All about WhatsApp Broadcast Lists [2024]

All about WhatsApp Broadcast Lists [2024]

In this guide we will analyze WhatsApp broadcast lists in detail, trying to understand what they are, what functionalities they have and what limitations they present. We will then see how to overcome these limitations and how to leverage broadcast lists for marketing your company.
All about WhatsApp Broadcast Lists [2024]
Ilaria Carofiglio | Head of Growth
Ilaria Carofiglio | Head of Growth
February 9, 2024

The integration of WhatsApp among the methods to stay in touch with customers is becoming increasingly common and WhatsApp broadcast lists can be useful for this purpose. We have already discussed WhatsApp several times, examining its features and the tools that can be integrated and explaining why this messaging application is important for conversational commerce.

In this guide we will analyze WhatsApp broadcast lists in detail, trying to understand what they are, what functionalities they have and what limitations they present. We will then see how to overcome these limitations and how to leverage broadcast lists for marketing your company.

What are WhatsApp broadcast lists?

First of all we need to understand what WhatsApp broadcast lists are. These are lists containing multiple contacts that can be used to quickly send messages to a large number of people.

Broadcast lists can have various uses. Companies can use them to manage marketing campaigns and to quickly send communications to multiple customers. However, lists can also be used for other purposes, such as sending weather alerts, sending communications to members of a social group and so on.

Broadcast lists are therefore a valid tool for both commercial communications and communications among groups of friends. In this comprehensive guide we will focus on commercial communications, analyzing from this perspective the advantages and disadvantages of WhatsApp broadcast lists.

If you engage with WhatsApp for daily correspondence, you may have encountered messages akin to "Forward This Message To 10 More Contacts, and You’ll Receive Positive News by Evening." These are commonly known as WhatsApp broadcast messages, dispatched to your inbox.

Differences between WhatsApp broadcast lists and groups

Whatsapp Broadcast lists limits vs WhatsApp groups
WhatsApp Groups VS Whatsapp Broadcast Lists

WhatsApp also provides another tool for communicating more quickly with multiple people. This tool is represented by WhatsApp groups, which are widely used by both companies for business communications and users for personal communications.

There are differences between WhatsApp broadcast lists and WhatsApp groups that must be understood to fully leverage these communication tools. By considering these differences, you can identify the best situations to use one or the other communication tool.

The main difference concerns the type of conversation that is initiated. WhatsApp groups involve a single chat visible to all users who are part of the group. Users who choose to respond know that the messages will be visible to all other participants, so there is no direct communication between the sender of the first message and the respondent.

By choosing to use broadcast lists, on the other hand, multiple one-to-one conversations can be created. All contacts included in the broadcast list will receive the same initial message, but each of them will initiate a personal conversation. Any replies will therefore be private and will not be shared with other contacts in the broadcast list.

WhatsApp group administrators can also choose to block responses, using the group only for sending communications to all participants. This is not possible with broadcast lists: sending the message opens a one-to-one conversation to which the message recipient can choose to participate.

Another difference between broadcast lists and WhatsApp groups is the number of contacts that can be included. Currently, up to 256 contacts can be added to a broadcast list, while the limit for a group has been increased to 1024 users. Whatsapp broadcasts limits are also an important factor when analyzing the passage to WhatsApp Business API - tool used to send messages to a lot more then 256 people simultaneously.

Advantages of WhatsApp broadcast lists

The advantages of WhatsApp broadcast lists are numerous, which explains why these lists are becoming increasingly popular among commercial tools. Companies are constantly searching for new methods to improve communication with customers and optimize conversion rates.

Free tool

One strong point of broadcast lists is that they are a free tool. Both private clients and companies with WhatsApp Business accounts can access WhatsApp broadcast lists without any additional costs.

One-to-one conversations

A significant advantage of broadcast lists is the initiation of one-to-one conversations. Unlike groups that have a single chat for all participants, with broadcast lists each recipient of the communication will have their own personal chat. This helps create intimacy with the customer and encourages dialogue.

