WhatsApp is one of the most favorite apps in the market. There are more than 1.5 billion users around the world and the count is increasing with each passing day. Sending text messages, images, audio and video files, documents, making voice and video calls have become so common that users prefer to use WhatsApp over other apps.
WhatsApp has released an exclusive app for business enterprises which is available in selected countries including India. WhatsApp Business can be used by enterprises via a mobile phone or a web portal. Enterprises need to avail the services provided by companies that allow API integration with the app.
So, how much does WhatsApp Business cost? What do you think? Why spend time on guesswork when we know the answer?
WhatsApp Business is free is download provided enterprises have a valid phone number. Once an account is created with the app, the credentials have to be verified and authenticated. In the meantime, enterprises can use the sandbox feature offered by companies to send messages to users.
WhatsApp charges an enterprise per message (for pre-approved templates) depending on the location of the users to which the message is being sent. Add to it, the standard fee charged by companies for using their platform. Enterprises can opt for bulk message packages that will prove to be cost-effective for their business.
When enterprises request early access to WhatsApp Business, it will take time for the app to verify the credentials and allow complete access to the app. In the meantime, companies provide enterprises a way to send messages to users and start building an expanded user base.
Sandbox is a feature offered by companies where enterprises can use the pre-approved numbers of companies. Enterprises can pick a number of their choice and start using it to send messages to users. Let us see how the sandbox feature works.
- Messages can be sent to users who have joined the sandbox of the enterprise. So the first step is to send invites to users, asking them to join the sandbox.
- The users who join are giving explicit permission to enterprises to send them messages.
- The sandbox numbers can send only 1 message every 3 seconds.
- Sandbox supports functional testing.
- Only pre-registered and pre-approved templates can be used to send messages to users after the WhatsApp session.
- Pre-approved templates do not allow promotional messages.
- There is no limit to the number of messages that can be sent using the sandbox.
- Also, there is no limit to how long an enterprise can use the sandbox feature.
- The messages are billed as usual, according to the billing plan of the company.
There are two types of WhatsApp Business accounts- the regular Business account and the Official business account.
- Any enterprise that uses WhatsApp Business has a business account.
- The accounts that are verified by WhatsApp and have a green check-mark badge beside the profile name is an official business account. The name of the enterprise will be reflected at all times, even if the user has not saved the number in their phone’s contact list.
It is important to note that WhatsApp will verify very few businesses initially. Things take time, which is why enterprises are requesting early access and using the sandbox to stay connected with users. The approval is subject to WhatsApp Compliance Team policies. The process could up to two weeks or more.
How and what can enterprises do with the WhatsApp Business version?
Before the enterprises or small business can reach out to the customers, they need to have a verified business account. It only then the customers the customers would see the name of the business when the WhatsApp message is sent to them. If you do not get it verified, the message notification will show the phone number which does not ensure trust and engagement.
Begin by creating a Business Profile
With the competitiveness in the market and lessening attention span of the customers, the business needs an easy to be recognized profile. With WhatsApp business App, the business owners can create a detailed profile so that the customers can find them easily. The business App allows the profile to have information like website link, official email, physical address and contact numbers.
Engage with customer using Smart Messaging Tools
The focus of WhatsApp Business App is to help sellers reach out to the customers quickly. To facilitate the same, the App comes some dedicated tools that shortens the engagement and product/service to market time. The Quick Replies feature allows the business to reply near instantly to the customers. It works on the principle of frequently answered questions. The existing replies can be saved and reused. It offers a 24*7 availability of the business engagement with the Automated Messaging tool. Even when the customer care staff is not available the automated messages will reach out to the customers and answer their queries.
Know the Engagement Stats
No campaign is successful unless the engagement statistics are measured to improve. The WhatsApp Business App allows users review the basic engagement stats like how many messages were sent, delivered, read and acted upon. Such statistics are being used by business to alter their campaigning strategies for better results.
Web based Application use
The WhatsApp Business solution can be used by the business on their personal computer also and it can be connected to multiple channels to run a holistic marketing campaign.
Enterprises are advised to always customize their WhatsApp profiles by adding the display picture and details about the business so that a brand persona is created to which the customers can easily relate and recall. WhatsApp business simplifies the marketing complexities for the business owners.
Gupshup has enabled numerous leading brands to gain early access to WhatsApp Business. They provide services to more than 36,900 business enterprises to connect with their customers across various communication channels.