6 Best Ways to Grow your WhatsApp Audience (and a Bonus)

Build your WhatsApp audience with ease. Discover the best strategies to grow 10,000 WhatsApp subscribers in just 90 days!

6 Best Ways to Grow your WhatsApp Audience (and a Bonus)

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Every successful WhatsApp strategy starts with the same step: Build a subscriber list.

By now, we have collected millions of active subscribers for our clients. And, all these businesses have managed to reach thousands of active WhatsApp subscribers.

The good news? You can too.

Here, we share 6 tested strategies to grow a WhatsApp audience. From using your website popups, to leveraging the power of word-of-mouth. Each strategy will help you attract and captivate your audience.

And the best part? You're not alone in this journey. With Hoola, growing and managing your community is as easy as sending "Hi there, I am using WhatsApp". Are you ready to dive in and unlock the full potential of your WhatsApp channel?

Let's get started and watch your audience grow, and thrive!

Why even grow a WhatsApp audience?

Have you noticed how everyone seems to be on WhatsApp these days? It's not just for catching up with friends anymore. Businesses are jumping on board, and for good reason. This app is a powerhouse for connecting with people. Think about it: millions of potential customers, right at your fingertips!

Now, let's talk business. Imagine sending a quick message and getting an instant sale. That's the magic of WhatsApp. It's all about making things easy for your customers. They can ask questions, get quick replies, and even place orders, all in one familiar place. Happy customers often turn into repeat buyers, and they tell their friends too!

It's not enough to just have a WhatsApp number. You've got to be active, engaging, and ready to chat. When you build a strong presence on WhatsApp, you're telling your customers, "Hey, we're here for you, anytime!" That's a big deal. It's about trust, reliability, and making your brand a part of their everyday chat list.

The only 6 ways to grow a WhatsApp audience 👇

Ready to take your WhatsApp game to the next level? Great! Because what we have here are not just any tips, but the only six real ways to grow your WhatsApp audience best. These aren't just random tricks; they're the bread and butter of turning your WhatsApp channel into an active and engaged community.

Each of these methods is like a secret ingredient in your recipe for success. From your website to the checkout process, and even beyond, these strategies cover it all. They're straightforward, effective, and, most importantly, they work. Let’s check it out:

1. Incentivize subscribing popups and Website CTAs

hoola grow your whatsapp audience with popups and website ctas.

Popups are all the different objects you can add to your website to get your visitor to give you information about themselves.

To collect WhatsApp numbers, there are some best practices you can follow:

  • Activate WhatsApp popups in the website’s mobile version
  • Use multiple popups, with different CTAs depending on the page
  • Use “wa.me” links to direct users into chat with pre-filled messages
  • Add exit-intent popups with discounts appearing 10s after browsing the site
  • Add a “Do you need help?” bubble in your site to offer visitors WhatsApp support

Popups are super powerful and versatile, helping you convert the >85% of visitors that do not purchase on their first visit into leads you can nurture.

You can A/B test every part of them to optimize for conversion, and aim for a 5% conversion rate. Together with a good Welcome Flow, these popups can end up generating thousands of euros in autopilot.

Add strategic popups and clear calls-to-action (CTAs) on your website with a great incentive to encourage visitors to subscribe to your WhatsApp channel. Think of incentives such as discounts, raffles, personalized support or future exclusive deals.

2. Easy WhatsApp opt-in at checkout

hoola grow your whatsapp audience with checkout process.

The checkout process is your happy place – where the visitor has finally decided to initiate a transaction and, hopefully, will become a customer.

To collect WhatsApp subscribers in the checkout process, there are 2 main options:

  • Add the phone number as a required field on your checkout process
  • Give the option to subscribe to your WhatsApp Newsletter after purchase to receive order confirmation, tracking links and more via WhatsApp

Both options are great and, if well framed, can be seen as a huge value add for the customer. Receiving shipping links, processing returns, and more via WhatsApp is useful, removes friction and most customers love it!

It also gives you big possibilities to play around with post-purchase flows and upsell, but more on that another day.

Make it easy for users to subscribe to your WhatsApp channel during the checkout process, offering exclusive discounts, promotions, or behind-the-scenes access as incentives. Combining such a conversion event to a checkout conversion event, increases the chances of turning a customer right away into a subscriber which you can retain as lifelong customer.

3. Organic & paid marketing on social media

hoola grow your whatsapp audience with social media and paid advertising.

Social media is a great place to build a community.

And a community is great to acquire customers. Especially over the last years, when the cost of acquisition in socials was low and opportunities for monetization after were massive.

