3-minute quick read: SleekFlow's Official WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp has three main products: WhatsApp Personal, WhatsApp Business App, and Official WhatsApp Business API. The first two are free for anyone to use while the latter requires a verification process through the official WhatsApp supplier.
But first, what is an API?
In short, an API (Application Programming Interface) is a tool for connecting to the WhatsApp server and delivering advanced functions. Merchants can connect the API to their own application interface, or simply connect the integrated software directly to use these functions.
To start using the Official WhatsApp Business API, businesses must submit business registration details and sign up with a phone number dedicated to using with the WhatsApp Business Platform. The Official WhatsApp Business API verification approval process usually takes 3 days to 2 weeks.
Learn about WhatsApp Broadcast, an WhatsApp Business API feature in A complete walkthrough for WhatsApp Broadcast.
Log into one business account with multiple people and multiple devices
Send mass personalized messages to customers without the risk of being blocked
One-click reply, chat button with links
Official Green Tick Certified Business Account
Enable internal messaging function between teams
Track and analyze conversation data, including delivery rate, read rate, and response rate
Develop an intelligent chatbot to automatically reply to users
Verification and pre-approval process
Getting “green-tick” verified is another major appeal for businesses to switch to Official WhatsApp Business API. The Green Tick displayed next to your WhatsApp name is a trusty indication to customers that your business’ phone number has been authorized by WhatsApp.
Without the green tick to prove verification, the customers will very likely be suspicious of the messages and mark them as spam.
Learn how to unblock your WhatsApp Business account here.
Constant and stable network connection to WhatsApp
A key advantage of using WhatsApp Business API is that your business’ phone number will never be blocked by your customers. When sending mass messages, many WhatsApp Business account users have experienced the issue of being blocked by the recipients.
Template & session messages
Template Messages are pre-approved message templates for outbound notifications like delivery alerts and appointment reminders.
For example, if you want your customer to receive this message:
You would need to submit the following template for approval:
Each Template Message will need to be approved before it can be sent out and the approval process usually takes around 1 to 2 days.
A messaging session, also known as a “conversation”, starts when a user sends you a message. A conversation can have unlimited messages exchanged during each 24-hour session, however, the session will end exactly 24 hours after the first message was received. From then on, businesses must start a new conversation using a WhatsApp Template Message.
Pricing & charges
In February 2022, WhatsApp announced a new conversation-based pricing model where businesses are charged according to the number and type of conversations.
The good news about this update is that the first 1,000 conversations are FREE!
Following that, conversations on WhatsApp Business API are charged depending on whether they are:
Business-initiated conversations - applies when Template Messages are sent to the customers to start a new conversation (USD 0.0745 /conversation in Hong Kong)
User-initiated conversations - Free form messages (do not need to be Template Messages) can be sent to customers (USD 0.0224 /conversation in Hong Kong)
The fees are also dependent on the country you're in.
Calculate your WhatsApp messaging costs here.
*Some WhatsApp Business API providers mark up their prices with extra service fees. Choose wisely.
WhatsApp Business API cost = Conversation cost + Provider cost
Further reading: More about the pricing for Official WhatsApp Business API in 2022
Now that we have covered how conversations are charged, let’s talk about how you can secure that Green Tick.
What is a Business Solution Provider (BSP)?
BSPs are Meta’s authorized global third-party partners with expertise on the WhatsApp Business Platform. All businesses are required to sign up for the Official WhatsApp Business API through an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP). A reliable and cost-effective BSP example would be a reputable partner like 360dialog, which is SleekFlow’s BSP provider.
As a BSP, 360dialog has the authority to pre-approve message templates, resolving some merchants’ concerns of getting marked as spam or blocked by customers after sending mass messages. SleekFlow also provides a variety of template messages to help you broadcast messages without fuss.
Explore the list of authorized BSPs on Meta’s Partner Directory.
Why connect Official WhatsApp Business API through 360dialog to SleekFlow?
By applying through 360dialog to SleekFlow, merchants can unlock the full potential of an omnichannel all-in-one social commerce ecosystem. Directly communicating with WhatsApp’s server, 360dialog allows merchants to send WhatsApp messages through SleekFlow - an official partner of 360dialog, Facebook, and more - while SleekFlow’s unified platform enables your sales, customer service, and marketing team to effectively engage customers on messaging apps through automation, campaigns, and messaging.
Nowadays, shopping is a social activity which means savvy merchants are instantly reachable across all channels. With features like one-click checkout, in-chat payments, and centralized product listings, SleekFlow gives users the flexibility to integrate and transact seamlessly through popular social platforms (i.e. WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger, Instagram) and provides the latest APIs to SleekFlow users.
Unlike other WhatsApp Business Account providers on the market, 360dialog does not have a mark-up on Session or Template messages. Through SleekFlow, the 360dialog plan costs US$12.50 (HKD 95) per month as compared to the original price of US$50 to 65.
Unlock the power of Official WhatsApp Business API’s capabilities through SleekFlow! Use WhatsApp as a team – together and at the same time – on both desktop and mobile.
Upgrading to Official WhatsApp Business API with SleekFlow allows you to enjoy these benefits:
Through SleekFlow, the monthly price will be only US$12.5, with message cost charged by WhatsApp as mentioned in the table above (based on pay-as-you-go per conversation fee structure)
Official WhatsApp broadcast without the fear of getting blocked
Free 1000 conversations per month
Can apply for WhatsApp Green Tick verification
and many more!