WhatsApp Premium: features, price, and alternatives
WhatsApp has remained the most used instant messaging platform for over a decade. Why? It’s fast, free to use, and ad-free. Businesses also use WhatsApp to provide customers with a real-life shopping experience online.
These benefits will improve for business owners, but for a fee.
In 2022, the Meta-owned instant messaging platform did lots of development and will launch WhatsApp Premium — or WhatsApp Business Premium — a subscription service that'll provide immense benefits to small business owners worldwide.
In a few minutes, I'll explain what you must know about the WhatsApp Premium subscription plan. You'll learn about:
- WhatsApp Premium features
- Pros and cons of WhatsApp Premium
- Alternatives to WhatsApp Premium
- How to set up WhatsApp Premium
What is WhatsApp Premium?
WhatsApp Premium is a subscription service with powerful tools for small business owners to better serve their customers. Subscribing to WhatsApp Premium is optional. But make no mistake: WhatsApp Premium has better features than the free WhatsApp Business app.
WhatsApp Premium features: how is it better than WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Premium outshines WhatsApp Business on two fronts.
First, WhatsApp Premium lets you create a web page for your small business. This web page displays information from your business profile and catalogue. It also updates automatically when you change either your business profile or catalogue.
Second, WhatsApp Premium allows multi-agent support for up to 10 devices. That’s twice what you get with the free WhatsApp Business app. You also have access to chat assignments, which help multiple agents to communicate with customers from a single business account.
What’s the price of WhatsApp Premium?
Meta is yet to release the cost of WhatsApp Premium. But we believe its pricing model might be like charges of the WhatsApp Business API.
How to set up a WhatsApp Premium account
Setting up your WhatsApp Premium account and subscribing is a piece of cake. However, WhatsApp Premium isn’t available in every country yet.
To get started with WhatsApp Premium, follow these steps on your free WhatsApp Business app.
- Tap the three dots at the top right corner of your account
- Tap > Settings > Premium
- Tap START FREE TRIAL or SUBSCRIBE > Subscribe
After making the payment, you can start using your WhatsApp Premium account. Easy peasy.
Pros and Cons of using WhatsApp Premium
WhatsApp Premium is an excellent customer engagement tool for businesses of all sizes. Here are its advantages:
Up to 10 users
WhatsApp Premium lets you connect up to 10 web-based devices and one phone to your account. You can name the connected devices for easy identification, assign chats to agents, and see which device or agent sent a message.
Multiple linked devices in your business account are helpful, especially when you’re running an ad campaign or promotion. This lets different agents respond to your customers' messages and communicate fast.
WhatsApp web page
WhatsApp Premium users can create a professional web page that shows up on search engine results. This web page will contain your business name, profile picture, hours, address, website, and catalogue.
Compared to the WhatsApp Business app that creates a link based on your phone number, WhatsApp Premium lets you create a custom URL that’s tailored to your business and easy for customers to remember.
The custom URL looks like this — https://wa.me/yourbusinessname. You can change this URL once every 90 days. But, if you cancel your subscription, your custom URL will become invalid and other WhatsApp Premium users can claim it.
Easy to set up
As explained in the previous section, WhatsApp Premium is easy to set up. With a few clicks, you’ll have an account and subscribe.
WhatsApp Premium isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Below are the ways it falls short.
Only 10 users on 10 devices (no smartphones)
Only 10 users can use WhatsApp Premium at the same time. If your business gets several WhatsApp Business messages at once, you may need more users and devices to respond to them. Trengo is a WhatsApp Premium alternative that fixes this.
Not available everywhere
WhatsApp Premium isn’t available in every country, yet—meaning your business may not get the benefit from the features it offers.
Google has Google Analytics. LinkedIn has Page Analytics. Facebook has a Business Analytics Suite. But WhatsApp doesn’t have WhatsApp Analytics.
Without analytics, you can’t gain insights or know how well your business is serving your customers. For instance, you’d never be able to track the performance of your 10 agents who use your WhatsApp Premium account.
No collaboration options
Imagine a scenario where one of your agents is less busy and could attend to an existing customer request. It sounds good, right? Except that the agent can’t do it because other users can’t chat within chat threads with customers.
A WhatsApp Business chatbot can help you save time, make your business available 24/7, increase team efficiency, and improve your customer experience.
Unfortunately, the free WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Premium doesn’t enable users to build chatbots. That’s because Meta built them for small businesses with a low number of incoming messages. These businesses rarely need a bot.
To offer a professional chatbot experience via WhatsApp, businesses need to use the WhatsApp Business API.
Why the WhatsApp Business API is a better alternative for SMBs and enterprise companies
The WhatsApp Business API fixes the cons of WhatsApp Premium and also improves its pros. Below are what SMBs and enterprise companies enjoy by using the WhatsApp Business API:
Unlimited number of users and devices (including smartphones)
The WhatsApp Business API enables you to have an unlimited number of users. It also allows you to use WhatsApp Business on many devices. However, you must integrate the API in software like Trengo before you can use it.
Great collaboration options
Unlike WhatsApp Premium, the WhatsApp Business API lets users to tag their colleagues in chat threads. This makes it easy for agents to request help from each other and attend to customer inquiries faster.
Get insights with analytics
Access to your WhatsApp analytics will help you know what and who’s working. These insights will enable you to keep doing what works and improve what’s preventing your team from optimally delighting your customers.
Automate workflows with rules and chatbots
Long response times are a no-no for customers and they can negatively impact your customer satisfaction scores. Thankfully, the WhatsApp Business API improves your response time by helping you automate conversations with rules and chatbots.
Activating rules and chatbots can also help you collect leads, respond to simple questions, and automatically forward customer inquiries to the right agents.
Send broadcast messages to 800 customers a day
A WhatsApp Broadcast Message is an excellent way to reach hundreds of customers at once. When you use the regular WhatsApp Business, you’re limited to sending a broadcast message to a maximum of 256 contacts. This contact ceiling rises to 800 people with the WhatsApp Business API.
Also, the WhatsApp Business API lets you send broadcast messages to people who didn’t save your phone number. You can’t do this with the free WhatsApp Business.
Send notification messages
WhatsApp Business API enables users to send push notifications through broadcast messages. While you can do this with the free WhatsApp Business, one limitation is its lack of GDPR compliance. The API surmounts this limitation and lets you send notifications to your customers safely.
Engage customers with a superior WhatsApp Premium Alternative
WhatsApp Premium is a dream tool for small businesses that manage a few customers at a time. However, if you have many customers and need multiple agents to engage them, you must use the WhatsApp Business API.
The WhatsApp API has no interface, meaning you have to connect it to a customer engagement platform to use it. This is where Trengo comes in. Trengo is an omnichannel communication platform that unifies all of your messaging channels into a single view.
As Martijn Bohncke puts it in the Polar Company’s story, “Trengo really ticks every box. It enables us to combine all our communication channels into one view. From WhatsApp to email and from Facebook to Instagram.”
Getting started with Trengo is easy. Simply set up the API in under 10 minutes and voila! You can start receiving insights on your analytics, connect as many users as you want, create unlimited chatbots, and do much more that boosts the experience of your customers.