WhatsApp is the premier OTT (Over-The-Top) messaging app for smartphones that is free to download and that is nearing surpassing the two billion users mark. It uses the internet to send messages, images, audio or video, although the subscription to the service requires a verifiable mobile phone number. In its evolution, WhatsApp has expanded its offerings, opening different ways to communicate: WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API.
Our implementation is the WhatsApp Business API with rules of usage that must be adhered to in order to enjoy its use. Although it represents a powerful tool for enterprises, medium and large, it comes with some pros and cons. Here is a brief summary,
- Is 100% GDPR compliant
- Account application is required
- Template messaging must be approved by WhatsApp (response generally in 24 hour)
- Best for automation of processes via API.
- Mainly for central support and call centers at medium to large companies
- Used in automated systems.
- Does not have a real mobile interface
- It is not free, although some free messaging is available based on the reply patterns
- API can send messages through session and template messaging.
- No calling capabilities
- API broadcasts are not limited
The above gives you an overview of the scope of how WhatsApp Business API can be used for the purposes of your enterprise and in consequence, how to plan for it to take advantage of this messaging service. You can review WhatsApp Business Policy in detail by clicking here and WhatsApp Commerce Policy here.
FIRING UP WhatsApp
WhatsApp is a service that requires to submit an application. If WhatsApp has not been set up and enabled in your platform, it will not be in production. Please contact your Account Manager to initiate the application, set up and enable WhatsApp in your space.
After selecting New Campaign, entering the Campaign Name and selecting WhatsApp from the campaign options, you are brought to the WhatsApp campaign creation section, that has the following steps
In the ‘Detail’ step,
- Select Sender WhatsApp Business Account from the dropdown menu.
- Select Next.
As you begin using WhatsApp, your account will be set at a starting level that is designated as Tier 1. There are four Tiers and each Tier allows you to send messages according to the following:
• Tier 1: to 1K unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
• Tier 2: to 10K unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
• Tier 3: to 100K unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
• Tier 4: to unlimited customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
In consequence, it is important that when you specify the subscribers, their numbers needs to fall within the limits established by the Tier that your business is currently at. For further details click here.
The Recipients can be defined in one of three ways,
For the case of WhatsApp, given that the engagement policies are very specific and impact your Tier level, you should choose carefully which one is best suited at any given time, as each of the methods of defining recipients serves a different need.
The details for defining the recipients are outlined in Define Recipients in the Campaign Elements section, nevertheless here are the basic steps:
- In the Subscribers list dropdown menu, choose one of the options.
- Optionally apply a filter if the campaign requires it
- After selecting the Recipients, click Next to continue.
The ’Message’ step in the process is context dependent, and it will consistently vary between two scenarios throughout your use of the service.
There are two ways of creating a message for a WhatsApp campaign or message:
• Using a Template
• Without a Template
In the case that the you are initiating the contact with one of your customers, you must use a previously WhatsApp approved template in the communication.
The templates that have been approved by WhatsApp for your enterprise appear at the top of the Message screen for ease in selection. You must use one of those templates.
In the sample screenshot that follows, there are two preapproved templates to select from. As you evolve in your use of WhatsApp with your enterprise, other templates can be included after the WhatsApp approval process. You can scroll to view all your templates with the left and right scroll arrows at each side of the templates section.
The steps to send a message for this scenario are:
- Select the template to be used. The WhatsApp Message box will be filled with the template’s content and the emulated device will show a preview.
Depending on the template selected for the WhatsApp message, make sure that among the attributes associated to the subscriber, the values of the fields used in the template are included. For example, if the dev_ae_testing_09_03_2 template, shown in the graphic, is to be used in the message, the attributes associated with the subscriber must include the values of the [[mobile]], [[placholdermanual]], and [[testname]] fields.
- Select Next
ON SENDING MESSAGES
Messages are sent only if all the information associated with the personalized fields in the template are present, otherwise the message will not be sent.
If your business has already engaged in communications with the customer(s) you intend to send campaigns or messages to, or the customer has contacted your business within a 24-hour window, you can by-bypass the template requirement by disabling the Use Template setting at the top of the screen.
ON ACCEPTABLE MESSAGES (24-hour window)
WhatsApp's statement on acceptable messages:
“If a person initiates a chat with you, you may continue that conversation via WhatsApp for up to 24 hours after the last message sent to you by that person without charge ("24-hour Window")."
Messages outside the 24-hour window, will not be sent and will result in a FAILED state. We encourage you to review WhatsApp's policy here.
There are two type whatsApp message responses:
In this scenario you can create a text message of up to 4096 characters in length with personalized content with any of the platform fields, with or without emoji, and adding tracked URLs to the message.
In this scenario you can create elaborate responses that include a text message of up to 4096 characters in length with personalized content, with or without emojis, include attachments of various file types, multimedia, pdf, up to 5 MB in size, and a Link tracker.
The steps to send a message for this scenario are:
Fill-out the WhatsApp Message box which can include emojis.
Optionally add one or more tracked URLs to the message.
Optionally include any attachments in the Add multimedia files box that do not exceed 5MB is size.
These are the File types currently supported which are shown at the tip tool on the top right corner of the attachment entry box.
- Once completed the message content, select Next
In Summary, the final step of the WhatsApp campaign creator, is where you can
- Review campaign details.
- View configured link tracking settings.
- Set the message delivery Throttle configuration.
- Set the delivery timetable.
The Messaging Overview offers a quick way to double check the Sender WhatsApp Business Account, the number of recipients, whether filters are applied or not, and the message contents in the emulated device screen.
For more information about the Summary step settings, go to Summary in the Campaign Elements section.
When you send WhatsApp messages you can view the data and analytics (Report) of each message sent by going to the WhatsApp Reports section.
To be able to edit the WhatsApp campaign, the notification must not be sent yet. That is, once the user has completed each step, and the campaign activation has been saved as "Draft" or "Schedule", you will be able to edit each step configuration of the campaign.
The steps to edit a WhatsApp campaign are the following:
Click on the Reports icon and select the Messaging tab. Then, locate the campaign saved as Pending (Draft) or Schedule status and click on the Report button.
From the campaign card click on the Edit button. Once clicked, it will redirect you to the last step of the campaign configuration.
From here, you can edit the settings for each step (Detail, Recipients, Message, Summary). Just click the Back button until you return to the step you want to edit.
You are able to edit the:
- Sender WhatsApp Business Account.
- Recipients who will receive the message.
- Template (WhatsApp message).
- Throttle configuration.
- Campaign activation.
Updated 1 day ago