WhatsApp Business Platform pricing: What you need to know
As the world’s #1 messaging app, WhatsApp has become an important part of business-to-customer (B2C) communication.
The modern customer wants to connect with businesses throughout their journey. Businesses need to invest in building relationships with customers through interactions and conversations in order to create seamless experiences that build loyalty.
70% of WhatsApp users check it daily, making it the best channel to reach, connect, and engage with your customers globally at every step of the journey.
Since its launch, WhatsApp Business has been used as a customer service channel. It gave brands the opportunity to be available 24/7 with the help of chatbots and live agents. They have since expanded their capabilities to include applicable use cases throughout the entire customer journey – from Awareness to Consideration to Purchase and beyond by effectively covering re-engagement use cases too.
The key is that WhatsApp provides a messaging experience optimized for engagement over time, all in a single persistent thread so that context and conversation history is never lost. This makes WhatsApp an ideal channel for marketing, sales, and support solutions.
With upcoming changes to the way that WhatsApp conversations are categorized and priced, we are excited to go through what you can expect when the changes become effective on June 1st, 2023.
New WhatsApp conversation categories
Meta is expanding today’s conversation-based pricing model from two conversation categories (user- and business-initiated) to four.
- Business-initiated conversations will be unbundled into three categories reflecting key use cases: utility, authentication, and marketing.
- User-initiated will be renamed service.
The three new business-initiated categories – marketing, utility, and authentication, need to be registered in WhatsApp Manager as templates (starting April 1st) and approved by WhatsApp before they can be used to send messages. The new pricing will be applied from June 1st.
New conversation categories:
- Utility conversations are business-initiated conversations customers have opted into receiving that facilitate a specific transaction, post-purchase notification, or recurring billing statement.
- Authentication conversations are business-initiated conversations customers have opted into that enable businesses to authenticate users with one-time passcodes (OTP) – potentially at multiple steps in the login process, account verification, and account recovery notifications.
- Marketing conversations are business-initiated conversations that customers have opted into that may include promotions and offers or informational updates. A marketing conversation is any conversation that does not qualify as utility or authentication.
- Service conversations are any user-initiated conversations with the goal of resolving a customer inquiry. User-initiated conversations now categorized as service do not require template approval.
What is the value of the new conversation categories?
The new pricing and conversation categories are designed to better align the pricing model with the different stages of the customer journey and therefore add more value.
- Marketing conversations drive incremental sales, achieving better ROI.
- Utility conversations facilitate existing sales and reduce the human effort to inform customers about orders, delivery, billing, etc.
- Authentication templates enable businesses to verify their users with one-time passcodes, ensuring security throughout the entire process.
- Service conversations help resolve customer inquiries.
Additionally, certain features are relevant to each conversation category.
Already effective from March 1, 2023 is a new option to extend the free conversation window from 24 hours to 72 hours when a conversation starts from Facebook or Instagram Ads that Click to WhatsApp, or a Facebook Page CTA for all businesses on the platform.
This will allow people and businesses to continue a conversation, improving outcomes and conversions.
How will the template approval work?
The conversation category will be validated using the same template approval process that is in place today – Meta has developed machine learning systems to determine conversation categories for business-initiated conversations based on template content.
Meta will migrate all the existing templates by April 1, and re-categorize them into one of the three categories: Marketing, Utility, and Authentication. However, this will not influence prices until June 1st.
How will conversation charging work?
Conversation charges will be based on the conversation category. When a templated message is delivered, there will be a charge for that conversation category, unless the message is delivered during an already open conversation in that category.
Service conversations will still only be initiated when no other conversation window is open, and a business responds to a user with a free-form message within the 24-hour customer service window.
Any time a template message is delivered, it will result in a conversation charge unless sent within an open conversation of the same category. For instance, if a utility conversation is open and a marketing template is delivered within that open conversation, then a new, separate marketing conversation is opened, and a marketing conversation charge is initiated.
The rate card for all 4 conversation categories will differ from region to region. You can learn more about it from your dedicated Infobip contact person or by using the ‘Contact an expert’ button at the bottom of this page.
Are there still free tier messages?
There will be a free tier of 1,000 services (or user-initiated) conversations, but this will no longer apply to business-initiated conversations. Additionally, there is a multiple conversation windows option, and businesses can have multiple billable conversation windows open with a given customer.
Infobip as your WhatsApp Business Solution Provider
Need help building WhatsApp use cases across your customer journey? We can help.
Enable seamless customer communication over WhatsApp, covering marketing, utility, authentication, and service messaging.
Our professional services will help you maximize return on your CX investment and fuel your growth with consultancy, onboarding packages, and 24/7 support.