WhatsApp Channels are a business-focused strategy of using the messaging service to communicate better. Generally, WhatsApp Business and, in certain situations, the WhatsApp Business API is used for this. By utilizing WhatsApp in this personalized way, businesses may reach a wider audience, improve customer satisfaction, expedite communication procedures, and increase overall revenue.
While the importance of WhatsApp for communication is not less known, we all are aware that it handles a greater amount of queries efficiently with fewer resources, offers security, credibility, excellent marketing management, and what not. That said, this blog post aims to provide a thorough understanding of WhatsApp Channels as well as useful tips for maximizing the merits of the recently introduced feature.
WhatsApp Channels are slightly different from the broadcast feature. Businesses can use the WhatsApp channels feature to distribute vital information, important updates, new product launches, exclusive offers, company news, and a lot more to their customers/clients. Some of the main features of WhatsApp Channels include:
Business Presence: By setting up a business profile, businesses can use WhatsApp Channels to establish a professional presence on the platform. Customers can find the company’s name, description, contact information, business hours, along with other key information.
Two-way Communication: WhatsApp Channels allow businesses to communicate with their clients in both ways simultaneously. Businesses can reply to customer requests, inform, assist, or help with transactions, enabling real-time engagement.
Difference Between WhatsApp Channels and Regular WhatsApp Chats
Below is a table of distinctions between WhatsApp Channels and regular WhatsApp chats.
Regular WhatsApp Chats
Businesses can use WhatsApp Business API as a means for communication with their clients.
Regular WhatsApp chats facilitate one-on-one personal, or group conversations with friends, family, or coworkers.
Businesses can set up chatbots or any other automated messaging systems via WhatsApp Business API to interact with clients. Businesses maintain excellent consistency in terms of communication by automating responses to frequent inquiries.
WhatsApp chats come standard with end-to-end encryption. This assures the security and privacy of private communications.
Here, similar to broadcasts, you can send messages, promote, or update about your business to a number of contacts at once.
Automation and chatbots are not natively supported in standard WhatsApp. All conversations here are manual.
How do I Create a WhatsApp Channel?
Creating a WhatsApp Channel is easy. There are various phases involved in creating a WhatsApp Channel for your company. However, make sure you have the WhatsApp Business API.
In case you don’t have the WhatsApp Business API, experts at Sendwo offer it with ease. You can simply get in touch with them today, and they will handle the rest. Here is a step-by-step instruction guide to get you going:
Step-by-step Guide to Creating a WhatsApp Channel
To create a WhatsApp Channel, all you need to do is follow the steps listed below.
Establishing a Business Account
Download and install the WhatsApp Business App
Next, begin with registering your business. Once you complete, enter your company’s name, phone number, and profile photo. This will create your business account.
Validating Your Company
WhatsApp will send a verification code to the registered mobile number. Enter this code and authenticate your account.
You can verify your business here. Follow the in-app directions and get a green tick badge on your profile. This shows that your business is verified by WhatsApp and that it is legitimate.
However, this green checkmark/tick does not come easy. But you can connect with Sendwo experts to get it at ease. If you haven’t applied for it yet, you can check this ‘apply for green tick‘. Bear in mind that getting a green checkmark is a necessity for creating a WhatsApp Channel.
Creating a WhatsApp Business API Account
You must follow the steps listed below to build a WhatsApp Channel utilizing the WhatsApp Business API.
Go to the official website of a certified WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) or the website of the WhatsApp Business API.
Register using the WhatsApp Business API website or login.
Finish the registration process by filling in the necessary information about your company.
Watch for the approval of your registration. It will take some time.
Picking a WhatsApp Service Provider
After you submit your application and receive approval, you must select a WhatsApp Service Provider (WSP) to host the WhatsApp Business API. A limited number of vendors, Iike Sendwo, are permitted to offer hosting services for the API by WhatsApp.
Decide on a WSP as per the features it offers, your business requirements, budget, etc.
Setting Up a WhatsApp Channel
Set up your WhatsApp Channel in collaboration with the WhatsApp Service Provider of your choice. Typically, this process will include connecting your existing systems, like your CRM or customer support software, to the WhatsApp Business API, creating message templates, appropriate consent procedures, testing, and going live.
