9 January 2023
As one of the world’s most popular messaging apps, the benefits of using WhatsApp to connect with consumers are clear. WhatsApp is a rich channel with arguably the highest reach so you can meet customers where they are and have one-on-one conversations that feel natural.
But it’s not as simple as just sending customers and prospects a WhatsApp message.
Before you initiate a WhatsApp message, you must first obtain the recipient’s opt-in permission. Meta’s opt-in policy states that a business must receive opt-in permission from a user before any communications you send them.
Your opt-in must:
- State the user is opting in to receive messages from your business via WhatsApp
- State the business name that the user is opting in to receive messages from
- Comply with applicable laws
6 opt-in methods
Here are some ways you can request opt-in:
- SMS – request opt-in via SMS
- Website – use an opt-in form on your website e.g. on your home page, a specific landing page or at key touchpoints during the purchase process
- WhatsApp thread – request opt-in during a user-initiated message thread
- Phone – create an interactive voice response flow
- Missed call – send an opt-in message to a caller who hangs up before the business answers
- Paper/in-person – ask customers to sign a hard copy of a document to opt in
The importance of high quality conversations
It’s important to facilitate high quality conversations between people and businesses. People can report or even block businesses which will impact their quality rating. Even just moving down a tier can significantly reduce your daily messages send so it’s important to keep your quality rating as high as possible.
The quality rating system corresponds to the messaging tiers that dictate the amount of messages businesses can send. The quality rating has three levels which include:
- Green – high quality
- Yellow – medium quality
- Red – low quality
You can find the quality rating and messaging limits for your account under the phone number tab in your business’s WhatsApp Business Manager. If your quality rating reaches a low state, you’ll receive an email and notification in the Manager as a warning. Your status will also change to Flagged or Restricted.
Meta may also reactively evaluate a business’ opt-in flows, including reviewing user feedback to flag policy violations and develop additional types of enforcement over time. Read more about quality ratings and limits in WhatsApp here.
Opt-in best practices
To avoid the above scenarios, create a high-quality opt-in experience by following these tips:
- Ensure users expect the messages they receive. You can do this by obtaining an opt-in that covers the different types of messages you will send (e.g. order updates or product offers). Alternatively, you can also obtain separate opt-in by specific message category. This will help mitigate the risk of users blocking your business because they’re receiving unsolicited messages.
- Provide clear instructions on how people can opt out of receiving specific types of messages.
- Ensure your opt-in and opt-out flows are clear and intuitive.
- Clearly communicate the value of receiving this information on WhatsApp.
- Respect all requests made by a person to block, stop or opt out of communications from you via WhatsApp. Whether the request is made on or off WhatsApp, you must update their opt-in preferences and/or remove that person from your contacts list.
How can WhatsApp Business Platform transform your marketing communications?
Consumers are becoming increasingly open to hearing from businesses via one-to-one channels like WhatsApp. In our 2022 Digital Shopping Habits survey, we found that more than half (54%) of global consumers are signed up to receive messages from 1-3 brands. And 81% of people are open to connecting with their favourite brands via WhatsApp.
But to ensure you get the most out of WhatsApp Business Platform, you must have a clear opt-in strategy, among other things. In our ultimate guide to WhatsApp, we cover everything you need to know about the messaging platform, from business benefits to features and use cases.
Ready to learn what WhatsApp Business Platform can do for your organisation? Download your copy below.