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What are the Integrations between Salesforce Marketing Cloud and WhatsApp? (+ 2024 WhatsApp Business Updated Price!)

WhatsApp has become an essential business tool with over 2 billion active users. Its Business API allows automation and insights that smaller businesses need to compete. Recent years, Salesforce Marketing Cloud directly integrate with WhatsApp Business Platform to delivers personalized, mobile-first messaging experience. Let's deep dive how the features work for omni channel experience in Salesforce ecosystem and drive better customer support.

WhatsApp Messages setup and session transfer in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

After connecting your WhatsApp Business Account with Salesforce Marketing Cloud in "Mobile Studio" directly (instead of connecting via Sinch), you can connect the WhatsApp account in SFMC. We then should have a plan for the types of messages to use in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. WhatsApp messages in Marketing Cloud serve an engagement role, rather than a customer service role (Service Cloud will handle that).

To implement awareness and engagement in the top and middle of the funnel, we can use "Data Extensions" and "Inbound Chat" as the data sources as the starting point of our marketing campaign. Any follow-up, cross-channel engagement in your campaign, like email and mobile push, can also be easily added using the activities function in Journey Builder.

There are two main message types in Salesforce Marketing Cloud for WhatsApp: "Template Messages" and "Session Messages." The key difference between the two is the approval process and button feature. If you want the button feature to display in the WhatsApp message, you need to create the message template in WhatsApp Manager and submit it to Meta for approval. This approval process can take up to 24 hours. Once the message is approved in Meta, Salesforce will sync the message to Marketing Cloud directly, and you can then adapt the message by creating a "Template Message" in Content Builder.

"Session Messages" do not require the approval process from Meta. However, it cannot be added buttons in Content Builder. So, if you have an urgent message that needs to be sent out quickly, a "Session Message" may be a good choice.

For "WhatsApp Transfer Session", we can transfer a WhatsApp conversation from a Marketing Cloud to a Service Cloud interaction. Place the "WhatsApp Session Transfer activity" (below screen shot) after a Wait Until Chat Response or an Inbound Chat activity. The information will passed as part of the transfer includes conversation history, journey data, the recipient’s WhatsApp number, and the cross-cloud WhatsApp phone number.

Whatsapp session transfer

WhatsApp Conversation Pricing Model

If you are applying WhatsApp in other partner instead of Salesforce, you should be aware on the updated pricing model. Conversations are the fundamental unit of billing. A conversation begins when the first message is sent and continues for 24 hours. There are two main categories:

  1. Service Conversations Started by a customer message, businesses have 24 hours to reply freely before a new conversation begins. The first 1,000 conversations per month are free for all accounts.

  2. Business-Initiated Conversations Further divided into Utility, Authentication, and Marketing subcategories based on message content and purpose.

Utility conversations include order/delivery updates and cost less globally. Authentication conversations involve one-time passcodes and have a medium rate. Marketing conversations like promotional messages are charged at the highest tier.

Pricing by Location & Conversation Type

Rates vary significantly in different markets. For example, the US charges only $0.0150 per Utility conversation versus $0.0472 in Hong Kong.

Businesses can use the WhatsApp Pricing Calculator to get customized estimates based on country and expected conversation volumes across categories. This is crucial for budgeting.

Additional Factors Impacting Costs

Customer Care Window: Businesses have 24 hours to reply within a conversation window without new charges.

Entry Points: Clicking ads or pages initiates free 72-hour Service Conversations rather than 24 hours previously.

Message Formats

Template Messages allow automated, categorized Business-Initiated Chat while replies within the Customer Care Window can be free-form Session Messages.

For example, let's say your business wants to send an order confirmation message to a customer named Joe Chan with order number 37000000.

The template message you would submit to WhatsApp for approval would be:

"Hi, {{1}}! Your order (No.: {{2}}) has been confirmed. Thank you!"

The first variable {{1}} would contain the customer's name ("Joe Chan") and the second {{2}} would insert the order number ("37000000").

When creating a Template Message, you must select the correct category it falls under: either Utility, Authentication or Marketing. WhatsApp will prompt you to revise the category if it detects a mismatch in the content and labelled purpose. This ensures Template Messages adhere to WhatsApp's terms while streamlining automated messaging within the Customer Care Window. Reach out if you need help crafting additional compliant templates for your business!

Managing Billing

Invoices are issued monthly and payable within 30 days. However, Salesforce Marketing Cloud will be the payment owner in your WhatsApp Manager if you directly integrate WhatsApp to the platform. Contact us for the details message price when integrate WhatsApp to SFMC!

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