Bear in mind that WhatsApp’s policies and procedures might be subject to change, and that additional conditions may apply based on your location and the particular features you wish to use. For accurate details, setup, and compliance regarding WhatsApp Business API or WhatsApp green tick, make sure you take expert help from Sendwo to help you with the documentation and guidelines.
Don’t miss the opportunity to get your WhatsApp Official API with green tick WhatsApp accounts set up in less than 20 minutes through SendWo.
Tips for Optimizing Your WhatsApp Channel Creation Process
To ensure a seamless setup, follow these tips to optimize your channel creation process.
Prepare Your Communication Plan: Before starting, make sure you grasp the aims and purposes of the communication. Decide the messaging formats you’ll use and how you’ll interact with your audience on the WhatsApp Channel.
Get Your Business Information Ready: To make the registration process easier, gather all relevant company information, such as your brand name, phone number, profile photo, and description. Having this information prepared will streamline the process.
Understand WhatsApp’s Rules: To avoid any further issues, it is crucial to have a good understanding of WhatsApp’s rules, policies, and terms of service. Make sure that your messaging practices align with the policies set by WhatsApp.
Combine with Existing Systems: If you already have CRM or customer support systems, integrating them with your WhatsApp channel can help streamline data management and enhance customer interactions.
Extensive Testing: Make sure you test your WhatsApp Channel thoroughly before going live. Check to see if messages are sent accurately, automation is functioning as planned, and your team feels at ease using the platform.
Data Security and Compliance: Give data privacy requirements top priority if you manage sensitive consumer information. The data processing procedures should adhere to all applicable laws.
By meticulously organizing your WhatsApp Channel creation process and implementing the aforementioned advice, you can get the most out of the new feature!
How do I Find WhatsApp Channels?
You can view every available channel by browsing the channel list. You can browse all channels by choosing the country code, category, filter choice, and more. The list is then automatically sorted to display channels as per the country code and your preferred language.
Go to the ‘Updates’ tab.
Scroll down and click on ‘Find channels’.
WhatsApp has confirmed that the channels with a green tick next to their names are legitimate and verified.
Easy Ways To Find Channels
A few easy ways to explore different Channels include:
Using external links: Channel administrators can sometimes publish a link outside of WhatsApp. This will direct users to their channel. You can then click the link to view updates posted by the respective WhatsApp channel.
Browse categories and apply filters: Check out the newest, most watched, and most active channels. You can try channel-filtering options as per categories, including sports, news, culture, etc.
Watch channels from different nations: By changing the country code or choosing a different country, you can take a look at the list of channels that are accessible in different nations.
Other Ways To Find And Interact With Businesses
Apart from the ways mentioned above, finding and interacting with businesses on WhatsApp can be done by browsing the WhatsApp Business Directory, using online resources and directories, and asking your contacts and networks for recommendations. Here’s how!
Exploring WhatsApp Business Directory: A platform within WhatsApp called WhatsApp Business Directory helps companies to set up and maintain their accounts. Despite the fact that WhatsApp does not provide a single public directory for all firms, you can go through individual business profiles when they have opted to make them available to the public.
Utilizing Online Resources and Directories: You can also find businesses and their WhatsApp contact information using online tools and directories other than WhatsApp. You can take the help of well-known search engines and online business directories like Locals, yelp, etc. You can also look at their pages on social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
Getting recommendations from networks and contacts: You can consult your friends, family, or acquaintances to see if they can recommend any WhatsApp businesses to you. You can sign up and join WhatsApp groups for your area or your industry, where people share suggestions for companies. Try referrals and recommendations from industry experts. You can also join communities and online forums that suit your interests.
Can You Have Channels on WhatsApp?
WhatsApp channels can be created by both individual users and companies. However, businesses must use the WhatsApp Business App; whereas individuals and influencers can use the standard WhatsApp app for this.
Clarification on WhatsApp Business Channels
Here’s a brief regarding the WhatsApp Business Channels and broadcast lists.
WhatsApp Business API: With the help of this API, businesses can communicate with their clients and receive messages from them. One of its strengths is its ability to manage large numbers of messages, along with automated messaging and template messages.
Broadcast Lists: While not referred to as “channels,” WhatsApp does have a function known as “Broadcast Lists.” Here, businesses can compile a list of contacts and communicate with everyone on it simultaneously. However, the recipients’ responses will be personal (one-on-one) messages rather than group discussions.
