When signing up to WhatsApp Business, you'll follow one of two onboarding routes:
How do I know which onboarding route I'm in?
The onboarding route you'll take will depend on whether you have a WhatsApp channel already installed, or if it's your first time setting one up.
If you already have a WhatsApp channel installed: Classic route
If you're an existing MessageBird customer with at least one WhatsApp channel already installed, you'll use the classic route.
As an existing customer, you'll go straight to setting up your WhatsApp Business Account by manually adding your Facebook Business ID. The first step of the classic onboarding route looks like this, prompting you to enter your Facebook ID:
If you want to install your first WhatsApp channel: Embedded route
If you're setting up your first WhatsApp channel, you'll use the embedded onboarding route.
As a new customer, we'll collect some information from you about your company before starting the setup process. Once you've filled out this information, the first step of the embedded (Beta) onboarding route will look like this, prompting you to Continue with Facebook:
The classic flow: step-by-step onboarding
This step-by-step guide will lead you through the following classic WhatsApp Business onboarding process:
- Sign up for WhatsApp Business
- Accept the invitation and verify your business
- Choosing a number and a display name
- Activate the WhatsApp channel in your MessageBird account
- Registering a Template Message
Step 1: Sign up for WhatsApp Business
During the flow, you’ll be asked for your Facebook Business ID. Please follow these steps to find your Facebook Business ID — we’ll also send them to you via email when you reach this step:
- Log into your company’s Facebook Business Manager account.
- Go to Business Settings.
- Below the Business Manager Info, you'll see your Business Manager ID number.
- Go to your MessageBird Dashboard, copy that number into Your Facebook ID section, and tap Save.
- And that’s it! Make sure all your information is correct and hit Send request.
If you don’t have a Facebook Business account yet, you can sign up on https://business.facebook.com/
Step 2: Accept the invitation and verify your business
Once you finish signing up for WhatsApp Business, you’ll receive an email from our Customer Success team asking you to accept WhatsApp via Facebook and verify your business:
Accept the invitation
- Make sure you’re logged into your company’s Facebook Business Manager account (not your personal Facebook account)
- Navigate to the Requests tab of your Facebook Business Manager.
- In Received, you should see an invitation from us for the WhatsApp Business API.
- Open the invitation and accept it.
Verify your business
After you’ve accepted the invite, please make sure your Facebook Business Verified. If you’ve already been Business Verified, you can ignore this step; otherwise, please pay close attention to Facebook’s instructions to Verify your Business.
- Go to Business Settings and click Security Center.
- Tap Verification and click Start Verification. Once you start the verification process, you can check the status in this section.
- Enter your business details and tap Next.
- Select the correct business from the list or “None of the above” if your name does not appear.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to confirm your business information. If you’ve selected “None of the above” in the previous step, Facebook will ask you to verify your company by sending additional documentation.
- Decide how you prefer to receive the confirmation code and enter the verification code.
- And that’s it! You’ll receive a confirmation from Facebook regarding your request.
Please note that the verification decision is entirely at the discretion of Facebook.
Once your Facebook Business profile has been successfully verified, your application will go to WhatsApp for approval.
Step 3: Choosing a number and a display name
As soon as WhatsApp approves your application, our Customer Success team will contact you to connect the number you'll be using for WhatsApp. This will be the number that customers can reach you at and from where you can send WhatsApp messages.
You have the option of using one of the free MessageBird Virtual Mobile Number (VMN) or use one of your current phone numbers:
- Your own number: This should be a number that has not been associated with WhatsApp before. It can be either mobile or landline.
- VMN: Availability and rates will depend on the country.
Need some help? Learn how to pick a number for use with WhatsApp.
Each number needs a “display name”. This will be the name that is visible to your customers and can be found in your Business' company info on WhatsApp and is unchangeable once activated. Please take a look at Facebook’s guidelines for display names.
