WhatsApp likes complicated and I like simple; so, let’s get into What’sUp with WhatsApp!
So, there is the private WhatsApp messaging that we know and use every day but from a commercial perspective there are 3 levels of WhatsApp:
1. WhatsApp Business App
This is a free download designed for small enterprises featuring a business profile and some quick responses, but limited automation options. For instance, you can send out a broadcast message but only to 256 contacts who have saved your number in their contact list.
Importantly, WhatsApp Business App has no API (Application Program Interface) and so it is not possible to monitor your message flow from a computer. All the messaging is confined to the phone that you register, and you cannot pull your leads into an external database.
Free to register and set-up here: https://business.whatsapp.com/
2. WhatsApp Business Cloud API
When ‘App’ is replaced with ‘API’ things get interesting.
The WhatsApp Business Cloud API is hosted on Meta’s cloud servers and because of this it is possible to use software programs to manage this message flow. This is for small to medium businesses to manage large volumes of communications.
For instance, you can automate responses to the messages or download the contacts into a CRM program. The API will give you the ability to set up a store and trade within your WhatsApp profile; it’s good stuff!
This WhatsApp API allows LeadADD to pull your leads from the cloud and into your LeadAdd dashboard, with all your other leads and notification system.
WhatsApp Business Cloud API is free to register and set up (yourself) but subject to WhatsApp Conversation-based fees (below):
3. WhatsApp Business API (or BSB)
This is also known as WhatsApp BSP (Business Solution Provider), where an intermediary business hosts the system on their server. WhatsApp refers to these as ‘On-premises API’.
The intermediary business typically provides message management software and interfaces to other communication channels and even call centres.
This platform is subject to the intermediary business’s charges as well as the WhatsApp charges and Conversation-based fees.This is the expensive level of WhatsApp, and where we may need to assist you outside of the LeadAdd platform.
WhatsApp API Conversations.
WhatsApp defines a conversation as a 24-hour period during which there are unlimited messages between the business and a customer. This is called the ‘Customer Service Window’.
There are two types of WhatsApp API Conversations:
User-Initiated (inbound) messages from a customer.
- A user (customer) may initiate a conversation at any time, which opens the Customer Service Window for 24 hours for unlimited messaging.
- These conversations are priced in Euros and cost the business €0.0139 (ZAR 25c).
Business-Initiated (Outbound) messages from the business to a customer.
- These messages are limited to Template Messages, which are pre-approved by WhatsApp (mainly to control SPAM).
- A customer response initiates the Customer Service Window for 24 hrs.
- These conversations are priced in Euros and cost the business €0.0232 (ZAR 42c).
Cost Per Conversation in EUR:
A conversation lasts for 24 hours with unlimited messaging.The first 1 000 conversations per month are free.
ZAR @ 18:1
(Every country has different pricing)
These are the fees payable to Meta/ If you choose to use a business intermediary you may pay more:
LeadAdd focuses on WhatsApp Business Cloud API:
For the purposes of aggregating your WhatsApp leads with the leads from different communication channels on the LeadADD platform we need you to use the WhatsApp Business Cloud API.
You must go to Meta and set up your account where you will pay Meta for your API Conversations. We will give you the webhooks to use in the account set up so that your leads will pull through to your LeadADD Dashboard and notification system:
(Webhooks: A webhook connects two programs together in real time to transfer data, in this case your WhatsApp Cloud API and LeadADD.)