Sometimes participants in WhatsApp groups may not respond for fear of being judged by others for the messages they send. With broadcast lists this does not happen because all messages sent will remain within private conversations.

Time optimization

Broadcast lists (similarly to groups on WhatsApp) are an excellent tool for time optimization and speeding up communication with customers. By choosing to send a message through a broadcast list, you can reach up to 256 people with a single operation. To initiate the same number of private conversations manually would take much more time and the company would need to allocate more resources.

Disadvantages of broadcast lists for WhatsApp

Like all tools, broadcast lists also have some negative aspects. Some of these are not absolute disadvantages but are related to the type of use intended for these lists. There are circumstances in which it is better to use WhatsApp groups, while in others broadcast lists are the optimal choice.

Manual entry of contacts

One disadvantage concerns the creation phase of the list. While it is true that the WhatsApp team has tried to simplify the management of this tool, at the moment it is still necessary to manually enter contacts.

For companies managing one or a few lists, manual work may be feasible (considering that the list does not need to be created from scratch every time), but it becomes more complex for companies aiming to reach thousands of customers.

Uncertainty in message delivery

WhatsApp developers have chosen to enable sending messages through broadcast lists only to users who have saved the sender's number in their contacts. This choice aims to prevent the sending of spam messages and to prevent contacts randomly obtained online from being added to broadcast lists for the sending of unwanted messages.

However, this choice can be a disadvantage for broadcast lists. It may happen that customers do not save the company's number in their contacts and messages may not be delivered correctly, even though the company has obtained the number directly from the customers.

Complex management in the case of multiple lists

As the number of customers to be reached increases, so must the broadcast lists. It is important to remember that the maximum number of contacts that can be added to a list is 256.

Companies creating multiple broadcast lists for WhatsApp may have difficulty managing them. Sometimes, difficulties may also arise in sequentially sending messages to multiple lists. This can be easily solved by using the API of Whatsapp Business that allow sending message to up to 100.000 users x day. 

Broadcast lists and WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp offers companies the WhatsApp Business version, which provides access to a greater number of features. To learn more about this professional version and WhatsApp's APIs, we recommend reading our guide on WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API. In this section, we'll briefly outline the main strengths of the business version.

Broadcast List Integration

The professional version of the messaging app seamlessly integrates broadcast lists. Through WhatsApp Business, companies can manage broadcast lists and quickly send messages to all contacts saved in these lists.

Verified Profile Icon

The business version allows companies to obtain a special icon for verified profiles. This icon enhances the credibility of the profile, reassures customers about the sender of the messages and thus contributes to increase the read and response rate.

For further details, we recommend reading our guide WhatsApp Business tick meaning and how to get it. This guide provides an in-depth look at the WhatsApp green tick and why all companies looking to leverage this messaging application to communicate with customers should have it.

Create a catalog

With WhatsApp Business you can create a catalog of services and products and make it available to customers. This way, customers contacting you through WhatsApp can view the products for sale and services offered directly within the chat.

Companies selling online through an ecommerce platform can integrate a WhatsApp chatbot to make WhatsApp their preferred communication channel. Companies interested in investing in conversational commerce can integrate an AI shopping assistant like TextYess to leverage the capabilities of artificial intelligence and give customers the ability to make in-chat purchases.

Quick Replies Management

By analyzing conversations with customers, you can identify frequently asked questions. To optimize service and improve customer experience, you can create a list of quick replies to provide prompt responses to common customer questions. 


WhatsApp Business enables better contact management through the use of labels. This tool can be utilized to organize contacts, divide them into groups and easily find them when needed. Labels can also be used for categorizing broadcast lists.

Limits of WhatsApp broadcast lists: what are they?

Understanding the limits of WhatsApp broadcast lists is crucial to making the most of this tool. There are essentially two elements to discuss because they could represent a limitation for companies managing large numbers of clients.

Maximum User Limit per List

One limit of WhatsApp broadcast lists concerns the number of contacts that can be added to each list. WhatsApp has set a maximum limit of 256 users, making it more challenging to send messages with this tool to companies with a large customer base.

