WhatsApp Compliance

Compliance applicable to WhatsApp Business Platform from Meta

Marketers need to adhere to some key policies, strictly monitored by Meta to ensure that the quality of the end customer's communication experience over WhatsApp remains high.

The importance of high quality conversations

WhatsApp is not purely a medium for businesses to get their message out to customers - it provides a platform for customers to converse with businesses - to both ask for and receive information that is relevant to them.

Along with relevance, the timeliness and appropriate context surrounding the message, are key to building a high-quality customer experience. If the person expects to receive a message from a business, they are likely to continue the conversation - which will have a positive impact on achieving your business and marketing goals.

To that end, just as in one’s personal day-to-day conversations, if a consumer receives a message that is out of place that bears no relevance to them, and is from a business that they have no interest in engaging with, they have the ability to block and even report a business who sends unsolicited messages.

This has the potential to impact both your quality rating and reputation as a business user of WhatsApp.


Keeping the quality of conversations high by following ETR framework

  1. Ensure the message is expected:
    Only send messages to customers who have opted into receiving messages over WhatsApp. You can gain opt-in in various ways - which we cover later on in this document.

  2. Ensure the message is timely:
    Ensure your message feels connected to something time-bound such as:
    A seasonal or other recurring event related to previous purchases.
    A product recently browsed.
    A purchase or upgrade within a specific interval of time.
    Another observed behaviour by a prospect or customer that could serve as a signal for timely outreach.

  3. Ensure the message is relevant:
    Ensure that your messages is personalized to the customer's interests, or specific profile with your business, such as:
    Sending offers that are related to products or services they have browsed
    Tips or more information to help them gain more value out of their existing products or services
    Add-ons or upgrades related to their profile



These aforementioned three points can be known as the ETR framework - which you can use as a checklist each time you plan to send a campaign.


How Unifonic Helps

Our WhatsApp Template creator enables you to easily create WhatsApp messages, add personalized parameters, multimedia, buttons and more, as well as submit these to Meta for same-day approval - directly from within the Unifonic Platform.

The maker-checker feature, included in Multichannel Campaigns, adds an additional approval layer, to ensure that content is compliant.

For further illustration check https://docs.unifonic.com/docs/types-of-messages

Quality Ratings

A quality rating, is the metric that measures how well your business is doing, in delivering a quality experience (as explained above) for end customers, over WhatsApp.

Businesses that want to continue using the WhatsApp Business Platform, must maintain their quality rating. This is to safeguard WhatsApp users by ensuring that they continue to have a good experience using this personal and widely used messaging platform.

Maintaining this quality rating, is your commitment as a business to doing the same for your end customers.

This quality rating can also be a metric that you use internally to measure how well you are doing in providing your customers with an engaging experience - and meeting your own objectives in driving conversion through quality conversations.

You can find your quality rating in the facebook business manager, as well as in the Unifonic platform.

What goes into determining your quality rating:

Your quality rating is determined through a combination of factors:

  1. Volume and Recency - how many messages customers have received over a period of time
  2. Feedback signals from end customers such as blocks, reports
  3. and the reasons users provide when they block a business.

How to keep your quality rating high:

The following guidelines can serve as a checklist to help you keep you quality rating high:

  1. Only send messages to users who have opted into receiving messages from your business
  2. When a user messages you, get their opt-in before sending them messages that are unrelated to their request
  3. Always provide the option to opt-out of receiving specific messages, such as promotional messages
  4. Be mindful of how frequently you are sending messages
  5. Use the ETR framework when crafting your messages
  6. Customize, personalize and adapt your template messages over time based on customer responses. Non-personalized or very long messages can lower thge quality of your template messages.
  7. Be 100% sure you are following the WhatsApp business messaging and commerce policies.


How Unifonic Helps

We simplify the campaigning and quality management process, by surfacing your WhatsApp quality ratings directly within the Multichannel Campaigns platform. This wil also be visible under the details tab within ‘Channels’ . ‘ WhatsApp’. Before and after sending a campaign, you can view your quality rating, to plan, iterate and manage campaigns appropriately.


For Further Reading

WhatsApp Quality Rating and Messaging Limits

Gaining Opt-in

Quality conversations lead to lasting relationships - the premise on which business messaging must be built to preserve a valuable customer experience. Another important premise is trust - The end user trusts that the business will not abuse their relationship by sending them unwarranted messages.

This is why all businesses are strictly required to receive opt-in from customers prior to sending non-transactional, or business initiated messages to them.

WhatsApp’s opt-in policy requires the following from businesses, to make it easier for people to receive helpful information from businesses:

  1. Businesses must clearly state that a person is opting in to receive messages from the Business over WhatsApp
  2. Businesses must clearly state the businesses name that a person is opting in to receive messages from
  3. Business-initiated messages must be approved Message templates and comply with the applicable law.

Getting opt-in is not only important to keeping your quality rating high, but also contributes to your brands perception in the market and the ability to maintain lasting relationships with your audience.

Shifting your approach from goal oriented to customer oriented is key to preserving and maintaining the relationship of trust. Instead of building marketing campaigns and flows based on the outcome you want to achieve, build them based on what the customers perception and experience will be.

