Newsletters for Messaging Apps: Everything You Need to Know!

Newsletters on messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, or iMessage are very popular for companies. They offer top click-through and open rates, high engagement, and (almost) real-time delivery. This makes newsletters on messaging apps the ultimate tool in your mobile marketing kit!

The e-mail newsletter is out, the messaging app newsletter is in! Why? Because instead of despairing over low click-through rates with e-mail newsletters, newsletters sent on messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or iMessage offer your company a channel where incredible open rates and high engagement are guaranteed.

In this guide, we’ll explain why that is, which messaging apps you can use to send newsletters, and how other companies are using them to better reach their customers.


1. Overview: Which messaging apps can you use to send out marketing newsletters?

With the growing popularity of messaging among users, messaging apps have started offering various ways to send out newsletters directly in-app. From WhatsApp and Telegram to Android and Apple Messages for Business, just about every messenger service nowadays offers a newsletter.

Each service has certain advantages and disadvantages. While Apple Messages for Business is ideal for easily reaching Apple users, WhatsApp allows you to reach people throughout the UK, India or Brazil on their favorite messenger, and Telegram offers a free newsletter.

So, depending on the target group, company and market, one service may be more advantageous than the other, or it might even be worth considering a combination of several newsletter services.


Why should you send out newsletters on messaging apps

Newsletters are considered push communication in messenger marketing, and they refer to regular information that companies send out to interested users. They help build a long-term relationship with customers and strengthen brand awareness. The only problem is that the traditional newsletter channel in marketing, e-mail, is currently going through a crisis.

Overcrowded inboxes, a massive amount of newsletters every day, and users who don’t have the time or don’t want to read through all the newsletters they’ve subscribed to at one time or another, mean that e-mail newsletters are increasingly being ignored or even classified as spam.

Advantages of newsletters on messenger apps

Messenger app newsletters, on the other hand, have a major advantage: they land directly in people’s most-used apps—and are almost never ignored. Accordingly, messaging apps offer incredible open rates of over 90 percent and click-through rates of 35 percent. In comparison, the click-through rate for e-mails is just three percent, and on social media channels it’s only five percent.

WhatsApp Newsletter Marketing KPIs Klickrate

Push marketing via messenger apps is therefore popular with organizations and companies alike, especially in media and e-commerce. The reasons for this are:

  • Reach: You can reach around 95 percent of your recipients  (on social media, it’s around 10 percent).
  • Click-through rate: 35 percent (e-mail: three percent, social media: five percent, banners: one percent).
  • Real-time: The push message is sent in real time. There are no delays in receiving it.
  • Lock screen: Push notifications for messaging app newsletters land directly on the lock screen amid messages from friends or family.
  • No algorithm: Unlike social media, there is no algorithm in direct messaging. Messages reach the recipient immediately and receive their full attention.
  • No spam filter: newsletters arrive directly and do not end up in spam, as is often the case with e-mails.

This makes newsletters on messaging apps an increasingly attractive channel for customer communication for companies. And the various messenger services offer different options.


3. Sending WhatsApp newsletters

After WhatsApp had temporarily discontinued the service, in 2021 WhatsApp allowed newsletters to be sent again. The current WhatsApp newsletter has a new price model, and is more focused on protecting users from spam messages.

Important: WhatsApp now distinguishes between messages that originate from users (user-initiated) and messages that companies send proactively (business-initiated).

WhatsApp Business API - Two types of messages

The messages that go out from companies to users are part of the traditional push communication.

Push on WhatsApp: From special offers to job alerts

Under the technical term “non-transactional notifications“, companies have been able to proactively send information to their WhatsApp customers again since June 2021. However, there are some requirements businesses need to fulfill, and it is not completely free of charge!

👉 Find out more about the new WhatsApp newsletter options!

For one, there are limited message templates for special use cases, such as an appointment reminder (“Don’t miss your doctor’s appointment.”), a reservation update (“We are happy to upgrade you to a table in our VIP room.”), or travel updates (“Your flight is now ready for boarding.”).

And then there are also WhatsApp notifications that can include special offers, personalized product recommendations, or relevant news that are sent directly to a user’s phone.

Relevant news

Obviously, the classic push communication approach is to send out a newsletter, with relevant news alerts that companies send to subscribers at regular intervals (after a previous opt-in!).

Bloomberg Quint, an Indian joint venture of Bloomberg News and Quintillion Media founded in 2016, for example, provides decision-makers and executives with relevant real-time financial market information via WhatsApp.

bloomberg-quint_whatsapp_content_on-demand

Content on demand: Bloomberg Quint offers users real-time content from the financial sector.

Service Alerts

Another form of push messages via WhatsApp notification are alerts. This could be public service announcements from your local electricity provider or important updates from your airline regarding your flight. Keep in mind though that you can only send out alerts to your WhatsApp customers with their prior consent.

whatsapp-notification-travel-update-example

WhatsApp Notification with a boarding alert.

