Decoding WhatsApp Conversation-Based Pricing in 2024
Decoding WhatsApp Conversation-Based Pricing in 2024

Decoding WhatsApp Conversation-Based Pricing in 2024

Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran

Table of Contents

WhatsApp's recently updated conversation charges have signalled a shift in how businesses can use the platform for effective communication. Emphasising a model that encourages user-initiated interactions, these updates foster a more customer-centric environment. 

As the conversation shifts towards the increasingly popular WhatsApp Conversation Based Pricing, businesses need to familiarise themselves with the ins and outs of this cost-effective method, from conversation pricing to the different message categories and pricing.

This article will decode the actual cost of WhatsApp for business by breaking down the expenses one factor at a time.

How Does Conversation-Based Pricing Work in WhatsApp?

Conversation-based pricing on WhatsApp represents a distinctive model where businesses are charged according to the number of active conversations they have with their prospects and customers. All messages between customers and businesses within a 24-hour window are billed as a single conversation.

This way, rather than charging per individual message per category, the focus on engagement as a unified, continuous interaction provides a more authentic and cost-effective framework for businesses to connect with their customers.

Scrutinising WhatsApp's Conversation Categories 

Conversations on WhatsApp for Business are primarily classified into two broad categories:   

  1. User-Initiated Conversations: These begin when a user sends a message to your business.   
  2. Business-Initiated Conversations: These emerge when a business triggers a conversation with a contact.

WhatsApp does not charge for service conversations, aka user-initiated messages (until a business responds), allowing businesses to interact freely with their customers. On the other hand, business-initiated conversations are charged based on the template messages sent by the business. 

Demystifying Business-Initiated Messages 

Business-initiated messages are a proactive way for businesses to communicate important information to users, whether it is sharing updates about an upcoming product line or announcing a flash sale.

WhatsApp charges businesses for sending template messages - however, these costs are variable, based on the type of message and the final recipient's country. 

Categories of WhatsApp Business Message Templates 

Businesses require opt-in from their contacts to send a WhatsApp message template, and the main categories are utility, authentication, and marketing. 

  1. Utility conversations are around processing specific customer requests or transactions or sending the users updates about their current orders, including notifications for post-purchase or billing.
  2. Authentication conversations revolve around verifying users employing one-time codes. This could be during a multistep login process. These templates are strictly regulated, maintaining the highest security and streamlining account recovery processes. 
  3. Marketing conversations are used for sending promotions, offers, and other kinds of information or calls to action. It is a flexible category and also encompasses templates that do not fit into the utility and authentication categories.
Creating templates and submitting them for moderation must include the declaration of their categories. Note that Meta will not approve templates whose contents do not match the category selected.

Free Tier Sessions and Click-to-WhatsApp Ads 

From June 1, 2023, the first 1,000 service conversation sessions every month are given free of charge. This encourages businesses to engage their audience via WhatsApp. Note that the free sessions offered monthly are valid for one account and can connect several bots or phone numbers. 

If a user reached out to a business through ads that Click to WhatsApp or Facebook, there will be no charge for this conversation. Moreover, beginning March 1, 2023, the free conversation window will be extended from 24 hours to 72 hours, providing additional opportunities for businesses. 

To deeply understand the relevance of WhatsApp conversation-based pricing, it's essential to distinguish between the three conversation categories: marketing, utility, and authentication.

Each category is tailored to specific business and customer interaction circumstances and carries distinct costs aimed at motivating companies to consider the effective use of the WhatsApp Business Platform.

WhatsApp Business API Pricing with Different Providers 

The WhatsApp API cost isn't one-size-fits-all - it can vary with different providers like Gallabox, Interakt, WATI, and Twilio. The diversity in pricing models results from the variety in package prices offered by these multiple providers. 

Businesses need to consider their unique needs and budgets when choosing an API provider. For instance, you might prefer an API with a low-cost integration if you're a small business with restricted finances. On the other hand, a larger company might be okay with investing more to access advanced features. 

Regardless of the context, understanding WhatsApp conversation pricing, deciphering the cost of WhatsApp API integration and weighing the implications of using the different API providers are key to making the most informed decisions for your business. 

Estimate Your Costs: Gallabox WhatsApp Pricing Calculator Unveiled

Gallabox's WhatsApp Pricing Calculator is a practical tool for determining potential expenses.

Businesses can estimate their costs by entering details like the volume of messages, description, and category to accurately estimate their WhatsApp Business API costs. You can use this free, handy tool for budget planning and forecasts.

Preparing for the Future: WhatsApp Pricing Updates for 2024

Following its shift to conversation-based pricing in 2022, WhatsApp continues to refine business pricing models, making it more beneficial to both businesses and their clients. While WhatsApp Business API 2024 updates may not include any pricing restrictions, industry analysts anticipate a gradual yet systematic increase to cater to the continuous innovation and growth of the platform.

  • Businesses leveraging the WhatsApp Business platform may anticipate price rises for distinct message types, such as Marketing, Utility, Authentication, and Service messages.
  • While it remains a free-to-use platform for general users, the expected spending is predicted to rise slightly for marketing campaigns intending to utilise WhatsApp to garner user engagement.
  • Depending on the respective package and the service provider, the monthly costs for using the WhatsApp Business Platform will vary, thereby giving businesses flexibility to choose a suitable plan.
  • The geographical location may also be a factor affecting costs, as is evident from the pricing table for 2023, which shows varying rates in different countries like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Concluding Thoughts

As WhatsApp continues to evolve, familiarising yourself with all the WhatsApp pricing updates can become a cornerstone for the success of your business engagement strategies on the platform, opening up new opportunities to connect with their audiences.

Adaptation to this new conversation-based pricing framework can maximise your marketing ROI and achieve a more optimised use of resources. Designed with business diversity in mind, conversation categories, such as user-initiated service conversations and business-initiated conversations, offer unique pathways for various customer interaction scenarios. 

Template messages and session messages bring depth and flexibility into customer engagements. The possibility of 'free sessions' following ad clicks opens the door to lower and make the most out of existing marketing spend. In contrast, the clearly defined "customer care window" facilitates better planning and response timings. 

With Gallabox's WhatsApp Pricing Calculator, businesses now have a handy tool to forecast and optimise their messaging expenses. And, we truly hope that all the things discussed above, clarified at least some of the complexities involved in computing and forecasting WhatsApp's conversation based pricing.

In addition to understanding the economics of WhatsApp costs, tapping into the power of conversational CRM platforms like Gallabox can help effectively manage and optimise WhatsApp for business costs. Create an engaging and profitable WhatsApp Strategy that actually delivers real value to your customers and prospects with a free trial of Gallabox.

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Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran

Shivasankari BhuvaneswaranTwitter

Content Strategist | Storyteller | Copywriter | SEO Enthusiast | Tone of Voice Consultant | Writing Coach | All Things Content @ Gallabox |