WhatsApp API business has a lot of buzz these days and if you are thinking about WhatsApp API for business but are not sure about its working functionality and benefits, then this ultimate guide would be quite beneficial for you.
In this guide, we will try to answer all your queries and doubts about this latest technology and help you know how you can leverage WhatsApp API for your business. We will cover everything from its introduction to working functionality and shed some light on the aspects that help businesses beat the market competition.
Let’s understand WhatsApp Business in a detailed manner –
What is WhatsApp Business API?
WhatsApp API is designed to assist enterprises of all sizes. It is different and more complex than WhatsApp business applications in terms of working functionality and benefits. For instance, WhatsApp API can be easily integrated into business software and can perform multiple tasks and it has no application or front-end interface.
Businesses can easily choose API options as per their requirements. Meta is providing the WhatsApp Cloud API. At the same time, the WhatsApp On-Premises API or WhatsApp Business API can only be accessed through third-party service providers called enterprise solutions.
Get WhatsApp Business API from BSPs
Businesses that want to leverage WhatsApp business API need to apply for it through WhatsApp Business solution providers (BSPs). Your experience may vary with WhatsApp API, as it entirely depends on your preferred BSP. We can categorize WhatsApp BSP into two types: SMS Providers and Others. Some SMS providers integrate WhatsApp Business API with their own developed API.
Due to this, it consumes more time and effort while adding or updating new features from WhatsApp. BSPs that are not SMS providers use proxy APIs, similar to WhatsApp’s infrastructure. So these BSPs can easily enable new WhatsApp Business API features without complications. BSPs turn WhatsApp into a Sales device with WhatsApp CRM integration and help you to grow your business exponentially.
Let’s look at some of the effective methods to host a WhatsApp API account –
What Are The Hosting Options For Whatsapp API?
Earlier, we had only one option to host WhatsApp API through on-premise API on BSP’s servers. But from May 2022, enterprises can host their APIs through META. Enterprises using Cloud API can access all the latest updates and features. Users using the on-premises API can only access the new WhatsApp API features if they manually upgrade their API software.
Meta always recommends that enterprises get WhatsApp API solutions for their businesses directly from them. Some businesses prefer BSPs for WhatsApp API setup support, personalized support for issues, green tick application, and more. With WhatsApp Business API, you can have a complete idea of how to increase sales in business to create your success story. The solution helps businesses to target the right audience and boost sales prospects efficiently.
WhatsApp API Pricing Details
If you want to get a WhatsApp business API account, you must sign up with BSPs. They work as a middleman and pay WhatsApp to connect with its API so that they can officially offer the service to the end users. BSPs apply these charges with a markup on the consumers and make their profit.
BSPs charges for WhatsApp API accounts follow the notification-based pricing model, which means BSPs charge companies on a per-message basis. But from Feb 1, 2022, WhatsApp has switched to a conversation-based pricing model and now messages are being charged per conversation.
Read More: What Is Internet Communication?
Components of WhatsApp Business Solution API
Let’s overview all the components of WhatsApp API including Business Profiles and contact numbers –
WhatsApp API for Business Profile
WhatsApp Business API Profile lets customers know about your business. Enterprises have the option to update their business profiles by adding a cover photo, website, description, address, and email. Your profile is not searchable in the app.
Guideline For Numbers To Create Whatsapp Business API
To create a WhatsApp API account, you must have a working phone number. Depending on the BSP, you can buy or use the existing number for account creation. Make sure the number is not used for any other WhatsApp Business API. Also, App-to-API phone number migration is possible, But switching from API to the app is not recommended, as you won’t be able to access the account information associated with the phone number.
A phone number is stored under a WABA, managed by the Facebook Business Manager, where you can easily track other Facebook assets. Each Facebook Business Manager has a storage limit of 20 WABA numbers.
Phone Number Tiers And Messaging Limits
The WhatsApp cloud API account has a phone number tier, which determines the limit of your messaging. Phone numbers inside a WABA can reach five tiers, including
- The Unverified Trial Tier: Capable of sending messages to 50 unique phone numbers in a session of 24 hours and can store up to 2 numbers.
