Telegram Messenger – Everything you need to know!
Since companies can no longer officially send newsletters to their customers via WhatsApp, the question arises: What alternatives are there to the WhatsApp newsletter? Telegram Messenger is a free Messenger Newsletter alternative for users to send content via push message. It also offers the possibility of direct customer communication in a 1:1 chat. We show you which possibilities Telegram offers companies and which companies are already successfully using Telegram Messenger.
Quick Facts: Telegram
- Claim: the secure alternative to WhatsApp & Co.
- User statistics: ca. 500 million users global (Januar 2021)
- Target group: Popular with media, e-commerce, deal platforms, tech companies and start-ups, among others.
- Newsletter: subscribe by writing “start”- and unsubscribe by writing “stop”
- Advantages: Own search area, direct customer contact, high traffic
- Disadvantages: Also used by dubious groups / bad image
- Important: many MessengerPeople customers see great resonance offering newsletters via Telegram
In this article you’ll learn:
- What you should know about Telegram
- Business Account: How companies can use Telegram
- Use cases for the use of Telegam for businesses
- Conclusion about the potential of Telegram
Telegram Messenger was launched in 2013. Telegram was founded by Pavel Durov. He had previously founded the Russian equivalent of Facebook, “VKontakte”. Telegram Messenger LLP is based in London. The messenger can be used both via mobile and desktop. To mark its sixth birthday, a short story on its development to date was published in August 2019.
Is Telegram secure?
Telegram positions itself as a secure alternative to WhatsApp & Co. The messaging app also advertises security on its own website: “Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app with a focus on security and speed.” Telegram Messenger offers two forms of encryption. Chats and group chats are protected by a client-server / server-client encryption mechanism by default and kept encrypted in the Telegram Cloud.
However, there are enough reasons why Telegram is not a secure messenger – at least not more secure than WhatsApp.
Current user numbers
At the beginning of January 2021, Telegram announced that it has 500 million monthly active users. This puts the messenger ahead of Snapchat (229 million daily active users) or Twitter, for example.
Source: Statista & Telegram
In between, there were reports that Telegram already had over 280 million users.
In March 2018, CEO Pavel Durov announced on the Telegram blog that the messenger had 200 million monthly active users. This means that the number of users has increased by 30 million within five months (October 2017: 170 million monthly active users).
Telegram is ranked 9th in the top 9 messaging apps / chat apps worldwide (not including system-immanent messengers such as Apple’s iMessage or Android Messages / Google Chat) by monthly active users, with WhatsApp in first place.
The download figures in the Google Play Store are also of interest for the global assessment of Telegram Messenger. In 2020, with 500 million downloads in the Google Play Store, the messenger is still behind its competitors, WhatsApp (5 billion) and Facebook (2 billion).
In July 2019, the messaging app Telegram was downloaded around 9 million times worldwide. A year earlier, the number of downloads was still around 4.8 million.
A company has one decisive advantage by using Telegram instead of other messaging apps: Telegram users can search for and subscribe to companies via the Discover area. This provides an easy entry point from the messenger itself to lead customers or users to the respective channel.
Basically, you have the following features on Telegram Messenger:
A profile is a personal account (for private use but also as an admin in channels & groups).
The push channel can have an unlimited number of subscribers and only admin & bots can post. Comments are not allowed and replies are not possible!
A Telegram group or chat can have a maximum of 200,000 members and anyone can post. The admin of the group assigns rights, e.g. for pictures or videos.
A Telegram Bot is a kind of Robo Admin that can also post to groups and channels. User can also follow a bot directly. Subscribers can reply directly to the bot’s newsletters – but unlike in a group, only the bot’s administrators can see the replies!
The easiest and best option is to create a Telegram Bot. The Telegram Bot API or Telegram Business API is free and can be used to create bots for social, gaming, productivity, and e-commerce services. However, Telegram bots can also be used for human support by connecting them to a CRM or messaging platform.
MessengerPeople has integrated Telegram Messenger into its Messenger Communication Platform. The software solution allows companies to manage marketing and customer service via Telegram in a scalable way and offer multi-messenger service if desired. With the integrated widget, as you can see for example at the end of this article or on the right-hand corner of the website when you click on the chat icon, companies can easily integrate Telegram on their website and offer it as a channel.
Customer communication on Telegram (1:1 chat)
Nowadays, direct customer contact and fast communication are essential for a successful customer journey. Via Telegram, companies can advise their customers and convey product information or other important information directly in the chat. This enables quick and direct answers to questions about the use of services or products. In addition, customers can conveniently contact companies about problems, information, or even billing questions. This makes it easier to handle returns, for example and reduces the number of returns.
For Brille24, Telegram proved to be a suitable channel for direct customer advice. Through a simple request to the bot, it starts a short query on various information. Based on the information collected, the customer would be suggested suitable spectacle frames.
The service is very well received by customers. Older customers in particular use the service because it is so simple and a phone call or email is unnecessary.
Andreas Sobing, former Head of CRM Brille24.de
Newsletter (Content Distribution)
Companies can send newsletters via Telegram Messenger – as known from WhatsApp. The renowned Washington Post, for example, offers its readers and interested parties the possibility to discuss articles on Telegram beyond the news push message. At the same time, the user has the option of reading the linked articles via Instant View. With this feature, the post opens across the entire screen in Telegram.
Telegram bots make it easy to send news, updates, and promotional content as automated newsletters. Telegram bots are therefore perfectly suited to push automatically via existing systems. For example, the WordPress Telegram Bot automatically sends a Telegram newsletter when a post is published on the blog.
The public transportation company in Hambburg HVV also uses Telegram Messenger for a real-time information service. Customers automatically receive up-to-date messages when there are disruptions on the individual underground lines, such as the U2. The company can easily import this real-time information into Telegram via the API interface. Based on this information, customers can plan their next journey, for example, to avoid or minimize delays.
In addition, companies can create chatbots on Telegram that, for example, pre-qualify enquiries (first-level support chatbots), automatically answer recurring questions (FAQ) or provide personalized information for users with the help of connected databases.
A bot can act as an intelligent newspaper and send them relevant content as soon as it is published. By integrating external services such as YouTube or the GIF bot, the newsletter can be enriched with a wide variety of content. A bot can work as a virtual storefront, offer paid services, or provide alerts, weather forecasts, formatting, and translations.
WhatsApp is and remains the number one among messenger apps, even if you look at the user figures in the various countries. We recommend our article Global usage of Messaging Apps, Penetration and Statistics. The worldwide number 2 is Facebook Messenger. Currently, the number of daily active users on Telegram is estimated at around 500 million.
With the end of the WhatsApp newsletter, many companies lack a channel to communicate their content, news, or offers directly to customers. Telegram offers many possibilities to design newsletters interactively and to achieve a high click-through rate (CTR) and ultimately conversion.
Due to ever greater and faster digitalization, customers want to have the advice and service exactly where they are. Telegram enables this on a secure chat platform and can contribute to an increase in efficiency and satisfaction along the entire customer journey.
Telegram Messenger, like all other messengers, has no algorithm as is common in social media. This leads to a 100% playout (distribution) of the content to the target group. The important side effect is that subscribers who have been acquired do not have to be acquired again each time via advertising measures.
🔥 Tip: You can find out which other messengers are relevant for companies in our editorial The most important messengers for companies.