How to Open a WhatsApp Business Account: A Step-by-Step Guide
How to Open a WhatsApp Business Account: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Open a WhatsApp Business Account: A Step-by-Step Guide

Yogesh Narayanan

Table of Contents

In today’s time, messaging apps like Messenger and WhatsApp have become an important tool for businesses in many different industries. Most people use WhatsApp because they are comfortable with the app and its features. As an instant messaging and voice calling app, consumers use WhatsApp to send text messages and stay in touch with their friends and families. That's one of the main reasons why businesses have also started using WhatsApp and are integrating this application into their marketing strategies - customer prefer to communicate through their favourite messaging app.

What is a WhatsApp Business Account?

If this is your first time hearing about WhatsApp Business, you might be wondering ‘What is a WhatsApp business account?’

WhatsApp created the business account as a free-to-use service that is exclusive to business owners. Owners & managers can create a unique business account for their brands on WhatsApp. By creating a business account, business owners will be able to interact with their clients, share relevant information and target the correct audience through WhatsApp. In short, a WhatsApp business account is nothing but a comprehensive storefront for your brand and, it allows you to build your brand identity on the messaging app.

Benefits of using a WhatsApp Business Account

Having a WhatsApp Business account provides several advantages to your business. Some of them are as follows:

Understand your audience better

Gaining a better understanding of your audience, their likes, dislikes, preferences and much more. With WhatsApp businesses can increase their reach.

Build a brand identity, and stay closer to your customers

Build WhatsApp Chatbot that creates brand identity

A WhatsApp Business account allows you to build your brand identity and create a personalized image for your brand that allows for a better connections with clients.

Send order updates instantly

After getting an overview of your audience, you can take smart actions to make the most out of your business on WhatsApp. You can provide valuable information about your services, products or updates.

The most significant advantage of having a WhatsApp Business account is that your business can reach a bigger audience and spread your brand message. It can expand your business reach to your target audience through a wide range of services.

In case you missed it: Top 10 Advantages of a WhatsApp Business Account

WhatsApp Business Account vs Standard Account: 5 key differences you cannot ignore

Now that you’ve understood the significance of a Business account, it is also important to look at how it differs from a Standard WhatsApp Account. While there are several notable similarities between both platforms. The following are some of the main differences:

WhatsApp Business account has to strictly adhere to commerce policies

One of the main differences between a Standard and a Business account is the primary user-base that both of these platforms target. While the standard app is targeted at the general public, the business version is focused on helping business owners. Therefore, there are several restrictions to opening a business profile in both WhatsApp Business & WhatsApp Business API. The WhatsApp Commerce Policy has strict guidelines that highlight the types of businesses that can open a business profile.

You can create WhatsApp Chatbot and Widgets on top of the Business Account

Create your own Chatbot on WhatsApp Business

Both WhatsApp Business & WhatsApp Business API allow you to create your very own chatbot and use widgets. Although this is not unique to business apps, this is more relevant to business owners than regular people. You can also create a custom widget that enables users to receive relevant information on their mobile/PC screens.

Restrictions on the number of messages that can be sent daily

The standard WhatsApp allows people to send messages without a host of rules, but that's not the case when it comes to the WhatsApp business account. While owners and managers can respond to customer queries using the business account, they need to use a pre-approved list of template messages to initiate customer conversations from their end. In addition, the WhatsApp business account also has a broadcast limit that places a restriction on the number of broadcast messages that an owner can send and receive every day. WhatsApp business accounts can send messages to 256 contacts per day.

WhatsApp Business account allows you to categorize customers with labels

As a feature that is exclusive to the WhatsApp Business account, contact labels allow businesses to categorize their customers based on color-coded labels. Generally, WhatsApp allows business accounts to create 20 customer labels that can be used to segment customers. For example, you can group your customers by gender, age group, interest or location. You can even categorize your customers into teams and assign each team a manager. This information can help your business to make a personalized conversation with your customers.

No automation, greeting messages or other customized responses in standard account

This is also a feature that is not available on your standard WhatsApp account. With the help of auto replies, greeting messages and other customized responses, businesses can easily add automated replies to their conversations in a business account. Using this feature, you can take your messaging to the next level and engage customers with predefined message formats. You can also assign multiple quick replies for different purposes, such as a welcome message, an information request or a promotional offer.

Suggested Read: 13 Best WhatsApp Business Greeting Messages (Copy Now!)

How to Change Standard WhatsApp Account to Business Account

Since WhatsApp business is very similar to the regular WhatsApp messenger, business owners won't face many difficulties in switching from a standard account to a business account. The app migration is also very simple, the first step is to verify your number in WhatsApp Business. After that, you can seamlessly move all of your media, chat preferences & history.  This will only take a few minutes of your time. Once the data is migrated to the business app, you will be able to make changes and adjust your settings.

However, it is also important to note that it is not easy to change your WhatsApp business profile into a standard WhatsApp account. So, business owners need to be cautious of the mobile number in use, it is advised to always use a new phone number to create a new business account.

How to Open a WhatsApp Business Account? A Step-by-Step Guide

The following step-by-step guide will help you open a WhatsApp business account easily.

Step 1 - Download WhatsApp Business.

Download the application from the app store and accept the terms & conditions.

Step 2 - Enter your Business Number.

Enter your chosen phone number your business uses & verify it through a six digit OTP. It is important to enter the phone number that you use for your business communications and not your personal number.

