We will guide you through the steps to request access to WhatsApp channel, configuring WhatsApp business profile and get notification template approved from WhatsApp.
Sending WhatsApp messages
WhatsApp supports 2 use cases – Notifications and customer support.
Promotional messages are strictly prohibited.
Sending WhatsApp notification messages
Notifications use case is a uni-directional messaging service designed for the business to send alerts and informational notifications to users. Messages sent in this use case are required to use pre-approved Templates. WhatsApp restricts marketing/promotional use cases and will not approve Templates with promotional content.
Foore supports businesses with approval process of templates. Following are examples of templates-
[[NAME]], this is a reminder for your appointment at [[BUSINESS NAME]] at [[TIME]]. Looking for change in time? Just respond to this message.
[[NAME]], thanks for visiting us today at [[BUSINESS NAME]]. We would love to know more about your experience. Click here to tell us [[FEEDBACK LINK]]
[[NAME]], your membership is expiring on 27th Oct. Click here [[LINK]] to renew.
Responding to customer messages
To have a 2 way conversation with a user, you need to receive messages from them. Users can send you a message in response to a templated notification or directly send you a message first.
A WhatsApp session begins with a user initiated message to your number. Sessions are valid for 24 hours after the most recently received message, during which time you can communicate with them using free form messages.
Sending WhatsApp messages from Foore
Once you have a WhatsApp number approved and configured, you will see the number in WhatsApp business number.
You will be able to send WhatsApp message to contacts from conversations module just like sending SMS.
You can send photos, videos, files in free from session messages. Media is not allowed in notification messages. Any links sent on WhatsApp automatically add a link preview thus providing a richer experience to your customers.
Requesting WhatsApp access
To use WhatsApp from your Foore Dashboard, you need a WhatsApp Business Profile. WhatsApp is currently limiting access to profiles during their API’s limited availability stage. Business Profiles must be associated with a Foore virtual number.
You can request access from here. Existing customers can get in touch with support from in-app chat to request access.
The process includes the following steps: approval, numbers set up, templates submission and account verification.
- Step 1: Approval – Get in touch with us to request access. Applications are processed daily. As part of the process, you will be requested to provide your FB Business Manager ID. If you do not already have a Facebook Business Manager account, follow the instructions here to create one.
- Step 2: Numbers set up – once you have received approval confirmation from Foore, We will get in touch for the purchase of a Virtual number from Foore. Post this you can submit information for WhatsApp business profile. Submitting a WhatsApp Business Profile will create a support ticket with our WhatsApp support team and your application will be processed. We will provide updates on the number set on a weekly basis.
- Step 3 – Template Approval – If you plan to send out Notifications, you will need templates approved on your account. Templates need to be approved by WhatsApp before being used, in a process that takes a few days. Note that WhatsApp does not provide an SLA for this review. Based on our experience, it takes about 5 days to get templates approved.
- Step 4 – Account Verification – businesses that send Notifications may benefit from an Official Business Account.
WhatsApp Verified Accounts
There are two types of WhatsApp Business Accounts:
|Business Account||Any account that is using the WhatsApp Business API is by default a Business Account.|
|Official Business Account||WhatsApp has verified that an authentic brand owns this account.|
An Official Business Account has a green checkmark badge in its profile and next to the header in the chat thread. The name of the business is visible even if the user hasn’t added the business to their address book.
Note: Very few businesses will be an Official Business Account. Being verified on Facebook or Instagram will not help your business be an Official Business Account.
How Your Business Appears to Users
Depending on your WhatsApp Account type, users will see different things. However, if a user has already saved the business number in their address book, the name from the address book will always be displayed. The phone number will still be visible in the contacts view. Please be prepared for users who may try to call this number and have a plan for how to handle these incoming calls.
If it is a Business Account, the Verified Name will only be shown, in smaller text, in the contacts view; all other views will show the phone number. You can help customers learn more about your company by filling out your business info, including business website, address, and hours.
Official Business Account
If the WhatsApp Account is an Official Business Account, the Verified Name will be visible in the chat list, chat screens, chat groups, and contacts view instead of the phone number. There will be a green checkmark beside the displayed name in the contacts view.
Benefits of Official Business Account
WhatsApp Official Business Account offers customers the following benefits:
- Verified Account badge – will show at the conversation header, making sure users recognize the business as Verified Business.
- Named Conversations – incoming notifications will show the business name, rather than a phone number, leading to higher engagement and conversion rate, as the business is easily recognized, compared to messages sent from a phone number.
- Mark the business as a known sender on a user device. Known senders benefit from:
- Suppress the automatic suggestion for SPAM report/block showing in the conversation screen.
- Enable embedded links from known senders are clickable.
How to get Verified?
To get verified, the business should go through the following steps. Note that approval is not guaranteed, and is subject to WhatsApp compliance team’s approval.
- Get the Facebook Business Account verified. Check your business information at https://business.facebook.com/settings/info, under Business Verification Status. If the account is showing “Unverified”, it will also show a link to get verified. Follow the process, and verify your account. More information about the verification process can be found here.
- Once the account is verified, get in touch with Foore, requesting to apply to a WhatsApp Official Business Account with the following information: Screenshot showing your verified account status, the Business Website Address, the Facebook Page URL, and business name in languages other than English (if any). We will use this information to open a ticket with WhatsApp to get the account verified.
It typically takes up to 2 weeks to get an account verification review completed.
Explicit Opt-In requirements
WhatsApp requires that you implement explicit user opt-ins to deliver messages over WhatsApp. You may gather this opt-in via a web page or mobile app (for example during your checkin flow, via SMS, etc.) Sending users messages without an opt-in may result in users blocking your business and suspension of your Whatsapp business account.
WhatsApp API and integrations
Foore provides APIs and webhooks for automating WhatsApp messaging with your existing scheduling and billing tools. Foore also provides support for building automated bots on top of WhatsApp. Get in touch with us to know more about integrations.
Foore charges for WhatsApp messages on per message basis. This price consists of charges paid directly to WhatsApp and Foore charges. Charges depend on the volume of messages. Get in touch with us to know more about WhatsApp pricing.
Integrating WhatsApp in customer experience journey is every marketers dream. WhatsApp’s commitment towards end-to-end encryption requires heavy lifting such as hosting a WhatsApp client on cloud for each Foore account and making sure Foore keeps up with WhatsApp’s ever changing APIs.
Foore does the behind the scene heavy lifting to enable you to communicate with customers over the world’s best messaging service from the comfort of your Foore dashboard.