The wait is over: New types of WhatsApp Business messages are now available
Starting mid of June, WhatsApp is expanding the types of WhatsApp Business messages that companies and brands can proactively send to those of their customers that opt-in to receive them. This will be rolled out in Germany and the following countries: Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Nigeria, Egypt, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, and the USA.
Businesses from the aforementioned countries can now proactively send additional information on WhatsApp such as back-in-stock updates, personalized recommendations or new products, and more, directly to their customers’ lock screens via the WhatsApp Business API.
However, companies still have to obtain the consent of their customers and adhere to the WhatsApp Commerce and Business Policies and it’s not completely free either!
All you need to know
- How to use the new WhatsApp Business messages types?
- Requirements to use the new options
- Overview: What are the similarities & differences to the WhatsApp newsletter of yesteryear?
- Use Cases of the new formats
- What do such messages cost?
- How to use the new WhatsApp notifications options?
- How do I create special WhatsApp target groups?
- Conclusion: great options for Conversational Commerce
How to use WhatsApp Business notifications to send additional information?
The WhatsApp Business API allows you to interact with your customers in two ways:
- Session Messages: These are responses from your business to a customer when a customer initiates a conversation with your business on WhatsApp
- Template Messages: These are templated outbound messages you send to customers, that require customer opt-in
Non-transactional WhatsApp Business messages belong to the category of Template Messages or WhatsApp Notifications on WhatsApp.
To use Template Messages for proactive messaging;
- Businesses must be present in the above countries and have the same country setting in their Facebook Business Manager
- Businesses should select one of the eleven Template Messages Categories when submitting a non-transactional template
- For non-transactional messages, WhatsApp recommends using the “Alert Update” category
- There is no additional integration work required
- There is no change in the process of creating Template Messages in the Business Manager or via the WhatsApp Business API
Requirements to use the new options
- To send proactive messages to customers, companies must receive an opt-in from their users and the opt-ins must comply with the guidelines of the WhatsApp opt-in policy as well as the law applicable in the respective country (in Germany, for example, the GDPR).
✅ MessengerPeople offers a privacy compliant opt-in solution for sending proactive messages even earlier than the GDPR came into effect!
- Each non-transactional message template is reviewed and approved by WhatsApp.
- Companies must also comply with the Commerce Policy in other respects!
- WhatsApp monitors proactive / non-transactional messages: for example, if a number is blocked too often by users, WhatsApp will systematically take action. Here you can read all about how to maintain these WhatsApp Quality Signals.
Overview: What are the similarities & differences to the WhatsApp newsletter of yesteryear?
- High KPIs such as open or click-through rates
- Sending messages in real time
- High attention in the lock screen
- Customers must provide a GDPR-compliant opt-in (see Opt-In required!)
- Companies can form special target groups (see target groups)
- Newsletter was never officially supported by WhatsApp. (What are Non-transactional Notifications?)
- Companies always had to acquire subscribers through a website. (More touchpoints possible today)
- There was no official WhatsApp corporate account.
- Newsletter delivery was free. (see costs)
- Users had no options to mark messages as spam (see user feedback)
- Companies were completely free to design their newsletter texts and media (see WhatsApp approval)
- Shopping cart abandonment reminders
- “Back in stock” alerts
- “Time for reorder” alerts
- Appointment reminders
Upselling and Cross-Selling Product Recommendation:
- Further product recommendations that may match the previous purchase
- Special events like spring festival, a new collection, Black Friday, or open Sunday
- A coupon or promotional offers such as birthday discount codes
- Price alert, e.g. for flights a customer has been tracking
- Timely health information, e.g. current Corona figures
- Relevant news update, e.g. from media companies
What do such messages cost?
As mentioned above non-transactional messages belong to the Template Messages category on WhatsApp. Companies have to pay for sending outbound notifications if they are sent to customers outside a 24-hour service window. WhatsApp prices vary from country to country. At the moment a notification in Germany costs € 0.0766.
You can find the current prices here under “Cost per Message in EUR”.
How to use the new WhatsApp notifications options? Simply send proactive messages to your target group with MessengerPeople!
