Businesses on the Business API can proactively message people who have opted into hearing from them on WhatsApp about existing transactions, such as a delivery update or receipt. However, people want to hear from their favorite businesses in more ways across the customer journey. For this reason, WhatsApp is running a test that allows businesses to send more types of proactive notifications to people that opt-in to receive them.
Businesses that have one of the countries listed above as the country setting in Business Manager will be able to send non-transactional notifications. No additional integration work is needed.
There is no change to the message template creation process in Business Manager or via API. Businesses should choose one of the eleven categories for templates when submitting a non-transactional template, such as the “alert update” category.
As WhatsApp expands the types of messages that businesses can send to people that have opted in to receive them, they want to also ensure that people continue to have a valuable experience. See below for detailed recommendations. Businesses should create and send notifications with the below attributes in mind to drive a high-quality user experience:
Expected: People have already opted in to receive this information from the business over WhatsApp so are not surprised when the business messages them
Relevant: The messages are personalized to the specific person (Ex: based on recent purchases or recent engagement with the business, personalized content in the message itself), concise, contain necessary information, and clearly outline any next steps for the person
Timely: People receive these messages when they are relevant
With this update WhatsApp wants to improve how businesses can communicate with their customers.
In the past, they have provided guidelines around discouraging broadcast messages. To mitigate confusion around what types of messages are considered “broadcast,” in this next phase of testing in approved countries, they will remove this restriction.
Businesses must still get opt-in from their customers and adhere to the Commerce and Business Policies. WhatsApp also recommends following the best practices outlined to drive a high-quality user experience.
To ensure these messages are expected, businesses must obtain opt-in in advance of sending any proactive notifications, including non transactional notifications.
The WhatsApp Business Policy outlines the following requirements:
Businesses must clearly state that a person is opting in to receive messages from the business over WhatsApp
Businesses must clearly state the business’ name that a person is opting in to receive messages from
Businesses must comply with applicable law
Additional best practices to create a high-quality opt-in experience:
Users should expect the messages they receive. Set this expectation by:
Obtaining an opt-in that encompasses the different categories of messages that you will send (ex: order updates, relevant offers, product recommendations, etc.)
Obtaining separate opt-in by specific message category
This aligns to the WhatsApp Policy and mitigates the risk of users blocking your business because they receive unsolicited messages
Provide clear instructions for how people can opt out of receiving specific categories of messages and honor these requests
Ensure opt-in and opt-out flows are clear and intuitive for users
Avoid messaging customers too frequently
Clearly communicate the value of receiving these important updates on WhatsApp
WhatsApp is excited to enable new types of use cases across the customer journey. Here are suggested use cases by vertical:
Telecommunications: proactive outreach for top-ups before minutes run out, reminders about plan renewals before expiration, relevant offers and deals
Financial Services: product recommendations based on recent purchases (ex. signing up for a new credit card, line of credit or installment plan), relevant offers and deals (ex. credit card discounts and/or partnerships)
Ecommerce/Retail: Back in stock reminder, product recommendations based on recent purchases, relevant offers and deals, cart abandonment reminders for products not yet purchased, relevant new product introductions
Travel: Price alerts for flights the customer is tracking, custom deals based on travel preferences, upsell offers in context (e.g. car booking), cart abandonment reminders for flights not yet purchased
As a reminder, people are in control when they message with businesses on WhatsApp.
People can block or report a business at any time. When people block a business, they also can choose to tell WhatsApp why, such as “Didn’t Sign Up”. WhatsApp leverages these quality signals to determine the phone number quality rating and when applicable, they surface this as feedback to businesses as a potential reason for red (low) or yellow (medium) quality. WhatsApp takes action to limit the reach of low quality messages. They may rate limit or automatically remove specific templates if a business’s quality is low for a sustained period of time. Over time, they may leverage additional quality signals and introduce new types of enforcement to enable high quality conversations between people and businesses using the API.