Why WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp API was launched to help medium to large companies that wanted to use WhatsApp to communicate with multiple customers at scale. WhatsApp Business API enables businesses to automate communications with automated replies, WhatsApp chatbots & interactive messages.
In short, WhatsApp Business API helps businesses to create a personalized communication flow that works best for their customers.
Who can get WhatsApp Business API
Not everyone can get WhatsApp Business API. So, before you dig deeper into the article, make sure you have a chance of getting approved at this stage. We don’t want you to waste your time. There are two key factors likely to influence your eligibility:
A. Business Size
Since WhatsApp API integration is a complex and lengthy process that is still being tested, the service is intended for well-established medium and large businesses. This is the reason why many call it “WhatsApp Enterprise.” If you are an individual entrepreneur or run a small business, you are best to use the many features of the WhatsApp Business App. At the moment, the approval to get the API integration for small businesses is, unfortunately, highly unlikely.
The industry in which you operate is another factor playing a decisive role in the early stages of the application process.
For example, WhatsApp is trying to avoid government-ran or political organizations. They probably want to avoid being associated with or supporting particular political views.
Other industries that are not supported by WhatsApp API include independent software vendors, real cash industries such as gaming and gambling; adult content and entertainment; arms; alcohol, and tobacco, as well as supplements and other medical drugs. You can review the full WhatsApp Commerce Policy on their website.
On the other hand, industries favored by WhatsApp include real estate, financial services, eCommerce, retail, travel & hospitality, education, and telecommunications.
How to apply for WhatsApp Business API
As you can see, WhatsApp is “picky” about who gets to try it. It’s understandable. Since its beginning, WhatsApp has been incredibly user-oriented, focused on delivering safe and quality experiences. With business messaging, things can get bigger than big quickly, so keeping a close eye on everything is probably the best strategy.
When you decide to apply through a business solution provider, you’ll need to submit basic information about your company and intentions you have with WhatsApp services:
- Company name;
- Region(s) where you plan to provide the WhatsApp Service;
- Country of company headquarters;
- Intended use case;
- Volume predictions (messages/day)M
- Time to market (when do you intend to launch the service).
At Botsup, depending on the stage of the process or the department you’re talking to, we might not ask for all of the aforementioned information at the same time, but all of it will be required during the setup creation process.
The brand approval process can take up to 2-3 weeks.
Phone Number Activation
Once your brand is approved, you will need to provide further information to activate your phone number.
You may use a new number or an already existing one. However, if it’s new, you must first register the number with WhatsApp Business App. To proceed with the activation process, you will have to further provide:
- Customer Facebook Business Manager ID;
- The phone number of your WhatsApp Business account;
- Name associated with the number;
- The region for your app.
Once your phone number is activated, all the communication is hosted on a virtual server (docker). This means you’ll no longer have access to user incoming messages via your phone, but instead, you’ll manage them via a dashboard or your BSP’s system.
Next Steps in Setting up Your Business Profile
What can you expect after the API Client application process and number activation are done and dusted?
Highly Structured Message Template Setup
You will be required to design Highly Structured Message (HSM) templates. WhatsApp messaging templates are proactive messages sent to users after they opted-in to receive WhatsApp notifications (e.g., booking confirmation, shipping updates, etc.).
HSM messages are the only way WhatsApp monetizes its API service and has strict rules about both the form and content of these messages. You require WhatsApp’s approval to be able to put them into practice. Template messages must be:
- Text-based (no images, videos, or GIFs but contextually relevant emojis are allowed);
- Service-oriented (providing clear value to the customer).
If you choose to work with Botsup, you will be assigned your own project manager who will help you along the entire process from initial application to submitting message templates. Having your templates approved takes 2-3 days.
✅ Getting a Green Tick Badge Next to Your WhatsApp Business Account
Receiving the green tick badge means becoming an officially verified business on WhatsApp and brings along UX benefits, one of which is trustworthiness. However, not everyone is eligible. In general, you need to meet the following conditions:
- Be a well-known international brand;
- Send over 500 messages/day.
Still, even without the badge, getting WhatsApp Business API opens you to a world of possibilities that allows you to improve customer experience and communication.
Leveraging WhatsApp Business API
Applying for WhatsApp Business API is certainly not a quick process, but with the help of the right provider, it can be a smooth experience.
Plus, the value you can derive from reaching your leads and clients where they feel most comfortable and in shorter response times is most definitely worth the patience. After all, of all the messaging channels, WhatsApp has the strongest and most involved user base who send 65 billion messages a day! This is the place you want to be sending messages or even making phone calls.
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