.
  • Custom Landing Page: Create a landing page that explains the benefits of getting messages through WhatsApp and includes a form for users to opt in.

Including an opt-in option on the Contact page of your website is a great way to make things easier for your customers as well.

2. Existing Communication Channels

  • WhatsApp: You can get consent directly in a WhatsApp chat. If someone messages your business first, you can ask for their consent to receive more information right in that conversation.
  • Email: You can ask customers to sign up through email newsletters. However, our research finds that WhatsApp messages get opened more often than emails.
  • SMS: If you’re currently serving customers on SMS, you can have them opt-in to receive updates on WhatsApp instead. Our research shows WhatsApp’s open rates win over SMS.

3. Social Media Channels

Share posts about the benefits of your WhatsApp updates, such as exclusive deals or updates. Include a clear call-to-action in your posts, directing followers to sign up for WhatsApp messages through a simple click or by visiting a specific webpage.

4. Offline

Your physical store has tremendous potential to turn store visitors into a WhatsApp audience. You can include a link to your WhatsApp channel on receipts, gift cards, or QR codes where customers opt-in by signing a document so that you can inform them about their reward points, collect customer satisfaction scores, file for refunds & more.

5. During Checkout

If you sell products online, you can offer an opt-in option at checkout. You can offer customers to get their invoices or updates about their purchases directly through WhatsApp.

6. Click-to-WhatsApp Ads

Create ads that lead directly to a WhatsApp chat with your business. The Click-to-WhatsApp ads can target your existing customers. When they click on the ad, they’ll start a conversation in WhatsApp where you can ask them to opt-in for updates.

How to Build a Successful WhatsApp Opt-In Strategy

Building a successful WhatsApp opt-in strategy is about striking the right balance between engaging with your customers and respecting their communication preferences. Here are some best practices you can follow to ensure you increase your opt-in rate effectively:

1. Highlight Benefits: Explain clearly why subscribing to updates on WhatsApp is beneficial for them. Highlight the convenience, immediacy, and personalization of receiving updates directly on their phones.

2. Be Clear About the Content: Inform your customers exactly what types of messages they will receive, whether they’re promotional offers, updates, or customer service communications. Setting clear expectations helps build trust.

3. Avoid Over-Messaging: Respect your audience’s attention and time by not bombarding them with messages. Too many messages can feel spammy and lead to opt-outs.

4. Make Opting Out Easy: Make it easy for customers to opt out of receiving messages. Clear instructions should be included in the message content, ensuring that if someone wants to stop receiving messages, they can do so easily and without hassle.

5. Respect Customer Decisions: If a customer decides to opt-out, act on their request immediately. This respect for their preferences can leave a positive impression, even in ending the communication.

6. Manage Your Quality Rating: Keep an eye on your WhatsApp quality rating, as it reflects how recipients are reacting to your messages. A declining quality rating indicates a need to adjust your opt-in process or message frequency and content.

7. Evaluate & Adjust Strategy: Regularly review the performance of your opt-in strategy and make adjustments based on customer feedback and engagement metrics. This could involve tweaking the frequency of messages, the type of content sent, or how you communicate the opt-in process.

Types of Messages Customers Can Opt-In to Receive

There are 2 main message types that customers can consent to receive on whatsapp:

Transactional Messages

  • Delivery alerts
  • Appointment reminders
  • Purchase confirmations
  • Account balances

Non-transactional Messages

  • Product recommendations related to a customer’s previous purchases
  • Helpful informational alerts
  • Offers & Discounts
  • Reminders to book an appointment

How Does WhatsApp Enforce Its Opt-In Policy?

WhatsApp keeps an eye on how businesses follow its opt-in policy through something called a quality score. This score measures how well your messages are being received by people. If you send messages that people don’t want, your score can drop.

If your quality score gets too low, WhatsApp may limit your account. This means you might not be able to send as many messages, or in severe cases, you might be stopped from sending any messages at all. The idea is to make sure businesses only send messages to people who really want to receive them.

Conclusion

WhatsApp Opt-in is mandatory if you want to grow your business on WhatsApp. It may sound like a drawback, but in reality, by collecting opt-ins you are building a target audience of customers that are genuinely interested in your business and products. Businesses invest fortunes in determining their target audience, while with WhatsApp, you can do it for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

The opt-in policy for WhatsApp requires businesses to obtain explicit consent from users before sending them messages. This means that users must actively agree to receive messages from a business on WhatsApp, ensuring communications are welcomed and anticipated.

To increase your WhatsApp opt-in, clearly communicate the benefits of opting in, use various channels to promote your WhatsApp services, offer incentives, ensure the opt-in process is straightforward and user-friendly, and emphasize privacy and easy opt-out options.

To opt out of WhatsApp messages from a business, you can usually send a simple message like “STOP” directly to the business number. Additionally, businesses are required to provide an easy way for users to opt out of communications in every message they send.

To send a consent message on WhatsApp, create a clear, concise, and engaging message that explains the benefits of opting in, what types of messages the user will receive, and how they can opt-in. Include a direct call-to-action, such as replying with a keyword or clicking a link.

Yes, if a user initiates a conversation with a business on WhatsApp for customer support or any other inquiry, it can be considered an opt-in for that specific interaction. However, for broader marketing communications, a separate, explicit opt-in may still be required according to WhatsApp’s policies.

Learn more

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About the author
Miodrag Magyar

Miodrag Magyar brings over 15 years of hands-on experience in content writing and marketing, with a special talent for making even the trickiest topics clear and interesting. His true passion lies in guiding businesses to effectively utilize WhatsApp to build stronger customer relationships and drive results. With an eye for detail and a heart for storytelling, he’s here to show how effective WhatsApp communication can boost sales and enhance customer engagement.

@Miodrag Magyar