To overcome this limit, you can create multiple broadcast lists, each with a maximum of 256 contacts. However, managing multiple lists becomes more complicated: you cannot send messages to all broadcast lists in a single operation, but you have to repeat the operation for each contact list.

Sending Messages Only to Contacts in the Address Book

Another one of the limits of WhatsApp broadcast lists is that messages can only be delivered if the user has saved the sender's number in their address book. This means that companies can only initiate one-to-one conversations with customers who have saved the numbers in their address book.

On one hand, this results in initiated conversations having a higher average response rate because they involve loyal customers with a connection to the company. On the other hand, if numbers of users who are not sufficiently loyal are added to broadcast lists, the desired result may not be achieved.

Not personalized messages

With broadcast lists, the same message is sent to all users included in the list. Companies do not have the possibility to personalize the message, such as including the customer's name or referencing a past order.

Overcoming limits with WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp provides tools to enhance the user experience of the business version. These tools include WhatsApp API, which can also be used to overcome some of the limitations of broadcast lists. To discover more information about WhatsApp APIs, we recommend reading our guide Unleashing the Power of WhatsApp Business API for e-commerce success.

With WhatsApp APIs, companies can request consent from customers for sending messages via broadcast lists. Customers who provide consent will correctly receive messages even without saving the company's number in their address book.

Another advantage of using APIs is regarding the business information transmitted to customers with messages. The company profile can be personalized, and customers contacted through broadcast lists can quickly see who the sender is and potentially rely on the verification checkmark that the company has obtained through identity verification.

WhatsApp broadcasting with the API

WhatsApp broadcast lists can become a fundamental tool for company marketing. However, like all marketing tools, broadcast lists must be used correctly. There are three aspects to pay particular attention to when deciding to communicate with customers via broadcast lists with the API: frequency, segmentation of clients and the business solution provider chosen.

The importance of the first two is linkedin to the fact that every profile using the API has a rating and this rating needs to be up otherwise the WhatsApp Business account will be blocked by Meta. For instance, if you send messages too many times to the same contact they’ll probably block you. The third one is the most important because choosing the right WhatsApp Business Solution Provider will help you avoid common mistakes when using the API for the first times and save hundreds of hours of yout time! 

Pay particular attention to: Frequency 

The first aspect to consider is the frequency of messages. Companies must be skilled at identifying the correct frequency to ensure that customers remember to make purchases or view new products in the catalog without becoming intrusive. Communications that are too frequent can become counterproductive and damage sales.

Pay particular attention to: Segmentation

The other aspect to consider concerns the recipients of the messages. To achieve a high open and response rate, it is necessary to correctly segment the customer base. A suggestion, especially as the number of managed customers increases, is to create multiple broadcast lists and classify them with labels. This way, it is more likely that customers will receive communications they are interested in and respond to the messages.

Pay particular attention to: Business Solution Provider 

The other paramount aspect to consider is the selection of the right Business Solution Provider. Businesses have two ways to access the API: alone or with a BSP (Business Solution Provider). The second one saves you a lot of time and helps you avoid common mistakes like sending whatsapp broadcasts to the same person multiple times. 

TextYess as WhatsApp API Business Solution Provider 

TextYess - WhatsApp Business API for broadcasting
TextYess - WhatsApp Business API for broadcasting

TextYess is among the best Whatsapp API provider - it offers the all-in-one WhatsApp solution you need to send broadcast lists and automate customer interactions with AI.

TextYess is an AI shopping assistant on WhatsApp that improves conversation management and customer service - with an average conversion rate in chat of 15% and an abandoned checkout rate on whatsapp of 20%!

This AI shopping assistant provides instant 24/7 responses and converses with customers naturally. Customers can inquire about products in the catalog and receive purchasing advice. They can also ask about orders they've placed and track shipment progress.

Furthermore, Whatsapp broadcasts can be sent with no limits and with easy integration to your CMS to select the right segment of customers for that Whatsapp campaign. 

Forget about the limits of Whatsapp broadcast lists and start using the WhatsApp Business API today - TextYess has a free app that you can download here.