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WhatsApp vs Email Marketing: Which is best for customer success

Email open rates have been dropping at your business?In this article, we will walk you through the detailed comparison between WhatsApp and Email marketing and see which works best for customer success.

Digital marketing is a necessity in the current business landscape as it determines the company’s productivity, brand awareness and customer service. Not only do online marketing strategies have a positive effect on your company’s bottom line, but they also give you an edge over your competitors. While there are several forms of marketing strategies that you can use, email & WhatsApp marketing have evolved into two of the most popular ones in 2022 and beyond.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is nothing but using e-mails to promote your business products & services efficiently. As one of the oldest marketing strategies available, businesses often use email marketing because it is cost-effective and efficient. The best thing about email marketing is that businesses can easily collect emails of customers and prospects through mailboxes and then convert them into sales and clients. Unlike some of the latest marketing channels like social media & WhatsApp, which are based on engagement, email marketing is based on interest, so it is less time-consuming.

What are the advantages of email marketing and when should you be using it

Email marketing is still widely used by businesses across domains because it offers several exciting benefits. Some of them are listed below:

Affordable

When compared to other traditional & modern forms of marketing, email marketing can be operated at a much lower cost because there aren’t any additional costs like printing fees, banner prices (online & offline) & distribution costs.

Customization

Because it’s based on interest, email marketing allows business owners to tailor the content according to their needs. The possibilities for personalization are endless – you can include special deals & offers according to the interests & demographics of the readers.

Scalable

One of the reasons why email marketing is still prominent is that it is highly scalable. You can create additional contact lists & campaigns for different products, demographics & geographical regions.

Reliable

Since email marketing is a permission-based marketing channel where businesses need to receive the customers’ consent before engaging with them, you can be assured that you are marketing your products to interested customers.

Testing & Optimization

Email marketing is one of the very few marketing channels that allow you to test your campaign’s efficiency in real time through A/B testing. You can send out unique messages & offers to the same target group to select the most useful campaign.

Data & Analytics

Since emails have been used for marketing purposes for a long-time, there are several tools that can provide benchmark statistics based on your domain, target demographic and other details. This allows you to make informed marketing decisions by using real data & perform custom segmentations.

Customer-Friendly

Marketing your products through email is also one of the least intrusive options because customers can read the content on their own time. It is also easier for customers to share your email campaign with friends, family members or social media profiles.

While these advantages might suggest that email marketing can be used for all scenarios, it is best suited for sharing information and newsletters with a wide range of customers. While email marketing might not generate high traffic instantly, it is proven to pull in prospective leads in the long run. Another major avenue for using email marketing is remarketing since the use of personalization allows businesses to send tailored emails to previously contacted customers. While using email marketing for customer acquisition, it’s also crucial to keep in mind that the best way to retain your customers is to make the whole communication process simple & fun.

Disadvantages of email marketing

While email marketing provides some advantages, there are also several disadvantages to using the channel. These disadvantages outlined below remind us why email marketing is not the first choice for marketing in today’s landscape.

Low open rates

One main disadvantage of email marketing is that it has low message open rates. Since it is easy for customers to ignore emails or mark them as read even without reading them, businesses need to have strong content that is easy to understand and highly relevant to their products. Unless the subject & content is highly engaging, customers will quickly delete the email & never read it.

Delivery errors

Email marketing is a channel that has more bounce rates because there are more opportunities for errors. There are also cases where emails would not be delivered to the intended audience because they might be filtered out by service providers. So, there is a need to ensure that all the details are correct, especially when sending them in bulk, to make sure that you are not missing out on valuable customers.

Higher spam rates

Emails also have strict email filtering and spam protection policies. If your emails use spam keywords like Click Here, $$$, etc., they might be moved to the spam folder. It is also important to note that email marketing should also comply with data policy & privacy laws. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that emails are delivered to the target customer base and not unsubscribed/irrelevant users due to mistakes.

Design Issues

The design of your emails plays a crucial role in generating engagement & traffic. Since emails can be viewed on both desktops & mobile platforms, the design should be optimized for both platforms. Since this includes the font, graphics & layout that your email is using, you need to hire a good in-house designer. Only when your email design is both attractive and well-optimized, can you make sure that your customers will be enticed to open and read them.

Size & Type of Content

Since there is a maximum size limit for emails, it is important that the content you are sending doesn’t use big attachments or high-level graphics that are slow to load. If your content is heavy on video content or other images that are embedded, your customers might not be able to view the complete email properly. This can result in low engagement rates & attrition.