Step 4: Activate the WhatsApp channel in your MessageBird account
You’ll receive an email from our Customer Success team letting you know when your channel ready for activation. Go to Channels on the left sidebar of your MessageBird Dashboard, click WhatsApp, and find your very first WhatsApp channel. You should see "Activate channel" as a green button. To activate the channel, a verification code will be sent to your WhatsApp number:
- Your own mobile number: You can receive the code via SMS or phone call (phone call recommended).
- Your own landline number: You’ll receive the code via a phone call.
- VMN: You’ll receive the code via a phone call. Please attach the number to a forwarding call flow and make sure to publish the flow.
Click Activate channel, request the code either via SMS or phone call and type it in the right field.
If you see the status "Pending", wait 10 minutes and refresh the page. Please reply to the Customer Success team email thread if the status has not changed for more than 30 minutes.
Once the number has been activated, you’re all set to start using our WhatsApp Business. So how can you start using WhatsApp? You can use it by either:
- Connecting your WhatsApp channel with Inbox here (Guide on how to connect).
- Or using the Conversations API (Developer Documentation).
Step 5: Registering a Template Message
The embedded flow: step-by-step onboarding
This step-by-step guide will lead you through the WhatsApp Business embedded flow onboarding process as follows:
- Sign up for WhatsApp business
- Select your plan
- Provide a company number for your WhatsApp account
- Connect WhatsApp
- Start using WhatsApp with Inbox!
When you sign up for WhatsApp Business via MessageBird, your application will be sent directly to WhatsApp for approval. You’ll be able to track the status of your application in your MessageBird Dashboard.
What you’ll need:
- The legal name of your company and your Whatsapp display name
- The URL of your business website
- Your business email address
- A Facebook account
- The company phone number that you want to send messages with
- Access to that phone number so you can verify the number
During the onboarding process, you’ll need to provide a company number for your WhatsApp account.
Criteria for your WhatsApp business number:
- The phone number must be owned by your company.
- The number must not have been used on WhatsApp before.
- It will appear on your WhatsApp Business profile and you won’t be able to change it later.
- You must be able to receive an SMS or phone call to this number for OTP during the sign-up process.
Step 1: Sign up for WhatsApp Business
New to MessageBird? Sign up with your work email address to create your account and get started with WhatsApp Business.
To get started with WhatsApp business from your MessageBird Dashboard, follow these steps:
- Login to your MessageBird Dashboard.
- Click the WhatsApp icon on the taskbar on the left-hand side of your screen.
- A second menu will appear. Click on 'Request access'.
Step 2: Select your plan
We provide a selection of plans so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs. All of our plans include Inbox, WhatsApp, Live-chat, Automation, Chatbots, and APIs. See our pricing page for a detailed breakdown.
Choosing a paid plan
When you select a paid plan, you’ll need to enter payment details and click ‘Confirm and pay’ to start your subscription.
Step 3: Provide a company number for your WhatsApp account
Once you’ve chosen your plan, you’ll be able to provide a company number for your WhatsApp account.
Step 4: Connect WhatsApp
To connect to WhatsApp and start chatting with your customers, you’ll need to continue with Facebook.
Set up your Business Profile
- Log into Facebook using the email address or phone number that’s linked to your Facebook account.
- You can then create your Business Account by entering your business details.
Choosing a “display name” for your business on WhatsApp
Each number needs a “display name”. This name will be visible to your customers. It will be found in your Business' company info on WhatsApp and will be unchangeable once activated. Please take a look at Facebook’s guidelines for display names.
Verifying your business details
As part of the onboarding process, you’ll be able to verify your Facebook Business account.
Once you’ve done this (or if your business is already verified) you can skip ahead to the next step while you wait for Facebook verification.
Step 5: Start using WhatsApp with Inbox
That’s all the hard work done!
Go to Inbox to start using your limited WhatsApp account while you wait for full verification, which usually takes about 24 hours.
Once WhatsApp has been installed, a QR code will appear in Inbox. Scan the QR code with your phone to open WhatsApp and send a message to Inbox.
When setting up WhatsApp, you might come across some error messages. Check this documentation to understand some of the more common errors, and see how you can fix them.