Job alerts

Another creative option for WhatsApp push communication is to send out job alerts. KCS Medical, for instance, is a medical recruitment company that sends out alerts to help people find jobs in the medical field through a WhatsApp newsletter, and with the help of WhatsApp chatbot Zoe.

WhatsApp pull: The user starts the communication

Even though newsletters are part of classic push marketing, conversational marketing is no longer about flooding customers with messages, but about providing them with the information they really want, when they want it.

The difference to traditional push messages is that interest and the request for receiving information come directly from the customers. As a company, you thus draw customers to you (pull communication).

Customers tell companies what interests them

This gives customers the opportunity to access content by keyword or hashtag exactly when they need it. It also ensures that company messages are not perceived as spam and that better customer loyalty can be built. This form of newsletter communication is ideal for sending out coupons or special offers. Yet, there are also many other ways to work with pull-style newsletters.

The Indian fact-checking organization Newschecker, for example, gives their subscribers the option to choose themselves what service they want to use. In their case, somebody might have a story they would like them to fact-check, while others might be interested in receiving the latest fact-checked news directly to their WhatsApp.

Newschecker India, fact checker, WhatsApp, chatbot

 

These examples show that the WhatsApp newsletter has another great strength in addition to its reach: it gives you a lot of options. Companies can thus develop very creative forms of customer communication.


4. Using the Facebook Messenger from Meta to send out newsletters

Meta’s Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging apps worldwide, with at least 999.8 million users around the world as of April 2022.

Twelve percent of people on Earth use the Facebook Messenger from Meta. (Source: Datareportal)

It can therefore be a very powerful channel for reaching customers. In fact, the Messenger on Facebook offers companies two options for sending news, namely subscription messages and sponsored messages.

Subscription Messages

When newsletters via Facebook Messenger first started out, every business had access to them. Then, Meta restricted their use, and from 2020 to 2022 only opened them for media publications that were registered through the News Page Index (NPI). However, at the Conversations Conference in May 2022, Meta again reopened Facebook newsletters to all businesses. Since then, all businesses can once again send recurring messages.

exchange4media_facebook-messenger_newsletter

 

It will be interesting to see how companies will use the new newsletter tool in the future.

Sponsored messages

The Facebook Messenger from Meta also allows companies to send messages to customers they connected with them before on Messenger, either by talking to an agent or interacting with a bot. If companies want to reengage with these customers, they can send sponsored messages with updates or an interesting product suggestion.

mygov-corona-hub_india-goi_facebook-messenger-push-notification

Facebook Messenger notification from the Indian government.

 


5. Telegram Messenger: The easy messaging app newsletter

The Telegram Messenger sees itself as a secure alternative to other messenger apps, and promotes its services with a heavy focus on safety.

Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app with a focus on security and speed.

As of June 2022, Telegram counts 700 million users world-wide, and it is currently one of the fastest-growing messaging apps globally. Many of the users turned to Telegram looking for an alternative to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Instagram Direct, which means that companies can reach a different target group here than on other messenger apps.

Companies can send Telegram messenger newsletters (subscription similar to WhatsApp with the help of commands). There is a key advantage of Telegram over the other messaging apps, though: users can search for and subscribe to company profiles through the Discover feature.

More options with bots

In addition, companies can create chatbots on Telegram. These become particularly relevant when it comes to a dialog with customers. For example, bots can take over the prequalification of an inquiry and automatically answer recurring questions.


6. Notify App: The easy and fast messaging app

Notify is a free app that allows users to get news from different sources easily, securely, and for free. Over 1,000 companies, from media outlets to online stores, already use Notify.

Notify offers companies the chance to reach other target groups that don’t use the familiar messaging app, are less interested in dialogue, and expect the pushed content to have more of a news character.

60,000 daily active users

300.000 downloads and 60,000 daily, active users promise fast reach. The app also has a Discovery area where users can easily search and find news channels they want to subscribe to. In addition, Notify also stands out when it comes to ensuring data protection.

And: there are no ads, and the app is free of charge for companies and users.

Benefits for companies are that all information is delivered in real time, the average click-through rates lie at over 30 percent, and there is no misinformation, as every channel and organization is submitted to a check before being allowed to go live.


7. Apple Messages for Business (iMessage): the 360-degree service

Apple Messages for Business was launched in 2018 and is the professional version of iMessage. While iMessage is only for private communication, Apple Messages for Business is exclusively intended as a communication channel between individuals and businesses.

Apple Messages for Business offers companies the opportunity to get in touch with customers directly on the messaging app on an iOS device. Through these notifications, businesses can send content to customers in real time, and the messages appear directly on the locked screen.

Apple Messages for Business, Womens best, locked screen

 

It is important to note that companies are not allowed to merely send notifications. They also have to offer customer service.

