Click-to-WhatsApp Ads: A Guide to WhatsApp Marketing

9 min read
Messenger image

WhatsApp is becoming the main point of customer contact for many businesses. But chat marketing on WhatsApp is still very limited. Here's some exciting stuff that's possible now.

In this post, we’ll show you all about WhatsApp marketing, including several WhatsApp marketing campaign examples. But first, let’s break down what chat marketing on WhatsApp looks like.

Table of Contents

How can WhatsApp be used for marketing?
How can I use WhatsApp to promote my business?
Is WhatsApp marketing effective?
What are Click-to-WhatsApp ads?
How do you set up the WhatsApp Business app?
How do I set up Click-to-WhatsApp ads?
7 Examples of Click-to-WhatsApp ads you can try today
What we expect for the future of WhatsApp marketing

How can WhatsApp be used for marketing?

Start conversations on WhatsApp to connect with your audience and turn them into customers. That’s basically what WhatsApp marketing does. There are several ways in which you can connect with people:

  1. Use a website widget
  2. Add a WhatsApp button on your Facebook page
  3. Try the new WhatsApp QR codes
  4. Run Click-to-WhatsApp ads
  5. Share a direct ‘wa.me’ link (can include pre-written messages)

By using any of these simple methods, you can turn WhatsApp into a new marketing channel for your business.

How can I use WhatsApp to promote my business?

You just need to let people know that you’re available to chat. This will bring in leads for your business. In the chat conversation, you have the opportunity to turn these leads into customers. At the same time, you’ve already opened a direct channel for support.

On top of that, you can sell products directly in chat. If you’ve set up the WhatsApp Business app, you can add products to your catalog. It’s very simple to do this. You’ll be able to send products and services to people directly in chat.


You can send and even automate some transactional messages. To do this, you’ll first need access to the WhatsApp Business API. If you are granted access, you can submit Message Templates to WhatsApp for manual review.

Possible use cases are things like shipping or account updates, or appointment reminders. WhatsApp is currently not granting any new businesses access to their API, however.

In summary, use WhatsApp marketing to:

  • Turn leads into customers
  • Handle customer support
  • Sell your products and services directly
  • Automate transactional messages (restricted to WhatsApp Business API)

Is WhatsApp marketing effective?

Using WhatsApp to directly connect with leads and sell to customers is hugely effective. It’s a form of conversational commerce that builds on the following:

  • 87% of the world's smartphone population messaging
  • 100 billion messages exchanged across Facebook products each day
  • Conversation is uniquely positioned to answer shoppers' call for better experiences

The only downsides to WhatsApp marketing is that automation is limited as of yet, so you’ll have to do a lot of manual work. Another challenge is getting people into your WhatsApp channel and starting a conversation with you.

But what’s the best way to reach your audience? What’s the most powerful conversation starter when it comes to WhatsApp marketing?

This depends on where your audience spends most of their time, of course. But Click-to-WhatsApp ads are a good way to expand your reach.

What are Click-to-WhatsApp ads?

Click-to-WhatsApp ads let you use Facebook’s ad platform to get people to contact you on WhatsApp. It’s easy to set up, but rather limited in the features it offers. We’ll show you some examples of Whatsapp marketing strategies below.

For now, here’s some things you should know about Click-to-WhatsApp ads:

  • It’s an ad type with a Click to WhatsApp CTA that starts a WhatsApp conversation
  • You need to connect your phone number to your Facebook page to set one up
  • This is done in the WhatsApp for Business app
  • Placements include:
    - Facebook News Feed & Marketplace
    - Instagram Feed & Explore
    - Facebook & Instagram Stories
Personalized-offer-in-chat-Click-to-WhatsApp-ads
Some examples of Click to WhatsApp ad placements

Automation of what happens when people start the conversation, like you can do with ads that click to Messenger, will hopefully become available soon.

As the WhatsApp, Instagram Direct, and Messenger infrastructure move more and more towards interoperability, we can expect to see richer features in WhatsApp, too. For now, let’s show you how to get started with Click-to-WhatsApp ads:

How do you set up the WhatsApp Business app?

There are two things that you need to do before you can begin running Click-to-WhatsApp ads and starting conversations with people:

Since WhatsApp Business API access is restricted, you’re better off downloading the WhatsApp Business app, connecting your phone number, and linking it to your Facebook page.

You only need to take the following steps to get started:

  1. Download and launch the WhatsApp Business app
  2. Review and accept the Terms of Service
  3. Register your phone number by selecting your country and verifying the number
  4. Allow access to contacts and photos
  5. Create an account by adding your business name, category and profile picture
  6. Build your business profile by adding your address, opening hours, etc.
  7. Start chat conversations with your customers

Here’s a short video showing you how to set up on WhatsApp Business app:


Next, you’ll need to connect your WhatsApp business page with your Facebook page. This is done from your Facebook Business page settings:

  1. Navigate to your Facebook business Page.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. In the column on the left-hand side, click WhatsApp.
  4. Choose your country code.
  5. Enter your WhatsApp number and click Send code.
  6. Input the code and click Confirm.

Once all of this is done, you’re ready to start creating your first Click-to-WhatsApp ad.

How do I set up Click-to-WhatsApp ads?

There are two ways you can set up Click to WhatsApp ads:

  1. Promoting/boosting a post on your page
  2. Creating an ad in Facebook Ads Manager

Since Facebook Ads Manager allows for more advanced targeting and optimization, we’ll show you how to set one up that way.

Go to Ads Manager and create a new ad. You’ll have to choose your ad’s objective first:

Ads with the Traffic, Website Conversions or Messages objectives
Important: The Messages objective is unavailable when targeting India and selected EU countries.

