Table of Contents

How to get Opt-ins (Subscribers) for your WhatsApp ๐Ÿš€

Alessandro Pinelli Updated by Alessandro Pinelli

What is the Opt-in process and when and why do I need it?

To this day there are two different types of messages on WhatsApp.

1. Reactive messages - messages are considered reactive when the final user initiates the conversation for a period of 24 hours since the user's last message.

2. Proactive/Push Messages - messages are considered proactive when they are initiated by the company outside of the 24 hour window.

Before you can send proactive messages to your users; they must previously give you their consent. This is part of WhatsApp's policies to avoid SPAM to users.

In conclusion:

What is the opt in process?

The process to obtain your user's consent and send them proactive messages

When do I need it?

Whenever you plan to send proactive messages to your users, make sure you plan ahead!

Why do I need it?

To comply with WhatsApp policies and regulations.

Now that that's clear, let's delve deeper into the get opt ins section.

Get Opt-Ins Section
Get Opt-ins is a subsection of the WhatsApp section of the app, and it will be active only if you have the WhatsApp add-on or a custom plan and an approved business phone number!

Once you have an active Official WhatsApp channel, you'll be able to enter the Get Opt-ins section.

Within that section you will find the options to:

1. Generate an opt in snippet that you can use to get opt in many different ways

2. Manage and edit your current snippets

3. Check the detailed list of opted in users

1. Generating an opt in snippet

You may ask yourself, what is a snippet?

It is a programming term for a small region of re-usable source code, machine code, or text, lets explain it with some more context.

For example:

You've just had your number approved by WhatsApp, integrated with Landbot and want to start opting in users so you can reach out to them proactively in the future.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Start configuring a Snippet: By clicking on "Configure a new snippet"
  2. Setting up the Snippet: Once you click on "configure a new snippet", you'll find a few options to customise it:

  1. Adding a name to the Snippet: Choose a name to identify your Snippet in the Get Opt-Ins section.
  2. Choosing the (HSM) Message Template (optional): If you want to send a WhatsApp message immediately after the user has opted in. The most common use for this section is sending a "thanks for subscribing message".
    You must choose one of your pre-approved HSM Templates in order to do that!

If you click on Choose message template it will bring up a modal with all your approved template messages. Select the one you'd like to send.

If the selected template message contains variables (parameters saved in Landbot) in the content, you'll have to fill out the blank with the variable of your choice.

The variables are going to be displayed as numbers surrounded by double brackets:

In this particular example you could use the variable @name to replace the {{1}} with the name of the person.

  1. Choosing the Bot (optional): You are also able to choose a bot that will be linked to the message template. It will be triggered only if the user replies to the message template.
    If you don't link a bot in this section and the user sends a message to your integrated number, the main bot linked to your account will be triggered.

When you click on Choose the bot, this is what you'll see:

  1. Customize the Text of the Opt-In form: You will find an input field where you can add the text you want to display to your users.
The snippet has to be contextual and explicit about its purpose, as defined by WhatsApp's Terms of Use.

โ€œIn order to send a WhatsApp message to a person, you must receive opt-in permission in-line and contextually during the relevant user flows. For example, to receive a receipt via WhatsApp, a person must opt-in during a purchase flow.

Opt-in obtained without context and in any manner not related to an action the user is already taking, does not comply with this policy.โ€œย 

Once you add the text, it will be automatically added to the Snippet, as you can see in the image below:

  1. Once you've filled everything out, click on SAVE CHANGES and you will have successfully configured your snippet.
  2. You can preview the snippet by clicking on the "eye looking" icon to see what it would look like if you posted it on your website (more information about that in the next chapter).

2. Using the Snippet to obtain Opt-in from your users

Now that you've generated the snippet, you can use it to get your users to opt-in in many different ways. We'll highlight the most common ones below.

  1. Get Opt-ins using the snippet
  2. Get Opt-ins with a Web bot
  3. Get Opt-ins with a custom form on your website
  4. Obtain the Opt-in directly through a WhatsApp bot.

We will explain each one of those methods in this article, so that you can choose the Opt-In option that works best for your case ๐Ÿ˜‰

1. Get Opt-ins using the snippet

This is probably the quickest option, however, its the one you can personalise the least.

Below are some of the characteristics:

  1. The snippet option can only be set up in English
  2. Only the fields explained in the previous chapter can be personalised
  3. Parameters other than the phone number cannot be sent with this option

If this option is your choice you just need to copy and paste the snippet code onto your website.

2. Opt-in Using a Web bot

If you still want to get opt-in from users on your website but want to have the option to personalise it, using a web bot is a great option!

You'll have to set it up in a similar way as the snippet. In other words, your bot must:

  1. Be contextual and explicit about its purpose
  2. Ask the user for their phone number in a specific format country code + phone number

For example, the country code in Spain is +34

A random phone number in Spain could be 612345678

The format for the number on Landbot should be 34612345678

We've prepared two templates for you to use depending on the use case:

  1. You are receiving opt ins from one country with the same country code for all phone numbers (Opt-in bot Template)
  2. You are receiving opt ins from all around the world (Opt-in Brick Workaround)

a. Using the Opt-in Bot template

We recommend using this option if you want to allow users from just one specific country (a pre-defined country code) to Opt-in.

In the Get Opt-Ins section you will see the option "Go to the Opt In bot".

Once you click on it, another page will be opened, where you can choose the template of a Web Opt-In bot:

You can click on the different options to see how the bot would be displayed across different device types.

