In addition to providing SMS, Twilio is also an Official API provider that provides businesses with purchased phone numbers and WhatsApp Official API accounts.
Twilio WhatsApp is more suitable for medium to large enterprises using official API for chatbots, customer support and sending updates, charging on a pay-as-you-go basis. In contrast, if you're a small company mainly using it for marketing and customer support, ChatAPI might be a better choice for you as a quick and easy way to get started instantly. We have a detailed guide below for such integration:
If you want a detailed comparison, please check: https://sleekflow.io/blog/whatsapp-business-chatapi-and-twilio/
First, you'd need to create a free Twilio account.
Please verify your account with Email and Phone Number for security purpose.
Please head to Programmable Messaging -> Try it Out -> Try WhatsApp.
Activate your sandbox account by clicking ."Agree"
Please go to "Programmable Messaging" -> "Senders" -> "WhatsApp Senders" by accessing the left menu.
Click "Sign up to request access" to open up a new form.
Once you have submitted this form, the Twilio team will contact you in a couple of days to let you know when your official account is approved. After that, you can move to the next step of integrations.
Please find a general guide below to help you fill in the Twilio WhatsApp Application Form, including some of the best practices:
First Name of company representative making the application.
Last Name of company representative making the application.
Phone Number of company representative making the application (we recommend to use your mobile number or a direct line).
Email Address of company representative making the application.
Remember only companies can apply for WhatsApp API accounts, if you are an individual check out the WhatsApp App Integration.
Company HQ Country
Country where your companies main operations are based.
Twilio Account SID
You can find your Twilio Account SID in your Twilio Dashboard.
Facebook Business Manager ID
WhatsApp Accounts are attached to Facebook Business Manager for authentication. Instructions for finding your Facebook Business Manger ID.
Facebook Business Verification
Click "Yes" if you have done this before. Otherwise, please refer to our guide here.
E.g. Technology. Please avoid Marketing, Media, Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals .
What is your use case?
We recommend to apply with "Customer Support", you can always change your use case later on.
Which regions are you sending messages to?
E.g. Latin America, East Asia
How many messages are you sending every month to these regions?
We recommend to apply with "100,000 to 1,000,000." This is just an estimate and won't have any effect on your billing.
I wish to provision this account with a third party vendor
Assign approval to alternative Account SID
Just leave empty.
I understand Twilio can modify my SMS/Voice URL and that approval is only for the brand submitted
If you are from Hong Kong, you'd have to submit a regulatory bundle which includes your BR certificate for review.
Go to Phone Numbers -> Regulatory Compliance -> Bundles. Click Create a Regulatory Bundle.
Please follow the instructions and fill in required information, as well as uploading your business supporting document for review.
After submitting your regulatory bundle, you will receive an email confirming the process is complete.
Now you'd need to add your credit card to choose and purchase your new number.
Go to Billing from your Twilio Account. Click "Upgrade Now."
Add your company and billing address, and your payment method to pay for the Phone Number and WhatsApp Fee. Learning more about WhatsApp Pricing here.
For Example, for Hong Kong:
Template Message - It charges 0.0555 USD/ message to talk to customers who have not contacted you in the last 24 hours.
Session Message - it charges 0.005 USD/ message to talk to customer who replied you in the last 24 hours.
Now you can go to Phone Numbers - Buy a Phone Number to search for a number.
You can select any numbers from any country available on Twilio.
If you are only using the number for WhatsApp, you can choose a voice number starting from 6 USD (for Hong Kong).
If you want to use it in conjunction with SMS, you'll have to choose a number with SMS capability starting from 15 USD (for Hong Kong).
Click Buy to choose your preferred number.
Choose "Business" and select an approved regulatory bundle.
Go to "Programmable Messaging" -> "Senders" -> "WhatsApp Senders" by accessing the left menu.
Now you'll be able to create a sender profile, which are essentially WhatsApp Account.
Please press the New WhatsApp Sender button to open the Profile Information Form.
This form is where you create your WhatsApp sender profile. This information will be public to anyone that talks to your WhatsApp number. Please see the below a guide to help you fill out the information:
Select a Number*
Here you can choose any number you purchased on your Twilio account that has SMS enabled.
Public name of company/organization, e.g. SleekFlow
Public address of company/organization or select from saved address.
Official email of company/organization, e.g. email@example.com
Official website address of company/organization, e.g. https://sleekflow.io
Link to Logo
Provide URL to logo in png or jpeg format, 640x640 at a minimum, with a solid background.
Check if Profile is for a client
Do not select and leave it blank.
If you wish to send outbound messages to customers who you have not talked within the past 24 hours or any new customer, you'll have to use a WhatsApp message template under WhatsApp's rules. You can add it later once your sender profile is approved. For details, please see:
Click on the "Submit Request" button at the bottom.
You can manage all your channels on SleekFlow Platform - Channel.
Click "Add" button by navigating to the dots button next to "WhatsApp (Twilio)".
Now you should be asked for the Channel Name, Account SID, Auth Token and Phone Number.
Please enter "Channel Name" for this specific Twilio WhatsApp Integration. This is necessary for your team to recognise this SMS Channel. For example, you could name it "APAC Ops" or "NY Support Team".
Now head back to the Twilio console dashboard. Copy the "Account SID" to paste in the form above.
Click "view" to reveal the "Auth Token" and paste it in the form above.
One you have entered Account SID and Auth Token to the form, please also enter the phone number that you just apply, together with the country code.
You'll also have to set the Twilio Webhook configuration for the selected Phone Number.
Go to "Programmable Messaging" -> "Senders" -> "WhatsApp Senders" . Click "Configure".
Change the webhook under "A Message comes in" to the Webhook to the link below.
Click "Configure" and save the settings on Twilio.
Now go back to SleekFlow, make sure you added all information and click "Install" on the SleekFlow Form.
Press the notification at the top and it brings you to User Settings:
Select either "Once per computer" or "Every Login" and press "Update 2FA Settings" to proceed.
After selecting, you will be directed to a new page where it requires you to type in your personal phone number, then press "Send code via SMS".
You will then have to check your phone number for the message with the included code, type in the follow field and press "Verify".
Lastly, they will provide you with a Recovery code for you to access your account if there is an issue with the Two Factor Authentication.
Please note that you'll have to upgrade to a paid account in Twilio in order to send messages to all other recipients. To test the function first, you can add your own number to verified caller ID. After that, please upgrade (from the top right corner) and top up with some credits to start sending.
The message that you sent may not be of the right format of the registered. Please check again with you template on the platform or submit new templates for WhatsApp to review.
Twilio charges WhatsApp Messages on a pay-as-you-go basis. Each country has a different pricing for a . templated and session message. For more information, please check: https://www.twilio.com/whatsapp/pricing/us.
The bill has to be separate from your SleekFlow account. If you wish to enjoy a better rate, please talk to us as we could offer betting bulk pricing option as a certified Twilio Partner.