Practical Guide

Using Respond.io As a Vonage WhatsApp Inbox: A Practical Guide (Jul 2021)

Chris Lai
Content Writer, Respond.io
July 16, 2021

You need to connect your Vonage WhatsApp API to a messaging inbox before you can message your customers. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why you should use respond.io as your Vonage WhatsApp Inbox, and how Vonage WhatsApp Integration works with respond.io. Plus, you’ll learn how to make the most out of your Vonage WhatsApp Inbox. We’ll show you how to answer WhatsApp messages from the mobile app, import WhatsApp Contacts, run WhatsApp Click-to-Chat Ads, reach out to prospects, assign Contacts to Agents and send proactive Notifications.

Looking to message customers with Vonage WhatsApp API? You'll need a Vonage WhatsApp Inbox like respond.io. Sign up for a free respond.io account to start messaging customers!

Vonage WhatsApp Inbox: Why Use Respond.io

Vonage WhatsApp Integration: Connect Vonage WhatsApp API to Respond.io

Vonage WhatsApp Integration: 6 Quick Wins to Get You Started

  1. Import or Sync WhatsApp Contacts to a Vonage WhatsApp Inbox
  2. Run a WhatsApp Marketing Campaign with Click-to-WhatsApp Ads
  3. Assign Contacts to Multiple Agents
  4. Reach Out to Prospects Who Filled Out a Contact Form
  5. Respond to Inbound Messages from the Mobile App
  6. Send Proactive Notifications With Vonage WhatsApp Inbox

Vonage WhatsApp Inbox: Why Use Respond.io

In this section, we'll discuss how to start messaging with Vonage WhatsApp API. Because the API is just a pipe that transmits information to and from WhatsApp's network, it does not come with a messaging interface.

Why You Need a Vonage WhatsApp Inbox

This means there is no place to easily answer WhatsApp messages unless you connect your WhatsApp API account to a third-party WhatsApp Inbox like respond.io.

You may be inclined to connect your Vonage WhatsApp API account to your company CRM just like you would with email. While conventional CRMs like Hubspot or Salesforce are great for managing customer information, they lack proper messaging features.

This is an image about how Vonage WhatsApp Inbox fills the Gap Left By WhatsApp CRM. While conventional CRMs like Hubspot or Salesforce are great for managing customer information, they lack proper messaging features. Because of that, most agents prefer to send and receive emails directly from Gmail or Outlook, even though their emails are connected to a CRM. Unlike CRMs, a Vonage WhatsApp Inbox like respond.io is designed to help you manage messaging conversations and make the most out of Vonage Messages API
Vonage WhatsApp Inbox Helps Manage Messaging Conversations

Because of that, most agents prefer to send and receive emails directly from Gmail or Outlook, even though their emails are connected to a CRM.

Unlike CRMs, a Vonage WhatsApp Inbox like respond.io is designed to help you manage messaging conversations. Respond.io comes with full-fledged messaging features such as Comments and Snippets, allowing agents to collaborate and respond faster.

A Vonage WhatsApp Inbox is great for messaging customers via WhatsApp, but what about other Channels?

Delight Customers with Multichannel Capability

Going multichannel gives customers the flexibility to contact you however they want, which builds customer loyalty. Here are some examples of how the multichannel approach makes things easier for your customers.

Some channels work better in certain settings. For instance, your customers may prefer contacting you with email over WhatsApp at work. By offering email as an alternative contact channel, you are well on your way to gain loyal customers!

Here’s another instance where multichannel capability comes in handy. WhatsApp may work great for customers on the go, but not for those on your website. Offering web chat in addition to WhatsApp makes it easier for customers to contact you wherever they are.

This is an image of the challenges of going multichannel. Going multichannel makes your customers' lives easier, but increases the workload of agents and salespeople. They have to juggle different platforms, responding to customers on one platform while checking for incoming messages on another platform. The multichannel approach has another drawback. When someone contacts you on two different platforms, it's hard to understand customer context because the conversation becomes siloed.
The Challenges of Going Multichannel

Going multichannel makes your customers' lives easier, but increases the workload of agents and salespeople. They have to juggle different platforms, respond to customers on one platform while checking for incoming messages on another platform.

The multichannel approach has another drawback. When someone contacts you on two different platforms, it's hard to understand customer context because the conversation becomes siloed.

Imagine this scenario: a salesperson had a long conversation with a customer on WhatsApp and promised him a special deal. But when the customer comes in on web chat, this looks like a new chat to the Support agent who knows nothing about the deal.

Respond.io helps overcome these challenges, letting you adopt omnichannel the easy way and understand customer context better with Contact Merge.

Make Agents Lives Easier With Omnichannel Capability

Looking to use multiple channels but don't want to burden your Sales and Support team?Respond.io is the perfect omnichannel solution for you. It allows managing conversations from different Channels in one unified platform.

Respond.io supports all the popular channels, including mainstream apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. It also supports niche messaging apps such as Telegram, Viber, WeChat and LINE, which are popular in certain countries.