Understanding the Benefits of WhatsApp Channels
Creating a business WhatsApp Channel can be of immense help at present.
With Channels, businesses can enable companies to speak with their clients directly on a system that people use regularly.
End-to-end encryption of WhatsApp conversations offers a high level of security for user data and communications.
They enable businesses to spread messages to a bigger/global audience.
You don’t have to worry about individuals answering your messages because they are a one-way broadcast tool.
They are simple to set up and utilize.
Is WhatsApp Channel Free?
The WhatsApp Channels appear to be a less expensive option for broadcasting messages following WhatsApp’s most recent pricing change for commercial communications. The functionality appears to be free as of now, especially for businesses as they may make use of it via the free WhatsApp Business App.
Of course, whether it will remain free is still an open question. Another possibility is that WhatsApp is using this tactic to entice more companies to join the WhatsApp Business ecosystem and then gradually introduce them to other premium capabilities.
Discussion on WhatsApp Business API Costs
WhatsApp offers both free and paid services for businesses. Whether WhatsApp Channels are free or not, it depends on the services and features you use.
WhatsApp Business App (Free): Downloading and using the WhatsApp Business App are both free. It gives companies the basic tools for communicating with customers. On the other hand, it has drawbacks and might not be appropriate for larger businesses that have huge communication volumes.
WhatsApp Business API (Paid): This WhatsApp Business API is a premium service created for larger companies and enterprises. Higher message volumes, thorough automation, and other capabilities. The amount that businesses pay depends on how many messages they send and receive using the API.
Exploring Free vs. Paid Features
Budgeting for WhatsApp’s free vs. paid features is determined through various factors and depends on your company’s requirements.
Free Features (WhatsApp Business App): These features help you send and receive text messages, videos, and photos from/to your customers. It also creates a profile for your business with all the necessary details and offers quick responses to frequently requested questions. It also creates a pre-recorded welcome message for brand-new clients and sends away messages when you are not around.
Paid Features (WhatsApp Business API): It allows you to send higher message volumes. You can send pre-approved template messages. You can use chatbots and automation to manage client interactions. You have the authority to integrate with CRM platforms and other technologies to streamline communication. You can gauge the success of your messaging with statistical insights. You can also offer multi-agent support services.
Budgeting for WhatsApp Channel Management
In order to efficiently manage and upkeep your WhatsApp Business Channel, budgeting is important. Here’s how you can do it.
Determine your business needs/objectives/goals.
Determine the costs associated with customer service representatives, chatbot upkeep, IT employees, technology and software, legal advice, compliance services, and team training on the best practices and legal compliance standards.
Calculate the projected messaging volume.
Establish a budget in line with your business objectives and capabilities.
Assess and evaluate the ROI of your efforts to manage WhatsApp Channels. Decide if the expenditures are justified by these features or advantages, thereby increasing efficiency and consumer involvement.
How Can I Create a WhatsApp Channel in India?
Creating a WhatsApp Channel in India involves exploring through specific regulations and compliance considerations. Here’s how to do it.
Navigating WhatsApp Business API Regulations in India
Before creating a WhatsApp Channel in India, it is imperative to navigate through the API Regulations in the country. To do this, you must,
Understand Rules: Make sure you are familiar with the rules and restrictions that the Indian government and WhatsApp have established for the use of the WhatsApp Business API.
Legal Entity: Before using WhatsApp API, make sure you have a legal entity (company) registered in India. Businesses often need to be legally present in the country.
Consent: Understand the regulations governing user consent. Before sending users messages on WhatsApp in India, businesses must get their permission. Consent ought to be sought via subscriptions or opt-ins.
Legal and Compliance Considerations
Under this, businesses need to comply legally with all the considerations.
Data Security: Whenever necessary, abide by data privacy laws like the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB). User data should be handled legally and securely.
Compliance: Comply with anti-spam legislation to prevent sending unsolicited messages. WhatsApp has rigorous policies to prevent spam.
Message templates: In India, companies are often obliged to begin conversations with clients using pre-written remarks.
Step-by-step Process for Creating WhatsApp Channels in India
Here’s how you can create WhatsApp Channel in India.
Sign up for the WhatsApp Business API. For assistance, you can contact Sendwo.
Agree to all WhatsApp’s terms and conditions for the WhatsApp Business API. This involves adhering to rules and policies.