Now it is not as easy to run this play, but there’s still hope. You can convert your current audience into WhatsApp subscribers, so you finally own them.

You can even put some money into WhatsApp dedicated ads.

Make the most of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your WhatsApp channel either organically or paid. Engage with your audience, share valuable content, and offer exclusive WhatsApp-only deals to entice followers to subscribe.

4. Funnel E-mail subscribers into your WhatsApp community

hoola grow your whatsapp audience with email.

Do you want to get more out of your Email list?

Look no further. Bringing them to WhatsApp can be the key, using E-mail banners like above.

It is also simple, quick, and effective. Assuming you have an active list, and a good strategy that does not make them hate you already, offering WhatsApp as a new channel is only giving them extra value.

WhatsApp is more personal and convenient, and your customers know it.

Integrate WhatsApp subscription links into your email send-outs and marketing campaigns. Include clear CTAs and persuasive messaging to encourage recipients to add your channel to their WhatsApp contacts.

5. Offline advertising like in-store QRs and word-of-mouth

Do you have an offline presence? Great, let’s use that too!

Your store is a great lead acquisition machine, but most DTC brands are blind to it. Where else do you get thousands of people into a place where you own and control the environment, the attention, the products, the journey, everything?

Do not waste all of this effort put into captivating visitors by not even trying to convert them. Put QR codes that prompt them to subscribe in the shop window, get your shop assistants to promote WhatsApp consultations, etc.

If you do it right, you can get hundreds of WhatsApp subscribers. And here’s how to do it right. We’ll give you a list of ideas to collect subscribers:

  • QR Code in the store window with CTA to subscribe to WhatsApp (potentially add discount, free delivery, etc)
  • Access to exclusive in-store events via WhatsApp invite only
  • Consultation about products, sizes, etc, via WhatsApp
  • In-store navigation via WhatsApp (big store or mall)
  • Return process via WhatsApp

Move store visitors into WhatsApp using offline marketing, such as brochures, flyers, and signage with smart incentives. Create prominent QR codes or scannable codes to make this add-on part of your store and increase your chances of building your audience!

6. Encourage friend referrals from existing subscribers

Here's something cool: your current WhatsApp subscribers can be your best promoters. It's like having a team of friends helping you out. How? With a simple, yet super effective referral program.

Imagine this: you tell your subscribers, "Hey, bring your friends over to our WhatsApp channel, and we'll give you something awesome!" This can be discounts, exclusive access, or even a sneak peek at new products. People love getting goodies, and when they share your channel with friends, your audience grows - just like that.

The best part? It's a win-win. Your subscribers get rewards, their friends get a discount and join an amazing WhatsApp community. And you? You get a rapidly growing audience. At the level of throwing a stone into a pond and watching the ripples spread out further and further.

Remember, the key is to make it easy and rewarding. Keep your rewards exciting and the process simple. Before you know it, your subscribers will be buzzing about your channel, bringing in more people who want the same incentives.

Bonus: Build FOMO with WhatsApp-only campaigns

A nice bonus to use power to drive customer into WhatsApp, is turning WhatsApp into your most exclusive channel. We’re talking metrics of 10.000+ subscribers in 90 days.

Sushi bikes took the jump. They took the risk and had an incredible campaign.

How they structured it?

  1. They blocked their webpage for 24 hours to announce a WhatsApp-only product release
  2. They direct you to WhatsApp to subscribe and get access to the pre-release
  3. They send you a one-to-many personalized message to get you excited
  4. Finally, they release the product and get you to buy

Next to 1000s of subscribers, they had a good profit within the same day. Is this something you can do every day? No. But you can find creatives ways to drive subscribers every day.

Once you have 10.000 people on WhatsApp, the possibilities are endless. We see brands making 30% of their revenue via WhatsApp alone. 

Now we see more businesses reaching the milestone even faster. The question is… will the next one be you? Join the gang at Hoola.

How to get from 0 to 10.000 WhatsApp subscribers in 90 days

Here’s the math behind gaining those 10,000 WhatsApp subscribers in a matter of weeks:

1. The math behind turning website traffic into subscribers

Let's break it down with some simple math. Say you want 10,000 new subscribers in 90 days. If your subscription rate is 5%, you'll need around 66,660 visitors each month. That's because:

Monthly Subscribers = Monthly Visits × Subscription Rate

So, 3,333 subscribers each month (that's your 10,000 goal divided by 3 months) means you need 66,660 visitors monthly. Got 66k monthly visits? Boom, you're on track to hit that 10,000 subscriber mark in just 90 days.

