WhatsApp Business pricing: all you need to know in 2023
WhatsApp is the most popular new communication channel out there. With over 2 billion active users worldwide, businesses have no choice but to join the customers on the app they like to use most.
But before you get started, you’ll probably have the following question: How much does WhatsApp Business cost me?
WhatsApp Business pricing can seem a little bit complex. The total costs can depend on a number of factors:
- Whether you’re using the regular app or the API
- Your WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP)
- The location of your business
- The number of user-initiated messages sent
- The number of business-initiated messages sent
- The number of your monthly WhatsApp contacts
With this many factors, it’s not always easy to know how much you’ll have to pay at the end of the month. In this guide, we’ll cover which option is best for you and how WhatsApp charges for your ideal solution.
What’s the difference between the app and the API? (TL;DR edition)
First, you’ll need to determine whether your business needs to use the regular WhatsApp Business app or the API.
The WhatsApp Business app was created for small businesses. It’s basically an enriched version of the consumer app, that lets you add a company bio, opening hours, and a product catalog. You can also use some basic automation, such as auto-replies and quick replies.
The biggest con of using this app is that it can only be accessed by four users at the same time. This makes the app useful for small businesses with low message volumes, but very inefficient for larger businesses.
For medium and large-sized businesses, WhatsApp introduced the WhatsApp Business API. Here are the most important advantages of the API:
- Manage conversations with an unlimited number of users
- Automate workflows with quick replies, auto-replies, rules, and WhatsApp bots
- Send automated updates such as order confirmations, payment requests, and flight information
- Centralize all your channels (WhatsApp, email, Messenger, etc.) in one view
The WhatsApp Business API doesn’t come with its own interface. This means you’ll need to connect it to a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, like Trengo’s customer communication platform.
📚 Read more: WhatsApp Business API: what is it and how to get it
WhatsApp Business pricing: what are the costs of the app?
The WhatsApp Business app can be downloaded completely free of charge on both iOS and Android devices:
Before starting, note that if you use your private number, your WhatsApp account will be converted into a business account. You can’t have both a private and a business account on the same number.
If you don’t want to use your private number, you can either decide to buy another phone with a different SIM card or use the WhatsApp Business API.
So is WhatsApp Business free? Yes. But it also has its limitations if you’re not using the API.
WhatsApp Business rates: what are the costs of the WhatsApp API?
The costs vary per WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, but these are the most common ones:
- Set up costs
- Monthly costs
- Costs per conversation
- Costs per monthly contacts
Set up costs
Some WhatsApp Business Solution Providers charge a fee of up to €1000 (!) for setting up your API account. Even though the process only takes about ten minutes.
There are no setup costs at Trengo.
The monthly WhatsApp Business rates can differ a lot per WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP). That’s why it is advised to do some research before starting a subscription.
Many providers, like Messagebird, don’t communicate their prices at all. This means you’ll have to contact them to get a custom price. Other providers can become very costly. For instance, subscriptions at Zendesk (€45) or Userlike (€87) start at a higher price point than Trengo (€16).
There are also platforms that aren’t official WhatsApp Business Solution Providers, but offer the API via third-party companies. This often leads to long-winded setup processes and extra costs for the customer.
Aside from looking at pricing, make sure to check out the features that each provider offers and how much they cost. The devil is often in the details. For instance, at Userlike, you can only build a WhatsApp chatbot with their Business plan (€720 per month), while at Trengo, you can use WhatsApp bots starting at the Scale plan (starting at €27 per month).
Costs per conversation
WhatsApp Business API users pay a fee per conversation. A conversation can either be initiated by the customer or the business. Both types come with a different rate. All messages that are sent within a 24-hour window are covered by the conversation fee. You only pay when you answer a user-initiated message, not when you receive it.
Note: the first 1000 conversations every month (both user and business-initiated) are completely free of charge.
Aside from who initiated the conversation, the costs also vary by country. Below, you can find how much you are charged in your country. You can also have a look at the pricing list for all countries.
At some WhatsApp Business Solution Providers, such as Messagebird, you pay an extra fee on top of WhatsApp’s fees per message. At Trengo, you don’t pay additional fees.
Costs per monthly contacts
Some providers, like CM.com, have established their WhatsApp Business API pricing based on how many monthly active WhatsApp contacts you have. With a large number of contacts, for instance, with a medium or large-sized e-commerce company, this can become costly fast.
The bottom line: find a provider that fits your needs
What WhatsApp Business costs you simply varies per WhatsApp Business Solution Provider.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, sign up for Trengo. With us, you’ll get:
- A team inbox to manage WhatsApp with all your other channels (email, Voice, live chat, Messenger, Instagram, and more)
- The ability to collaborate on customer queries within threads by @tagging your colleague (no Slack or other external apps needed)
- A wide range of automation options (quick replies, auto-replies, rules, and no-code bots)
- Send automated updates such as flight status, order confirmations, payment requests, and more
- In-depth statistics on your team’s performance (response times, number of conversations, resolution time, etc.)
- The ability to send WhatsApp broadcast messages to an audience of 800 customers per day (this feature is available in our Enterprise plan, starting at €35 per seat/month)