When setting up your WhatsApp channel, you'll use the embedded onboarding route.
This onboarding route will collect some information from you about your company before starting the setup process. Once you've filled out this information, the first of the embedded onboarding route will look like this, prompting you to Continue with Facebook:
Step-by-step onboarding for WhatsApp
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.
Required information for a successful WhatsApp onboarding:
- 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 with which you want to send messages.
- Access to the specific phone number so you can verify the number.
Requirements for your business' WhatsApp number:
- The number MUST NOT have been used on WhatsApp before - even a personal or no longer used WhatsApp account.
- The phone number must be owned by your company.
- 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.
- Please read these other tips for choosing a WhatsApp number for your business.
- If you don’t have a number yet, you can buy one directly from MessageBird or request one from our team to help guide you through!
Step 1: Signing 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 Install Channel.
- You will be then taken to a page to Get started with WhatsApp's Business API to guide you through the process.
Step 2: Providing 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 3: Connecting WhatsApp
To connect to WhatsApp and start chatting with your customers, you’ll need to continue with Facebook.
Setting 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
Businesses are only required to complete Business Verification when they’re ready to scale business-initiated conversations, add additional phone numbers, or request to become an Official Business Account (OBA).
Unverified business accounts can start conversations on WhatsApp with 50 unique customers in a 24-hour rolling period and receive an unlimited number of conversations from customers. You can learn more about business verification in Facebook's article Company Verification in the Business Manager.
Step 4: 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.
To reach out to your customers, you need to use a pre-approved Template Message. You can submit Template Messages for approval via the WhatsApp Template Manager.
Step 5: Activate your WhatsApp channel
Follow the steps for this in our article WhatsApp Channel Activation.
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.