Send in the necessary paperwork like your business registration, business profile, and consent forms for your clients. All documents must adhere to Indian legal requirements.
Set up WhatsApp Business API. After receiving approval, configure the API on your servers. You can connect with Sendwo to help you set up and integrate WhatsApp Business API at ease.
Next, you can integrate automation if required. You can use chatbots or automation technologies to simplify customer interactions while adhering to Indian laws.
Next, ask for user consent. When requesting consent, be sure to be clear about the objectives and communication content.
Continue to keep an eye on your communications patterns and approaches to make sure they adhere to both WhatsApp and Indian legal requirements. Maintain and update your consent records regularly.
For help with compliance and setup, you might also want to speak with legal professionals or WhatsApp’s approved Business Solution Providers like Sendwo.
Set Up WhatsApp Business API Using Sendwo.
Set Up WhatsApp Business API Using Sendwo.
Signup on Sendwo API-based WhatsApp marketing software
For any support on setting up the API, you can directly contact Sendwo support over live website chat or contact us page.
You have two options to choose from: either the official API or the unofficial WhatsApp Business API.
Our Recommendation: Use a mix of both to reduce your net WhatsApp marketing budget.
How Do I Turn Off WhatsApp Channel?
To guarantee a smooth transition or closure, you must adhere to certain rules when turning down or deactivating a WhatsApp Business Channel. The procedures and advice are as follows:
Deactivating or Closing a WhatsApp Business Channel
Upon deleting, your channel gets permanently deleted. You won’t be able to update your channel again if you delete it. Although followers can still see your channel, they will get a system notice stating that it has been deleted. Their phones will still have access to your previous updates.
Non-followers (viewers) will not be able to access your channel or updates anymore. Your channel will not appear in search results anymore. Your sharing link will not function, and no one can follow your channel any longer.
Find your channel. Find the updates tab on mobile or the Channels page on the web.
Select Delete channel
Delete by tapping or clicking your channel name.
Tap Delete once you enter your phone number for verification.
You will receive a pop-up saying, “You deleted your channel” in the Updates tab once the channel has been successfully deleted.
Managing and Discontinuing Your WhatsApp Channel
If you want to ensure a smooth transition and keep your clients happy, managing and ending your WhatsApp Channel, whether it’s a WhatsApp Business account or WhatsApp Business API integration, requires careful planning and execution. Here’s how you can do it.
Review WhatsApp’s Policies: To ensure compliance, read WhatsApp’s policies and instructions for closing a WhatsApp Business Channel before you start.
Discontinue Automation: Deactivate any active chatbots or automated technologies you have been utilizing.
Examine and terminate subscriptions: Be sure to deactivate any client’s memberships to your WhatsApp Channel.
Restrict Access (WhatsApp Business API): Restrict access to the WhatsApp Business API if you were utilizing it to stop any unauthorized behavior. To maintain data security and compliance, this step is essential.
You can also engage with experts at Sendwo to make sure you are adhering to all applicable rules and laws throughout the closure process.
Tips for Smooth Transition or Closure
For a smooth transition/closure of your WhatsApp Channel, follow the tips below.
Offer Alternatives To Your Customers: Make sure you provide your customers ample notice that your WhatsApp channel will be closing. Send a note outlining the reason behind the closure and offering substitute contact information (company’s phone number, email address, etc.)
Update your company profiles: Update your company accounts on online platforms, websites, and social media to display the new contact information if your firm is still active and using other methods.
Configure an auto-reply: Set up an automatic reply message alerting users to the channel closing.
Customer Support: Be ready to respond to any questions that consumers may have regarding the termination of the Channel.
Monitor for Compliance: Keep checking to make sure that WhatsApp policies are being followed even after a channel has been closed.
Before businesses can establish a WhatsApp Channel, it’s crucial for them to have a clear understanding of the rules and ensure legal compliance. Following a step-by-step procedure that involves obtaining consent and responsibly implementing automation is essential. Looking ahead, there are numerous exciting advancements and features in store for businesses on WhatsApp.
In summary, WhatsApp Channels have already transformed the way companies communicate with their customers by offering customized and secure messaging. As technology and regulations evolve, businesses should stay adaptable, embrace the potential of WhatsApp Channels, and enhance customer engagement and satisfaction.
About The Author:
Reach with WhatsApp
Use sendwo API with WhatsApp and talk to your audience directly in their inbox.