How useful is the WhatsApp Business App

WhatsApp Business: All costs at a glance

More than 50 million companies already use WhatsApp Business in their customer communication. The success is not surprising - the popular messenger app is an integral part of our everyday life. But what does WhatsApp Business cost and who is it worthwhile for?

The number of WhatsApp users has been increasing continuously for years. At the beginning of 2020, the two billion user mark was cracked. People want to be comfortable and love to chat. Hardly anyone still likes to talk on the phone. Whatsapp Business now also enables companies to respond to changed user behavior and advise their customers on their favorite channel.

With a place in the contact list, you are automatically closer to your customers, sustainably improve your customer satisfaction and, thanks to special functions, offer even more efficient customer service.

This article will give you a brief overview of the two options for WhatsApp Business - the WhatsApp Business app and API - and what costs to expect from each.

The WhatsApp Business App

The WhatsApp Business App is a solution designed for small businesses. It works in a similar way to the private Whatsapp app you are used to for writing with friends and family. It enables you to create your own business profile and add a catalog with your products and services to it.

With additional functions such as automated messages, quick replies and broadcasts (a type of newsletter), you can make your customer communication even more efficient. The Sauerland farm shop has also noticed this and is already successfully using the Whatsapp Business app for their customers' orders.

A disadvantage is that the WhatsApp Business App is limited to only one employee account and is therefore not suitable for service teams. In addition, depending on the institution, it is problematic under data protection law.

What does the WhatsApp Business app cost?

The WhatsApp Business App is available free of charge in the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store. Our step-by-step guide to get you started can be found here.

Only one number may be used per WhatsApp account. If you want to use your private number for this, your account will be converted into a company account so that you can no longer use it for private use afterwards. You should therefore take into account that you need an additional SIM card for customer communication via the WhatsApp Business App, as well as either another mobile phone or a dual-SIM-capable smartphone.

The WhatsApp Business API

The WhatsApp Business API is geared towards the needs of medium-sized and large companies, such as Toyota or OTTO. It was developed for larger service teams, is scalable and can be flexibly adapted to existing company processes.

The existing API (an application interface) enables you to dock WhatsApp to other customer communication software and thus offer omni-channel support in one platform.

In contrast to the WhatsApp Business App, the API has no user interface and no broadcast function, but scores with greater flexibility, better data protection and extended functions such as message templates or automation in the form of chatbots.

You can find more information about the WhatsApp Business API in the article "WhatsApp Business API - everything you need to know".

Message templates

Message templates, too Templates messages , are a function that is only available to you with the WhatsApp Business API. These are ready-made messages that companies can send for confirmations, dispatch updates or appointment reminders.

You also need message templates after the so-called Service window . The service window is a 24-hour period set by WhatsApp within which you can respond to your customer's request. After these 24 hours have elapsed, you must first ask your customer for permission to contact them again using a specific message template.

The service window also determines whether a message is free of charge for you or not. More on this below.

What does the WhatsApp Business API cost?

In contrast to the WhatsApp Business App, the WhatsApp Business API is not available free of charge due to its range of functions and the focus on data protection. Depending on the provider, your fees are made up of various components: monthly costs, one-time setup costs and the fees per message.

Monthly fees

While you can simply download the WhatsApp Business app from the respective store and install it yourself, you have to apply for access to the WhatsApp Business API from a company licensed by Facebook.

The German digital agency 360Dialog, for example, charges monthly fees from 49 euros, depending on the scope of functions. Note that many solution providers only allow access to the API, but, unlike Userlike, often do not provide their own interface from which you can answer WhatsApp inquiries.

Connecting the endpoint of the WhatsApp API with company software such as Userlike enables you to receive and respond to messages from WhatsApp and other communication channels such as live chat, Facebook and Threema in one place.

The WhatsApp channel is included with Userlike from the team package for 90 euros per month.

Receive your customers' WhatsApp messages in the Userlike Message Center.

Setup costs

The integration and maintenance of the API is technically more complex than with traditional contact channels. Therefore, many providers also charge a one-time setup fee in addition to the monthly fee. With the service provider Vonage, for example, this is 1,000 euros per number.

With Userlike you only pay the monthly costs, there is no setup fee.

Charges per message

Messages that a customer sends you are always free of charge. Whether your answer in WhatsApp Business is also free of charge or not depends on the 24-hour service window described above.

  • Within the 24h service window. If a customer contacts you via WhatsApp, you have 24 hours to respond to the request either with your own message or with a message template. Both options are free of charge for you within these 24 hours.
  • Outside the 24-hour service window. After the time has expired, WhatsApp only allows you to contact the customer using a message template. This restriction is designed to protect users from receiving corporate communications without their consent.
    All messages that you send outside of the service window are chargeable The fees vary depending on the country and the number of messages sent. In Germany, the fee is currently around 7 cents per message template. You can find a detailed overview of the costs here.

Also note that some software providers charge additional costs for sending message templates. With Userlike there are no additional fees.

WhatsApp Business is it worth it for?

Use the potential of WhatsApp Business and expand your customer communication with the favorite channel of your customers. Be it as a small company through the free WhatsApp Business app or with a professional service team through the fee-based WhatsApp Business API.

This guide provides detailed information on features, benefits, and guidelines related to WhatsApp Business.

With Userlike you not only get easy access to the WhatsApp API, but also the possibility to expand your customer communication with popular channels like website chat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Threema and SMS.

If you are interested, please contact us using this form. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get started with the WhatsApp Business API.