2. The math behind converting orders into subscribers

But wait, there's more! If we look at your monthly unique orders with a 50% subscription rate, the picture changes a bit. You'll need about 6,666 orders monthly to reach the same goal. Here's the math:

Monthly Orders = Subscribers / Subscription Rate

Again, aim for 3,333 subscribers a month. With a 50% rate, it only takes 6,666 orders. If your monthly orders are around this figure, 10,000 new subscribers in 90 days? Absolutely doable.

3. The math behind paid advertising into a WhatsApp community

Now, let's mix it up. Combine your audience and ad impressions. Suppose you have 100,000 followers with a 5% subscription rate. That's potentially 5,000 subscribers right there. Plus, if you're running ads with a 1% click-through rate, aiming for 5,000 subscribers requires 500,000 impressions. The formula goes like this:

Subscribers = (Audience × Subscription Rate) + (Ad Impressions × Click-through Rate)

Got 100k followers, 5%, and 500k ad impressions? You're on track for those 10,000 subscribers in under 90 days.

4. The math behind moving E-mail subscribers into WhatsApp audience

Finally, let's talk about your email or SMS list. With a 10% conversion rate to WhatsApp, a list of 100,000 can net you another 10,000 subscribers. Just like this:

Email Subscriber List = Target Subscribers / Conversion Rate to WhatsApp

So, with a list of 100k and a 10% conversion rate, those 10,000 WhatsApp subscribers could be yours in just a weekend!

Manage your audience in a WhatsApp CRM

Got a growing WhatsApp crowd? Great! Now, let's talk about keeping everything neat and tidy. You need to keep them into a CRM, to keep track of all your subscribers. It's like having a personal assistant who remembers every customer's likes, dislikes, and last chat date.

Hoola’s CRM for WhatsApp helps you send spot-on messages. It's about making each of your subscribers feel special. And when issues pop up? You're ready to sort them out in a snap. It's all about personal touch and seamless management.

Retain subscribers with your WhatsApp marketing

Now, let's keep those subscribers around with some smart WhatsApp retention strategies. It's not just about getting their attention; it's about keeping it. And that's where WhatsApp marketing shines.

First off, know your audience. Use your CRM data to understand what they love. Then, hit them with tailor-made messages, special deals, and maybe some insider news. It's like whispering into the ear of each subscriber, "Hey, we've got something just for you."

And don't forget to mix it up. Throw in a quiz, a raffle, or a fun little game now and then. Keep them engaged, surprised, and always looking forward to your next message. That's the secret sauce to keeping your WhatsApp community not just growing but thriving and engaged.

Join Hoola - let’s retain your audience!

Imagine this: Your WhatsApp channel isn't just growing; it's thriving with engaged, loyal followers. Hoola helps you out here. Think of us as your behind-the-scenes team, dedicated to making every subscriber feel like a VIP. With Hoola, you're not just sending messages; you're creating lasting connections. Our tools give you the insights to understand your audience inside out – what makes them tick, what keeps them coming back for more. It's about turning data into meaningful, personalized interactions.

But Hoola offers more than just insights. We're your creative powerhouse for WhatsApp campaigns that pop. From exclusive content to interactive chats, we know what it takes to keep your audience hooked. Joining Hoola means you're ready to take your audience from just subscribers to a vibrant community. It's about building trust, fostering loyalty, and keeping the conversation going. 

Ready to transform your WhatsApp channel into a lively community? Let's team up with Hoola and make it happen!

Frequently asked questions

How can I grow on WhatsApp?

Growing on WhatsApp involves a mix of strategies. Start with optimizing your website with CTAs and popups for WhatsApp subscriptions. Engage actively on social media to direct traffic to your WhatsApp channel. Use your email and SMS lists to encourage existing customers to join your WhatsApp community. Remember, consistent, relevant, and engaging content is key to growth.

How can I get more followers on WhatsApp?

To get more followers, leverage both online and offline channels. Promote your WhatsApp channel on social media, through email marketing, and even in-store with QR codes. Implement a referral program to encourage existing subscribers to bring in their friends. Tailoring your content to meet the interests of your target audience also helps in attracting more followers.

How do I get to my target audience on WhatsApp?

Reaching your target audience on WhatsApp involves understanding their preferences and behavior. Use audience segmentation in your WhatsApp CRM to deliver personalized content. Run targeted ads on social media with a clear call-to-action for joining your WhatsApp group. Also, consider collaborating with influencers who resonate with your target audience to expand your reach.