WhatsApp marketing is becoming increasingly important for businesses looking to engage with customers. A thorough understanding of the pricing structure for using WhatsApp APIs is essential for effective budgeting and strategic planning.
This blog post delves into the details of WhatsApp’s pricing model, helping businesses make informed decisions for their marketing campaigns. Also we’ve added a WhatsApp marketing cost calculator at the bottom that you can use to calculate the exact cost of your WhatsApp marketing campaign.
WhatsApp Business App vs. WhatsApp API
Before diving in, let’s first understand the different offerings from WhatsApp tailored to different business scales and use cases:
1. WhatsApp Business App
This is the mobile app that you use on your phone. The app is free and there are no charges involved in sending messages through it. It’s ideal for small-scale business operations.
2. WhatsApp API
The WhatsApp API on the other hand is designed for larger-scale, more advanced marketing needs. The API allows businesses to send messages programmatically and is particularly useful for sending bulk messages, automating communication, and integrating WhatsApp messaging with other systems.
This API is paid and you need to pay WhatsApp as per usage for consuming the API.
Costs Involved in WhatsApp Marketing using Official API
When using the WhatsApp API, businesses incur two types of costs: the charges for the tool that facilitates API usage, such as our tool WANotifier and the charges for the API usage.
It’s important to understand both to estimate the total cost of WhatsApp marketing.
1. Charges for the tool
WhatsApp only provides API and not the actual software tool to consume this API to send messages, manage contacts, schedule notifications, send replies in Inbox and so on.
For these things, you can build your own tool from scratch which might take months or you can use a ready-made tool like WANotifier and start sending messages using the APIs from day one.
That’s where the charges for the software tool comes from and it differs from provider to provider.
In our case, we offer 4 different paid subscription plans and charge a small monthly / yearly fees for them to provide you with our tool. You can checkout the different plans that we offer on our Pricing page. We also offer a Free plan that you can use to get started with us.
2. WhatsApp Cloud API charges
WhatsApp charges a small per-conversation fee for the messages you send. A conversation is defined as a 24-hour interaction window between a business and a customer. The per conversation charges depend on following factors:
1. Message Template Category
Conversations are categorized into 3 types: Marketing, Utility and Authentication. Each category serves different purposes and has its own pricing structure. Marketing conversations are used for promotional activities, Utility for sending transactional messages, follow-ups and updates, and Authentication for OTPs and user verification.
The choice of category affects the cost per conversation. You can learn more about these categories here.
2. Country of Recipient
The cost per conversation also varies depending on the country of the recipient. WhatsApp has a different pricing for each country depending upon the affordability of that country’s businesses.
In developing countries like India, the prices are at much lower level than developed countries like UK, Germany etc.
3. Incoming Service Messages
WhatsApp offers 1,000 service conversations for free each month. A conversation that is started by end user is termed as a Service message.
Businesses can also benefit from free entry point conversations, which are initiated by customer interactions through specific channels like Click to WhatsApp ads. These conversations have a different duration and cost structure.
So essentially here’s what the total cost looks like:
Total effective cost = Tool charges + WhatsApp Cloud API charges
How Do Other Providers Increase Your Marketing Budget Unnecessarily?
The API charges you saw above are WhatsApp’s charges and there are two ways you can pay these. You can either pay these through the tool provider or you can pay these charges directly.
Most popular WhatsApp tool providers like WATI, Interakt, AiSensy etc ask you to pre-pay them for WhatsApp API charges. Then these guys add 12 – 35% extra markup on top of the default API pricing and charge that to you!
Nothing wrong with this, but imagine increasing your WhatsApp marketing costs by 12 – 35% for no extra advantage. You’re paying them for the tool separately anyways.
But in case of our tool WANotifier, things are different. We do not bill the API charges and it’s handled directly by WhatsApp and you make payment for it directly to Meta (the company that owns WhatsApp) on their portal.
That means 0% extra markup and the amount you save by not paying the extra markup goes straight back into your marketing budget for sending more messages to your customers.
The table below shows the official WhatsApp Cloud API pricing and the pricing charged by different tools in the market. The table only shows prices for marketing template messages in INR to compare the % markup difference.
WhatsApp Marketing Cost Calculator
Let’s calculate the exact cost of WhatsApp marketing using our handy cost calculator. Enter details in the form below to calculate the exact monthly cost of marketing on WhatsApp using the WhatsApp API & our tool WANotifier.
Understanding the nuances of WhatsApp’s pricing is essential for businesses to effectively budget their marketing campaigns. It’s important to consider both the tool charges and the API usage charges.
By carefully selecting the right plan and understanding the conversation-based pricing model, businesses can optimize their WhatsApp marketing strategies to achieve maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
In conclusion, WhatsApp marketing offers a powerful platform for businesses to engage with their customers. By comprehending the pricing structure of WhatsApp APIs and tools like WANotifier, businesses can make informed decisions to enhance their marketing efforts and achieve better ROI.