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New WhatsApp feature: Click to Chat

WhatsApp occasionally comes with adjustments to the very popular app. They recently launched a feature that offers many opportunities for the business market. Click to Chat. With Click to Chat, people can contact you via WhatsApp without having first stored your number on their smartphone. The latest feature is one of the four options to start a chat outside WhatsApp. Let us explain the 4 options.

1. Click to Chat

Click to Chat offers customers the option to click on a link to start a WhatsApp chat with your organization, for example on the website or in a digital signature. With this application, they don’t need to store your WhatsApp number first. Basically, the application gives you three options. The first one is to start an ’empty’ chat, but you can also start a chat with a predefined text. The second one is Click to Chat, which allows you to send a predefined text to one or more contacts. And thirdly, just like a ‘share’ button at the bottom of an article, you can also share content via WhatsApp. With the last two options, you can also implement a hyperlink first, which is sent at the same time.

‘Click to Chat’ in de praktijk
Om een ‘gewone’ chat te starten gebruik je deze code:
https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=
Bijvoorbeeld zo: https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=31613558270

Please note: no punctuation marks or double 0!
So the code: https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=+0031-(6)13 55 82 70 is wrong!

You can also use the variant below with a predefined text. The underscored text in this form is variable: https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=phonenumber&text=urlencodedtext

Example: https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=31613558270&text=Ik%20wil%20graag%20meer%20informatie%20over%20WhatsApp%20voor%20bedrijven

And with the hyperlink:

https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=31613558270&text=Ik%20wil%20graag%20meer%20informatie%20over%20WhatsApp%20voor%20bedrijven%20van%20https%3A%2F%2Fsaysimple%2Enl

Do you want to share content?
Do you rather see your customers send a WhatsApp message about your content to their contacts, then you should use this code:

Example: https://api.whatsapp.com/send?text=Check%20%20https%3A%2F%2Fsaysimple%2Enl%2Fblog%2F%20voor%20interessant%20blogs%20over%20het%20zakelijk%20inzetten%20van%20WhatsApp

This will immediately open a screen with contacts that can be selected to share the content with.

‘Click to Chat’ pros and cons
The main advantage of ‘Click to Chat’? It also works from your desktop! So customers can also contact you by using the web version of the chat app. The range of messages you can send is endless. So be creative. ‘Click to Chat’ also has a downside. Your number is not automatically stored. After the chat, the customer has to decide whether he wants to store the number.

2. The clickable WhatsApp number in practice

A clickable WhatsApp number can be stored on your phone directly from the website. This is an important prerequisite because a WhatsApp conversation without ‘Click to Chat’ is only possible when 1 of the 2 participants has stored the WhatsApp number of the recipient. This precaution has been built in to make sure that messages can’t be randomly pushed to people who don’t want to receive them.

‘Click to Chat’ in practice
It’s easy to make a clickable number yourself. Use the following code and add it to the (mobile) website or in the app.

<a href=”tel: 0613558270”>06 – 1355 8270</a> becomes, for example: 06 – 1355 8270

You can also use the other method below. The underscored text in this form is variable:

<a href=”tel:0613558270”>Questions? Send a WhatsApp message!

 

Clickable WhatsApp number pros and cons
The fact that customers have to store your number is an advantage. They can easily find you and, as a company, you have a place among their friends and family, which is positive for your branding. The only downside is that a clickable WhatsApp number only works well on Android phones. When the customer uses an iPhone, he or she gets a notification to call the number, after which it can be stored.

3. The vCard

Another method to make the WhatsApp number clickable is by using a vCard on the website. The difference between a clickable WhatsApp number and a vCard is that the vCard contains additional data like a company name, address, and location. You can generate a vCard on this website.

The vCard in practice
You save the code below as a file with a .vcf extension. After that, you can ask the website administrator if the file can be placed in the root domain of the website via FTP. When this has been done, you can place the vCard by adding the vCard URL to the WhatsApp number. The underscored text in this example is variable.

BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:4.0
PRODID:-//BBros.us llc//bvCard.com//EN
N:SaySimple
EMAIL:info@saysimple.nl
ORG:SaySimple
TEL: 0613558270
URL;type=pref:https://www.saysimple.nl
ADR:;Hulswitweg 14;;Haarlem;;2031 BG;Nederland
END:VCARD

vCard pros and cons
A vCard is more complex but contains additional information. It also looks more sophisticated, which can be a reason to opt for a vCard.

4. QR-code

Last but not least, you can use a QR code. QR code? Yes, that’s right! Desktop users, but also users who come across the QR code in a magazine or at the bus stop, can scan the QR code and store the number or send a message right away. That is why the QR code has more advantages than you’d think.

The QR code in practice
The QR code contains a vCard with the WhatsApp number and other relevant information about the organization. You can create a QR code on this website yourself. After that, you save the code as an image and you place it on your website.

QR code pros and cons
The main advantage of the QR code is turning anonymous offline reach into online contact. However, the QR code also has a major downside. You still need a special scan app to scan the code. With the launch of iOS11, this is already a thing of the past for iPhone users, which may result in the QR code becoming just as popular as it is in Asia.

More information

‘Click to Chat’ or a clickable WhatsApp number on the website are excellent methods to boost the volume on the WhatsApp number. There are several options to achieve this, such as ‘Click to Chat’ with or without text and with or without a hyperlink, a number with a clickable link, a vCard, or a QR code. The method you choose depends on your target audience and on whether this group prefers desktop or mobile. Do you need advice? We are here to help you.

Are you looking for more information about using WhatsApp for businesses? Download our whitepaper ‘Customer services via WhatsApp’! Or you can send us a WhatsApp message, download our vCard, or scan the adjacent QR code to store our number on your phone.

qr-code_vcard_saysimple-300x300

written by
Joey Drieskens
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The Messaging Agency