- Tier 1: Capable of sending 1k messages to unique Contacts in a rolling 24-hour period & store up to 20 numbers
- Tier 2: Can send messages to 10K unique Contacts in a set duration
- Tier 3: Can send messages to 100K unique Contacts in a set duration
- Tier 4: Capable of sending messages to unlimited unique Contacts in a set duration
To upgrade from the Unverified Trial Tier to the next tier, you must authenticate your Facebook Business Account. Businesses in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 will be automatically promoted to the next tier when they reach the maximum messaging limit of their current tier.
In September 2022, Meta changed the automatic adjustment of messaging limits. Earlier, if businesses wanted to upgrade to the next tier, they were required to send x2 the limit of their messaging tier in 7 days.
However, from September onwards, they can upgrade to the next tier by sending 1/2 of the limit of their messaging tier. Also, businesses with good quality ratings and a non-Flagged status are automatically upgraded to the next tier if they reach the messaging limit in 24 hours.
Phone Number Quality Rating And Status
Phone number quality rating and status work as a prime factor that indicates customer satisfaction with your business’ conversation quality. You can easily access these quality stats and insights in the Facebook Business Manager.
The quality rating depends on various factors, such as
- The number of blocks by customers
- The frequency of outbound messages,
- Response time
There are three quality standards for ratings
- High (green)
- Medium (yellow)
- Low (red)
WhatsApp API Phone Number Quality Rating
If you want to have good-quality ratings from customers, then avoid practicing messaging activities that can get your phone number blocked. Send only relevant and high-quality messages to your Contacts.
When you get blocked, your phone number quality rating drops drastically from High to Medium or Low. Your phone number status gets affected when it experiences a change in quality ratings.
Read More: SMS Vs MMS Text Messaging
5 quality ratings statuses are listed below:
- Pending: The status when the Commerce Policy check is being inspected.
- Offline: The status when businesses are unable to pass the Commerce Policy check or cancel their WhatsApp API Account.
- Connected: The status is set by default.
- Flagged: The status when the quality rating drops drastically and reaches Low. If the rating improves in 7 days, the status will revert to connected. If it does not, WhatsApp will lower messaging limit on your number.
- Restricted: The status when businesses are having a poor quality rating reach their messaging limit.
Creating a WhatsApp API Account
The classic signup method follows a lengthy verification process by the Facebook business manager. But we have some effective alternatives that let you create your account within 10 minutes. Third-party solution providers allow you to create a WhatsApp API account without going through the verification process conducted by the Facebook business.
They offer instant accessibility for WhatsApp API testing. Businesses that create WhatsApp business accounts can access all the features of business API and use it easily, even if their account is not verified.
How To Verify a WhatsApp API account?
A verified WhatsApp API is quite beneficial for businesses as it builds a reputation for a business and makes your business more recognizable with a visible business name as a profile. You can verify your WhatsApp business API account directly on the Facebook business manager or select available BSPs. Both methods are highly effective and secure.
To verify your API account, you must complete all the WhatsApp requirements. This includes the commerce and business policies of WhatsApp.
How Does WhatsApp Business API Work for Messaging?
Let’s understand. How the messaging functionality works in the environment of WhatsApp Business API step by step:
Whatsapp API supports only two types of messages
- Session messages
- Message template
Businesses cannot send messages any time they want using WhatsApp business API. To maintain the integrity of the messages and prevent spam WhatsApp imposes limitations for messaging called session messaging. These limitations prevent customers from getting spam messages and help them get instant replies from businesses.
Session messaging comes with a 24-hour window. That means businesses can communicate with customers in the given timeframe. Once the window closes, businesses cannot send session messages to their customers. Organizations don’t need to take any approval before sending a session message.
Interactive Session Messages
With the usual text session messages, businesses can easily send interactive messages to their customers using WhatsApp API. These messages are user-friendly and help customers find the relevant product or service per their requirements. We can categorize interactive session messages into four segments, this includes:
- List messages
- Reply buttons
- Single product and
- Multiproduct messages
With the help of single and multiproduct messages, businesses can send catalogs to their customers. WhatsApp has also launched a new policy that allows businesses to include human pathways within a chat and helps businesses to improve overall customer experience.
WhatsApp API Session For The Human Escalation Pathway
Chatting with bots is not an interactive mode of communication for customers when they want instant resolution for their queries. WhatsApp acknowledged this customer’s pain point and came up with a solution called WhatsApp human escalation pathway.
