Still sending SMS notifications to your customers? It's time to switch to WhatsApp Business Notification. WhatsApp Business Notification (also known as WhatsApp Notification or WhatsApp Push Notification) has high a deliverability rate and is easy to set up. Plus, it’s affordable and supports two-way messaging! In this article, you’ll learn the different ways to send a WhatsApp Push Notification using respond.io.
Why WhatsApp Business Notification is Better than SMS Notification
For years, businesses have relied on SMS services to send notifications. But companies have increasingly adopted WhatsApp Business Notification. It’s not surprising given that WhatsApp Notification significantly outperforms SMS notification.
WhatsApp Business Notification Vs SMS Notification: Deliverability
Deliverability measures the percentage of notifications that reaches the intended recipient. Due to the nature of some channels, some notifications may never make it to the recipients.
WhatsApp is one of the most reliable channels for sending notifications, with a high deliverability rate of close to 100 percent. Customers will receive your WhatsApp Push Notification wherever they are, as long as they have an internet connection.
SMS notifications have lower deliverability than WhatsApp Notifications, even though they work without an internet connection. This is because SMS notifications undergo a process called carrier filtering.
Designed to protect mobile subscribers from spam and fraud, SMS carriers remove messages they consider inappropriate. All SMS notifications are subject to carrier filtering. If filtered, SMS notifications will not be forwarded to the recipient. It’s not always possible to know for certain when an SMS notification has been filtered.
When it comes to deliverability, WhatsApp Business Notification is an obvious winner. In the next section, you’ll learn about the setup requirements and time for both WhatsApp Notification and SMS notification.
WhatsApp Business Notification Vs SMS Notification: Setup Requirements & Time
Before you can send a WhatsApp Business Notification or SMS notification, you need to set up an account or a number through a channel provider. Here, we'll take a look at the setup requirements and the time it takes to complete the setup.
To set up WhatsApp Business Notification, you have to apply for a WhatsApp API account with a WhatsApp Partner. The application process only takes 10 minutes - all you need to do is to provide basic information like email and company name. The optional Business Verification can take 5-20 working days.
By comparison, setting up SMS notifications is much more complex and time-consuming. You need to apply for a Short Code by answering pages of questions about your company and use case. The processing time ranges between 8 and 12 weeks, and approval is not guaranteed.
If you are looking for a hassle-free notification service that requires minimal setup, opt for WhatsApp Business Notification. Now that you’ve learned the setup requirements of WhatsApp Push Notification and SMS notification, let’s discuss their pricing.
WhatsApp Business Notification Vs SMS Notification: Pricing
Depending on the channel and channel provider, the total cost of notifications may include a per-message usage fee, a setup fee and a recurring service fee.
The pricing of WhatsApp Notifications is determined by WhatsApp Partners. WhatsApp Partners often use a combination of pricing models such as per-message, message bundles, per-monthly active user. For instance, 360dialog charges businesses a monthly fee of $5 and the standard per-message usage fee for sending notifications.
SMS notification pricing varies depending on the type of SMS number and SMS provider. To send SMS notifications using a Short Code, businesses would need to pay a setup fee, and a hefty quarterly or annual lease payment. Additionally, you’ll be charged a usage fee for each message.
With the right WhatsApp Partner, WhatsApp Business Notification is likely cheaper than SMS notification. Next, we’ll discuss whether WhatsApp Notification and SMS notification support two-way communication.
WhatsApp Business Notification Vs SMS Notification: Two-Way Communication
With two-way communication, businesses will be able to receive replies to notifications. Now, let’s find out if WhatsApp and SMS notifications support two-way communication.
WhatsApp Business Notification supports two-way messaging, which is useful in many situations. Recipients can reply to an appointment reminder to reschedule it, or respond to an emergency notification to request rescue. Two-way communication always works on WhatsApp regardless of geographical location.
By contrast, SMS notification doesn’t always support two-way communication. Many SMS numbers like Alphanumeric Codes and Shared Short Codes lack two-way messaging functionality. Others only support two-way messaging for notifications sent locally, which means you won’t receive replies from international customers.
If you are looking for two-way communication with your customers, your best bet would be WhatsApp Notification. Next, let’s recap the differences between WhatsApp Business Notification and SMS notification.
WhatsApp Business Notification vs SMS Notification: Comparison At a Glance
WhatsApp Notification outperforms SMS notification in every aspect - it has a higher deliverability rate and it’s easy and quick to set up. Plus, WhatsApp Notification is affordable and supports two-way communication.
Looking to switch to WhatsApp Business Notification? The first step to sending a WhatsApp Push Notification is to get a WhatsApp API account. Read on to learn more about WhatsApp API.
WhatsApp API: What You Need to Know
You need a WhatsApp API account in order to send WhatsApp Notifications. Before we delve into WhatsApp Business Notification, let's learn the basics of WhatsApp API and what Message Templates are.
