WhatsApp Business API lets you communicate with customers at scale with bots and accounts. It’s a go-to for medium and large companies and can be a game-changer for customer servicing. Read this tutorial to learn more about how to apply for WhatsApp API, authenticate your account, and what documents you need. 

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. 

whatsapp on a smartphone

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels

What is WhatsApp Business API?

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!

Let’s also go through some of the cool things WhatsApp Business API can do for you:

Legitimacy

A business verified on WhatsApp Business API can convey legitimacy for customers. Verified accounts contain key business information such as company name, business type, brand description, business hours, company address, company website, and company email. This can significantly boost customers’ trust and confidence in your brand.

Multiple logins

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. 

Message broadcast

You can now blast a 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!

Auto messages

You can now 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.

WhatsApp Business App vs WhatsApp Business API

How to apply for WhatsApp Business API? 

There are two ways you can use WhatsApp Business API. You can either use a third-party business solution provider (BSP), or directly approach Meta to set up their account. Below is a quick comparison:

Third-party BSPDirect approach
Hosted a by third-partyBusiness directly approach Meta
Billed for their messages and the messages of their customersCan be held on the business’ own server (On-Premises API) on a cloud platform (Cloud API)
Able to submit Official Business Verification requestsAble to sign up directly for API access, and resell the API solution to other companiesBilled for just their messages
Typically have a very high number of entities also using this service Able to apply for an Official Business Account
User retains more control

Now, let’s move on to how you can apply for WhatsApp Business API.

The 4 steps to apply for WhatsApp Business API

Step 1: Choose your path

You can apply directly on WhatsApp’s dedicated page, or you could outsource it to a third party. Setting up directly through WhatsApp may sound more straightforward, and it may seem you’re retaining most control. However, it could be very complicated and time-consuming for you and your business. If you choose a third party, you could save a lot of time and energy and leave the technical bits to experts. 

Step 2: Provide key business details

To start your application, you need to provide the following key details to get your brand approved. Here is the essential list:

  • Company name

  • URL

  • Industry type

  • Regions where you plan to provide service

  • Where your company is based

  • Volume predictions (messages/day)

  • When you intend to launch

Step 3: Activate a phone number and name

You also need a dedicated mobile phone number and a display name for your account. The phone number can be a new one or an existing one. If you wish to use a new number for your WhatsApp Business API application, you’d need to register it with the WhatsApp Business App first.

To activate your mobile phone number, you’d also need to provide the following:

  • Facebook Business Manager ID

  • The phone number you wish to use

  • Name associated with this number

Once you’ve registered the mobile phone number for your WhatsApp Business API, you can no longer receive calls or messages with it through a mobile phone. Instead, you’ll receive messages through a dash from your API interface.

whatsapp business account setup

Step 4: Next steps

Great! Your account should be ready in days. Now, you can start setting up message templates for each business scenario, like securing a booking or providing shipping updates. You can also earn a green tick to show you’re an officially verified business. To do that, you need to be a recognized brand with over 500 messages a day. While this isn’t exactly easy, it could be a goal in mind for the long run. 

Key things to consider

Before you start applying for the WhatsApp Business API, there are a few prerequisites. Here are what you need to have the following ready for a start: 

  1. A Facebook Business Manager account, 

  2. A WhatsApp Business Account and, 

  3. Credit billing details. 

If you haven’t verified your business on Meta yet, now is also the time to do so. You can go to the Security Center and complete the steps if needed. If you have any bills or proof of address, it’s best to have that handy too. You also need a functioning line of credit for the billing and decide whether to adopt a monthly billing method. Right now, These messages cost USD$0.0055 per message regardless of the message’s destination country.

A representative from WhatsApp will review your details and documentation for compliance purposes. Allow up to three weeks for this process.

SleekFlow experts can help the Facebook Business Accounts verification process. Want to know more?

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Apply for WhatsApp Business API through SleekFlow

As a third-party BSP via official WhatsApp Business partners and an expert in integrating different APIs for businesses, SleekFlow is your preferred choice for your WhatsApp Business API. We can simplify the entire process, so you can do it all on one platform, and our representatives are always here to help. 

SleekFlow is more than simply helping your WhatsApp business strategy. 

What SleekFlow can do for your WhatsApp Business strategy

SleekFlow is here to help you sell, support and convert better on socials. Not only you can 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.

sleekflow homepage inbox

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.

Alvin Lee

General Manager

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. And this is just the beginning. As more new features are on their way, SleekFlow will be the door to numerous possibilities.

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