This is an image about how respond.io Make Agents Lives Easier With Omnichannel Capability. Respond.io supports all the popular channels, including mainstream apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. It also supports niche messaging apps such as Telegram, Viber, WeChat and LINE, which are popular in certain countries.
Respond.io Supports All Popular Channels

And did we mention, respond.io supports email and web chat too. You can manage email and web chat conversations on respond.io along with messaging apps as part of the omnichannel strategy.

To go truly omnichannel, consider Contact Merge. Contact Merge integrates chats with the same customer across different channels, giving you a clearer picture of what's going on.

Break Down Silos and Understand Customer Context With Contact Merge

By providing context to conversations, Contact Merge empowers your Support team to respond more empathetically to customers. Agents can simply scroll up to review conversations that took place on different channels.

With Contact Merge, the Support agent in the previous example can easily find out the promise made to the customer by the salesperson over WhatsApp and deliver the right response.

This is an image about how Contact Merge Helps You Understand Customer Context. By providing context to conversations, Contact Merge empowers your Support team to respond more empathetically to customers. Agents can simply scroll up to review conversations that took place on different channels.
Contact Merge Helps You Understand Customer Context

Merging Contacts on respond.io is simple, you can merge chats with a Contact from different Channels into one unified profile and conversation with just a few clicks. Connect your Vonage WhatsApp API to respond.io to experience the power of Contact Merge. To get started, create a free respond.io account.

Vonage WhatsApp Integration: Connect Vonage WhatsApp API to Respond.io

Once your respond.io account is created, it's time to connect your Vonage WhatsApp API to respond.io.

1. Navigate to Settings > Channels. Then, click Add Channel.

This is an image showing how to set up respond.io with Vonage WhatsApp Integration. Navigate to Settings > Channels. Then, click Add Channel.
Setting Up Respond.io With Vonage WhatsApp Integration: The Channels Module

2. Select WhatsApp and click Next.

This is a picture showing how to set up respond.io with Vonage WhatsApp Integration. To connect your Vonage WhatsApp API to respond.io, select WhatsApp and click Next.
Connecting WhatsApp to Respond.io

3. Press Vonage and click Next.

This is a picture showing how to set up respond.io with Vonage whatsapp integration. To connect your Vonage WhatsApp API to respond.io, Press Vonage and click Next.
Connecting Vonage API WhatsApp WhatsApp to Respond.io

4. Fill in API Key and API Secret.

This is an image showing how to set up Vonage WhatsApp integration with whatsapp. To connect your Vonage WhatsApp API to respond.io, fill in Account SID and API Secret
Filling in API Key and API Secret

You can find your API Key and API Secret on the Vonage dashboard. Once completed, click Next.

5. Follow the on-screen instructions.

This is an image showing how to Vonage chat api to respond.io. To connect your Vonage WhatsApp API to respond.io, navigate to Vonage dashboard > Create a New Application. Then, give your application a name.
Connecting Nexmo Whatsapp API to Respond.io

Navigate to Vonage dashboard > Create a New Application. Then, give your application a name.

6. Turn on the Messages toggle on Vonage dashboard.

This is an image showing how to connect Vonage api whatsapp to respond.io. To do so,  turn on the Messages toggle on Vonage dashboard. Then, copy the URLs from the platform and add them to their respective fields.
The Vonage Dashboard

Then, copy the URLs from the platform and add them to their respective fields. Click Generate New Application when done.

7. Go to the Linked External Accounts tab and press Link next to the Vonage WhatsApp Number.

This is an image showing how to connect Vonage api whatsapp to respond.io. Go to the Linked External Accounts tab and press Link next to the Vonage WhatsApp Number.
The Linked External Accounts Tab

When completed, press Next on our platform.

8. Select an Enabled WhatsApp number from the dropdown. On Vonage, navigate to Applications and choose the WhatsApp application to connect.

This is an image showing how to connect Vonage api whatsapp to respond.io.  Select the enabled WhatsApp number from the dropdown. On Vonage, navigate to Applications and choose the WhatsApp application to connect. Then, press Edit and Generate Public and Private Key. Add the Private Key file to the corresponding field on respond.io. Finally, press Done on our platform to complete the setup.  You are now ready to use respond.io with Vonage WhatsApp Integration!
Connecting Vonage WhatsApp API

Then, press Edit and Generate Public and Private Key. Add the Private Key file to the corresponding field on respond.io. Finally, press Done on our platform to complete the setup. You are now ready to use respond.io with Vonage WhatsApp Integration!

Respond.io With Vonage WhatsApp integration: 6 Quick Wins To Get You Started

Respond.io with Vonage WhatsApp integration works for all use cases and workflows. However, we will start with six quick things you can do to get the best out of your Vonage WhatsApp Inbox.

