WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API pricing
For years together now, WhatsApp has been the central platform for messaging by users all over the world. An estimated 1.6 billion global users of WhatsApp and the numbers are only soaring by the day. But how do you reach these users who are unknown to your business and at what cost?
WhatsApp, in itself, is a free messaging platform that allows users to connect with friends, family, and acquaintances through sharing all sorts of media. Moreover, users are not charged for messages since their communication via the Internet as opposed to standard SMS rates.
Most businesses adopt the same idea of establishing communication with their customers through WhatsApp. But, using WhatsApp for business purposes is quite different. Businesses, although having several marketing channels to promote their work, may have a high chance of not reaching its customers. Here’s where WhatsApp comes into play. Offering a one-on-one experience cost-effectively without damaging your reputation with customers is something to handle carefully and strategically. With the right tools and right pricing, WhatsApp could work wonders for your business, provided you understand your audience better and where you are positioned.
WhatsApp works differently for businesses. Especially with pricing.
If you’re new to WhatsApp marketing, you first have to understand the WhatsApp Business interface. Fortunately, it is simple and self-explanatory. All it takes for you is to create a business profile (preferably, with a new number), add the correct and necessary business information, and get your business profile verified by WhatsApp. You get verified only if WhatsApp identifies your business as authentic.
But if it’s still unclear as to how WhatsApp works for business, the following points will help you understand the differences.
WhatsApp Business Application
- WhatsApp Business application is intended to cater to the needs of the small business owner. It is simply a one-on-one interaction between your business and customer. Any content that you send using the WhatsApp Business application is free.
- This application allows you to use automated messaging features like greeting messages, away messages, and quick replies.
- In terms of pricing, the WhatsApp Business application is free to use and there are no charges for unlimited content that is sent to and received from your customer. Ideally, you can communicate for free with your customers, until they block you.
- Finally, WhatsApp Business is ideal for small businesses that want to connect with customers personally.
WhatsApp Business API Application
- Unlike WhatsApp Business, WA Business API works rather differently.
- WhatsApp Business API is ideal for medium and large companies that have a wide customer base.
- Businesses need to create an API account with WhatsApp API partners who can help you to share your messages widely.
- API partners are your intermediaries for getting your messages out to your customers.
- WhatsApp Business API allows companies to only send restricted and regulated content, unlike WhatsApp Business where content is unlimited.
- Pricing for WhatsApp Business API varies across countries that have most users of WhatsApp.
- Facebook-acquired WhatsApp determines pricing per message sent for the Top 24 markets WhatsApp markets and sets standard pricing for other regions.
WhatsApp Marketing pricing explained
The concept of WhatsApp marketing is still blurry for many companies irrespective of their size. And if you think marketing on WhatsApp will be the same as Facebook and/or Google, you are probably not right. WhatsApp marketing is entirely different and takes time and effort to successfully get your customers through.
Another blurry concept of WhatsApp marketing is the costs associated with it. Ideally, there is no such thing as a WhatsApp marketing cost since WhatsApp is a free messaging platform. This also depends on the size of your business and the size of the audience you intend to connect with.
For small businesses, WhatsApp does not charge anything for any information that is exchanged between customers and the business. However, there are third-party software packages available in the market. They essentially provide the same features that WhatsApp Business API does for your business. Some of them include, Bulk messaging, automated messaging, analytics tracker, CRM management, etc. These packages come with monthly and yearly plans. However, several incidents have been reported against some companies for using WhatsApp to automate messages or send bulk messages.
For medium and large companies, the concept of pricing is fairly complicated as per Facebook’s guidelines of compliance. As mentioned before, large companies have to create an API account by choosing an API partner and thereby verifying the business. Prices vary depending on the API partner you choose to partner with. Recently, Facebook updated its pricing for WhatsApp Business API accounts. Earlier, prices varied based on the recipient country where your user is. Companies are charged for the service provided by WhatsApp and the corresponding WhatsApp API partner.
The breakdown of prices for users of WhatsApp Business API is as follows:
- Template messages – These are pre-approved messages by WhatsApp before it is sent to the recipient. Template messages cost vary according to the country and the message volume. For example, messages sent to Brazil are priced between ₹ 3 to ₹ 3.5
- The prices are discounted based on the high volume of messages sent over a monthly period. The higher the message volume in a month, the lower the per-message cost.
- Session messages – Session messages are any messages that are sent after Template messages are approved. Session messages have a 24-hour window and per message is charged around ₹ 0.37.
Now, that you have understood the pricing for inbound and outbound messages sent using WhatsApp Business API, you need to decide on the right API partner.
WhatsApp and Facebook together have curated the details of all API partners in their Facebook Partner Directory.
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