Looking to send a WhatsApp bulk message to your customers? This blog is for you. We will discuss why you should use WhatsApp API for bulk messaging. We will also show you how to create a WhatsApp bulk message list and how to send bulk messages on WhatsApp API. Plus, you’ll learn the rules that govern WhatsApp bulk messaging.
How to Send Bulk Messages on WhatsApp: Micro & Small Businesses
Both the WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp API support bulk messaging. In general, the WhatsApp Business App suffices for micro and small businesses. It’s free, straightforward to use and doesn’t rely on external software to send broadcasts.
How can I create bulk messages on the WhatsApp Business App?
- Open the WhatsApp Business App.
- Go to the Chat screen> Menu button> New List.
- Type the names of the contacts you want to send the message to or press the + button to select them directly from your contact list.
- Press OK.
- Press Create
But the WhatsApp Business app is not a viable option for medium or large enterprises due to the app’s limitation of 256 contacts per bulk message. If you are an SME or enterprise looking to send a WhatsApp bulk message, the best choice is WhatsApp API.
How to Send Bulk Messages on WhatsApp: SMEs & Enterprises
Whatsapp API lets you send a WhatsApp bulk message to a much larger audience without the 256-contact limitation. Plus, it comes with advanced features such as multi-user functionality and broadcast scheduling.
You need two things to send a WhatsApp bulk message with WhatsApp API — a WhatsApp API account and business messaging software. WhatsApp API accounts can be acquired from a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) or directly through Meta.
On WhatsApp API, companies are required to use a Message Template to send a WhatsApp bulk message, which may include non-transactional content. However, they need to comply with WhatsApp’s Business and Commerce policies. Violation of WhatsApp policies may affect your ability to send messages.
Now that you’ve learned the basics of WhatsApp bulk messaging, we’ll walk you through the process of sending a WhatsApp Bulk Message with 360dialog WhatsApp API and respond.io as a messaging inbox.
How to Send Bulk Messages on WhatsApp: Import a Contact List
The first step to sending a WhatsApp bulk message is to import a contact list to the platform. Here’s how:
- Navigate to the Contacts Module. Then, click on the dropdown icon in the Add Contact button.
- Click on Import Contacts.
- Download the sample CSV file if you don’t have one.
- Fill in the CSV file with Contacts’ data.
- Upload the CSV file.
Here are some tips for importing contacts: Categorize the Contacts in the CSV file by assigning tags to them. For a smooth Contact import process, make sure that Contacts’ phone numbers are in the international format with country and area codes.
You’ll be notified via email once the import process is complete. The next step is to create a Message Template.
How to Send Bulk Messages on WhatsApp: Create a Message Template
Message Templates need to be approved by WhatsApp before they can be used for sending a WhatsApp bulk message. Some BSPs like 360dialog allow you to create and submit Message Templates directly from respond.io. Conversely, Twilio users must create Message Templates in the Twilio console and add them to respond.io manually.
On respond.io, you can view the status of your Message Templates. There are three statuses - Submitted, Approved and Rejected. If a Message Template is rejected, you’d be able to find the reason for its rejection in the platform. You can edit and resubmit rejected Message Templates for approval.
Apart from this status, WhatsApp API provides another quality insight called quality rating. Being blocked by customers will result in a drop in the Message Template’s quality rating. Check out these best practices for maintaining a High quality rating.
Once an approved Message Template reaches a Low-quality rating, it will be assigned a Flagged status. The status will switch to Disabled if the quality rating does not improve in seven days. You can’t send or edit Message Templates that have a Disabled status.
With a 360dialog API account, businesses are able to create WhatsApp bulk messages with Interactive and Multimedia Message Templates. An Interactive Message Template contains Call-To-Action or Quick Reply buttons, while a MultiMedia Message Template supports text, images, videos and PDF files.
After creating your Message Template, it’s time to put it to use and send a WhatsApp bulk message to your customers.
How to Send Bulk Messages on WhatsApp: Create a WhatsApp Bulk Message
To send a bulk WhatsApp Message, navigate to the Broadcast Module and click on Add Broadcast. Then, name the broadcast and choose WhatsApp as the channel.
Respond.io Tags make targeted WhatsApp bulk messages easy. You have the option to send a WhatsApp bulk message to Contacts with any of the chosen Tags, or to those with all chosen Tags. Alternatively, you can send it to all your WhatsApp Contacts.
We’ve made it easy to comply with Whatsapp's opt-in policy through the only send to contacts who interacted with this channel before checkbox. By ticking the box, the WhatsApp bulk message will only be sent to contacts who have previously interacted with your WhatsApp channel.
To compose the WhatsApp bulk message, choose a Message Template and customize the Placeholders. You can further customize Interactive and Multimedia Message Templates with media headers, Quick Reply buttons or Call-to-Action buttons.
You can choose to send a WhatsApp bulk message right away, or schedule it for a specific date and time. Optionally, send a test WhatsApp bulk message to yourself or a Contact of your choice to make sure that it works properly.
One thing to note: if you send WhatsApp bulk messages to a large number of recipients, they won’t be delivered all at once. The Contacts' country codes and numbers determine the order in which WhatsApp bulk messages are sent. Country codes with lower numbers will be put at the front of the queue.
WhatsApp API has several measures in place to prevent businesses from misusing its bulk messaging feature. Let’s take an in-depth look at them in the following section.
What You Need to Know Before You Send a Bulk WhatsApp Message
To protect its users from spam and encourage high-quality bulk messages, WhatsApp has introduced phone number tiers, phone number status and phone number quality ratings.
Phone Number Tiers
The number of recipients you can send bulk messages with WhatsApp API depends on your phone number tier. The higher your phone number tier, the more unique Contacts you can message in a rolling 24-hour period.
To send bulk WhatsApp messages to a large audience, you need to upgrade the WhatsApp phone number tier. In order to do so, send twice the number of messages allowed in your current phone number tier within seven days.
Phone Number Status and Quality Rating
Phone number status and quality rating can affect your ability to send a bulk message on WhatsApp. To send WhatsApp bulk messages without restriction, a phone number’s status must be Connected.
When your phone number is reported or blocked, its rating will drop to Low. Subsequently, its status will turn to Flagged. While in the Flagged status, you can’t upgrade your number’s messaging tier. If the quality rating doesn’t improve in seven days, the status will return to Connected but a lower messaging limit will be imposed.
Your number will get a Restricted status if it reaches its messaging limit while having a poor quality rating. A Restricted phone number can only respond to inbound conversations - it won’t be able to send WhatsApp bulk messages to new unique Contacts.
To ensure a good quality rating, you should only send high-quality WhatsApp bulk messages relevant to your Contacts.
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