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Comprehensive Guide to WhatsApp Business: Maximizing Customer Engagement

In 2018, WhatsApp identified a burgeoning trend: companies were increasingly using the personal version of the app for business purposes. Recognizing this opportunity, Meta (previously Facebook) seized the moment to monetize the platform by creating WhatsApp Business. This suite of products aimed to delineate business and personal communications, enabling companies to establish an official presence and equipping them with tools tailored for customer interactions.

Today, over 50 million businesses worldwide leverage WhatsApp Business to connect with customers in regions where WhatsApp holds sway.

WhatsApp’s Global Dominance

WhatsApp is unrivaled in the messaging app arena, boasting a staggering 2.6 billion monthly active users. It reigns supreme in 188 out of 230 countries and territories where it’s in use. India leads the pack in user numbers, followed by Brazil, Indonesia, the US, Russia, and Mexico. Brazil, with over 96 percent of its population using WhatsApp, emerges as a dominant market outside of Asia. The fervent adoption of WhatsApp Business has led to a whopping 292 million downloads of the app on Android and iOS devices as of June 2022.

WhatsApp global popularity

WhatsApp Business Account: Fundamentals

WhatsApp Business Policies

To maintain a high-quality user experience and keep the platform spam-free, businesses must adhere to WhatsApp’s Business and Commerce Policies. These policies safeguard user privacy and prohibit the exchange of illicit goods and services. Additionally, businesses must ensure that the information on their profile, including their website URL and customer support number, is accurate and up-to-date. Impersonation of other businesses or dissemination of misleading information is strictly prohibited.

WhatsApp Business and Commerce Policies

Types of WhatsApp Business Accounts

WhatsApp Business App Account

Designed for small businesses, the WhatsApp Business App account facilitates seamless communication with customers via WhatsApp. It empowers businesses to manage conversations effectively through features like Quick Replies and automated welcome and away messages. This account can be used on up to five devices, consisting of one phone and four additional devices. For expanded use on up to ten devices, businesses can opt for the WhatsApp Business Premium subscription (available in select countries).

WhatsApp Business App account: The basics

To create a WhatsApp Business App account, you only need a SIM card or e-SIM and a phone. Simply install the WhatsApp Business App, link your business number, and you’re ready to go.

What you need to create a WhatsApp Business App account

WhatsApp Business API Account

Tailored for medium to large companies, the WhatsApp Business API is designed to handle marketing, sales, and support functions with multiple users. However, since the API lacks a user interface, it must be integrated with customer conversation management software like Leadshouse for message exchange. This integration unlocks powerful automation capabilities, streamlining lead qualification, chat routing, and auto-assignment processes.

WhatsApp Business API accounts: The basics

The WhatsApp Business API comes in two forms: WhatsApp On-premises API and WhatsApp Cloud API. While the messaging features and rules remain consistent, the application process and hosting differ. The On-premises API requires collaboration with a Business Solution Provider (BSP), acting as an intermediary between your business and WhatsApp, while the Cloud API allows businesses to directly apply for an API account through Meta and host it on Meta’s cloud servers.

The difference between the two API accounts

WhatsApp Business Pricing

WhatsApp for Business Pricing: Business App

WhatsApp does not levy charges on businesses for using the app itself. However, there are associated costs, primarily the need for a dedicated phone number, as using the same number for personal and business purposes is prohibited. If you possess a dual SIM phone or one that supports e-SIM, you can allocate an additional SIM for the Business App. Alternatively, if these options don’t apply, you may need to procure a new phone.

WhatsApp Business App pricing

WhatsApp for Business Pricing: WhatsApp API

The pricing for WhatsApp Business API hinges on the application process participants and hosting method. For On-premises API, Business Solution Providers (BSPs) impose their own fees atop WhatsApp’s charges. This includes setup fees, server maintenance fees, and more. In contrast, BSPs offering Cloud API apply minimal markup, and businesses only incur WhatsApp’s charges.

WhatsApp Business API Costs: On-premises API vs Cloud API

Conversation-based pricing is divided into user-initiated and business-initiated conversations. User-initiated conversations occur when customers initiate contact, with charges applicable if businesses respond within the 24-hour window. Conversely, business-initiated conversations, initiated outside this window, require a Message Template for commencement.

