What is the difference between mobile newsletter services and mobile Apps?

With the forthcoming ban of WhatsApp newsletter services some businesses think of using their apps as replacement. It sounds like a no-brainer: just post the App-install link and users will flock to the mobile App instead. Right? Unfortunately not.

The reason is that WhatsApp newsletter services are rather unique in the way how they address users. Messages have an informal style and address recipients directly. This mimics a conversation where “a friend” talks to you. This is of course no coincidence: after all WhatsApp IS a chat app.

This way of messaging is hugely engaging: people are more likely to open WhatsApp newsletters than regular newsletters or mobile Apps with Push notifications. Of course you can argue that mobile Apps with push notifications are more or less the same. This is certainly true on the surface, but if you dig a litte bit deeper you’ll notice the fundamental difference of mobile newsletters and Apps with Push notifications.

Let’s do a little experiment. Take your favorite WhatsApp newsletter service and look at the wording of messages. They have emojis and address you directly. Messages give you an overview of different topics and have several links for more information. On top of that there is an implicit emphemeral character to WhatsApp messages since they have a conversational tone.

Now look at Apps: many of them contain a stream with messages. However, the wording of messages is different and often sounds more “objective”. Emojis are also nowhere to be found. There is no message that contains an overview, because it doesn’t fit into the message stream.

So what is the alternative? We at IKANGAI offer a mobile newsletter that keeps the main qualities of WhatsApp newsletters. It adds additional features like message formatting with Markdown and is GDPR-compliant, since no personal data (phone number, etc.) are asked from the user. Just contact us for a presentation of our platform.

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