1. Import or Sync WhatsApp Contacts To Respond.io With Vonage WhatsApp Integration

Whether you want to reach out to a prospect or send proactive notifications to your customers, the first step to using a Vonage WhatsApp Inbox is always importing contacts.

This is an image illustrating how you can Import or Sync WhatsApp Contacts To Respond.io With Vonage WhatsApp Integration. Importing Contacts to respond.io is a breeze because you can import single or multiple Contacts by uploading a CSV file. You can even sync Contacts on the fly with Contacts API.
Importing WhatsApp Contact to Respond.io

Importing Contacts to respond.io is a breeze because you can import single or multiple Contacts by uploading a CSV file. You can even sync Contacts on the fly with Contacts API. Once done, you are ready to connect with your Contacts. If you want to connect with more customers, consider Click-to-WhatsApp Ads.

2. Run a WhatsApp Marketing Campaign With Click-to-WhatsApp Ads

Click-to-WhatsApp ads let you connect with leads without having to request their contact information. When clicked, Click-to-WhatsApp ads take leads right to the WhatsApp conversation. You can message them back if they send the first message.

This is a picture showing How Click-to-WhatsApp Ads Work. Click-to-WhatsApp ads let you connect with leads without having to request their contact information. When clicked, Click-to-WhatsApp ads take leads right to the WhatsApp conversation. You can message them back if they send the first message.
How Click-to-WhatsApp Ads Work

WhatsApp campaigns will inevitably increase the incoming message traffic and it will be challenging to handle a high volume of messages in an organized manner. This is where Contact Assignment comes in.

3. Assign Contacts to Multiple Agents

Contact Assignment helps your Sales team stay organized, even with a high volume of incoming messages. There are two ways to assign Contacts on respond.io, which are Picking and Auto Assignment.

This is an image showing how to Assign Contacts to Multiple Agents. Contact Assignment helps your Sales team stay organized, even with a high volume of incoming messages. There are two ways to assign Contacts on respond.io, which are Picking and Auto Assignment.
Assigning Contacts to Multiple Agents

The Picking method works great for smaller businesses. It let agents manually assign a pending Contact to themselves or others. If you are flooded with messages, turn on Auto Assignment and Assign to Online Users Only to ensure prompt responses.

If you have a lot of website visitors, you can set up a contact form and use Vonage WhatsApp Inbox to reach out to them.

4. Reach Out to Prospects Who Filled Out a Contact Form

WhatsApp is an effective way of reaching out to prospects who submitted a contact form. They are more likely to respond because they’ve expressed their interest first by filling up their details. You can start a WhatsApp chat by sending a Template Message.

This is a picture showing How To Use Vonage WhatsApp API to Reach Out to Prospects. WhatsApp is an effective way of reaching out to prospects who submitted a contact form. They are more likely to respond because they’ve expressed their interest first by filling up their details. You can start a WhatsApp chat by sending a Template Message.
Reaching Out to Prospects Who Filled Out a Contact Form

But first, you need to create a Template Message on Vonage. Once approved, import the Template Message to respond.io and you are ready to send the first message to prospects.

You can continue the conversation if customers reply. Salespeople may not be able to respond right away because they aren’t always deskbound. We’ve created a mobile app for your Sales team to answer messages on the go.

5. Respond to Inbound Messages from the Mobile App

The respond.io mobile app lets you respond to incoming messages on the go. It's complete with Dashboard, Contacts, Messages & Settings modules which makes it easy to answer messages and add teammates from the app.

This is an image showing how to Send WhatsApp Messages Using Twilio From the Mobile App. The respond.io mobile app lets you respond to incoming messages on the go. It's complete with Dashboard, Contacts, Messages & Settings modules which makes it easy to answer messages and add teammates from the app.
Send WhatsApp Messages Using Vonage From the Mobile App

You’ll receive a new notification every time a new message comes in. With push notifications, agents won't miss any message even when they are away from the desk. Download the Android & iOS apps from Google Play Store & Apple App Store.

Other than having 1:1 conversations, a Vonage WhatsApp Inbox also lets you send messages en masse. This is useful for sending important updates like a scheduled maintenance announcement.

6. Send Proactive Notifications With Vonage WhatsApp Inbox

WhatsApp Notifications are more likely to be read because they trigger push notifications that are hard to ignore. Respond.io lets you schedule a broadcast notification and even select your audience to send notifications to.

This is an image showing how to Send Proactive Notifications With Vonage WhatsApp Inbox. You can now send whatsapp message en masse.Before sending WhatsApp Notifications, you should collect opt-in from your customers. Customers may block you if you spam them with unwanted messages, which affect your Quality Rating.
Sending WhatsApp Notifications With Vonage WhatsApp Integration

Before sending WhatsApp Notifications, you should collect opt-in from your customers. Customers may block you if you spam them with unwanted messages, which affect your Quality Rating.

Further Reading

And that’s how you use respond.io with Vonage WhatsApp Integration. If you’re interested to learn how other companies are doing WhatsApp Sales, Support and Marketing, we recommend you read these three articles.

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