WhatsApp API Account: The Basics
There are three WhatsApp API facts you should know:
- WhatsApp API is designed for medium to large businesses.
- Having no front-end interface, WhatsApp API works in conjunction with a WhatsApp CRM.
- WhatsApp API is only available through WhatsApp Partners or Business Solution Providers.
Now that you learned the basics of WhatsApp API, let’s find out how to get a WhatsApp API account.
How to Get a WhatsApp API Account
The steps to creating a WhatsApp API account differ depending on the BSP. That said, the application process typically involves:
- Buying or porting a phone number
- Verifying Facebook Business ID and number
- Generating an API Key to connect to a business software
So you've gotten a WhatsApp API account. But you are not ready to send WhatsApp Notifications until you learn about WhatsApp Message Templates.
WhatsApp Message Templates
Message Templates are designed for sending transactional messages such as WhatsApp Notifications. WhatsApp keeps a tight grip on how businesses use Message Templates. Before sending Message Templates, you are required to collect opt-ins from Contacts.
Once your customers have opted in, you are ready to send them a WhatsApp Business Notification. Read on to find out how to send WhatsApp Notifications using respond.io.
3 Ways to Send WhatsApp Business Notifications
There are three ways to send WhatsApp transactional notifications using respond.io:
- Send a 1:1 WhatsApp Push Notification
- Use Broadcast to send a WhatsApp Push Notification
- Send a WhatsApp Push Notification Via Messages API
The first method works best for small companies dealing with a low volume of notifications, while the second and third approaches are ideal for larger businesses that send a high volume of WhatsApp Notifications.
Below, we'll show you how to send a WhatsApp Push Notification using each of these methods.
Sending a 1-on-1 WhatsApp Push Notification
Small businesses can send personalized 1-on-1 WhatsApp Push Notifications to their customers. For instance, hair salon owners may send WhatsApp Push Notifications with appointment details to their customers one by one.
Before sending a 1-on-1 WhatsApp Notification from respond.io, you need to either add or sync the approved Message Templates. If you don't have an approved Message Template, create a new one on the Partner's hub.
Once your Message Templates are synced, approved and readily available on the platform, you are ready to send a WhatsApp Push Notification. To start, go to the Messages module on respond.io.
1. Press Send Message Template at the bottom of the Messaging module.
2. Select the Message Template you’d like to send to your Contact.
Finally, press Send when you're ready. And that's how you send a 1-on-1 WhatsApp Notification to a Contact. If you need to send WhatsApp Notifications en masse, we recommend using the Broadcast feature.
Sending a WhatsApp Push Notification Using Broadcast
With the Broadcast feature, you can send a WhatsApp Business Notification to many Contacts at once. This will come in handy when you need to inform all customers of scheduled maintenance or product updates. To start, navigate to Broadcast > Add New Broadcast.
1. Select WhatsApp as the Broadcast Channel. Fill in the Broadcast Name.
2. Select an approved Message Template and choose your target audience.
Remember, you should only send broadcasts to Contacts that have opted in or have sent or received WhatsApp messages. When in doubt, check the box to broadcast only to those who have interacted with you.
3. Fill in the Placeholders with text. Optionally, you can add Dynamic Variables.
If you’re sending a Media Message Template, upload media attachments like images, videos or documents.
4. Go to the Test Broadcast field, search for an existing Contact and then click Send Test Broadcast.
Test broadcasts are useful for catching typos and checking if messaging on your account is working properly.
5. Send the notification immediately, or schedule it for a later date. If you have international clients, be sure to choose the correct time zone.
Keep in mind, there's a maximum number of Contacts to whom you can send a WhatsApp Notification. Depending on the tier of your WhatsApp phone number, you can send notifications to 1,000 to 100,000 unique Contacts in a rolling 24-hour period.
And that's how you send a WhatsApp Notification using Broadcast. If you are looking to automate WhatsApp Notification, consider using Messages API.
Sending a WhatsApp Push Notification Via Messages API
Messages API allows you to send automated WhatsApp Notifications in real time. Designed to work in conjunction with a business software, Messages API sends a WhatsApp Notification when Contacts perform certain actions. For example, creating a new account or completing a purchase.
When the business software detects an event, it generates a WhatsApp Notification using a template and personalizes it with customer information like name and order number. The WhatsApp Notification will then be relayed to Messages API. Then, it will be forwarded to respond.io and ultimately your customer.
Messages API is a powerful tool for automating WhatsApp Notifications. But it’s costly to build a custom integration that connects a business software to Messages API. In the future, we'll enable sending WhatsApp Notifications through Zapier integration. Watch this space for more updates!
And that’s everything you need to know about WhatsApp Business Notification. If you are interested in more information about WhatsApp for Business, check out the following articles:
- Everything You Need to Know About WhatsApp API Pricing
- The Ultimate Guide to WhatsApp API
- Using WhatsApp Business for Multiple Users