How to collect WhatsApp Business Platform opt-ins

Learn everything you need to know about WhatsApp opt-ins, why they are important, and 6 ways to successfully collect messaging consent from customers.

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Ana Butara

Senior Product Marketing Manager

It’s no secret that connecting with customers on their favorite channels is quickly becoming a staple strategy for many businesses. One of the most popular messaging channels includes WhatsApp Business Platform – in fact, Meta reports that 40 million people check business product catalogs every month on WhatsApp.  

So, it’s clear customers are looking to connect with brands over the app, but how do you start a WhatsApp conversation with them to offer better experiences and services? That’s where WhatsApp opt-ins come into play. 

Let’s dive into what opt-ins are, why you need them, and the best ways to collect them.  

What is a WhatsApp opt-in?

A WhatsApp opt-in is when your customers give permission to receive messages over WhatsApp from your business.

Opt-ins must be collected before you message a customer using WhatsApp. Which means, in every case, the customer has to be the one to initiate a WhatsApp conversation with a brand. The business is responsible for storing opt-ins (aka customer consent to receive messages from your brand). 

When collecting opt-ins, you must:

  • clearly state that a person is opting in to receive messages from your business over WhatsApp
  • clearly state the business name that a person is opting in to receive messages from
  • comply with applicable law and local regulations

Who needs to collect opt-ins for WhatsApp?

Of course, if you’re chatting with your mom or best friend on WhatsApp, you don’t need their permission to send a message. But businesses across the board need to have permission to use WhatsApp for engaging customers.

Whether you are a small, medium or enterprise business with a WhatsApp Business Account, you have to follow Meta’s rules and regulations around business messaging.

Why do you need WhatsApp opt-ins?

Essentially, WhatsApp opt-ins give customers control over who they interact with on WhatsApp and prevent businesses from sending unsolicited messages to users. Once you have collected consent from a user, your business can send promotional, transactional, and various types of messages to customers. 

This forces businesses to remain compliant with WhatsApp regulations, as well as local laws around business messaging. It helps reduce the risk of spam messages reaching WhatsApp users, and helps businesses build a more trustworthy relationship with their customers.  

Although customers also have the option to block or report businesses they don’t want to receive notifications from by submitting a claim with reasoning to WhatsApp’s support team. 

WhatsApp message templates

To ensure a high-quality messaging experience for customers, and to make sure your messages don’t appear as marketing spam, WhatsApp provides pre-approved message templates that can be used by businesses when they reach out to customers. 

Below, we’ve outlined six easy and unobtrusive ways your business can collect customer opt-ins using different channels and various pre-approved message templates.

6 examples for collecting opt-ins on WhatsApp Business Platform

To navigate your customers towards the opt-in process, there are several approaches you can use in your strategy to make the experience smooth and simple, while still abiding by the guidelines.

Option 1: Request customer opt-ins when they seek support

The simplest way to ask a customer to opt-in is when they’ve already reached out to you for support. After resolving the customer’s problem, your agent can ask them if they’d like to opt-in to receive notifications and updates in the future.

If the customer agrees, the next step would be to send them a message outlining the type of notifications they can expect to receive and asking them to confirm their opt-in.

Pro Tip: Use specific and clear language, such as: ˝I agree to receive (e-receipts, delivery notifications, back in stock notifications) to (+385 XX XXXXXX) from Go2Shop.˝

whatsapp opt in message

Option 2: Grab attention on your website

No matter what industry you operate in, your website is a great channel to use to invite new and existing customers to receive messages over WhatsApp. 

Use pop ups or QR codes on your homepage

Your homepage is one of your best tools for driving conversions. Promote the opt-in option using a pop-up screen to grab their attention instantly.

Alternatively, you can embed a QR code on your homepage that leads straight to a WhatsApp conversation with your brand.

whatsapp opt in through website

Create a custom landing page

Another option is to design a specific landing page for this purpose only. This option lets you share more details about how customers can use WhatsApp to interact with your business.

