WhatsApp has more than 1.5 billion users around the world. The app is gaining millions of users with each passing day. Though the app had charged a membership fee after the initial free two years, the feature was removed a few years ago. The app is currently free to download and use. There are no hidden or in-app purchases. WhatsApp is also completely ad-free.
This is one of the main reasons why as many users prefer to use WhatsApp for communicating with loved ones. Small scale business enterprises have started using the app to interact with their customers. Sending notifications, promotional messages, conducting transactions, and providing customer service is being done through the app.
Institutions, organizations, schools, etc. are using the app to send informational messages to the employees, students, teachers, parents, clients, etc.
Considering the success of WhatsApp, the developers have released a new app for medium and large scale enterprises. The app can be downloaded just like regular WhatsApp. Enterprises will need a valid phone number to download the app. It is free to download, but there are certain charges for sending messages.
The WhatsApp Price will depend on the type of message being sent through the app. The app can be integrated into the system and the database of the business enterprises. This enables the support staff to access the app from various computers simultaneously.
Many companies provide API integration services using the WhatsApp API documentation. The companies provide a cloud platform to enterprises through which the messages can be sent and received.
WhatsApp requires enterprises to request early access to use the app. With the help of these companies, enterprises can request early access and apply to have their business account verified by the team of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Business has a few restrictions in place to ensure that the users are not spammed with messages from various businesses. The restrictions can be used by enterprises to plan their marketing strategy effectively.
WhatsApp provides pre-approved template codes which will be auto-translated by the platform to send messages to users. These templates cannot be used for promotional messages. The codes have parameters that can be edited to include details such as the name of the user, order or booking id, complaint id, name of the city, etc.
Except for these variables, the rest of the message cannot be altered. The WhatsApp price for a template message will depend on the location of the user to whom the message is being sent. The prices vary for different countries.
An additional fixed price for using the platform is added to this cost by the companies. So, enterprises will have to pay the standard WhatsApp fee plus the platform fee for every template message they sent to users.
Template messages are generally used to send notifications to users about product booking, deliveries, and cancellations. To communicate with users without the barrier of pre-defined texts, enterprises can use the session messages or freeform messages.
The session messages are a part of the message package that enterprises buy from the companies. There is no limit to the number of session messages an enterprise can send to users. But, there is a condition.
The session messages can be sent only during the 24-hour window after receiving a customer-initiated message. There is no format or limitation on the length of the message or the type of message.
Enterprises can send text, links, images, documents, audio notes, and video files to customers as session messages. Customers can be encouraged to purchase a product from within the chatbox; as long as customers reply to the messages, the span of the 24-window keeps getting extended.
But, if the enterprise fails to respond to a customer-initiated message during that time, they can only send a template message as a response. Most enterprises use template messages to attract customers’ attention and make them initiate a conversation.
Enterprises will need explicit opt-in permission from users to send them messages. The permission can be taken either in a digital format or a physical format by asking users to fill a form or send an acknowledgment email.
Replying to customer-initiated messages do not require explicit permission during the 24-hour window. It can be noticed that the 24-hour window is a crucial period for enterprises to make the most of it.
To ensure that the chatbox is live, enterprises can use bots to send standard automated replies in response to customer-initiated messages. The bots send instant replies to greet the users, provide them with answers to generic questions, and FAQs giving support staff the time to troubleshoot.