Businesses without a human enhancement pathway usually suffer from low-quality ratings and flagged status of their phone numbers. Regarding this concern, they get relevant emails from Facebook Business Manager on their registered mail id. If this remains the same for seven days or more, WhatsApp can restrict your message limit.
Businesses are having a good number of message limits will not experience an immediate impact. Still, they will be able to increase their set limit for messages in the future if the issue is resolved.
Whatsapp Business API For Template Messaging
Templates are unique and pre-approved messages. Businesses can use template messages to restart the 24-hour messaging window or begin with a new conversation. These template messages offer an engaging mode of communication that supports interactive messages, templates and multimedia templates. These messages support images, video, PDF and other formats, along with call-to-action buttons.
Also Read: How To Schedule WhatsApp Messages
Message Template Quality Rating and Status for WhatsApp API Template Messaging
Do not get confused with phone number quality rating and message template quality ratings because both are completely different from each other. With the help of message templates and quality ratings, you can have the complete information of message templates have been sent to your customers in a rolling 24-hour window. You can easily check the quality rating for message templates in Facebook Business Manager.
Message template quality rating has three standards
- High (green)
- Medium (yellow)
- Low (red)
Message Template Status
Message Template status gets affected by the drop in the quality rating. There are five applicable statuses for message templates which includes.
- Pending: When a business first submits a template that is yet to be approved
- Approved: Status when the message template is approved
- Rejected: Status when the message template is rejected
- Flagged: Status when quality drastically reaches a low state
- Disabled: Status when quality has no improvement within 7 days
Once the template status changes to disabled or flagged, businesses start getting proper notifications and emails. To prevent such issues, businesses should be cautious while sending customer templates.
Opt-In Condition Associated With Whatsapp API Template Messaging
To offer a high-quality customer experience, WhatsApp requires enterprises to obtain Opt-ins from customers before starting a conversation with message templates.
Contact Management For WhatsApp API Template Messaging
Let’s discuss the various segments of contact management on WhatsApp API. This summarises the verification and process of importing contacts to WhatsApp CRM and managing contacts’ identities through user identity notifications.
Verifying and Importing Contacts
Businesses that want to import contacts need to verify whether the contact has a valid WhatsApp number or not. Contact verification is required as sending messages to contacts not registered on WhatsApp will lower your Quality Rating.
So always verify your contact before sending them messages. Import all the contact to WhatsApp CRM only if you have confirmed them.
User Identity Notifications
User identity notifications are used to ensure the communication is set up with the right contact. These notification help businesses get alerts when they get messages from the same contact under a new registration program. User identity notifications are highly beneficial for businesses and customers as they help prevent spammers and leaking sensitive information.
Create a Personalised WhatsApp Link to Chat with Your Target Audience
WhatsApp Link Generator Tool helps you to create free WhatsApp chat links for multiple WhatsApp business numbers that you can use to establish fluid communication with your customers.
This free wa.me link generator tool can create WhatsApp chat links that are fully compatible with the click-to-chat format. These Chat links are quite useful for WhatsApp Marketing. Place WhatsApp links on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Gmail profiles for better customer engagement and faster turnaround when responding to messages and inquiries.
In a nutshell, we can say that WhatsApp business API can revolutionize your business outcomes and help you connect with your target audience for better business opportunities. I hope this blog was helpful to you you and resolved all your queries regarding WhatsApp business API and its working functionality.
So, if you want to grow your business with WhatsApp business API solution then you can avail of the same service from Fonada – India’s most trusted and reliable cloud telephony service provider and Whatsapp API solutions provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get WhatsApp API for Business?
Go through the following steps to create your WhatsApp API Account.
Whatsapp business API account creation involves the following steps-
- Buy or Port a number
- Verify the business name and undergo the WhatsApp commerce policy
- Verify business and default number
- Generate an API key
Does WhatsApp Business Have API?
WhatsApp Business API is an advanced application program interface that enables businesses to answer unlimited messages efficiently.
Is Whatsapp Business API Available For Everyone?
No, the WhatsApp Business API platform is not accessible to everyone. It has picked 40 to 50 third-party solution providers to distribute the service to other businesses. You can use WhatsApp Business API solutions from BSPs and integrate them with your CRM.
Is WhatsApp for Business API free?
The API is free but users are charged for massage sessions. That means users will be required to pay for each session and every session has 24 hours of conversation window.