This article talks about an integral feature of WhatsApp Business APIs - WhatsApp URL Links! Learn about what they are, why should you use them and how to best customise these URL Links!
As a business, you are probably making use of WhatsApp for marketing, sales and customer support functions already with the help of a WhatsApp Business API solution. You’re probably also using click-to-WhatsApp ads, a website opt-in feature and other strategies to get your target audience to start a conversation with you on the messaging platform.
We can now also see businesses extensively sharing their WhatsApp numbers on social media as well as through QR codes in their packaging, in-store posters and other point of contact with their consumers - all so that they can get them to converse on the popular messaging platform.
But what if we said there’s a much simpler way for you to share your WhatsApp Business number with consumers instead of having them scan or type out all the digits?
Yes, we’re talking about using the smart feature called WhatsApp URL links.
What are WhatsApp URL links?
WhatsApp URL links are similar to website links; but on clicking lead a person to the WhatsApp account of the one who has shared the link. They are a feature introduced by WhatsApp to make it easier for individuals and businesses to share their contact information and start conversations with consumers.
How do WhatsApp URL links work?
When you share a WhatsApp URL link with someone, here are the two things that happen:
- If the person has WhatsApp installed, the link opens a chat window with the person sharing the link immediately to start chatting
- If the person does not have WhatsApp installed, the link takes them to the App Store to ask them to install the messaging app and create an account
- If the person clicks on the link on the web, it opens the chat on WhatsApp on the web browser they are making use of; for which again, the person should have the messaging platform linked and connected
The WhatsApp link for every account on the messaging platform is unique and hence carries the information of the same to the person it has been shared with. This includes their account name, account number and account type.
Why should you use WhatsApp URL links?
Now that you know how WhatsApp URL links work, you may wonder if you can simply sell out and share your number, why use a link for the same purpose. Well, here’s taking a look at some of the benefits of using WhatsApp links:
- Makes it simpler to share WhatsApp numbers at scale without having to spell them out manually repeatedly
- Reduces the chances of error while noting the WhatsApp number down, ensuring the right information is passed
- Encourages initiating a conversation immediately by opening a WhatsApp chat; removing the need to wait for the new contact to drop a message - longer the wait, higher the chances of the consumer forgetting to message you
- Helps businesses leverage features such as greeting messages, welcome automations and more to engage their audiences almost immediately on the messaging platform
- Helps integrate marketing efforts across social media, emails, SMS and other channels to initiate more conversations on WhatsApp
How to generate WhatsApp URL link?
You can generate a WhatsApp URL link pretty simply by using the following framework recommended by WhatsApp:
In the above framework, the phone number needs to be entered in the international format only. You should omit any zeroes, brackets or dashes when adding the phone number; the pre-filled message automatically appears in the text field of the chat.
Do you need a WhatsApp link generator?
There are a number of free and online WhatsApp link generators. They all work on the same concept of asking for your WhatsApp number to create a link in the above format. So if you can make one without having to sign up for a WhatsApp link generator, all you need to do is use the format above and enter your information.
If you’re skeptical about going wrong when creating a WhatsApp link, you can either reach out to WhatsApp marketing experts at a WhatsApp Business API solution provider or use a free tool for the same.
How to customize a WhatsApp link?
If you’re an individual, using the standardized WhatsApp link can serve the purpose. But if you’re a business owner wanting to use WhatsApp URL links across your marketing, sales, advertising and support functions, we recommend customizing it.
Customizing a WhatsApp link is required if you want to be able to track where consumers are coming from and where the most number of conversations get initiated from. Being able to track these parameters is key to succeeding at making use of WhatsApp for enabling conversational commerce.
- Customize WhatsApp link by adding pre-filled messages: These are extensions to your WhatsApp link to describe its purpose or add more context to it. For example, if you’re routing conversations from a collection page, the customized link will hence carry the information of the page through which a visitor has shown interest in starting a conversation.
- Customize WhatsApp link using the text parameter: Another way to customize the URL is to use the text parameter. This is where you can enter the description you want as a pre-filled message; it must be encoded in ASCII characters, using %20 instead of spaces (similar to how you set trackable URLs for website links).
- Customize WhatsApp link using the Google Tag Manager: You can also make use of GTM to add a pre-filled message to your WhatsApp URL. Although this approach requires you to learn more about conversion tracking before the set up, which can take longer.
How to use WhatsApp URL links?
Now, there are a number of ways in which you can use WhatsApp URL links across marketing, advertising, sales and customer support strategies. Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. Add them to your social media profiles
Similar to how you add links to your online store in your social media profiles, you can use your WhatsApp links to serve as the main CTA. This is recommended if you have a product catalog size that can be easily shared on WhatsApp Business, making it easier for interested buyers to place orders through conversations on the messaging platform.
