WhatsApp integration: the risks of doing it unofficially

Is trying to integrate with WhatsApp Business unofficially worth it? Don’t end up costing yourself more by trying to save a little.

Would you risk never again being able to use the WhatsApp API for your business just to save a little money? You don’t have to sacrifice years of effort and work. Find out what the consequences are for choosing the “wrong path.”

After considering carefully and making some calculations, you have decided WhatsApp for Business integration is right for your company.

I think that’s a great decision!

You’ve thought it through, and you’re convinced that it is the best way to channel all the leads you receive, increase that number, and leave your clients (even more) satisfied.

I couldn’t agree more!

You’ve figured out that WhatsApp Business will make your communications faster, more agile, and simpler, and because it is linked to one central phone number, it means you’ll no longer depend entirely on each of your individual salespeople.

Congratulations!

So, after thinking this through, would you sacrifice all these benefits by attempting a WhatsApp Business non- official integration?

I wouldn’t! Definitely not!

In the following post, I’ll warn you of the dangers and all you could lose by trying cut corners and save a little money for your business. Trying to cut costs could end up being very expensive in the long run, and not just in money.

unofficial whatsapp integration is a bad idea

WhatsApp Business: you’ve been warned

With just a few clicks through the WhatsApp website, you can find the WhatsApp Business Policy. You’ll see that the guidelines are clear, concise, and direct. In fact, they are quite eloquent in their warnings. I’d like to reiterate them: attempting a WhatsApp Business API integration that is non-official can lead to harsh penalties.

But…what exactly would happen if, in an attempt to save a little money for your business, you chose a WhatsApp integration for your business that wasn’t official?

The WhatsApp policies aren’t messing around here: the consequences rang from limiting or pausing your access to WhatsApp Business to banning your business from ever using the application again.

I invite you to try to answer these questions:

  • How would you explain the company being banned from WhatsApp?
  • Would you tell your bosses that you had good intentions– I don’t doubt that, of course– that you were just trying to limit costs, save resources?

Now, I’m telling you truthfully, I don’t think you need to go through that, or live with the constant fear that it might happen. Just a few more questions (just a few): imagine, seriously, what explanation could you give your bosses?

In order to generate more leads, to get as much as possible out of your marketing channels, you convinced them of the need for WhatsApp integration for your business.

What will they think if the company ends up banned for life from the application? I understand that this could also lead to economic losses that would be difficult to offset. And nobody wants that. Least of all you, or me!

As I explained above, the most important thing here is that you are aware of the risks, so you can carefully evaluate the merits of taking the cheaper route. Choosing to non-officially integrate with WhatsApp Business risks serious consequences in exchange for a minimal savings.

At this point, we can start to reconsider that concept of “cheap,” when we put it into perspective.

no spam

“NO SPAM”, a rule that WhatsApp Business makes you respect

Since even before launching WhatsApp Business, the app has been careful to avoid facilitating or becoming complicit in generating SPAM or other annoying messages.

Their care in this area was very intelligent, not just because it made them more resistant to challenges from competitors, but also because it resulted in excellent possibilities for you and me.

Put yourself in the shoes of a WhatsApp user for a moment, either an individual or a company. Imagine that receiving a constant barrage of messages from the same phone number (a service company, airline, car dealer, movie theater, supermarket chain, etc.)

It’s annoying just to imagine, right? How many messages would you tolerate per day before blocking the number that is so persistent in trying to contact you?

I’m not known for my patience when it comes to spam…here’s where an official integration saves your business from becoming a “spam monster”— and saves other WhatsApp users from having to deal with it 😉.

Just as the WhatsAppp Business policies are very clear–as I mentioned earlier– the service, and what you can access with an official integration is as well. I’m talking about spam, of course.

spam is a bad way to market your product

I’m convinced that having WhatsApp Business approve the first message you send to a client (or potential client) before you send it is a great idea.

What’s that? WhatsApp has to approve your first contact? Yes, exactly, that’s exactly right. Your company has to get the ok through the app for a template which you can use to contact your desired recipient.

And Sirena is fully authorized by WhatsApp to manage and work with these templates.

