Outbound WhatsApp messages

How to use Proactive Support to schedule and send outbound WhatsApp messages to your customers.

Beth-Ann Sher avatar
Written by Beth-Ann Sher
Updated over a week ago

Outbound WhatsApp messages can be sent from the Proactive Support section.

This feature is only available on our current pricing. Please reach out to our team if you're interested in changing your plan to access it. If you are on a free trial, you'll have a limit of 100 messages in the last 30 days.

These messages have the same capabilities as other message types, including:

  • One-off messages

  • Ongoing dynamic messages

  • Event targeted transactional SMS

  • Available to use in Series

  • And more!

Important

To use this feature, you'll need to set up the WhatsApp integration first.

WhatsApp only allows sending pre-approved business initiated message templates (so you can’t customize the text message in Intercom). You can create message templates from WhatsApp Manager.

Read WhatsApp's policy for sending proactive business initiated messages.


Get started

First, go to Proactive Support from the main menu and click + New message in the top right corner.

Then choose WhatsApp from the list of message types.

Set up content

Decide which teammate the message will be sent "From" and who to "Assign replies to" (this can be a team or teammate, including the "Owner" of the user/lead).

Click Select WhatsApp number and choose a WhatsApp business number you've integrated with Intercom.

Click Select message template to choose one of your pre-saved WhatsApp message templates.

Then select the language for that message template (if you have multiple).

You'll now see a preview of your message on the right.

Note:

  • This preview may look different to the actual message in WhatsApp.

  • We currently don't support rich media such as images in outbound message templates.

  • WhatsApp messages will use your contacts' Phone attribute to send the message to that phone number. It’s recommended that those numbers are in E.164 format (e.g. +441231234123).

Fill parameters using attributes

WhatsApp message templates also support variables/parameters. If your template includes variables, you'll be able to select the attribute in Intercom you'd like each variable to use.

For example, the WhatsApp message template might have a variable for a user's first name. So you'd select this variable highlighted in the message preview and choose the "First name" attribute from the list.

The sender of the message will be associated with the "Author" attributes.

Rules

Choose if you want the WhatsApp message to trigger based on event or date based rules.

Then define the audience the message will send to:

For example, you might want to send this message to leads after they've contacted your Sales team, but only if their Phone number starts with "+44".

Note:

  • Users without a value saved in the Phone attribute will automatically be excluded from the audience.

  • If you use an event or date based rule to trigger a WhatsApp message, your audience must be "Dynamic".

Frequency and scheduling

Decide how often you want the WhatsApp message to send (i.e. "Send once, first time the person matches the rules"). Then schedule the start and stop dates for sending this message.

Goal

Click + Add goal if you'd like to understand how your WhatsApp message drives people to take action in your product.

Set message live

Once you've finished setting up your outbound WhatsApp message, you can go ahead and click Set live in the top right corner.

Note:

  • Messages to a dynamic audience will remain live and send every time the rules are matched, unless you specify a date to "Stop sending".

  • The most common cause of high error rates in outbound WhatsApp campaigns are due to an error from the WhatsApp API, having a high amount of Users with invalid numbers, or your Workspace having exceeded your plans monthly outbound WhatsApp limit.


Send WhatsApp messages in Series

Outbound WhatsApp messages can be set up as part of a Series you've orchestrated too.

This is great for triggering WhatsApp messages to send as part of a customer's journey through your product, such as reminding users about items in their shopping cart, or confirming when a refund has been processed.


Customer experience

Customers who matched the specified audience rules for the WhatsApp message will receive the message on WhatsApp.

The customer can reply, and you'll receive the reply on the Help Desk (in the inbox you assigned replies to). Teammates will be able to see the WhatsApp message that the user replied to in the conversation thread.


Reporting

For WhatsApp messages that have been live, go to Proactive Support and open the WhatsApp message in view mode (before clicking Edit) to see the Sent/Issues stats.

If there were any issues sending the message, you'll see them in the Issues tab. Some known issues are:

  • The WhatsApp integration does not exist.

  • You don't have access to the WhatsApp add-on on your current plan (this is required on our legacy plans).

  • There was an error from the WhatsApp API request that sent the message.

  • Users numbers are invalid.

  • Your Workspace has exceeded it's plans monthly outbound WhatsApp limit.


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