You’ve decided to do WhatsApp marketing. Good choice. But once you dive in, the process appears to be more complicated than it sounded at first. Why do you need a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider now?
Can’t you just start sending WhatsApp messages to your subscribers? Not quite.
You can’t set up promotional campaigns directly from the WhatsApp Platform, you need to use the interface of a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider. Let’s figure out a partner’s role in the relationship between you and WhatsApp Business.
What Is a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider?
Until recently, WhatsApp didn’t let marketers send broadcasts or mass advertising messages to WhatsApp users. Brands could only use the channel for customer support conversations.
It didn’t stop some apps from offering WhatsApp marketing services without approval or support from Meta though. Then earlier this year, WhatsApp finally announced the official launch of WhatsApp campaigns and expanded their marketing capabilities for business. Now, the messaging app is one of the best communication channels for companies of all sizes.
Marketing features are now available inside the WhatsApp Business app interface and through the official WhatsApp Business Platform (formerly API). If you choose to run campaigns through the app, you’ll face quite a few limitations. One of them is a limit of 256 contacts per broadcast list – a serious problem for a company with 10,000 contacts on the mailing list.
Moreover, WhatsApp Business only lets you reach people that have added you to their phone contacts, which makes no sense if you want to run marketing campaigns. On the contrary, the WhatsApp Business Platform lets you reach opt-in contacts just like you would do with email marketing.
Learn more about the difference between the WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business Platform.
Unless yours is a microbusiness, you’re most likely to choose WhatsApp Business Platform for business messaging.
The Official WhatsApp Business Platform is a connector between your WhatsApp Business profile and a third-party tool like CRM software or a marketing automation platform.
With it, you can reach as many people as you want with your marketing messages, create multi-channel automation workflows, send transactional messages, and many more.
However, the API isn’t accessible through WhatsApp directly. And this is where WhatsApp Business Solution Providers come in.
A WhatsApp Business Solution Provider is a third party, typically a marketing platform or CRM solution that’s been recognized by WhatsApp. It provides you with access to the full range of WhatsApp marketing capabilities.
Why you need a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider
WhatsApp Business Solution Providers like Sendinblue come with a number of benefits for marketing and customer service teams:
- The only way to access the WhatsApp Business Platform. The official WhatsApp Business Platform is accessible only through partnering with third-party companies, namely WhatsApp Business Solution Providers.
- Interface. With some rare exceptions (see below), WhatsApp Business Solution Providers offer user-friendly interfaces for non-tech savvy marketers to enjoy all the benefits of WhatsApp campaigns. No need to touch the API documentation – just use the WhatsApp marketing features through the provider’s app interface.
- Easy submission for approval. To send promotional messages with WhatsApp, you need to have WhatsApp message templates approved by Meta. WhatsApp Business Solution Providers make submitting messages for approval easy within the campaign creation flow without leaving a sleek interface.
- Convenient list management. WhatsApp Business Solution Providers (BSPs) often offer CRM features. Along with sending WhatsApp campaigns, you can also store and manage your contacts inside a centralized solution.
- Real-time analytics. Meta partners usually offer advanced analytics functionality and real-time performance tracking, data visualization, and reporting.
- Automated user verification. As a WhatsApp Business Platform user, you can go through the automated user verification process and apply for the verification green badge easily.
How Does a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider Work?
There are two types of WhatsApp Business Solution Providers:
- Marketing platforms like Sendinblue allowing businesses to access the functionalities of WhatsApp Business Platform inside their interface;
- Connectors like 360dialog integrating the WhatsApp Business Platform and another third-party marketing platform.
Connectors don’t have any interface and are good for companies looking to build a fully customized marketing infrastructure. You’ll need a developer to set up the integration.
These apps usually charge a monthly fee for using the WhatsApp Business Platform plus message fees according to the WhatsApp price list for user and business-initiated conversations. For instance, 360dialog’s API Only plan starts at a fixed fee of €49/month plus campaign expenses.
On the other hand, a marketing platform that’s a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider lets you run WhatsApp marketing campaigns directly through its interface. Choose a platform that doesn’t charge any API setup or monthly fee and pay only for conversations.
What does ‘conversations’ mean?
WhatsApp now has a conversation-based pricing model where businesses are only charged per conversation, which includes all messages delivered within a 24-hour window. Depending on who sent the first message – a customer or a business – and the destination country, conversations are priced differently.
One very important thing is that the first 1,000 conversations each month are free (so check if the provider you choose actually gives you what you’re owed). More details on how the WhatsApp Business Platform pricing works here.
From there, pricing models vary among WhatsApp Business Solution Providers. Quality messaging applications usually follow the WhatsApp model, charging only for conversations. The total cost is calculated from the WhatsApp fee and a small markup for the partner platform.
What to Look For in a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider
With the abundance of options, how do you find a good WhatsApp Business Solution Provider?
One way to do it is to check the Meta Partner directory first. There you’ll find an ultimate list of all WhatsApp Business Solution Providers.
The problem is that most of the companies on the list don’t offer WhatsApp campaigns as a part of their functionality. Many of them are geared towards customer service conversations only. To help you identify the right WhatsApp Business Solution Providers, we’ve compiled a list of features to look for.
- Pricing model. Avoid platforms that charge extra fees for setup or licensing. The most cost-effective pricing model is the ‘pay as you go’ one.
- Opt-in lists. A partner should let you send messages to opt-in contacts, not limiting your reach to those who’ve added your phone number to their contacts. The ability to grow your WhatsApp opt-in list with integrated signup forms is a big advantage, too.
- All-in-one platform. The partner’s solution should make it easy to create and submit templates for approval, import and verify contacts, schedule campaigns, etc.
- Embedded signup. If your Business Solution Provider has embedded signup, you’re able to connect the WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) and access the WhatsApp messaging API functionality directly from the BSP’s interface.
- Languages and countries. Needless to say, the platform should offer all languages and countries offered by WhatsApp.
Get Started With a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider
Sendinblue offers WhatsApp campaigns. Run marketing communication on the messaging app legitimately without limitations or fear of being banned.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started with WhatsApp via Sendinblue.
- Seamless API integration makes the activation process easy and fast. No coding skills needed.
- Connect your WhatsApp Business Account, manage campaigns, and monitor performance right from the Sendinblue interface thanks to the embedded signup.
- Access streamlined message template approval and automated contact validation without leaving the app.
- Sendinblue is a multichannel marketing platform providing tools for email marketing, transactional messaging, SMS sending, live chat, push notifications, marketing automation, and more.
- One tool for list building, campaign management, and CRM. Use GDPR-compliant forms to collect opt-in contacts and target them with WhatsApp messages right away.
- Sendinblue lets you reach contacts in all languages across all countries supported by WhatsApp.
- No subscription is needed to access WhatsApp campaigns. Pay as you go for conversations only.
Try WhatsApp campaigns on Sendinblue
Seamless integration, no coding required, signup forms to grow your WhatsApp list and unlimited contact storage! Pay only for messages, no setup or license fees.