WhatsApp Business app integration, when done officially, goes even further in its crusade to avoid spam (can you imagine a world without spam? Ahhh…).

It’s normal for a client –or potential client– to delay before responding to messages from your company, right? Well, after a certain amount of time, that first message you sent, the one approved by the app, expires.

So once again you have to go through the approval process. This is one of the WhatsApp Business policies which will keep your business from becoming a repetitive, constant, and undesirable sender of spam.

I’m happy that my business won’t turn into that, and you will be happy as well to keep your company from falling into that pattern.

WhatsApp doesn’t hesitate: it punishes failure to comply with the rules and policies harshly

WhatsApp will punish you for breaking their rules

I’ve noticed that lately there a lot of offers on the market for operating with the WhatsApp API and for WhatsApp Business website integration, to improve and optimize businesses’ communication with clients, and even to improve lead flow and produce more. I understand the menu is large.

Then, I thought with surprise about the number of companies who, guided by a goal to save a little, might opt for–or even worse, have already opted for– the path on unofficial integration with WhatsApp Business. Just like the menu, the temptation is large, I will admit.

I know, of course, of the great need, and the hurry businesses have been in to use WhatsApp Business. The proof is that before the API was released, many companies, apparently in a hurry and perhaps unaware of the consequences, jumped the gun and downloaded a fake WhatsApp Business from Google Play. They think that around five thousand users fell for it.

this is fake

When they were notified of the situation, WhatsApp acted quickly: they got the Google Play Store to take the app down, which, in addition being false, was also harming them.

Why I am I telling you this? It’s simple: WhatsApp doesn’t hesitate when it comes time to take action against those who violate their polices after agreeing to them. And, as you can see in the example above, the consequences aren’t minor.

The policies of WhatsApp Business API are crystal clear with regard to sanctioning non-official integrations and the harshness of the penalties.

WhatsApp and Sirena, an official friendship

sirena and whatsapp are official

Now, after considering, evaluating, and thinking through the risks, maybe even sweating a little at just the idea of trying an unofficial integration with WhatsApp Business and working and living with the fear of your company being penalized for it, I have some news that will help you relax.

You can count on two hands the number of companies authorized by WhatsApp to be official partners.

And Sirena, after his fusion with Zenvia, is happy to now be one of them. As we have done for a while with other integrations, we offer you the ability to contact all your clients in seconds using the same platform. We are a trusted choice to avoid the worst consequences. Our work with WhatsApp Business is always official, so there is absolutely no risk.

Now, of course you also have the option, knowing all this, of insisting on spending a little less. But now you know about the inverse ratio of risk here: being banned from WhatsApp is a huge risk for any company.

How an old poem and saying are still relevant in 2020

Stop in at your favorite coffee shop and you’ll see many more people with their phones in their hands or their eyes glued to laptop screens than people talking casually, telling stories or laughing together.

I think you’ll also have difficulty finding a scene that used to be common: businesspeople, with their briefcases shaking hands over a deal they have just agreed to between their companies.

What an anachronism, right? How great that we have WhatsApp to take care of all that, and take care of it in a way that saves us so much time!

Take a look at this short poem:

A rich, but miserly man

Bought some cheaper, but quite rotten ham.

That night he fell very ill,

And the doctor handed him quite a large bill:

More than twice what the cost would have been

For fresh meat that wasn’t so green.

So learn this about economy, friend:

It’s not how much, but how you spend.

It’s an old, anonymous Spanish verse. What does picking cuts of meat have to do with WhatsApp Business integration? I’m sure you can figure it out.

Look at it this way: the cheap ham is choosing to integrate with WhatsApp Business unofficially. The doctor’s bill, the regret… I think you get what I’m talking about. You get what you pay for.

The cost and the consequences of an non-official WhatsApp Business integration are very high, but with information and tools for correct management, and with contacts who are experienced and trained in WhatsApp for Business integration with CRM, you can choose the correct path that will lead you to success.

Or were you planning on something else?

In the end, if it comes down to saving a few bucks or optimizing your work methods, there’s really no question when you have so much to lose. I’ll spell it out for you, just in case: for working with WhatsApp Business, the best choice is official integration.

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Nahuel Gomez

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