If you’re reading this article, it means you’ve already decided to create a WhatsApp Business API for your company. As you probably already know by now, you’ll need to choose a Business Solution Partner to help you get it done, one whose pricing model is the right fit for you.
Why do I need a WhatsApp Business partner?
Creating a WhatsApp Business API can bring your company benefits such as a verified WhatsApp Business account with a recognizable green tick and a tool for communicating with your customers and prospects. However, creating a WhatsApp Business API account is much different and slightly more complicated than creating a simple Facebook page.
The main reason behind this is that creating a WhatsApp Business API account is only possible via WhatsApp partners like WATI (short for “WhatsApp Business Account for Team Inbox and Marketing”).
And here’s why: when WhatsApp first developed the WhatsApp Business API, it was lead by two main ideas:
- generating money from WhatsApp API pricing,
- keeping spam on the WhatsApp platform minimum.
To address both of these matters at the same time, the messaging giant decided to offer its WhatsApp Business API account only through official WhatsApp partners that have the staff and technology to ensure only verified businesses get on the WhatsApp platform.
This is why any business that wants to be verified on WhatsApp has to go through a WhatsApp Business partner. Do note that once you make the final decision on which partner to go with, switching to another will be difficult and you will need to give up your old number as it is tied to a specific vendor. Therefore, it’s important to choose one that you’ll be happy with.
How to choose your ideal WhatsApp Business partner
One of the first things you’ll have to consider when doing this is the potential partner’s WhatsApp Business pricing. In other words, you’ll need to check whether the pricing model and components of the WhatsApp partner in question make sense for your use case, requirements like number of users/agents, messaging volume, and so on.
In addition to the WhatsApp Business pricing practices, other important criteria you’ll need to consider include whether the WhatsApp Business API partner can provide you with a phone number that has the desired country code(s) and whether it supports all of the WhatsApp API features you want to use.
Typically, the WhatsApp Business pricing model is a bit different than what you might’ve been accustomed to with other services’ pricing, so it might appear slightly complex, at least in the beginning.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help and we’ll try to explain it as simply as possible.
Different WhatsApp Business pricing components
WhatsApp Business API partners typically offer pricing under several different models:
- per monthly active user,
- per agent,
- per message,
- message bundles/plans.
WhatsApp partners with the “per monthly active user” model will bill you on the basis of the number of WhatsApp users you interact with within a given month. Those based on “per message” pricing will have different rates for different types of messages. Bundles, on the other hand, include a specific number of messages within their pricing.
WATI offers three pricing packages – Regular, Premium, and Enterprise – primarily based on the number of agents and features included in each of them. With WATI, billing is done on a monthly or annual basis, and the final price may be affected by variables including the SMS usage and template message usage. As usual in any type of industry, the annual billing option is more cost-effective than the monthly.
The company’s pricing models encompass all components typically differentiated by other partners such as different types of messages. WATI also doesn’t charge per active user but instead bases its plans on the number of customer support agents, as well as offering a custom WhatsApp Business pricing option if the pre-set plans are too limited for you.
Many WhatsApp partners have a pricing structure that consists of a:
- setup fee,
- monthly maintenance fee,
- messaging fee.
WATI includes all of these in its pricing packages. Namely, the price of the packages already covers everything with no hidden costs – the one-time setup, the monthly maintenance of the WhatsApp Business account, as well as the fees for a set number of SMS and template messages. Only after this set number of messages is passed will WATI charge any additional costs. Do note that the SMS rates vary from one country to another.
All of the packages incorporate the WhatsApp API setup, WhatsApp inbox, messaging and ticketing, targeted broadcast campaigns and customer segmentation, self-initiated template message submission to WhatsApp, multimedia messaging (text, video, and document), canned reply messages, emoji and sticker support, end-to-end encryption, as well as media storage in various sizes.
As mentioned above, in addition to sending SMS, WATI lets you send targeted template messages. It allows you to easily manage your subscribers, apply filters, and send personalized templates to a selected audience group, including appointment reminders, issue resolutions, payment updates, and more. This way, you can communicate with your customers hassle-free, send them messages with no coding experience needed, and manage their contact information as easily via Excel.
The Monthly package offers email-only general customer support, 1GB of media storage, as well as including 15,000 customer support messages and unlimited template message submission. The initial cost if for 5 agents, additional agent costs $30/agent.
The Annual package covers five agents and provides multi-channel premium customer support, as well as throwing in 50,000 customer support messages, 500 template messages, 100 local SMS fallback, and unlimited template message submission. The initial cost is for 5 agents and additional agent costs $25/agent.
The Enterprise package offers direct multi-channel customer support and is the most customizable one – including agents, reports, as well as template message and SMS rates.
In addition to all the features mentioned above, WATI also provides a platform that allows multiple customer support agents from your team to sign from multiple devices into one and the same WhatsApp account at the same time. This enables them to use an integrated team inbox to communicate with customers and prospects, as well as a dashboard to collaborate with one another.
If you’re looking for a partner to help you create a WhatsApp Business API account, WhatsApp Business Account for Team Inbox and Marketing can help you out. If you feel our WhatsApp Business pricing works out for you and once you’re ready to begin, feel free to sign up for early access here. If you have any questions or concerns about the platform, we’ll be more than happy to talk to you on the website or via WhatsApp.
WATI is the product of Clare.AI, the AI digital assistant start-up and online tool merging machine learning with proprietary natural language processing technology to create award-winning customer communication experiences. Clare.AI is trusted by multinational enterprises and Fortune 500 companies.
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