Subscription & Burnout

While creating email lists can be a time-consuming process, businesses can easily burn through the list of active subscribers if they fail to engage with customers. So, businesses need to periodically review and reorganize their customer lists based on recent sales, email read rates & other business metrics. This can add up to a lot of time, effort & even costs as well.

Resource Dependence

As mentioned earlier, emails need highly engaging content & excellent designs to ensure that they have a high level of engagement. There is also a need to regularly monitor the performance of each email campaign. All of these activities demand an additional specialized workforce from a business perspective. While outsourcing these tasks is an option, it does not work out well for businesses with limited resources.

Benefits of marketing on WhatsApp

WhatsApp marketing has slowly grown into one of the leading marketing options in the current digital era. A variety of companies have already used the chat application as a means to boost their sales and customer engagement. Many of the largest businesses across several industry verticals have started marketing their products using WhatsApp marketing. To gain a better understanding of how WhatsApp marketing works, you can check out our WhatsApp for Marketing blog.

Since WhatsApp has a high message-open rate, it has also become one of the preferred options for businesses that are looking to grow beyond email marketing. In addition to the high open rates, WhatsApp also offers the following benefits:

Large Reach

WhatsApp has an ever-growing customer base (more than 2 billion active users), which allows businesses to reach a wide range of audiences across various countries.

End-to-End Encryption

WhatsApp is a highly secure platform that offers end-to-end encryption for all messages. So, businesses can ensure the privacy of their customer data.

Personalized Conversations

Since WhatsApp chats are personal in nature, it allows businesses to connect with potential customers & create individualized experiences.

Marketing Automation

WhatsApp Business provides several options for marketers to automate their marketing campaigns. Businesses can send quick replies & create automatic chat workflows easily to ensure excellent support.

Diverse Content Options

In addition to text chats, WhatsApp allows businesses to send images, audio clips, videos & locations to their customers and increase their engagement.

Catalogs & Shops

WhatsApp allows businesses to create attractive catalogs & online shops to market their products to interested customers. This can help businesses increase their engagement & sales.

In-App Payments

Unlike many other marketing channels, WhatsApp business allows businesses to process payments through the WhatsApp chat application itself. This will enable businesses to create a seamless experience.

Data Analytics

WhatsApp allows businesses to capture data using customized reports & analyze the data efficiently for unique insights.

4 major differences between Whatsapp marketing and email marketing

When we compare both email & WhatsApp marketing, we can clearly see that there are several similarities between both the channels. Both channels have strong privacy policies and both of them require user consent. Both of the channels also allow the use of different types of media files for marketing purposes. However, there are some fundamental differences that make businesses prefer WhatsApp over emails. They are:

Message Open & Engagement

One of the most striking differences is the huge difference in message open rates between both platforms. WhatsApp’s 98% message open rate completely dominates email open rates which stand at around 20%. This makes it one of the perfect platforms to be used in all sorts of direct & indirect marketing strategies. While some customers may not open emails, they will definitely check their messages & WhatsApp notifications.

Speed & Reach

Since WhatsApp has one of the largest active users in today’s era, businesses can rest assured about their brand exposure. This large user base combined with a high open rate assures speedy delivery & engagement. Customers are also more likely to respond to  WhatsApp messages as they will open the message and read the content more thoroughly. This allows brands to generate important marketing data that allows for future optimizations.

Junk & Spam

It is well-known that there are a lot of missed opportunities when it comes to email marketing. A common email address mistake or content-related error can result in the message being marked as junk or spam. This wastes a lot of effort from a business perspective. Since business owners can view the customer’s profile in WhatsApp, it greatly minimizes the risk of mistakes. WhatsApp’s double tick & blue tick feature, which shows that a message has been delivered & read respectively, also adds value as it assures that the message is delivered to the right customer.

Resource Dependence

We’ve already seen that the design of an email plays a major part when it comes to its efficacy. However, this isn’t the case with WhatsApp. WhatsApp messages are mostly instantaneous and can also be informal in tone, so they aren’t as resource intensive as emails. Also, WhatsApp allows businesses to integrate all types of content (including photos & videos) efficiently and not worry much about the size of the file.

Start marketing on WhatsApp with ChatPro today!

We can clearly see that WhatsApp currently offers much better reach and engagement in today’s market. This makes it a must for businesses that want to grow beyond domains and borders. However, marketing with WhatsApp might be a complicated process for many business owners. To circumvent this complication and get guided assistance, you can partner with ChatPro, a WhatsApp Business Service Provider that excels in providing WhatsApp workplace solutions.

ChatPro has extensive experience helping businesses from various domains including real estate, travel & education market their products/services through WhatsApp. Create your free trial account here .