Here are a few recommendations on how to gain opt-in over various channels:

  1. First time customer onboarding flows - When a new customer signs-up for your services, you can add WhatsApp as an option that they can opt-in to, for receiving various communications. Remember to be specific about the kind of communications they are opting in for.
  2. Digital channels - You can add a WhatsApp opt-in to your website and social pages, campaign landing pages or digital ads
  3. WhatsApp thread - If you are already using WhatsApp for transactional messages and user initiated messages, you can ask them to opt-in to additional messages
  4. By Voice messaging or phone - You can ask customers, if they would like to opt-in to WhatsApp communications, over a voice call, IVR or voice messaging, using Unifonic voice services.
  5. In-store flyers and posters - make your WhatsApp number visible in store, or add QR codes for quick access to your WhatsApp channel
  6. Over a text message - Unifonic can support you in redirecting potential customers from an SMS to a WhatsApp message using Unifonics multichannel campaigns and free uLink, link shortening feature.

Keep WhatsApp opt-in in mind as a core Call to Action when building out your advertising strategies. Whether digital or traditional , adding a link to open a WhatsApp chat to ads, allows you to turn these static, or one-way marketing channels into conversation starters.

Messaging Limits
As part of Meta’s effort to maintain the quality of messages sent over WhatsApp, they have implemented a limit on the number of end customers a business can message during a specific period of time. A tier limit refers to the number of unique customer any business can reach within a 24 hour period.

The number of recipients is relevant to the tier level that a business is in. The higher the tier level, the more unique recipients your business can send messages to on a daily basis. This includes all customers, both existing or new, and across all use cases in your business, from transactional, operational to promotional.

The messaging limit does not cap the amount of messages that can be sent, but the amount of users/ recipients that can be contacted. Thus it does not apply to messages sent in response to a user initiated message within a 24 hour period.

There are four tier levels:

Note: A business starts in Tier 1 when it registers its phone number.

Tier 11000Allows your business to send messages to 1000 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
Tier 210000Allows your business to send messages to 10 000 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
Tier 3100000Allows your business to send messages to 100 000 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
Tier 4UnlimitedAllows your business to send messages to an unlimited number of unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.

Ramping up - how to get to a higher tier
Before you can send a high volume of messages through WhatsApp, there is a ramp-up period that businesses must complete.

A business’ phone number is then upgraded to the next tier if:

  1. Its quality rating is not low, and
  2. The cumulative amount of users it sends notifications to adds up to 50% its current messaging limit.

Once the business reaches this threshold, it’s moved to the next tier. This upgrade can occur in at least 48 hours after the business sends messages each day up to 50% volume of their Tier limit.

It can take from 7 to 9 days + to reach an unlimited tier - granted that the quality rating remains at High or medium. If the quality rating is low, the tier limit will not be automatically upgraded.

Lets use a scenario to better explain how this could occur:

Amal, a Customer Loyalty Manager at a prominent retailer has an important promotion she needs to get out to customers. Her business has recently activated a WhatsApp line for customer service, and she realizes the great potential she has to reach customers on her loyalty program over WhatsApp.

She has to reach a total of 400 000 customers. The organisation is still on the entry level tier, Tier 1, as the customer service team only responds to about 400 customers on a daily basis.

Step 1:
Amal needs to create and submit her WhatsApp template message to Meta for approval. She does this using the Unifonic Template Manager, in the Unifonic Platform:

  1. If she has any images or videos that she is including, she can add these to her template messages before or after sending to Meta for approval.
  2. Image dimensions are 4x6 ratio, up to 5MB and Jpeg format.
  3. Her video can also reach up to 5MB and in MP4 format.
  4. She needs to ensure she has opt-in from customers to contact them over WhatsApp and offers her customers the option to opt-in and opt-out of recieving messages.

Step 2:
Amal needs to segregate her customer list into parts/ batches. The volume of which is based on over 50% of a tier limit. Each Batch represents a new set of customers (unique numbers).

Step 3:
She needs to send a message to a new batch approximately the same time each day (or after a 24 hour period has ended). But not between 5pm and 8am to remain within the regulations.

Step 4:
Her tier limit is updated in the Unifonic platform, as it is upgraded, she can prepare to send to the larger batch of customers.

Step 5:
She needs to monitor her quality rating in the Unifonic Multichannel Campaign Platform, and gauge the reponses from her audience to understand early on if she needs to change her message or her approach.

DayTimeBatchesVolume of Unique RecipientsTier
18 AMBatch 0400 from customer service1
13 PMBatch 16001
23 PMBatch 26001
33 PMBatch 360002
43 PMBatch 460002
53 PMBatch 560002
63 PMBatch 6600003
73 PMBatch 7600003
83 PMBatch 8600003
93 PMBatch 9200800Unlimited

Amal has taken around 9 Days to reach the unlimited tier, and will be able to send her next promotion, to all 400 000 customers, in the first day.

While some customers decided to opt out of receiving messages, none of her customers have reported or blocked her messages, keeping her quality rating high.

The example above is also representative of tier limits in a transactional environment, where the business, given their quality rating remains at medium or high, will be automatically upgraded to the next tier if they consecutively breach 50% of their tier limit.


How Unifonic Helps

You can view your tier limit from within the Unifonic Platform, to plan your campaigns accordingly. If you do, however, reach your tier limit, the campaign will automatically be suspended.


For Further reading

WhatsApp Quality Rating and Messaging Limits