WhatsApp conversation-based pricing

WhatsApp Business: Enhancing Customer Engagement

The WhatsApp Business platform, comprising the WhatsApp Business App and APIs, caters to businesses of varying sizes, tailoring its messaging features and limitations accordingly.

WhatsApp Business App: Personalized Messaging

The WhatsApp Business App is a boon for small businesses, offering unparalleled flexibility. These businesses can dispatch an unlimited number of messages in any format and even initiate the conversation if they possess the customer’s number.

1:1 messaging with the Business App account

However, it’s imperative to adhere to WhatsApp’s business and commerce policies to sidestep spamming concerns. A high incidence of customers blocking or reporting a business account may lead to its suspension by WhatsApp.

In contrast, larger enterprises face more stringent messaging regulations when utilizing the API account.

WhatsApp Business API: Strategic Messaging

The WhatsApp Business API mandates obtaining consent from contacts prior to messaging and stipulates a 24-hour window for customer service responses. These measures deter spamming and encourage prompt customer interactions.

Two types of WhatsApp API conversations exist. Service conversations revolve around businesses responding to user-initiated messages within the 24-hour messaging window. Message Templates are a requisite for businesses instigating conversations beyond this timeframe.

WhatsApp API conversations

Before employing Message Templates, they necessitate WhatsApp’s prior approval. Although templates might face rejection for various reasons, adhering to best practices augments the likelihood of approval. Conversely, Service Messages allow businesses to transmit diverse content types as long as they align with policies.

Broadcast Messaging on WhatsApp Business

Broadcast messaging is a pivotal tool for reaching large audiences efficiently. However, there are crucial distinctions in the application of this feature within the WhatsApp Business App and APIs.

WhatsApp Business App: Simplicity in Broadcasting

Broadcasting through the WhatsApp Business App is straightforward. Businesses can send diverse content forms to up to 256 recipients per broadcast list. Labels within the Business App simplify contact organization, enabling targeted messages.

Yet, using the app for broadcasting entails manual contact addition and recipients must have saved the sender’s number to receive broadcasts.

Broadcasting with the Business App account

Conversely, the API presents distinct broadcasting protocols.

WhatsApp Business API: Templated Broadcasting

Broadcasts through the WhatsApp API exclusively employ pre-approved message templates. These templates encompass marketing, utility, and authentication categories, allowing for diverse non-transactional notifications. The number of contacts a business can broadcast to via the API is contingent on its Messaging Tier. Additionally, the broadcasting capabilities hinge on the integration with third-party software.

Broadcasting with the API account

For instance, platforms like Leadshouse offer comprehensive tools for creating and managing Message Templates, scheduling broadcasts, and furnishing analytical insights.

Group Messaging: Engaging Your Audience

While group messaging is a valuable feature, it’s exclusive to the WhatsApp Business App. Businesses can establish groups for interactive discussions with clients, fostering a collaborative environment.

WhatsApp Business account: Group messaging

With the capacity to invite up to 1,024 participants and a suite of content options, group messaging on the WhatsApp Business App facilitates robust communication.

WhatsApp Business Special Features: Showcasing Your Brand

WhatsApp Catalog and Cart, exclusive to the WhatsApp Business App, empower businesses to present their products and services effectively.

Setting up a Catalog entails uploading images, adding detailed descriptions, and specifying prices. Once approved, customers can peruse the offerings, add items to their Cart, and confirm the deal through messaging.

WhatsApp Business Catalog and WhatsApp Cart

WhatsApp Pay, though available in select regions, holds potential for in-app transactions, contingent on local government regulations.

In Brazil, India, and the US, WhatsApp Pay enables seamless transactions within the app, revolutionizing customer convenience.

WhatsApp Pay: Feature availability

Choosing Your WhatsApp Business Solution

Selecting the appropriate WhatsApp product hinges on the volume of messages your business handles. The WhatsApp Business App suits enterprises with modest message traffic, offering basic automation features.

For higher message volumes, the WhatsApp Business API is indispensable. Choosing between On-premises and Cloud API is pivotal, with Cloud API often preferred to bypass additional costs.

Leadshouse offers hassle-free access to WhatsApp Cloud API, streamlining account setup, and fee management.

Elevate your business communications with the power of WhatsApp – explore Leadshouse and its WhatsApp Business API today!

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