With the rollout of WhatsApp Business API, progressive businesses around the globe have been quick to adopt this solution to connect with their customers.
And why not? WhatsApp today boasts a whopping 2 billion active users worldwide. Which explains why instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp are considered to be one of the low-hanging fruits of customer service.
Plus, the rising expectations of customers to connect with their brands on WhatsApp pretty much seals the deal. Currently, growing businesses have very little choice but to hop on board and make the switch to WhatsApp Business API.
Now before you get the ball rolling and start driving effective customer engagements - as a business it is essential for you to first obtain prior consent from your customers to message them on WhatsApp. In other words, customer opt-ins must be collected before kick-starting a conversation with them on WhatsApp.
We’re here to walk you through how you can collect these opt-ins easily. Let’s get right to it.
Opt-in is the consent given by your customer agreeing to receive messages from your business on WhatsApp. As per WhatsApp’s policy, businesses are required to get opt-ins from customers before sending a WhatsApp message to them.
These WhatsApp opt-ins were previously collected by a third-party channel. Owing to a recent update in their policy, WhatsApp has stated that businesses can now obtain opt-ins directly without taking the third-party route.
That’s right, this requires your business to collect the opt-ins via an existing channel of communication - we’re talking about SMS, website, in-app notifications, IVR, email or even via a WhatsApp thread that was initiated by the customer.
WhatsApp’s policy requires businesses to follow a few requirements while collecting opt-ins. Your business will need to adhere to the below practices:
• You will have to clearly state that the customer is opting in to receive messages from your business on WhatsApp
• You will need to explicitly mention the business’ name that the customer is opting in to receive messages from
• As a business you will also need to ensure that you are complying with the applicable law
Driving a high-quality messaging experience for their users has always been a top priority for WhatsApp. In line with this, WhatsApp ensures that businesses use pre-approved WhatsApp templates while reaching out to their customers.
This is in place to ensure that messages initiated by businesses are not promotional or in any way considered as marketing spam, but are purely transactional in nature.
Wondering how you could optimize to maintain a good brand reputation on WhatsApp? It’s quite simple actually.
We’re sharing a few pointers here to help you get it right:
• With WhatsApp business messaging templates, send relevant and timely messages to your customers
• Avoid going overboard and messaging customers too frequently
• While collecting opt-ins, it is best to specifically state the type of messages that your customers can expect to receive from your business
• Inform your customers on how they can opt-out of receiving messages from your business and be sure to abide by their request in future
Coming to the customer, they have the option to report or even block your business from sending them messages. When this happens, WhatsApp will place your business under a low-quality rating and if this continues for a long period of time, it can even result in your WhatsApp business number getting flagged. Know about your WhatsApp Business account status messaging limit.
What you need to keep in mind here, is by all means, to make it really simple for your customers to give their consent or opt-in for WhatsApp messages from your business.
While there are a host of ways in which you could do this, we are laying out the top 5 ways you could use to collect WhatsApp Business opt-ins, on and off WhatsApp.
1. Use WhatsApp Threads (initiated by the customer, of course)
This is by far the easiest way to get opt-ins! Your customer has already shown their interest in reaching out to you on your WhatsApp business number. What you gotta do next is, once you have resolved their query, ask them if they would like to receive relevant notifications from your business over WhatsApp.
Once you receive their reply agreeing to it, you can then send them a message as shown below, asking for their permission to message them on WhatsApp.
2. Drive opt-ins via Website or in-app notifications
No doubt your website is a powerful channel to obtain WhatsApp Opt-ins. You can have a pop-up right on the homepage or even set up a separate landing page where you can request the customer to give their consent to receive messages from your business on WhatsApp. You can also have in-app notifications set up for this purpose.
3. Build onto existing workflows
Another trusted way to collect opt-ins is to include them within your existing process workflows. With the primary goal being to send reminders and timely notifications throughout the customer journey - it only makes sense to ask for customers’ consent to receive shipment notifications and order confirmations on WhatsApp, when they are filling up their contact or delivery details during checkout.
4. Leverage existing channels like SMS, IVR, Email and Social Media Ads
The best part about these channels is that your business will already be using them to provide timely notifications to customers. This is also a great way to get existing customers to provide their consent. In order to get an immediate response from your customers, here’s what you could do for each of these channels:
SMS and Email - Enable a one-click opt-in for a quick response.
IVR - Set up an automated voice message and request the customer to press a specific key on their dial-pad to provide their consent.
Social Media Ads - Ads on your favourite social media channels are all the rage now! You can run Ads that redirect customers to landing pages where they can opt-in for WhatsApp messages from your business.
5. Add it to your sign-up forms
Nothing like getting your customers started on the right foot. When filling up the sign-up form, include WhatsApp as a channel that customers can opt to be contacted on.
While there are a plethora of options to collect opt-ins, there are a few steps you could take to keep those WhatsApp business opt-ins coming in.
• For your business, there may be a multitude of reasons to approach customers on WhatsApp - always ensure that you inform your customers about the value of receiving business alerts and notifications on WhatsApp
• Whenever you add a new opt-in method, be sure to keep your quality rating under check
• Build a super-easy workflow to collect opt-ins that results in minimal effort from the customer
• Capitalize on the opt-in workflow that suits your line of business the best
Businesses take note - it is your responsibility to actively collect and store opt-ins before reaching out to customers over WhatsApp.
By now you would have decided the best way to collect WhatsApp opt-ins for your business. If you are yet to get access to WhatsApp Business API - we’ve got something you will love!
You can now join India’s fastest-growing businesses and power your WhatsApp Business API journey on interakt with a 14-day free trial. To top it off, if you sign up before June 30th - all WhatsApp notification charges will be completely waived off for three months. Got questions? Talk to us on WhatsApp today!