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How stylink reaches a 90% open rate with their iMessage newsletter

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What do customer service and messaging apps have in common? They're vital for providing a personalized customer experience! In order to be successful with messaging, however, it's essential to pick the right channel for your communication. For stylink, an affiliate platform for influencers, this turned out to be Apple Messages for Business. Kara Dilling, business development manager at stylink explains why she thinks iMessage newsletters are the perfect channel for them to engage customers. 

What do you hope to get out of messenger communication with your customers? How do a 90% open rate and doubling the number of users in a few months sound to you? That's exactly what happened to the influencer affiliate platform stylink — by using iMessage! When the German company expanded to the US and Australia, they soon realized that they also needed to grow their messaging services.

While WhatsApp is the number one messaging app in a lot of European and Asian countries, other messenger apps might be more used in other markets. Stylink soon realized that they were able to reach a lot more customers in the US and Australia with Apple Messages for Business. Kara Dilling, stylink's business development manager, explains how Apple Messages for Business works, how iMessage newsletters have helped them reach their clients more directly, and why choosing the right messaging app for your market is key.

Stylink is a European affiliate platform for influencers. Basically, they work with influencers and shops, and help influencers to create affiliate links from any of their partners. stylink forwards affiliate links from their partner shops to the influencers, who can then post them on their social media profiles. When followers click on the links and buy something, the influencers get a commission. This helps the shops as well, as they're able to generate more sales through stylink's large influencer network.

As stylink works with influencers from various industries, from beauty to fashion to finance, they've found that the best and fastest way to provide the influencers with an affiliate link is through messaging apps.

Quote Kara Dilling stylink of personalized messages

From WhatsApp notifications to iMessage newsletters

Stylink started out in 2018 using the WhatsApp for Business App via an old iPhone. That phone still exists, by the way! However, throughout the years the company grew, and they started to get more and more requests for their customer support. That's when they switched from the WhatsApp Business App to the WhatsApp Business Platform and started using Sinch Engage the professional messaging platform from MessengerPeople by Sinch.

Quote Kara Dilling stylink going global with Sinch Engage

They also started using the Sinch Engage Campaings tool to send out newsletters — pushing their marketing — and updates from brands to influencers. And they were also using the tool to send influencers their individual affiliate links.

This works as follows. Fist, the influencers send stylink a message. Then stylink verifies that the message comes from a registered user, and then stylink generates an automated affiliate link for them. All of this works on WhatsApp! Receiving the links directly on WhatsApp makes it a lot easier for influencers to upload them to their social media profiles directly from their smartphones.

Since the system works so smoothly, it greatly increased the number of monthly WhatsApp users, and stylink received a lot of positive feedback for the link service.

As they started growing internationally, stylink learned very fast that you have to research first what messaging services people use in the country you want to expand to. For instance, when they started in the US, they soon realized that very few people use WhatsApp. So, they had to come up with a different messaging channel to reach the US influencers because they still wanted to keep their communication personal and direct.

And that's when they decided to use iMessage through Apple Messages for Business, and, for Android phones, RCS messaging. And in order to grow their audience, stylink promoted their messaging service through our e-mail newsletters and through influencer campaigns with partner stores — with great success.

Quote Kara Dilling stylink on good KPIs for apple newsletter

👉 Secure yourself the success story to find out how stylink was able to achieve this 🤯 success with iMessage newsletters!

💡 Businesses can use iMessage, but it's officially called Apple Messages for Business

Apple Message for Business is the business equivalent to the private iMessage for iOS devices. It's meant for communication between customers and companies, whereas iMessage was introduced by Apple for private communication.

Both chat types take place in Apple's "Messages" app, which also includes the familiar SMS if one of the conversation partners does not have an Apple device. In the Messages app, users can see the differences by the different colors of the chat messages.

As iPhone user, you may have already noticed this: the green chats are for SMS text messages, blue is the iMessage chat, and gray is Apple Business chat.

Adding another messaging channel is easy with Sinch Engage

Adding Apple Messages for Business to their customer communication was very easy.

As stylink uses Apple Messages for Business through Sinch Engage, where they were already set up with WhatsApp Business, all they had to do was register for it, upload the logo, and wait for confirmation, which came really fast. With this, stylink,has all their messaging services in one tool.

WhatsApp notifications vs. iMessage newsletters: Where's the difference?

Each messaging service has its advantages, says Kara Dilling. With WhatsApp, they don't need to worry about different operating systems on phones, and can reach Android and iOS users alike. With iMessage, on the other hand, the European company doesn't need a local SIM card and phone number to register their business number abroad, which was an advantage for their international expansion.

Unlike on WhatsApp, there are also no additional charges for sending newsletters and messages on iMessage, so setting up another messaging channel actually reduced messaging costs. Another advantage: On Apple Messages for Business, companies don't need to get their templates approved, and they can send voice messages. 

Quote Kara Dilling Stylink voice messages apple

And, it's also an advantage for their users: they don't need to install an additional app, as iMessage already comes with every iPhone.

When stylink first started out with Sinch Engage and the WhatsApp Business Platform, they were already handling numerous inquiries. Today, they count over 10,000 users on their messaging channels. How do they handle that?

For one, they grew their support team from seven employees in 202 to 70 in 2022. And: the easy scalability of Sinch Engage has been a huge help!

Quote Kara Dilling stylink scaling with Sinch Engage

What tips do you have for companies that want to start with or develop their business messaging services?

For other companies that want to grow their customer communication on messaging channels, Kara Dilling recommends the following:

  1. First, I would say to make sure that you use messaging to establish a personal relationship with your customers. Don't just copy-paste messages. Find out what your customers want, and cater your service exactly to their needs.
  2. Second, if you are an international company, I'd recommend creating a different channel for each country on the MessengerPeople communication platform. It will help you to stay organized, and also give you valuable insights into the differences between the markets.
  3. And finally, research the messaging usage in your target countries first. That's really the best way to offer the best service to your customers.

🍏 MessengerPeople by Sinch is an approved Messaging Service Provider for Apple Messages for Business. Find out how to use Apple Messages for Business as a new, innovative way to talk to your customers one on one over iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

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Image of Marinela Potor, editor-in-chief at Sinch Engage.
Written by: Marinela Potor