A user must first consent to receive messages in WhatsApp by opting into them via a third-party channel. This can be any channel your business uses to communicate with people today — your website, app, email, SMS, retail location, etc.
The opt-in must be an active opt-in. This means it must be triggered by a user action, such as entering a phone number or checking a box to indicate consent.
Clear opt-in messaging so that a user knows what type(s) of messaging the person is signing up for.
Third-party channel requirements
Required language elements:
“receive [noun], [logo and name], on [number]"
Where noun is type of information related to the flow.
User must be asked to opt-in via a visual element (checkbox or similar) shown next to the WhatsApp name and logo on your chosen third party channel. The user should have control over what number is used through explicit action (e.g., editing). In addition, language must be shown adjacent to the UI elements to explain clearly what information will be received and make specific reference to this information being sent as messages on WhatsApp.
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If a customer reaches out to us for customer support, does that count as opt-in for other notifications?
No. We encourage all businesses to use WhatsApp as a customer support channel, but if you are also using it to send notifications, you will need to get opt-in via a third-party channel for the notifications you plan to send. The exception here is notifications (message templates) that has the issue_resolution type. Since these are part of the original customer support thread, a business can send notifications of this type outside of the 24 hour customer support window.
Can I use SMS, email, and other channels to get opt-in on WhatsApp?
Yes. You can use any channel that you use today to reach your customers, but you must follow our guidelines in order to get them to opt in. This means that there has to be a flow for a user to indicate the number and types of messages they want to receive on WhatsApp. An example would be sending an SMS that links to a form they can fill out to indicate that they want to receive messages on WhatsApp.
Can I use one checkbox to ask users to opt into receiving messages on WhatsApp or SMS?
No. You must indicate WhatsApp as a separate option with the name and logo.
If the explicit action to type in a phone number happens in a previous step of the on-boarding flow (particularly for new users), do I need to re-verify the number again?
No. If there is a multi-step flow that users have to complete where in that same flow a user has already verified their phone number, but the active opt-in for WhatsApp happens on the next screen or later in user on-boarding, it's okay to not show the phone number again.
If a business promotes calling them on WhatsApp in order to collect a set of customer numbers, does this count as opt-in?
In order for this to count as opt-in, a business would need to first create a flow (e.g., a form hosted on their website) that follows our guidelines. The user must opt into receiving specific types of messages on WhatsApp and understand that by calling a number that is what they are doing.
How is WhatsApp monitoring that a business followed the opt-in policies?
To ensure compliance, WhatsApp routinely check a business' opt-in flows. WhatsApp also monitor the quality signals you'll see in your WhatsApp Account. When they are red, WhatsApp will verify that the appropriate opt-in flow is in place.