WhatsApp or email for marketing? – 10 facts that will help you decide

If you're looking for a new channel to supplement your current Google and Meta campaigns, WhatsApp and email marketing are worth exploring. Let's look at ten different facts so you can compare them both and decide for yourself.

Marketing and customer acquisition costs (CAC) continue to rise. Businesses are under so much pressure to scale and grow that they have no choice but to fork out more money. But what if there was another way?

We built Amanda AI to get your product or service in front of the people that matter at the lowest price possible. We’ve got your back when it comes to Meta, Google, and Bing properties. But which other channels should you explore when you want to drive more conversions?

Let’s look at some WhatsApp and email marketing facts to help you understand which is best for your business growth.

*There is currently no good data out there on WhatsApp marketing ROI.

WhatsApp vs. email marketing: facts to consider

Email marketing has been around for a long time. However, it’s a pretty competitive channel.

Over the last few years, WhatsApp has emerged as a credible alternative.

Let’s look at both channels and compare which is best for your marketing objectives.

1. Email has almost twice as many users

When it comes to sheer numbers, nothing can compete with email. There are over 4 billion daily active users, with that number set to grow to 4.5 billion by 2025.

By comparison, WhatsApp has 2.2 billion daily active users. It’s the world’s most popular messaging app.

However, the number of people using messaging apps worldwide is set to grow to 3.5 billion in 2025, which suggests a faster adoption rate.

2. WhatsApp messages have a 98% open rate

Having lots of people to send messages to is fantastic. But what you really want is some guarantee that they’ll engage with your content. No one can compete with WhatsApp in this regard.

The messaging app has open rates of 98%. This figure is phenomenal. For context, email open rates are around 18% to 22%, depending on who you listen to.

3. WhatsApp users are more responsive

The average WhatsApp user opens the app around 24 times a day. Other statistics suggest 80% of messages are read within 5 minutes of being sent.

While 99% of email users check their email daily, research indicates that only about 20% of messages get read straight away.

4. Email marketing is more competitive

Most businesses use email marketing because it works. It’s definitely the most popular marketing channel of the two. However, there are a few ways to look at this.

Yes, email has a proven track record for B2B and B2C businesses. However, its popularity means it’s a crowded space. When you send emails to your target audience, you’re probably competing with dozens of other businesses.

According to statistics, more than 4 in 5 companies use email marketing. WhatsApp marketing is relatively untapped, which presents lots of opportunities.

5. Email has an ROI of 36:1

One of the most attractive aspects of email as a marketing tool is its high ROI. In fact, many experts suggest that it has the best ROI of any channel at 36:1. Other providers state the number is even higher, with an incredible ROI of 40:1.

There is less widespread research into WhatsApp’s marketing ROI. However, experts suggest it is high. Partly, this is because of the low costs involved in sending out WhatsApp messages.

6. WhatsApp doesn’t have filters and spam folders

A lot of emails end up in the spam folder. Email filtering systems have become very sophisticated. They’re great at spotting spam or promotional emails, but sometimes they are a little too good.

The result is that many emails go straight to promotions, junk, or spam folders. There are some things you can do to improve the deliverability of emails, but it’s a constant battle which explains their low open rates of around 20%.

WhatsApp, on the other hand, doesn’t have these restrictions. If you send a message to a prospect, they’re pretty likely to open it.

7. WhatsApp supports the trend toward conversational commerce

Conversational commerce has been gathering momentum for a while. Consumers are using messaging apps like WhatsApp to shop, research, and access customer support.

AI chatbots are a big part of this trend. You can program them to deal with queries, support, and even blast our marketing messages.

Email doesn’t have the same capabilities. While there is some crossover, people use the channels in different ways. All in all, WhatsApp represents the way that younger generations shop and communicate. You need to get involved if you want to future-proof your marketing.

8. WhatsApp marketing has rules

Email marketing is a little bit like the Wild West. Sure, there are GDPR compliance and spam filters, but aside from that, you have a lot of flexibility because no one really governs email.

On the other hand, if you use WhatsApp for business, you need to follow Meta’s guidelines. While they are reasonable, if you run into issues, your daily message allowance can be limited, or you could get blocked.

9. WhatsApp has a click-through rate of 15%

WhatsApp messages have an insanely high click-through rate (CTR) of 15%. By comparison, email is around 2-3%.

10. WhatsApp has an abandoned cart recovery rate of up to 60%

If you run an eCommerce business, you’ll know how important it is to recover abandoned carts. According to some sources, WhatsApp can recover somewhere between 45% to 60% of abandoned carts.

For email, it’s lower, with some statistics suggesting a recovery rate of about 18%.

Final thoughts

Email and WhatsApp are great marketing channels. They’re both very cost-effective ways to reach an audience. However, they both suffer from the same problem: you need a great list to make them work.

Social media and PPC advertising get great results because they help you market to people who don’t know your brand already. While running campaigns might be more expensive, you can mitigate those costs with ad optimization robots like Amanda AI.

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