WhatsApp Business API introduction: features, fees, and application methods

The WhatsApp Business API is a high-end service designed specifically for businesses, providing a set of programming interfaces (APIs) rather than a directly operable user interface. Unlike the free WhatsApp Business app, the WhatsApp Business API cannot be directly downloaded from app stores like the App Store or Google Play. Businesses must obtain these APIs through certified third-party service providers or engage technical personnel for custom development based on their needs.

 

To get a WhatsApp Business API number, businesses must undergo official WhatsApp review and authorization, then integrate the API into their own systems, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, to automate messaging, receive messages, and manage customer conversations. Additionally, the WhatsApp Business API allows businesses to send a large volume of customized notifications, such as order status updates and travel reminders, while also providing real-time customer support.

 

For a detailed comparison of personal, business, and API accounts on WhatsApp, refer to this blog post: A Picture Tells You the Difference Between WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp API (Enterprise) Accounts

 

Exclusive Features of the WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp Broadcast Messages

The WhatsApp Business API supports broadcasting on a much larger scale than personal and regular business accounts, meeting the needs for mass messaging to numerous customers. Businesses can integrate the API with their own systems to automate the sending of bulk messages, such as notifications and reminders. However, WhatsApp has strict rules for these proactive customer messages, requiring official WhatsApp review before sending template messages.

 

For more advanced use, businesses can customize mass messages using preset customer names in the WhatsApp system. Personalized mass messages can improve open and response rates, as they don't feel like mass advertisements or notifications, making customers feel valued and thus enhancing loyalty.

 

Multi-Device Login

With the WhatsApp Business API, merchants can log in from multiple devices, which is a great convenience for customer service teams. Unlike the WhatsApp Business account, which only supports four devices, multi-device login allows multiple employees to handle conversations together, meeting the needs for collaborative work. In the face of numerous inquiries, conversations can be assigned or transferred to the appropriate staff for more effective handling.

 

Green Tick Verification

The green tick verification is unique to the WhatsApp Business API. This green checkmark is a symbol of WhatsApp's official brand verification and appears next to the contact name in the chat interface, enhancing brand credibility. Additionally, the WhatsApp Business API provides customizable business profile pages where companies can showcase their name, brand introduction, address, website link, and email address, among other things.

 

If you want to get your account verified, refer to this article: Want to Get Your WhatsApp Green Tick? This One Article is Enough (salesmartly.com)

 

Setting Up Interactive Messages

Interactive messages come in two main forms: list messages and reply buttons.

 

List Messages: When customers respond with a number, the system automatically sends the preset information behind each number. Up to ten options are available for customers to choose from according to their needs.

Reply Buttons: After customers press a related button, the system sends the preset information. A maximum of three button options are provided, and each button's text is limited to 20 characters, so clarity is key.

 

Using interactive messages can shorten the time to understand customer needs and speed up the information retrieval process, automating the workflow.

 

Cloud Storage

In May 2022, Meta officially announced the launch of a new cloud system, "WhatsApp Cloud API," also known as "Cloud-based WhatsApp Business Accounts." Now, businesses have two different ways to use WhatsApp API features: the original method of purchasing API services from "WhatsApp Business Solution Providers" or the latest direct use of WhatsApp Cloud API.

 

Storing WhatsApp data in the enterprise's cloud ensures the security and privacy of conversation information, giving customers peace of mind.

 

WhatsApp Business API Charges

Utilities: Directly related to transactions, including post-purchase notifications and regular billing.
Marketing: Related to your business, products, or services.
Verification: Providing users with one-time passwords for authentication purposes.
Service: Initiated by the user; typically to resolve customer inquiries. Businesses can respond within a 24-hour customer service window.

 

 

  • Pricing Table (Most Asia-Pacific regions are priced similarly to Hong Kong and Taiwan)

地区/对话收费(美元)

Utiity

Marketing

Authentication

Service

中国香港

$ 0.0472

$ 0.0732

$ 0.0425

$ 0.0224

中国台湾

$ 0.0472

$ 0.0732

$ 0.0425

$ 0.0224

马来西亚

$ 0.0200

$ 0.0860

$ 0.0180

$ 0.0220

美国

$ 0.0150

$ 0.0250

$ 0.0135

$ 0.0088

英国

$ 0.0398

$ 0.0705

$ 0.0358

$ 0.0388

 

How to Create a WhatsApp Business API Number

 

1.Self-Service Purchase

 

In the SaleSmartly backend, under [Integration] - [WhatsApp API], you can find the option to add numbers for self-service purchase.

 

  • The cost for a WhatsApp API number is $12 per set (one-time purchase), with each set including two numbers. Each number allows the merchant to initiate up to 250 conversations/24H, with a maximum of 500 conversations/24H across both numbers. There is no limit on conversations initiated by users.

 

  • The self-service purchase function currently only supports balance payments. If the balance is insufficient, users can go to the WhatsApp API [Recharge] section to top up.

 

2.Self-Service Registration

 

If you prefer to use personal information for registration, navigate to [Integration] - [WhatsApp API] in the SaleSmartly management backend for self-registration. Click the [Use Facebook Authorization] button within the blue border and follow the system's guide to complete the process.

 

 

3.Linking Third-Party API Numbers

 

This method involves linking an API account registered on a third-party platform to the SaleSmartly backend. Partner third-party platforms include YCloud, ChatApp, NxCloud, Itniotech, and Cloud API (Meta official).

After applying for an account, users can add new template messages in [Mass Plan] – [Message Broadcasting] – [WhatsApp API Template], and the system will submit them for official WhatsApp review. Once approved, you can broadcast messages.

For more details, refer to this article: WhatsApp Message Template Management - SaleSmartly - Help Center - SaleSmartly User Guide


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How to ensure that messages sent through WhatsApp Business API comply with WhatsApp's policies and standards?

All messages sent through the WhatsApp Business API must adhere to WhatsApp's business messaging policy. This includes avoiding sending advertisements or promotional messages without user consent and ensuring that message content is not misleading, illegal, or infringing. Typically, WhatsApp-approved template messages are used for initial contact, and personalized communication is only allowed when the user initiates the conversation.

 

How to handle and store customer data collected through the WhatsApp Business API to comply with global data protection regulations, such as GDPR?

Ensure that data handling and storage comply with global data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union. This usually involves implementing data minimization principles, collecting only necessary customer information, and encrypting data. Businesses also need to provide a clear privacy policy and ensure users can easily access, correct, or delete their personal data.

 

How to optimize WhatsApp Business API messaging strategies to improve user engagement and conversion rates?

Refine your messaging strategy by analyzing user interaction data. This includes testing different types of message content, timing, and frequency to determine what most engages users. Using A/B testing to assess the impact of different message templates and workflows on user behavior is also an effective way to improve engagement and conversion rates. Additionally, timely response to user feedback and optimization is a key part of continuously improving the strategy.

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Last modified: 2024-05-09Powered by