WhatsApp: the business marketing tool
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Step aside Salesforce, WhatsApp is ready to take your venture to the next level. WhatsApp’s business products and services are catered to those both big and small (budgets included).
Aptly named WhatsApp Business, this product offers a whole host of free features that makes it easier to connect with your customers, as well as showcase your output. For those looking for more, the WhatsApp Business API opens up a whole world of possibilities, including automated chatbots and integrations.
To make the difference between the two products a bit clearer, I’ve put together a comparison table:
- Red background – WhatsApp Business
- White background – WhatsApp Business API
|WhatsApp Business||WhatsApp Business API|
|Overview||Free to use by anyone, but only through the app (both mobile and desktop options) and on a dedicated local SIM card, the same as your personal WhatsApp. Offers a business profile, catalogue, automatic response, labels and saved quick replies, but has to be used manually.||You have to apply through a business solution provider (BSP) from their partner directory who will have their cost (normally monthly, but can also charge per message often as well). BSP should offer a centralised interface (not linked to one device) that has chatbots, offering a wide range of options that are all automated.|
|Setup||SIM card, device and WhatsApp Business App.||SIM card, device and BSP’s interface.|
|Cost(s)||SIM card and device, therefore varied, depends on device and telephone provider, but can be very low.||SIM card, device and BSP fees, so same variable SIM and device costs, but BSP fees vary anywhere from $90 to $499 monthly, but not all include chatbot functionality, which is sometimes a separate service, of which Boomerang ($250 to $550 monthly) is the most affordable locally.|
|Integration(s)||None, only used through WhatsApp.||Depending on the BSP and chatbot service you use, you could create one chatbot for Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Twitter, WeChat and WhatsApp.
In addition to chatbots, you could also integrate with Mailchimp, Google Analytics, Slack and many more.
|Advantage(s)||Super simple to set up and affordable.||Loads of capabilities, and once set up, it doesn’t need to be manned and is available 24/7.|
|Disadvantage(s)||No automated interactions besides a first response.||Pricing fluctuates, depending on the features you require and which BSP offers them, as you have to apply for the API through an accredited partner.|
If your business isn’t on WhatsApp yet, it’s worth considering it as a comms tool. And, if you’re not sure, or if it feels a bit daunting, drop us a line. We’re happy to talk it through with you so you feel empowered to make the decision, whether it’s establishing and/or managing your WhatsApp Business account, or upgrading with WhatsApp Business API.