Thanks to our many years of experience in the Messenger Newsletter & Messenger Marketing area, MessengerPeople customers now have the option of sending proactive messages through WhatsApp simply with our “MIA – Marketing Information Assistant” – included free of charge in the Messenger Communication Platform.
On our platform, you can submit your desired WhatsApp non-transactional message template directly to WhatsApp. Once it has been approved you can send it to your distribution list of customers who opt-in.
With MIA you can easily send real-time proactive messages via WhatsApp, Telegram, Notify, Apple Business Chat, and Facebook Messenger! All 100% GDPR-compliant!
💡 Inform yourself about proactive messaging in our “Messenger Newsletters – Everything you need to know!” article!
Relevance first! A high-quality user experience is the focus!
Companies should keep the following attributes in mind while creating and sending notifications in order to create a high quality user experience:
- Expected: People have already signed up to receive this information from the company via WhatsApp, therefore they are not surprised when the company sends them messages
- Relevant: Messages are personalized to the specific person (e.g. based on recent purchases or recent engagement with the company, personalized content in the message itself), concise, contain necessary information, and clearly outline next steps for the person
- Timely: People receive these messages when they are relevant
No SPAM! Requirements for the use of Non-transactional Notifications
In order to send non-transactional notifications, companies must receive an opt-in from their users. The opt-ins must comply with the guidelines of the WhatsApp opt-in policy and the law applicable in the respective country – for instance in Germany, the GDPR. In addition, companies must offer a simple opt-out option so that users have control at all times.
Approval of templates by WhatsApp
Companies cannot send any proactive message directly. It is necessary to create templates that have a certain format specified by WhatsApp. Additionally, each template is checked and approved by WhatsApp once at the beginning before the companies can send them. In this way, WhatsApp ensures that users have a valuable experience while exchanging messages with companies on WhatsApp.
Users can report spam more easily
WhatsApp also has certain control mechanisms to prevent spam: users can report a company at any time with just a few clicks. If a company is blocked and reported as “spam” too often, WhatsApp downgrades the company so that it can only send a few notifications. At the beginning, you are in Tier 1 and can send notifications to 1,000 users. You can move up to Tier 3. Here you can find more detailed information on these rate limits by Facebook.
How to send WhatsApp “non-transactional messages”?
Due to the long experience in the WhatsApp newsletter sector, MessengerPeople customers immediately have the possibility to send these new WhatsApp business message formats easily via our “MIA – Marketing Information Assistant” – included free of charge in the Messenger Communication Platform. Through MIA, our customers already send newsletters via Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Notify and iMessage.
🚀 More information about sending newsletters via Messenger Information Assistant, MIA for short
How do I create special WhatsApp target groups?
To keep the relevance of WhatsApp messages to users as high as possible, the use of target groups is recommended. In doing so, MessengerPeople customers can create target groups in different ways:
- Tagging user characteristics in the chat. For example, if a customer asks about a specific product in the service chat, an agent can assign a feature by hand. E.g. “Interest in new collection” or “Booking Helene Fischer ticket”.
- Queries: Using a simple chatbot, the company can automatically query user characteristics. Ex: Do you want to get more info about our “Spain trips”?
- User behavior: Companies can also create target groups based on user behavior. For example: “Came via Instagram ad” or “All users who had contacted us via WhatsApp in the last 3 weeks”.
To send non-transactional messages, multiple user characteristics can then be combined. For example, here in the image “Subscribers who live in Munich and study business administration”.
Companies look forward to the new capabilities of Non-transactional Notification
Companies like Urlaubspiraten had over 1 million WhatsApp subscribers receiving their daily offers and deals via WhatsApp before the end of the WhatsApp newsletter. “WhatsApp is a really important channel for us to reach our target audience,” says David Armstrong, CEO of Urlaubspiraten. “Our customers are with us because we always have top travel deals at the best value!”
“We see it as a great opportunity to now be able to send our customers the latest deals they’re interested in, right to their smartphone lock screen, in real time again.”
David Armstrong, CEO of Urlaubspiraten
Conclusion: the next step towards conversational commerce
With the new kind of proactive WhatsApp notifications, WhatsApp is expanding its focus to implement WhatsApp as an indispensable tool across the entire customer journey. For us, this is a great step towards a true conversational commerce offering!
You are interested in using the new types of WhatsApp Business messages?