  1. Select WhatsApp in the Message destination section
  2. Choose your audience, placements and schedule.
  3. Choose the images, text and headline for your ad. Click Confirm to publish your Click-to-WhatsApp ad.
  4. Click Confirm to publish your Click to WhatsApp ad.
Starting-a-Click-to-WhatsApp-Ad-with-Traffic-destination
Starting a Click-to-WhatsApp Ad with the Traffic destination

Ads with the Reach, Brand Awareness, Engagement or Video Views objectives

  1. Choose your audience, placements and schedule.
  2. Under Links, click Add Website URL.
  3. Add the URL of your business website.
  4. Under Call to action, select Send WhatsApp Message.
  5. Select your Page with the WhatsApp number connected in the drop-down menu.Click Confirm to publish your Click-to-WhatsApp ad.
Adding-a-Send-WhatsApp-Message-Call-to-Action
Adding a Send WhatsApp message call to action

Once your ad is published, you can handle incoming conversations in the WhatsApp Business app. You’ll have to do this manually until more automation is permitted by WhatsApp.

Here’s the fun part. Let’s have a look at some nice, creative ideas and examples for your ads.

7 Examples of Click-to-WhatsApp ads you can try today

But first: if you like this article, show us some ❤️ and tweet about it by clicking here 👈

Although you can’t build interactive chat landing pages for your Click-to-WhatsApp ads just yet, there are still many possible use cases. As long as you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and handling conversations manually.

Here are some ideas for a Whatsapp marketing strategy you can try out today.

1. Order food directly at discounted prices

Your target audience spends a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram. But you prefer to handle orders through WhatsApp.

Order-food-directly-on-Instagram-Click-to-WhatsApp-ads

Run an ad that prompts people to connect on WhatsApp and offers a discount if they order directly. Send a menu or let people browse your product catalog. Take their order, share a payment link and keep them up to date on delivery times.

2. Provide one-on-one clothing advice

How would you like to give your potential customers personal styling advice in the personal atmosphere of a WhatsApp conversation?

Offer-personalized-styling-advice-Click-to-WhatsApp-ads

Run an ad that clicks into WhatsApp, and take the conversation from there. You can send people recommended products from your catalog to turn these conversations into loyal customers.

3. Chat on WhatsApp in return for a discount coupon

This one is easy. Just ask people to have a chat with you and send them a discount coupon in WhatsApp.

Chat-on-WhatsApp-for-a-discount-Click-to-WhatsApp-ads

Any questions about how to use the coupon can be answered directly in chat. This has many use cases, of course, but here’s an example of a museum wanting to attract more visitors.

4. Tell us your address and we’ll deliver 2 burgers for €15

Start a chat conversation on WhatsApp. Ask for an address. Share a payment link. Send over your delivery service. Any restaurant delivery business looking to expand their clientele and sell more is going to benefit from this Click-to-WhatsApp ad.

Send-address-for-burger-delivery-Click-to-WhatsApp-ads

5. Share your email address and we’ll send an offer

Run a Click-to-WhatsApp ad that starts conversations with prospects. Ask some preliminary questions and get them to send you their email address.

Personalized-offer-in-chat-Click-to-WhatsApp-ads

Draft a personalized offer and send them an email. Conversational lead generation on steroids, basically.

6. Ask me anything

Artists can benefit greatly from interacting with their fans on a personal level. These days, it doesn’t get any more personal than having a chat on WhatsApp.

Ask-me-anything-Click-to-WhatsApp-ads

Just set up a Click-to-WhatsApp ad and answer incoming messages by fans directly. How’s that for fan engagement.

7. Make a salon appointment

Need new customers for your hair salon? Prompt people to book an appointment with an ad that clicks to WhatsApp.

Make-a-salon-appointment-Click-to-WhatsApp-ads

Once people start a conversation with your business, you can take everything from there. You can send the services listed in your catalog as a price list, and schedule a time for the appointment.

What we expect for the future of WhatsApp marketing

As businesses increasingly turn to WhatsApp for communication with (potential) clients, we’ll see the company cater more towards the needs these businesses have. Click-to-WhatsApp ads are one such a move - funnily enough, here’s a blog post from 2012 explaining why WhatsApp doesn’t sell ads.

Interoperability between Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp

At the moment, WhatsApp marketing is difficult to scale, as it offers little to no automation. As Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp move closer and closer to interoperability, this will likely change.

Automation, rich content and customer service

Messenger’s infrastructure provides a promising foundation for a joint messaging platform. Its advanced automation and rich content possibilities are perfect for businesses interacting with customers. Automation and rich content are also necessary for scalable customer service solutions.

Ecommerce integrations

Further integration with Facebook’s ecommerce ecosystem is another development on the horizon. The recent partnership between Facebook and Shopify and the launch of Facebook and Instagram Shops means the Facebook family of chat services will need to work with webshops’ backend systems.

Facebook-Shop-and-Instagram-Shop-on-mobile-devices
Facebook Shops and Instagram Shop collections on mobile

After all, if you visit a Shopify store, start a conversation through a WhatsApp live chat widget, and have a question, you would want to receive product recommendations, shipping notifications, and back-in-stock notifications on the same platform, wouldn’t you? We know we would.

If you have any thoughts or questions about the future of WhatsApp marketing. Feel free to get in touch with us!


Hey there 👋
Use POP to create conversational experiences for your store.
Get started

Or why don't you connect with POP directly through Messenger at https://m.me/bypophq


Jonas van de Poel

Jonas van de Poel

Customer Success & Content Marketer at POP. Polyglot and wordsmith armed with fountain pen and ergonomic keyboard. Loves copywriting, marketing, and wearing shades at night.