WhatsApp Opt In: Getting Customers to Opt In WhatsApp [July 2023]

George Wong
April 28, 2023

Ever wondered what a WhatsApp opt in is? In this article, we’ll explain what it means to opt in WhatsApp and why it’s important to businesses. We’ll also go over the ground rules and best practices for getting opt-ins and provide examples of some opt-in methods. With this information, you’ll be able to ensure you have your customers’ consent to send them messages, so you can make the most out of using WhatsApp API. Let’s get started!

What is WhatsApp Opt In

A business uses the term “WhatsApp opt in” to refer to the process by which customers consent to receive message templates over WhatsApp. Due to WhatsApp's rules, businesses using WhatsApp API are limited on when they can send messages to customers.

They have a 24-hour window to respond to customer-initiated messages or session messages. Outside this window, businesses must use message templates to initiate a conversation.

An image showing What is WhatsApp opt in - required for sending message templates, get customers' consent to receive messages, only for whatsapp api
What is WhatsApp opt-in

Do note that opt-ins are only necessary for WhatsApp API users. WhatsApp Business App users can message customers at any time. An example of a WhatsApp opt in can look like this:

An image showing how to get whatsapp consent
Example of a WhatsApp opt in

Since almost all businesses on WhatsApp API will send message templates, getting customers to opt in is an important process. Let’s go over why else you would want to get your customers’ opt-ins.

Why Collect WhatsApp Opt Ins

In addition to ensuring your customers consent to receiving your message templates, there are other reasons to collect WhatsApp opt ins.

Sending messages to customers who didn’t consent can lead to them blocking you or reporting your account for spam. Your business quality rating can be lowered by these reports, which may result in your account being rate limited or even suspended.

In some regions, opt-ins are necessary for businesses to comply with privacy laws and regulations. For example in Europe, businesses have to follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when it comes to communicating with customers.

an image showing why collect whatsapp opt ins - avoid being reported for spam, increases brand credibility and customer trust, improve marketing roi
Why collect WhatsApp opt-ins

By obtaining opt-ins, you demonstrate to your customers that you respect their privacy and are committed to transparent, responsible and ethical communication practices. You also increase your business’ credibility and customer trust.

Opt-in subscribers are more likely to engage with your business, as they have explicitly chosen to receive messages and are therefore more interested in the content you’ll share.

Improving your return on investment (ROI) can be achieved by sending messages only to subscribers who have explicitly opted in, which ensures that you are using your marketing efforts effectively.

Next, we’ll run through some best practices for obtaining WhatsApp opt-ins.

Best Practices for Obtaining WhatsApp Opt Ins

Opt-ins need to be optional and you have to give customers the ability to opt out. For example, you can’t force them to opt in to complete a purchase. Customers must also be able to opt out at any point in the relationship.

Communicate the value of opting in to receive messages from your business on WhatsApp. Ensure your opt-in and opt-out flows are clear and intuitive for users. Provide clear instructions for how people can opt out and honor those requests.

Businesses must follow several rules when obtaining opt-ins from their customers. For example, businesses must clearly state the business name so customers know who they’re opting to receive messages from.

Businesses must establish that a person is opting in to receive messages from the business over WhatsApp. If a customer opts in for messages from you only via other channels, don’t send them messages over WhatsApp.

an image showing whatsapp opt in best practices - opt ins must be optional, provide clear instructions for opting in or out, opt ins are not permission to spam
WhatsApp opt-in best practices

Be clear about the various types of messages you'll send, such as order updates, relevant offers, newsletters and product recommendations. Give your customers a way to select what they want to opt in to via a list of message types or different prompts or messages.

This way customers can decide which types of messages they want to receive. If a customer opts in to only receive order updates, you aren’t allowed to send them unrelated messages like new product notifications or promotions.

Monitor your quality rating, especially when rolling out new opt-in methods. If your WhatsApp quality rating drops after a new opt-in method, it's possible customers didn't understand what they signed up for.

Use that feedback to clarify opt-ins by rewriting the request or making tweaks like using simpler language, larger fonts and different colors.

Lastly, opt-ins are not permission for you to spam your customers. WhatsApp takes spam seriously and can suspend your business for such activities. Next, let’s see how you can obtain opt-ins from your customers.

How to Get WhatsApp Opt In

As long as the opt-in method meets the above requirements, it will be compliant with WhatsApp’s policies. Get opt-ins from different platforms by knowing your target audience and the best channels to reach them.

Collect Opt-Ins when Customers First Make Contact

One of the best methods to get opt-ins is by asking the customers who reached out for inquiries or support over WhatsApp if they’d like to opt in for future messages. Since they initiated the chat, they would be more willing to receive additional messages from you.

Convert Website Visitors to WhatsApp Contacts

A lot of new customers will find out more about your business through official websites and social media pages. Why not leverage these platforms and gain opt-ins from there?

an image showing how to get consent on websites
WhatsApp opt-in on websites

Websites can display contact forms for customers to easily opt in to messages from your business. Simply create a form for customers to fill in with their details and opt-in choices.

Use our handy WhatsApp Link Generator or WhatsApp webchat widget to get customers talking to your business so you can invite them to opt in to receive additional messages.

Use Existing Conversations and Process Flows

Customers are more likely to opt in during purchases when they can use WhatsApp for important notifications like order confirmations, boarding passes, and delivery notifications.

For example, by adding optional checkboxes to indicate they want to receive these notifications during the checkout process, it becomes convenient for customers to opt in for updates from your business while they complete their transactions.

Collect WhatsApp Opt-Ins from Other Channels

During an SMS conversation with a customer, you can ask them if they would like to receive further messages from your business over WhatsApp.

an image showing the process over sms
Opt-in WhatsApp over SMS

Opt-ins can also be collected over the phone using an interactive voice response (IVR) flow. Customers who call you can be asked if they would like to opt in to receive WhatsApp messages from your business.

You can also get customers’ consent to WhatsApp messages in person or on paper. Simply get their signatures on a physical document for opting in to your WhatsApp messages.

Use WhatsApp Tools like Click-to-Chat Ads, QR Codes and more

You can also run WhatsApp click-to-chat ads for customers to chat with your business. During or after the conversation, you’ll be able to ask them if they would like to opt in to receiving future messages from your business.

If you’re at an event or have a physical retail location, these ads can even be in the form of QR codes that customers can scan with their phones. You can add a message like “Want to stay in touch with us on WhatsApp? Scan this QR code.” to make it clear.

In conclusion, the opt-in process is essential for businesses using WhatsApp API to ensure they are compliant with WhatsApp’s guidelines. We should make the opt-in process as easy as possible for customers, while still being clear and informative.

Don’t have a WhatsApp API account yet? Try and its WhatsApp Business API for free and take your business messaging to the next level. Our customer conversation management software does more than just send message templates.

In addition to benefits like supporting numerous agents or teams and chatting on multiple channels or accounts from a single platform, you’ll be able to send automated replies and build chat automation for WhatsApp sales and support.

If you like how can help your business, why not sign up for a free trial today?

Further Reading

Found this article useful? Here are a few more that might interest you:

George Wong
Content Writer
George Wong joined as a Content Manager in 2022 with an Animation and Multimedia Design Diploma. His insights are invaluable to companies looking to drive business results via messaging.
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