2. Include WhatsApp URLs in your social media posts
If you don’t want to swap your main profile link with a WhatsApp URL, start including them in your social media posts instead. Every now and then, based on the content of your social post, add your WhatsApp URL to start a chat with your audience. This is great for social media posts like contests, quizzes, custom orders and similar.
3. Use WhatsApp links as a CTA
Most social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, allow you to add a primary CTA to your profile/ page which appears like a button. You can also use your WhatsApp links here with a CTA text like ‘message us’. While this may not prominently ask consumers to message you on WhatsApp, it is indicative of the same.
4. Use WhatsApp URLs in click to message ads
With click to message ads becoming popular, a lot of businesses can be seen using their WhatsApp numbers. You can make this advertising campaign even more streamlined by adding WhatsApp URL links to the ads with customizations - especially if you’re promoting specific products or deals that you’d like to track more closely.
5. Include them in your email newsletters
Even though email still continues to offer the highest ROI to businesses for every dollar spent, most consumers don’t really respond to them considering they are one way communications. To nudge your email subscribers to talk to your brand, you can share your WhatsApp links in email newsletters. You can entice them to do so with the help of custom discount codes or telling them how it’s a more proactive channel for them to seek information about your latest products and discounts.
6. Add WhatsApp links to your website
Customize your WhatsApp links and add them to your website. You can set up WhatsApp links across your entire website to offer support or answer queries about the products a visitor is interested in. Alternatively, you can use WhatsApp links on pages where there is a custom discount or product customization available.
7. Use WhatsApp links in SMS marketing
SMS marketing is still a one-way channel of running promotions in most countries, owing to the restrictions set by the government. You can actually run SMS marketing campaigns that promote your WhatsApp links in order to establish a two-way communication with your customers and subscribers. In addition to the same, WhatsApp also helps you include media files like PDF, images and videos, making your promotions a lot more engaging.
8. To offer customer support
Another way to use WhatsApp links is to offer customer support to your target audience online. You can encourage your social media followers and website visitors to seek information about products they’re interested in on WhatsApp. Nudge them to start a conversation on the messaging platform to get to know about their purchase requirements better. A good WhatsApp Business API solution provider like QuickReply.ai also comes with a Shared Inbox to help manage customer support and service queries with ease using automations and labels.
9. Establish connection with offline and retail customers
With the help of QR codes displayed on point of sale or on product packaging, you can lead your offline and retail customers to your WhatsApp account. If they haven’t visited your website yet to make a purchase, this can help open up a communication channel to keep them engaged, helping you remain on top of their minds.
Do you need a WhatsApp URL link?
Well, if you ask us, WhatsApp URL links are pretty handy and useful for starting conversations with your target audience as well as customers. They don’t just make it a one-click interaction, but also cut short the hassle of having to remember and enter long phone numbers, making them more likely to actually use the messaging platform to reach your business.
In addition to the above, WhatsApp URL links can also be used across other marketing platforms to integrate your efforts and tap into the power of conversational commerce.
Ready to leverage the WhatsApp URL link?
If you want to learn more about WhatsApp links and how to use them across your promotional campaigns, reach out to our WhatsApp marketing experts for a demo.
Frequently asked questions
How to create WhatsApp link?
Get WhatsApp chat link by adding your phone number in the international format in this template - https://wa.me/<number> ; you can also add a pre-filled message based on the customization you want to implement.
Where can I find WhatsApp link?
Since the universal format of WhatsApp link is preferred and is more trustworthy amongst consumers, we recommend using https://wa.me/<number> to create your URL. Remember to omit all spaces and zeros when adding your phone number in the international format.
How do you send a WhatsApp link?
Once you have created a WhatsApp URL, you can simply copy and paste it across various channels. You can forward them on messages, include them on social media pages, email newsletters or even in your click to WhatsApp ad campaigns.
How to create short links?
Short links are another name for WhatsApp URL links but for business purposes. For this, you will need to sign up and create a WhatsApp Business account, head over to Business tools and tap on Short link to get access to the auto-generated URL. You can customize the short links with pre-filled text and GTM parameters as well.
How to get sales from short WhatsApp links?
WhatsApp URLs are great for starting a conversation with your audience on the messaging platform. But once the conversation is initiated, it is important to ensure you keep the consumers engaged. This is where leveraging a WhatsApp Business API solution provider like QuickReply.ai comes in handy to set up welcome automations, broadcast campaigns for promotions, customer winback campaigns, cart recovery campaigns and more.