Quick guide to WhatsApp Business Platform's conversation-based pricing & pricing updates 2023
To better align WhatsApp’s product vision, Meta has recently announced that there will be a few changes coming to WhatsApp Business Platform (API)’s conversation-based pricing.
As an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider*, we want to make sure that you’re updated on the latest changes coming to your WhatsApp account in order to maximize your WhatsApp usage when conversing with customers.
What’s happening to WhatsApp Business Platform in the next few months?
Effective March 1, 2023:
Changes to free entry point conversations: user-initiated messages through free entry point conversations will have an extended free conversation window from 24h to 72h.
Effective April 1, 2023:
Four new conversation categories are introduced: Utility, Authentication, Marketing, and Service
When creating a message template, one of the four new conversation categories will need to be selected for approval.
Effective June 1, 2023:
New rate cards for utility and marketing conversations will be implemented: Rate cards can now be downloaded here. The rate card for Authentication will be published at a later date before June 1.
Changes to free tier conversations: For every WABA account, the first 1,000 conversations/month are free for user-initiated conversations only.
A comparison table: How is this different from before?
How are these WhatsApp conversation-based pricing changes going to affect your business?
This depends on how you’re using the WhatsApp Business Platform to connect with customers. Let’s consider a few use cases to better understand the newest WhatsApp Business API pricing:
Scenario A: An e-commerce clothing retailer uses WABA to send seasonal offers and to respond to customer enquiries.
The seasonal offer message template will start a Marketing conversation, whereas the response to a customer enquiry will start a Service conversation. The retailer will be charged separately for one Marketing conversation and one Service conversation.
Free entry point conversations are an exception to WhatsApp template message pricing. When a message template is delivered during the 72h window, no new conversations will be opened or charged.
Scenario B: A beauty salon sends an appointment confirmation notification and post-purchase receipt.
Since both message templates are under the Utility conversation category, the WhatsApp message pricing will only result in one Utility conversation charge.
Time to consider new WhatsApp Business messaging strategies with SleekFlow
Consider that these changes will take place in the coming months, it’s a good time now to think of new messaging strategies, like launching more CTX (Click to Messenger / WhatsApp) campaigns. These are ads that, when clicked, direct the customer to initiate a conversation with you. By doing so, those user-initiated conversations count towards free entry point conversations with a 72h window.
Another way to avoid getting separate charges, like in Scenario A, is to include content that covers more than one conversation category (see below). This will result only in one conversation category charge, which in this case would be one Marketing category charge.