Prepare for WhatsApp
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Describe how WhatsApp sends messages.
- Install the Sinch app.
- Create your WhatsApp business account.
- Define your WhatsApp channels.
Meet Your Customers Where They Are
It’s no surprise that these days you’re more likely to interact with customers on their mobile devices. But the way you interact on mobile is becoming more nuanced every day. Marketers can’t afford to ignore it—because mobile devices present so many options for connecting. And the method you use can make the difference between a successful interaction or a block. So, how do you cover your bases? Marketing Cloud is making it easy by giving you the ability to communicate with the latest technologies—like the popular WhatsApp chat app. Chat apps are over-the-top (OTT) messaging platforms that cut out all of the traditional communication formats like email, phone calls, or SMS, and use just the app to send messages. Plus, customers tend to interact over chat at an extremely high rate, such as 70 percent engagement rate for WhatsApp. This new technology is on to something!
WhatsApp represents one of the most popular OTT apps used to handle messages, voice and video calls, and, of course, emojis and memes. So what does that mean for Marketing Cloud? Well, if people are spending a lot of time there, now you can reach them where they already are. Use Journey Builder to reach contacts via WhatsApp and keep the conversation going. You can send WhatsApp messages either in response to an incoming message or send out messages as the result of a transaction or similar activity.
Make the Introduction
To send messages on WhatsApp through Journey Builder, you need to integrate your Marketing Cloud account with the Sinch chat messaging setup app and create a WhatsApp business account and channel.
In this module, we assume you are a Marketing Cloud admin with the proper permissions to configure and use WhatsApp with Journey Builder. If you’re not an admin for Marketing Cloud, that’s OK. Read along to learn how your admin would take the steps in a production org. Don’t try to follow these steps in your Trailhead Playground. Marketing Cloud isn’t available in the Trailhead Playground.
Let’s start with Sinch. Sinch is the official WhatsApp partner that Marketing Cloud uses to connect with WhatsApp.
Luckily, installing Sinch is… well, a cinch. Just click the link that your Marketing Cloud account representative sends you in an email to add Sinch from AppExchange. Then log in to your Marketing Cloud account and follow the steps included in the setup wizard to get everything situated. You need to choose a Marketing Cloud user to access the installed package.
Now it’s time to connect everything to WhatsApp. In AppExchange, click Chat Messaging Setup, then select Accounts. You need a business account, and that requires the following information before you get started.
- Your account name
- The legal name of your company
- Your Facebook Business Manager ID
With all this information ready, click New Account and enter your details. After you click Submit, verify your request in the Accounts section of the Sinch app. After all of your accounts shake hands, you’re ready to go! The business account appears in the Onboarded Accounts section of your Marketing Cloud account.
Check Out the Channels
Finally, it’s time to get your channels ready to send. You can create as many channels as you need for your communications. Here’s how. In your Marketing Cloud account, navigate to Channels and click New Channel. Each new channel requires some basic information.
- WhatsApp business account phone number (your own phone number or Sinch-supplied number, as long as it’s not associated with another WhatsApp account)
Enter the information, click Submit, and you’re ready to go.
That is, if WhatsApp approves your channel. You may need to give the channel a little time before everything becomes available. That said, you can always consult the Channels section in Marketing Cloud to see which channels are pending and which ones are ready to go.
After everything clears, you’re ready to move on to the next unit and create your WhatsApp messages.