A developer's guide to WhatsApp Automation

Every growth team needs a developer, it’s a no brainer. Sprints and Sneakers is no different, except for one thing. We don’t have any developer, we have Bob. You might know him as our “automation whizkid”πŸ§™πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ or the guy with more than 20 frying endorsements on LinkedIn – talking about accomplishments. Either way, Bob is a software engineer gone growth hacker, he learned growth hacking in the field by running his own company, and when it comes to automation and everything tech, he is the one everyone turns to.Β 
Long story short, Bob is the one that has to put up with our nerdiest questions: what better candidate for this week’s S&S interview?

1. Well, now I want to be an automation whizkid as well. What is something easy for me to start with?

A cool, easy way to break the ice with automation is by adding a WhatsApp reminder for your appointments on Google Calendar.

2. Tell us about your top 3 automation best practices, are there some do’s and don’ts?

There are three boxes you always have to tick:

  • Do make a clear state diagram of your automation before you start building it
  • Test all boundary cases for your automation
  • Most importantly, if you are working for a client, make sure they understand what they are agreeing with. Communicating technicals details can be hard. Communicating marketing details can be harder. Communicating technical marketing details can be a complete mess. Sometimes, marketers and tech people are so deep in their game that they will forget that not everyone speaks their jargon: you need to make sure at all times that what you’re doing is as clear as possible for the client to understand, in order to avoid miscommunication or second thoughts.

3. What is something I should always be keeping an eye on?

Make sure you always do something manual a couple of times before automating to make sure you fully understand what the boundary cases and specifics are that make the automation a success.

Automation FAQ

1. My automation is stuck: how do I fix it?

Building and maintaining an automation is meticulous work. Every step needs to do what you intended, precisely. When it comes to fixing automations, before identifying what the problem is, you need to find out where it lies. The first thing I do is running through the whole process, starting from the start trigger, to test and verify everything works as intended. You can also use a Google Sheet to keep track of every step of the way so that you can manually check what’s happening instead of leaving it just to the computer.
Begin from the trigger and work your way up until you find what isn’t working. Now you know where something went wrong, you need to find out what it is. The best way is to “Rubber Duck it”, so to speak. It means making it as simple as possible, explaining it in such a way that even a rubber duck would understand. Write it down and go through all the steps again, checking for logic flaws or flaws in your automation. If that doesn’t work, I call in a colleague as a rubber ducky (pick least techy one, it works betterπŸ˜‰) and walk them through the problem and the logic behind the process. You will either find the error by repeatedly explaining the method, or you’ll find out your tool doesn’t work as intended in one of your steps.

2. How can I use WhatsApp to generate more sales on my e-commerce?

WhatsApp can be used in the same way as e-mail to drive more revenue. Sending people valuable offers at the right time is a great example, just make extra sure you’re not intrusive since WhatsApp will try to safeguard users’ personal space. Things like sending a promotion code on someone’s birthday are proven to be very effective. Another example is sending your most loyal customers an automated WhatsApp message whenever there’s a promotion on a product they often buy. These techniques work especially well when a customer is already used to engage with your business through WhatsApp. Hence, a tip to make these messages work (and convert) even better is doing your customer service through WhatsApp so that your customers familiarize more and more with this channel.

3. How do I automate WhatsApp from Active Campaign?

Even though ActiveCampaignΒ is a bit limited when it comes to integration options, the good news is, they do have a webhook! And if you don’t know it already, you will find out soon, a webhook is always a happy sight when doing anything in automation. It means you can get your data from one platform to another. I personally use Integromat (whatever works for you is fine, I see Integromat as the cheapest and more extensive option between all automation tools) to create webhooks for the messages. Then, I send the message to Nick (WhatsApp automation tool). You can easily load a Nick template into Integromat (https://getnick.io/using-integromat-with-nick/) or Zapier (https://getnick.io/using-zapier-with-nick/) and describe a message from the info you get from ActiveCampaign. Then, in ActiveCampaign, I use the appropriate webhook for sending a message. In the images is an example of a WhatsApp message we had when someone visited the service page and we had their WhatsApp number and permission to send.

If you read our WhatsApp Business blog, you know it’s hard to even start listing the countless ways WhatsApp can help your business. Whether you are looking for new ways to boost your e-commerce revenue or are struggling to collect leads, chances are WhatsApp, with its 2 billion users and its 98% open rate, could be the solution to your problems. And it’s much easier than you think!
Drop us a line and we’ll show you how to do it.