This is the first of a series of "WeChat Made Easy" posts on what businesses can do by combining the power of Salesforce and WeChat using Charket.
Email is still the primary channel for delivering marketing messages globally, that's not the case, however, in China. Many Chinese people do not have an email account; even they do, they do not check it regularly, not to mention that almost all email marketing tools have email deliverability issues due to spam filters implemented by major email providers in China. SMS is another marketing channel that businesses used and misused. Today, people do not like receiving SMS messages as most of them are junk messages involving either fraud or inappropriate information, and the worst part is, people do have anyway to stop them. This does not mean businesses do not have a way to reach Chinese customers; actually, there is an even better one and it’s WeChat.
WeChat went beyond being an IM app and became a platform that enriches people's everyday lives. The level of popularity WeChat gained among all Chinese people, not just within China but globally, is unimaginable. Most people check their WeChat status whenever they have a minute. If businesses send marketing information or notifications to people's WeChat app, those messages are deemed to be delivered unless their business accounts are being blocked by WeChat users who have the options to block messages from certain businesses or unfollow their accounts if they send too many of them or their messages are irrelevant or inappropriate. This is one reason why people prefer to receive WeChat messages, instead of SMS messages, because WeChat puts the control what they want to receive in their own hands.
WeChat offers three types of accounts for businesses: subscription account, service account and enterprise account. This link has the detailed information comparing all three accounts, it's in Chinese however. On the high level, the subscription account was designed for sending marketing messages, the limit is 1 public message per day; the service account was designed for customer service, no limit of private messages within a 48-hour window which starts and is reset whenever a WeChat user initiates an interaction or responds to a message from a business account, a service account also has the capability of sending up to 4 public marketing messages per month; the enterprise account was designed for internal use within a company. The service account is the best option as it has the most functionalities to cover WeChat marketing, customer service and social commerce. Being able to send 4 public messages a month should be good enough for most companies; otherwise, it's very possible that their accounts are blocked/unfollowed by WeChat users.
What Does Charket Do?
What the Charket app does is it connects a Salesforce org with a company’s WeChat business accounts. Once the connection is built, WeChat features offered to businesses are available from within Salesforce and fully integrated with the whole CRM process. The focus of this post, and another 2-4 following this one, is to show you how you can use Charket to do WeChat marketing.
Start a WeChat Campaign
In Salesforce, marketing starts from the Campaign Management part. Check this link for more information on how Salesforce Campaign Management works. The screen below shows a sample Campaign record. What Charket can do here is to generate a WeChat QR code for this marketing campaign.
QR Codes play an important role in the WeChat world. It’s the primary way for connecting WeChat users with a business. Charket, when working with a WeChat service account, can generate a custom QR code for any Salesforce record, such as a campaign, a product or a KB article. Such QR codes can be printed onto product labels, shown on campaign sites or distributed through e-newsletters. The goal is to have as many WeChat users as possible scan those QR codes and follow the company’s business account(s).
When a WeChat user scans a campaign QR code, an auto response message with specific marketing event information is delivered to the user’s WeChat app.
At the same time, the WeChat user is created as a WeChat follower in the company’s Salesforce org, and/or a Lead/Contact record is also created/updated and added to the marketing campaign as a new campaign member. The list below shows one campaign member which was created from a WeChat user, and the list will be growing as more WeChat users scan the QR code.
When running a marketing campaign, collecting sales leads is only the first half of the job, and it’s the relatively easier part. The second half is to follow up with those sales leads, in this case WeChat followers, and disqualify those who are not prospects, such as competitors. This is called the lead qualification process. Depending on the nature of the business (B2B or B2C) and the amount of people the campaign targets, the lead qualification process can be conducted through either one-by-one communications or a follow-up WeChat mass message to track further product interests from WeChat followers.
Charket’s Live Chat is a feature designed to support secure real-time interactions between a business and its WeChat followers. Marketing specialists can use Live Chat for doing lead qualification, sales people can use it for closing deals, and customer service agents can use it to support customers. Live Chat messages can be text messages, emojis, structured messages, voice/video clips and coupons. Live Chat’s performance is very good and reliable. Usually, each message can be delivered within 1.5 seconds; sometimes, a voice/video message may take a few seconds longer to deliver.
The Live Chat window also shows follower related information such as contact information, opportunities with the follower, cases opened for the follower and marketing campaigns the follower was targeted.
Marketing people can also use Charket’s Mass Message feature to send a message to a group of WeChat followers, such as members of a campaign or followers assigned the same tag. Sending mass messages is ideal for following up with a large number of WeChat followers as contacting them one by one will take too much effort. One important reminder here is, a WeChatservice account can send up to 4 mass messages to each WeChat follower per month; a WeChat subscription account can send only 1 mass message to each WeChat follower everyday. Mass messages sent beyond the limit will not be delivered. This is not necessarily a bad thing because WeChat users may very likely block or unfollow a business account or even report misuse of the account if they receive too many messages, which, potentially, can cause the close of such business account.
Once the lead qualification process is finished, marketing people can turn all prospects to the hands of sales people through Salesforce’s standard lead conversion process. Depending on how many deals sales people can close from those prospects, the ROI can be calculated on the campaign record level. A future post will cover how sales people can use Charket to close deals with WeChat prospects.