How to create effective WhatsApp Business API entry points
Why it matters
WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app with 2 billion monthly active users (source: MAUs provided by Meta, March 2022). It’s one of the rare channels that lets you collect opt-ins for marketing and promotional campaigns in addition to providing strong customer service and business opportunities, which on WhatsApp are truly outstanding.
But unlike Messenger, Instagram Messaging or Twitter, where customers discover brands via a brand’s public profile or thanks to the Discovery or Search features, these tools do not exist on a WhatsApp account.
You must lead your customers towards this messaging channel: that’s why WhatsApp entry points* are such a key topic.
Four keys to successful entry points
- Think in terms of customer journey: your calls to action (CTAs) should be personalized and match the customer’s intentions on any given page and platform
- Think mobile: WhatsApp is first and foremost a mobile app, so your entry points should mostly be on the mobile website and mobile app
- Always keep your entry points visible and accessible: do not hide them in the evening, during the weekend or when you don’t have available advisors.
- Track your links: they offer precious analytics – like your click rates!
Available WhatsApp entry points
- QR code
- Phone number
- wa.me link: a link that includes a phone number in international format. With one click, your customers can start a messaging conversation with your brand, even if they don’t have your company’s phone number stored on their phone.
- Click to WhatsApp: in your Facebook or Instagram ads, your customers can click on the “Send Message” button that appears next to the WhatsApp logo and be transferred to a WhatsApp conversation with your brand.
Examples of great WhatsApp entry points
- Customer service & Care:
- On your website’s contact page
- On order confirmation emails, include a button “An issue with one of these products? An advisor can help you on WhatsApp.”
- Create well-visible WhatsApp subscription buttons or forms on your website, starting with your home page. For instance, on your website’s sales pages, include a banner that says “Receive our special offers every week on WhatsApp.”
- Insert QR codes on paper catalogs, press and street ads, …
- In store or with the product:
- Provide visible QR codes in stores to have your customers subscribe and come back, for example by sending special offers on WhatsApp or simply by answering their questions
- Print your store’s WhatsApp QR code on cards and hand them out to customers paying at the checkout counter
Steps to WhatsApp Business API conversations
Once a customer has interacted with your brand’s entry points (by scanning a QR code, for instance), they will be immediately sent to a WhatsApp conversation with your brand.
Customers must send the first message for you to be able to engage with them. To make that step fast and easy for them, configure your own pre-filled messages that will automatically appear in the input text field of the chat and act as a conversation-starter, as simple as “Hi”, “Get started”, or “Start the conversation”.
Then send a short greeting message before offering your options menu.
Take advantage of the many rich message features that WhatsApp supports: list messages, buttons, webviews, images, videos, emojis (that you can also include in CTAs)… For instance, customers could click on the “promotional offers” button in your menu: ask them to enter their zip code, then have them pick their favorite store among the list of your stores in that area so that they can receive personalized promotional offers directly on the app.
The Alcméon expert’s quote
“WhatsApp offers fantastic ROI for brands and is incredibly easy to use. However, simply opening the channel won’t get you anywhere: you need effective entry points to lead your customers to WhatsApp.”
OLIVIER GARDINI – Client Experience Director – Alcméon
→ Want more information about the WhatsApp Business API?
* What are entry points?
Simply put, entry points enable users to start a messaging conversation with your company. You are likely already familiar with many of them, like the “Message Us” call-to-action button on a brand’s Instagram Shop page or Facebook profile page or QR codes on street ads.
Each entry point has a unique appearance and all channels support several entry points: some are fairly common while others are quite channel-specific.