WhatsApp (Chat API)

As a free, multi-function messaging and VoIP app owned by Facebook, WhatsApp is the No.1 messaging app 1.6 billion active users in over 180 countries as of Sept 2019.

This WhatsApp Integration is accomplished by ChatAPI, a third party WhatsApp API Provider. However, it provides a quick and easy way for small companies to use for marketing and customer support purposes, with only a fixed charge.

ChatAPI is not an official WhatsApp Business API Partner. However, it is the best option for small and medium companies to support and send updates to leads and customers.

This WhatsApp Integration has a huge dependency on your phone connectivity. Make sure your phone is charged and always connected to internet through Wi-Fi.

Twilio WhatsApp, in contrast, is more suitable for larger enterprises using WhatsApp Official API for chatbots, supports and sending updates. We have a detailed guide here below for such integration:

If you need help on choosing the right WhatsApp Business provider between Twilio and ChatAPI, please check our blog here: https://sleekflow.io/blog/whatsapp-business-chatapi-and-twilio/

Connecting to Your WhatsApp Account

In order to connect WhatsApp (with ChatAPI) to SleekFlow, you will need the following:

We strongly advise your company to register a WhatsApp Business Account if it has not be done. You could register with any number.

For this WhatsApp Integration to work properly, please note that:

  1. The phone with WhatsApp installed should always be connected to Wi-Fi and charged

  2. Do NOT use WhatsApp Desktop/ Web simultaneously

  3. Have WhatsApp App running in the background of the phone to ensure stable connectivity

Install WhatsApp on SleekFlow Platform

You can manage all your channels on SleekFlow Platform - Channel. Click "Add" button by navigating to the dots button next to "WhatsApp".

SleekFlow Channels

WhatsApp Integration is a paid add-on service provided by SleekFlow & ChatAPI, You'll have to pay 29 USD/ month for each number to integrate with WhatsApp Business. Click "Pay" to continue.

You'll be guided to the payment page to enter your card information. Please note that this subscription fee will be charged immediately even when you're in the Trial Period.

WhatsApp Business by ChatAPI is a paid service. Unlike other platforms, it requires users to pay to access its business features and bulk sending functions with multiple user access.

After the payment goes through, you will be navigated back to the channel page. Click "Add" again.

If you see the "Pay" button again, please kindly refresh the screen again. This may be due to delayed response from payment processing.

Please enter "Channel Name" for this specific WhatsApp Integration. This is necessary for your team to recognise this WhatsApp Channel. For example, you could name it "Sales Team", "Customer Service" or "Operations Team".

A QR code will be generated for you to connect to WhatsApp. This process could take up to 1 minute.

Scan the QR Code, by opening your WhatsApp Mobile App: Setting -> WhatsApp Web/ Desktop -> Scan QR Code, and point to the screen.

After scanning the QR code, it could take up to 1 minute for our system to recognise.

Please click "Done" after entering the "Channel Name" and successful scanning.

It could take up to 15 minutes for the integration to process. After that, feel free to test by sending and receiving messages. You're good to go!

Requesting Chat History

If you wish to request chat history and contacts in your existing phone with WhatsApp Installed, please submit a request to us. Send a message via WhatsApp to us with the following information:

  1. Company Name: e.g. SleekFlow

  2. Email Registered: e.g. hi@sleekflow.io

  3. WhatsApp Number: e.g. +852-39053590

  4. Channel Name of the WhatsApp: e.g. SleekFlow Sales Team

  5. Scheduled slot to synchronise chat history: e.g. 2020/05/20 23:00 (GMT+8)

Please note that, during the time of synchronising chat history, your WhatsApp may become unusable. Messages will not be able to be sent and received properly. Please patiently wait for 6 hours until all past conversations have been synced to the platform.

Reminders & Frequently Asked Questions

1. Phone should always be connected to Internet

Please keep your phone charged and connected to the Internet, with WhatsApp App running at the background of the device.

You will need the device where WhatsApp is installed to remain charged and connected to the internet for the integration to work. Please also keep WhatsApp app running at the background of the device. If the device is disconnected, you would not be able to send, receive and sync messages.

This may seem simple, but there are several situations where a mobile phone may seem to be connected to the internet when it is not. For example, you may be connected to Wifi, but the Wifi is not connected to the internet. Use Speedtest to ensure you have a strong and stable internet connection.

Something more difficult to check is if the internet connection is stable. Generally, to ensure you have a stable connection, you will want to have a dedicated phone that is always connected to a stable Wifi. Using a personal phone that you carry around will reduce your reliability.

We advise to leave the phone charged and connected to internet in the office.

2. DO NOT use WhatsApp Desktop/ Web simultaneously

Please do not use WhatsApp Web/ Desktop while using SleekFlow.

ChatAPI uses the same WhatsApp Web interface to pass messages. Since you can only have one WhatsApp Web open at a time, using WhatsApp Web after connecting to SleekFlow will break the connection between your phone and SleekFlow.

3. Turn off Battery Optimisation for Android Phone

If you have an older Android phone, you may have already experienced constant connectivity problems with WhatsApp Web/ Desktop, which could results in problems while synchronising with SleekFlow.

Please read more about this article from WhatsApp: https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/android/22014642/

Also, Android phones can optimise apps for battery life. This will affect your WhatsApp integration as the phone may pause WhatsApp when your phone has been inactive for a long time. To turn off battery optimisation for WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business App:

  1. Go to Settings

  2. Navigate to Battery

  3. Navigate to Battery Optimisation

  4. Find WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business App in the list

  5. Select Don't Optimise

4. Limits & Charges for WhatsApp

US$29/ Month with 6,000 messages/ day/ number, and a 5-10 seconds interval between each messages sent with Campaign.

ChatAPI WhatsApp integrations is a paid add-on subscription service provided by WhatsApp/ ChatAPI. The current price is US$ 29 and includes 6,000 messages per day. We have also set a 5-10 second interval between each message being sent on WhatsApp through campaign.

5. Avoid spamming messages

Send personalised messages to subscribers to avoid getting reported.

If you have never sent message to the contacts before, please start with a short greeting message. For example, "Hello Jeremy! This is George from SleekFlow." Please note that if too many users report your accounts, your WhatsApp account might get blocked temporarily.

When using WhatsApp API to send messages to customers:

  1. Make sure they have subscribed to your mailing list or had prior contacts with your companies.

  2. Do not purchase contacts from third parties and send promotional messages.

  3. Try to craft a more personalised messages to your targets

No matter which Business API you use, your account has a possibility to get blocked if a large number of users report your accounts to WhatsApp due to marketing spams.