How to apply for WhatsApp Business API?
Ever wonder how you could connect with hundreds of customers at a time? If you could give your unique human touch to everyone you encounter, you’re bringing your customer service game to another level. For that, you might have already heard of WhatsApp Business accounts, but how about WhatsApp Business API? How are they different, and, most importantly, which one is better for your business? Let us guide you through this article.
Imagine a WhatsApp Business account, but a more complete version. WhatsApp Business API lets medium and large companies connect with customers at a large scale with thousands of agents and bots. It also allows advanced business functions like mass message broadcast, linkage to websites via QR codes, and so on. It can be integrated with numerous backend systems, like marketing platforms and databases, to suit your business needs. Want to send the mass seasons promo to your customers? Now is the time!
In need of a quick read? Check out this 3-minute guide for WhatsApp Business API.
Let’s also go through some of the cool things WhatsApp Business API can do for you:
A business verified on WhatsApp Business API can convey legitimacy to customers. Verified accounts contain key business information such as company name, business type, brand description, business hours, company address, company website, and company email. Also, with your WhatsApp account authenticated, customers can see your business name instead of an unknown phone number even if they did not save your contact. This can significantly boost customers’ trust and confidence in your brand.
WhatsApp Business API lets you and your team members log in through the same registered mobile number. Multiple people can manage incoming WhatsApp messages at the same time. This is perfect if you have team members working across locations and time zones or if you need to provide customer service around the clock.
You can now blast a personalized text to more than 256 WhatsApp users on your database at a time. As long as you’ve saved and categorized your customers’ contacts, you’re set. Blast away!
Learn how to send WhatsApp message broadcasts with our complete guide here.
You can also send automated WhatsApp messages to customers based on scenarios. For example, you can send confirmation messages via Whatsapp Business API after a successful purchase, signup, or even onboarding. Interactions start right when you collect customers’ mobile numbers.
Customers can now explore your products right on WhatsApp and make inquiries without switching apps all the time. They can simply reply to the product that they're interested in and place the order with your sales agent instantly.
Generate a payment link to get paid instantly in the chat! On the WhatsApp Business API, merchants can now curate the frictionless, comprehensive top-quality shopping experience all within WhatsApp and bring a happy smile to customers' faces. Maximizing ease and convenience is the secret to improving sales quickly and effectively.
To use WhatsApp Business API, you'll need a Business Solution Provider (BSP) as assigned officially by WhatsApp. There are many providers approved and available, and a few of them include 360dialog and Twilio.
Take a look at a comparison between 360dialog and Twilio to choose the best WhatsApp Business API provider for your business.
Alternatively, you may apply directly through Meta, but the tedious process may take more time and effort to complete.
Need help applying for WhatsApp Business API? Get a consultation and onboarding session for free.
Here are some of the prerequisites needed before you begin the application:
A Facebook Business Manager account
A business phone number
Credit billing details
Still need to learn more about WhatsApp Business API? Explore our ultimate guide here.
Step 1: Navigating to channel settings
Go to channels, and click the "Add" button on WhatsApp.
Step 2: Connect to an Official WhatsApp Business account
Next, you can book a free consultation for our sales team to walk you through the process or connect to it on your own by selecting "Connect Now".
You will then be directed to a listing of features for the Official WhatsApp Business API.
Fast and reliable connection
Green tick badge verification (*subject to WhatsApp approval)
Requires the purchase of a new virtual phone number
Requires approval from WhatsApp: 2-3 weeks of verification & application period
Up to 100,000 messages per day with a registered template message without the risk of getting blocked
The monthly fee of USD 12.50 (HKD 95) with 360dialog, the official Business Solution Provider (BSP), or the pay-as-you-go fees charged based on the number of messages sent with Twilio (USD 0.005 /message)
Click on 'Connect' to continue.
Step 3: Create a 360dialog account
While existing Twilio account holders can choose to connect to Twilio, new users are encouraged to connect to 360dialog as they offer prices with no markup.
Furthermore, creating a new 360dialog account under SleekFlow will allow you to get a special price of only USD 12.50 per month, as compared to the original monthly fee of USD 50 to 65.
*Some WhatsApp Business API providers mark up their prices with extra service fees. Choose wisely.
Step 4: Connect using a new or existing phone number
To create a new account on 360dialog, set up with the new phone number you purchased for your business. You may also use an existing phone number, but a new number is recommended. A Skype number can be purchased for this purpose.
Before you proceed to the following step, it is important that you complete the verification for your Facebook Business account.
In some cases, the Facebook Business verification icon can be greyed out, but the process can be enabled by linking your account to Facebook for Developers.
After completing the Facebook Business verification, click on 'Sign up at 360dialog'.
Step 5: Fill in the application form
Simply fill in the information accordingly and click on "Accept Terms".
Step 6: Connect your Facebook Business account
After that, you will need to connect this new account to your Facebook Business account. You may follow through the steps by creating a new Facebook Business account or connecting to an existing one.
Step 7: Verify phone number
Fill in the phone number that you want to use for your WhatsApp Business account.
You will be prompted to fill in the 6-digit verification code received on the phone number.
Step 8: Generate an API key
Lastly, generate an API key on the screen, then copy and paste it on SleekFlow to connect.
Congratulations! You now have an Official WhatsApp Business API account that can be connected to all of the other channels on your platform.
SleekFlow is here to help you sell, support, and convert better on social. Not only can you connect your WhatsApp Business account to SleekFlow, but also other accounts on various social messaging platforms such as Messenger, Instagram, WeChat, LINE, and more so that you can manage all conversations in one place.
Our all-in-one inbox allows you to collaborate with your team members seamlessly. With SleekFlow, you assign conversations to colleagues manually or automatically, add collaborators to conversations, and tag a specific member using internal notes for communication.
If you want to upgrade your chat strategy, you can make good use of the campaign and the automation function. You can put your contacts into groups based on your needs and then launch your campaign to send out targeted, personalized messages. Chatbots can also be built on SleekFlow to ask qualifying questions and answer frequently asked questions, which help to significantly reduce the response time.
I think the best feature of SleekFlow is the automated assignment of conversation and automatic replies. We tried other platforms but there were too many restrictions. With SleekFlow, we can configure the settings on our own such as whom to assign the conversation and when to send out the out-of-office message.
Want to transit from traditional email marketing to chat marketing? Read How alfred24, a green delivery solution provider, creates a stable and effective communication channel with SleekFlow.
The magic does not stop here. SleekFlow allows businesses to connect their account to their Shopify store so that they can have purchase history and order status shown alongside the chat room. Besides that, businesses can set automated rules to send out abandoned cart reminders and order status updates.
All these features mentioned above are just the beginning. As more new features are on their way, SleekFlow will be the door to numerous possibilities, curating the perfect path and rising to the social commerce trend. Equip your business with the best tools. Grow with SleekFlow.
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