🔥 Reading tip: check out how the influencer platform stylink is more successful with iMessage newsletters than WhatsApp newsletters!

All in all, Apple Messages for Business offers companies a wide range of options to accompany and support their customers throughout the entire customer journey. Integrated features, such as Apple Pay or descriptive topic category lists, make the experience pleasant and smooth for customers and employees.


8. Android / Google Messages (RSC)

Google’s messenger service on smartphones with Android operating systems has been called Android Messages since 2017 (previously, it was only called Messenger, like the Facebook Messenger). It can be used both on mobile and desktop devices. In the past, there was also Google Talk or, most recently, Google Bot Allo.

Why is this even an interesting option for messaging apps newsletters? Because a lot of people in the world are using Android. Currently, there are 2.8 billion active Android users in the world. That’s a global market share of 75 percent. And you can reach them directly through Android Messages, without them even having to download an app first.

Unfortunately, only a few companies are taking advantage of this huge potential. Why? Because the Android messaging service is not operated by Google, but by the telecommunication companies in a country. In the US, for example, where carriers have been using different networks, it’s quite the task to reach all customers without a professional solution.

It’s still worth looking into the Android newsletter though, especially since the good old SMS got an upgrade: rich communication services, or RCS messaging. RCS takes the plain SMS, and turns it into an engaging multimedia experience.

 

What RCS does for the Android newsletter is that RCS provides the technology that makes the system (Android) a lot more attractive by adding new features, like videos.

Get more tips for using messaging apps creatively: subscribe to our newsletter!

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9. Finding the right content strategy for your newsletter

Newsletters on messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Apple Business Chat or Meta’s Facebook Messenger are a great way to send content out quickly and directly. But what type of content should you send in a messaging app newsletter? Content strategy, media selection, interaction, timing, and target group are crucial for success.

As with any new medium, the question that arises with messenger apps is: What content is suitable? Typical questions that you should clarify in advance are:

  • How often should the Messenger newsletter go out? Tip: less is more! We recommend a maximum of three newsletters per day!
  • How many news topics do you want to send per message?
  • Which media (emojis, pictures, videos, language) do you want to include?
  • How formally or informally do you want to address your readers?

Also, pay special attention to the teaser text. These are the first seven words that appear on the lock screen—and ultimately encourage recipients to open your newsletter (or not).

💡 Learn how to find the right content strategy for your messenger app newsletter!


10. What can I do with a messaging app newsletter without users? What do you need to keep in mind when building a readership?

When setting up your newsletter for a messaging up, these are the things you should keep in mind:

  1. Place your widget wherever you can. Your target group can easily subscribe to your messenger newsletter through the MessengerPeople widget. Communicate the widget through all channels available to you, whether online or offline (website, email signature, etc.)
  2. Integrate your Messenger newsletter landing page into your website, where users and customers are looking for contact, support, and information.
  3. Set up click-to-chat. This means, for example, that you include a link on your website, the newsletter landing page or on any other digital platform that you use. When users clicks on this link, the corresponding messaging app opens directly. You should use or communicate this link on all your touchpoints. This ranges from your website to flyers with QR codes.
  4. A QR code will help you, too. It’s another great way for users to access your newsletter directly. You can place it on your products, invoices, or flyers, for example, and thus enable customers to subscribe to your newsletter directly via a click-to-chat link.
  5. Use social media to promote your messaging app newsletter. Communicate the number, or use the click-to-chat link to lead people from Facebook or Instagram directly to your messenger service. On Facebook, for example, you can draw attention to your newsletter with videos or the click-to-chat link. On Twitter, you can also post video clips and share the link, while on Instagram you should add the link in your bio, and add the comment “link in bio” to content you post around your newsletter.
  6. Keep track of all the touchpoints you have with your customers and consider using these to draw people’s attention to your newsletter so that you can get as many users as possible into your messaging service.

11. Send newsletters to messaging apps with “MIA”, a professional and GDPR-compliant tool

For companies that want to take advantage of the benefits of sending out newsletters on messenger apps, MessengerPeople has developed a special software solution, the Messenger Information Assitant (MIA). With it, you can:

  • 👨‍⚖️ … access WhatsApp through the official WhatsApp Business API, and use it to send out notifications and a lot more, while being 100 percent GDPR-compliant.
  • 📯… send messaging app newsletters to customers on WhatsApp, Apple Messages for Business (iMessage), Facebook Messenger, Notify, und Telegram schicken.
  • 🚀… start right away, no coding skills needed—even from your home office!
  • 💻… manage all messages from any messaging app centrally in your inbox.
  • ↔ … assign queries as tickets, manually or by automated routing) to your team.
  • 🤖 … easily set up automated features like a chatbot with the easy chatbot builder.
  • ⚙️… integrate existing software interfaces in your company with WhatsApp.
  • 💰 … use messaging effectively and at a fair price, with no set-up fees and personal consultation.

Get a first impression of our product.


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