Telegram is an instant-messaging app that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. It now has more than 500 million monthly active users making it one of the world’s most popular messaging apps.
This is a powerful platform that can be used for marketing. It is ideal because of its group chat features, media sharing, and bots. An additional plus is that it's totally free, which makes it a cost-effective marketing channel.
If you are not already familiar with Telegram, it is a free messaging app that is popular due to its focus on security.
It is becoming one of the major competitors of WhatsApp because it can be downloaded on multiple devices, and syncs across them all with no issues. It also has a friendly interface and higher limits on the number of users in group chats.
Telegram groups work similarly to group chats on other messaging apps. However, they have one clear advantage over apps like WhatsApp.
Group limits on Telegram are set at 200,000 members in comparison to only 512 on WhatsApp. You may think that you wouldn't want to manage a group that big. However, Telegram offers a wide range of controls that make managing larger groups easier.
Telegram Channels have similar features to their groups with the key difference being that only the channel admins can send messages.
This makes them great for more of a newsletter-style of communications. You can use them to broadcast updates about your brand and products.
When a user signs up for Telegram, they do it with their phone number. However, the primary identifier for a user is their Telegram ID.
Telegram does share users' phone numbers or their ID numbers through the Telegram Bot API. You only view their name.
As such, you cannot import a list via CSV to a CRM to add Telegram contacts.
Your customer will have to message you first to become your business contact. This function is in place to improve the experience for the users because it focuses on limiting spam from business accounts.
This may seem like a limitation but in reality, it is an advantage. Users have to message your brand first. This means that every one of your contacts is an interested lead and you can focus your time on them appropriately.
Users can find and message you through chat links and QR codes. These can be created and sent out to customers through your existing channels of communication. It is also possible for loyal Telegram users to find you through an in-app search.
Unlike many other instant messaging apps that have business APIs, your brand does not need to be verified for users to search and find you in-app. Once your business bot is created anyone on Telegram can find and message you.
On Telegram, you can message customers whenever you want, as long as they are a contact (having messaged you first).
A key feature to understand on 1:1 messaging is the sent/read receipts.
Every message has a sent, delivered, and read status when viewed on a personal account. This means the users you message can see when you have read their messages.
In contrast, your business account will not be given this feature. You will not see when a user has received and read your message.
Much like the 1:1 messaging option, broadcasting on Telegram offers a range of features. You can send messages as text but also as all kinds of media such as photos, GIFs, stickers, videos, and more. With broadcasting, you can send the message you create to an unlimited number of your contacts.
However, it is important to remember that a contact can block your bot at any time. If you are sending them information that they don't want to see or spamming them with too many messages they may block you to stop receiving communications.
Once you're blocked, there’s nothing that you can do. You can no longer message them and you have lost a potential lead.
Telegram has so many useful features that can make your life as a marketer easier. It's a great platform for blast communications through broadcasts but also for 1:1 communications to answer questions from customers and assist with sales and customer services. You can also create channels and manage a community that shares information about your industry and products – and you can do all of these things in one location.
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