What Is WhatsApp Business Automation and How To Get Started

Do you know how to send automated messages on WhatsApp Business? Let’s find out the different types of WhatsApp automation and how you can automate WhatsApp message sending.
Faye Chong
Faye Chong

Content Marketing Lead

Reading time: 4 minutes

Over the years, WhatsApp has evolved from a mere personal messaging app to a platform to market your business and engage with customers. 

With the launch of WhatsApp Business in 2018, small and medium businesses got to enjoy several marketing tools integrated into the Business app — broadcast messaging, template messaging, and most importantly, WhatsApp automation.

Let’s dive deeper into what WhatsApp automation is and how to use it to support your chat marketing efforts. 


What is WhatsApp automation?

WhatsApp automation refers to using the WhatsApp Business app, WhatsApp API, and WhatsApp chatbots to automate entire conversations and message flows. 

This helps businesses to interact with customers at scale even outside of office hours, improving customer satisfaction

While the WhatsApp Business app is a free option, you only get access to the basic automation features compared to using WhatsApp Business API. Of course, while WhatsApp API has more advanced automation features and capabilities, it’s more suitable for larger businesses. 

Here are the types of WhatsApp API automation features available:

  • Automated message flows: With WhatsApp API, you can set up a custom message flow that spans the length of an entire conversation. Typically used for FAQs, auto-replies, or away messages to reduce the lead response time while still answering your customers in a human way. 
  • Automate sales and marketing processes: Using WhatsApp chatbots, you can automate your sales and marketing flows. The chatbots send out welcome messages, introduce your products and services, and share your WhatsApp business catalog.
  • Automate proactive notifications: Send proactive messages using message templates to target customers who have opted-in to receive updates. Some messages include abandoned cart recovery, order confirmations, or payment reminders. 
  • Automate IVR call deflection: Use this feature to direct phone calls to WhatsApp. You can assign a number in your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that can be set to ask the user if they prefer to continue the conversation on WhatsApp. If the user opts-in, they are automatically taken to WhatsApp to continue the conversation, either with a rep or a bot. 

Here are the types of WhatsApp Business automation features available:

  • Automate greeting messages: You can set up this generic message to auto-respond to new incoming chats or to conversations that have no activity after 14 days.
  • Automate away messages: These messages can be set according to a schedule, such as your working hours. It is helpful to inform your leads or customers outside of working hours that you have received their message and will respond to them as soon as possible.
  • Quick reply templates: This feature lets you save and reuse messages you use frequently. You can customize several message templates that can be inserted into your chat box by using the assigned keyword after ‘/’.

Why you should automate WhatsApp messages

Other than the fact that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app with over 2 billion active users worldwide, it offers much more than just texting. 

WhatsApp automation takes things a step further by allowing businesses to automate entire conversations — which helps reduce response times, provides quick interactions, and can even guide customers to make a purchase quickly

With several automation features built to support businesses in their quest to engage with their customers better, we don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to use WhatsApp for business purposes (unless your target market doesn’t use WhatsApp, of course 😲).

How to set up automated WhatsApp message sending

WhatsApp Business App

If you’re using the WhatsApp Business App, setting up semi-automated WhatsApp messages is fairly simple. 

Under the in-app tab ‘Business Tools’, you will find the 3 types of semi-automated messaging settings for you to set up — greeting messages, away messages, and quick reply templates.

To create a new message, simply click the ‘+’ sign. 

💡 Check out our list of WhatsApp welcome messages that you can steal! 👀

When creating quick reply templates, it would be useful to know what are some common questions your customers ask or the types of conversations you usually have. 

For example, you can set up the quick reply keyword ‘/thanks’ with the message template ‘Thank you for shopping with us! We hope to see you again soon!’, and use it at the end of every successful sale over a WhatsApp chat.

WhatsApp Business API

To access and use WhatsApp Business API, companies must either make a direct application with WhatsApp or work with a WhatsApp Business Service Provider (BSP)

Generally, you’d have to adhere to the guidelines and steps that are required from your WhatsApp BSP. It also largely depends on what WhatsApp automation features your WhatsApp BSP offers — if it’s only automated message flows, proactive notifications, or if it’s a mixture of all automation. 

How to set up automated WhatsApp messages with NovoChat

Use NovoChat’s WhatsApp automation feature to automatically trigger proactive messages based on Shopify data. Here’s how you can create it yourself:

1. In your workspace, head to  Automations. Here, you can create new automation or edit your existing ones.

2. Click on Create Automation to build a new sequence.

3. Set an automation name that suits your automation type. For example, ‘BFCM Abandoned Cart Recovery’ or ‘Black Friday Shipping Confirmations’. 

4. Select the automation trigger. NovoChat currently supports 3 types of automation — abandoned cart reminders, order confirmations, and shipping confirmations

5. Choose your preferred template from the drop-down box. A preview of the template will be shown. 

6. Configure any time delays before sending your messages.

7. Select your connected WhatsApp channel and click Save

Do more with WhatsApp automation

WhatsApp certainly allows businesses to deliver exceptional communication apart from the usual exchange of messages. 

With WhatsApp automation, you provide more timely replies and ensure that your customers are never left hanging — even after business hours. 

💡 If you’re more interested in sending bulk messages with WhatsApp, check out our article here!

Ready to provide exceptional customer support and increase your sales? Get started with NovoChat today to see what we can do for you! 👇👇👇

Try NovoChat for free! 🚀

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