Step 3 - Create your Business Profile.

Enter the name of your business and choose the nature of your business operations. You can also add a description for your business, and this will help your customers learn more about your business.

If you are using the WhatsApp Business API, then you will have the option to add your business’ time zone, currency, payment methods & PO numbers.

Step 4 - Allow Access to Contacts.

Adding your customer contacts immediately after creating the profile will allow you to seamlessly contact them. You can either allow WhatsApp to access your photos, videos & documents along with your contacts or do it later.

Step 5 - Start Chatting & Explore the Tools.

Now that you’ve set-up your WhatsApp Business, you can start chatting with your contacts and explore the host of tools that the Business account provides.

Getting WhatsApp Business Account Verified

To get the maximum benefits of WhatsApp Business, it is important to get your business verified. A verified business is a brand that is recognized by WhatsApp as an authentic and reputed brand. Once verified, the WhatsApp Business account will have a green tick next to its profile name. However, it should be noted that around 80% of businesses that apply for verification are rejected by WhatsApp either because they met the criteria sent by WhatsApp or because they don’t understand the process.

So it is important to partner with a WhatsApp Business Solutions Provider like Gallabox when applying for verification. While the BSP makes the process easier, it is important to note that the right to approve your business account lies only with WhatsApp and not the Business Solution Provider.

Further read: WhatsApp Green Tick: An Ultimate Guide for 2023

Setting up Auto Reply on WhatsApp Business Account

One of the most useful features of a WhatsApp Business account is Auto Reply. It allows you to respond quickly to customer queries and requests. You can set-up ‘away messages’ that can be sent to customers who contact you during your non-working hours. The following steps will help you set-up auto replies on your WhatsApp Business account.

Step 1 - Go to Settings

Tap on the three dots at the upper right corner of the WhatsApp chat window. Then tap on Settings -> Business Settings -> Away message.

Step 2 - Click ‘Send Away Message’

Toggle the ‘Send away message’ button to start sending auto-replies.

Step 3 - Edit the Message

Create your ‘away message’ and tap on OK to confirm.

Step 4 - Schedule the Message

Once you create the message, you need to schedule the messages by selecting one of the three options.

Always Send - Tap this option to always send an automatic reply when a customer contacts you. This is the best option to choose if your business will be closed for a long period of time.

Custom Schedule - Tap this message to send auto replies only during a specific part of the day.

Outside of Business Hours - If you’ve entered your business hours, you can opt to send ‘auto replies’ to customers who contact you outside business hours.

Step 5 - Select Recipients

Much like the schedule, WhatsApp also allows you to send messages to a specific group of customers. You can choose from the following options:

Everyone -  Tap this to send ‘away messages’ to everyone who contacts you after business hours.

Everyone not in the address book - Tap this to send ‘auto replies’ to customers who are not in your contact list.

Everyone except - Tap this to exclude contacts that you don’t want to send an ‘auto reply’.

Only send to - Tap this option to send messages to selected customers from your contact list.

Automate your WhatsApp messages through WhatsApp Broadcast: Read on How to send WhatsApp Broadcast: A guide for 2023

Is there a broadcast limit for WhatsApp Business accounts?

Much like a standard account, the WhatsApp Business account can also create broadcast lists with a group of contacts. Using the broadcast list, business owners can send important notifications, updates and greeting messages to several contacts at the same time. While WhatsApp Business doesn’t limit broadcast messages, it limits the number of contacts that business owners can add to a broadcast list.

Business owners can only add 256 contacts in one broadcast list. If they want to add more contacts, they need to create a new list. While this may seem like a limitation, business owners can turn this into an advantage by building different lists that group contacts based on specific target demographics like age, geographical region or interest groups. This allows businesses to diversify their communication.

Does it Make Sense to Have Multiple WhatsApp Business Accounts?

While WhatsApp Business bolsters your business communications, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to have multiple WhatsApp Business accounts for a business. One of the main reasons of having multiple accounts is not encouraged is because it affects customer trust. If your business has different accounts, it might lead to confusion among customers about which account they need to contact you on.

You might think that having a separate helpdesk account to handle customer queries and another account for product purchases & business notifications will be the best approach. However, it’s important to note that not everyone will understand that you are splitting your business communications into multiple accounts. Furthermore, it will also impact your ability to generate valuable insights because you won’t be able to correlate customer engagement across different customer profiles.

Having said this, you can improve your business productivity and communications by giving access to multiple users. After September 2021, WhatsApp Business can be used on five devices (1 Primary Phone + 4 Additional Devices.) By giving access to multiple users, small business owners can enable multiple agents to handle their customer communications.

Meanwhile WhatsApp Business API, which is designed for large business owners, can be integrated into the business CRM and can be used by more than five agents on multiple devices.  

Read: All you need to know about WhatsApp Business API

Open a Business Account Instantly with Gallabox’s WhatsApp Solution

Now that you’ve understood the importance of WhatsApp Business and learnt how to open a WhatsApp Business account, the next step is to start using this knowledge to boost your business growth. If you need further assistance in your WhatsApp Business/WhatsApp Business API journey, you can reach out to Gallabox.

With Gallabox’s excellent WhatsApp solutions, your business will be able to create a WhatsApp Business account seamlessly. In addition, Gallabox helps with account verification and CRM integration. Grow your business with Gallabox now!

Further Reading:

Did you find this article helpful? If so, here are some additional links that may interest you,

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