You can attract visitors to your opt-in page by announcing the addition of WhatsApp Business as a channel and sharing a link on your home page, on your social media channels, or in your email newsletters.

Customers give their consent by providing their phone number on the landing page. Then, to confirm successful opt-in, redirect them to a ˝Thank You˝ page.

Pro Tip: Make sure that your landing page is responsive so that opt-ins can be collected on any device your customers use.

whatsapp opt in landing page

Whether you use your homepage or a custom landing page, remember to follow the WhatsApp brand guidelines and include the proper logotype in any visual communication.

Option 3: Create click to WhatsApp ads

If you are using social media as a channel to promote products or run marketing campaigns, it’s the perfect opportunity to encourage customers to connect with your business on WhatsApp.  

Offering click-to-chat on WhatsApp option on your ads gives customers an easy entry point to initiate a conversation. The best part is, not only have you immediately received consent to interact with them, but you also know how they came to your channel and why.  

You can contextualize the entire conversation based on that data, giving them a more personalized and seamless experience.  

example of click to whatsapp ads

These click to WhatsApp ads can help you get a greater return on your ad spend, since you have successfully collected the opt-in and can instantly engage with the customer about the advertised product, leading to higher ROAS scores. 

Option 4: Collect opt-ins via other messaging channels

Oftentimes, the best way to reach out to customers is over the channels you already use to communicate with them. SMS, Voice, or ATM notifications will quickly grab their attention and help you get an immediate response.

Use SMS messaging as a door opener. Offer a simple, one-click opt-in option over SMS, so your customer gives their immediate consent to use WhatsApp as a channel for future notifications. Or, you can include a direct link to your landing page which will lead them to more information before opting in. 

whatsapp opt in third party channel

You can also automate your opt-in collection process over Voice IVR. The process is simple – using automated voice messaging, ask your customers to give consent by pressing a specific key on their dial pad. As opt in confirmation, send a “Thank You” message over WhatsApp.

Lastly, if you operate in the banking industry, ATMs are an interesting communication channel. You can announce the opportunity to receive balance notifications over WhatsApp while inviting clients to opt-in by providing their phone number directly via the ATM.

Option 5: Ask for an opt-in at checkout

Since customers can use WhatsApp to receive important notifications like order confirmations, boarding passes, and delivery notifications, they are more inclined to opt-in during the purchase process, therefore increasing your opt-in rate.

This is often the best option for retailers, airlines, and logistics companies since they can easily include a checkbox at various touchpoints where the customer would enter their phone number – for example, when they are entering their billing or delivery information.

whatsapp opt in flow

Option 6: Add WhatsApp to your customer contact preferences section

During sign-up, or when filling out contact forms, businesses usually offer new customers a choice of channels they want to be contacted on. If you’re using the same approach, you can include WhatsApp as a part of this list. Having WhatsApp as a part of your contact options can increase your sign-up conversion rate, since it’s the preferred channel for many consumers and may influence their decision to engage with you.

whatsapp opt in customer forms

To give existing customers a similar option for opting in, you can update the contact preference section in your customer account settings. Then, you can send an email to inform your existing customers of the change so they know to manually enable this option in their account settings, if they prefer.

Best practices to increase your WhatsApp opt-in rate

No matter which option you choose, keep in mind that there are many ways to make your opt-in collection strategy successful. Here are some ways to increase your number of opt-ins:

  1. Clearly communicate the value of receiving important notifications and updates on WhatsApp
  2. Avoid messaging customers too frequently
  3. Make your opt-in model simple to use, minimizing customer effort
  4. Find the model that suits your existing processes and communication
  5. Provide instructions for how customers can opt-out and honor these requests

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Infobip: Official WhatsApp Business Platform solution provider

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Oct 12th, 2023
7 min read

Ana Butara

Senior Product Marketing Manager