Let's have a look at our example of an Opt-in bot from the inside:

Set a Country Code

If you take a closer look at the Javascript block in the template you'll find a list of every country in the world and its country code:

  1. Open the Javascript block
  2. Copy the country and country code you want to use. For example, if your users are all in Australia, you should copy "Australia (+61)"
  3. Open the Webhook block above the Javascript block
  4. Replace the predetermined option which in this case is "Spain (+34)" with your country code of choice and click on save.

The next thing you'll need to do is replace the endpoint URL of the opt in.

To do this:

  1. Go to the Opt in section in Channels
  2. Create a snippet as explained in chapter 1 of this article
  3. Copy the URL in the code
  4. Go back to the opt in bot
  5. Open the Webhook block above the Note block titled "Add URL"
  6. Replace the URL with the one you copied

We recommend using this option if you want to allow users from different countries (different country codes) to Opt-in.

For this option, you should build a web bot from scratch, and use the Opt-In Brick Workaround to validate the phone number and opt it in.

To use this option you should:

  1. Start building a bot from scratch
  2. Import the opt in brick from the Brick selector
  1. Go to the Get opt ins section in Channels
  2. Copy the snippet code
  3. Travel back to the bot and open the opt in brick
  4. Paste the code in the first Set Variable block

c. Sending Variables collected by the web bot to Whatsapp
This can be done both for option a (Using the Opt-in Bot template) and option b (Ask for consent with the Opt-in Brick Workaround)

If you'd like to send the data collected by your web bot to WhatsApp and assign them to the opted in user so you don't have to ask them for the details again, you can do it from the Webhook block under the note titled Webhook edit.

  1. Open the Webhook block
  2. Add the variables you have added to your bot flow in the Send Params section

For example, if you asked a user for their name during your bot flow, you can add the Key: name and the variable @name in the Value field.

  1. Once you have added the Params, you will see that the Preview URL will add these variables automatically, appearing right under the Webhook's URL & Method Field we have previously set up:

Save and finish

Don't forget to Apply the changes in the Webhook and save the bot. And there you have it ๐Ÿš€

3. Opt-in using a WhatsApp bot

It is possible to get Opt-ins directly through a WhatsApp bot. This is the most immediate, easy-to-use and frictionless option.

By following an initial flow to Opt-in, users will be able to give their consent to receive future notifications through WhatsApp.

When a user interacts with a WhatsApp bot, their phone number will be captured automatically and saved under the variable @phone, unlike in the Opt-in for Web, where we have to ask for it ๐Ÿ˜‰
How to create a WhatsApp Opt in bot:

a. Ask for consent (Keyword Options or Reply Buttons block)

First of all, we must ask for the User's consent to be contacted proactively by your company.

To do that, after the first Welcome or simple Message Blocks, just add a simple question asking for the user's consent to receive WhatsApp notifications, using a Keyword Options or a Reply Buttons block.

Make sure to differentiate the flow, leading the user to a different path if they do not accept to Opt-in.

Please check this article for more information on how to use the Keyword Options block ๐Ÿš€
Please check this article for more information on how to use the Reply Buttons block ๐Ÿš€

Adding a Webhook block to validate the opt-in

Add a Webhook block and follow the steps below:

  1. Keep the URL method as POST
  2. Go to the Opt in section in Channels
  3. Create a snippet as explained in chapter 1 of this article
  4. Copy the URL in the code and go back to the WhatsApp bot
  5. Paste the URL into the top field
  6. Open the Send params subsection in the Webhook block
  7. Add the word "phone" to the Key field and the variable @phone to the Value field

Your Webhook block should look something like this:

And that's it, your WhatsApp opt in bot is ready! Easy right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

How to view your subscriber list

New integrations

  1. Click on the WhatsApp logo on the left dashboard
  2. Click on WhatsApp Business NEW
  3. Select your integration
  4. Click on Subscribers

You will be able to export a CSV file with all your subscribers by clicking on Raw Data Export.

Old Integrations

  1. Click on the WhatsApp logo on the left dashboard
  2. Click on WhatsApp Business
  3. Select your integration
  4. You can see the list of users that subscribed to your channel by clicking on the Total Opt in users button on the right side of the page.

The list will display the total number and a list of users. You can show/hide columns to this table apply filters.

User Opt-out

In case a user does not want to receive notifications from you anymore, you must make the Opt-out.

By accessing the Users Opt-ins List, you will find a button with the option "Opt Out" at the user's details.

By clicking on it and accepting the Opt out, this user will be removed from your list and you will no longer be able to contact this use proactively.

Warning: The Opt-out button permanently deletes a user from your subscribers list, and can't be restored by the Landbot team.

Please use it ONLY if one of your users asked you to remove his contact from your list.

Why is the Opt-in Mandatory?

Users need to first give you their consent to be reached via WhatsApp, as part of Whatsapp's policies to avoid SPAM.

Users must in any case confirm that they wish to receive future messages on WhatsApp by doing the Opt-In in any of the ways mentioned above.

This condition is mandatory and its violation means the violation of WhatsApp Terms of Service, which can lead toย the banning of your WhatsApp business number.

WhatsApp's Requirements for Opt-in and Banned Accounts

In order to comply with WhatsApp Guidelines, Businesses must follow the below requirements when obtaining opt-in:

  • Businesses must clearly state that a person is Opting-in to receive messages from them over WhatsApp;
  • Businesses must clearly state the Businessโ€™ name that a person is opting in to receive messages from;
  • Businesses must comply with applicable law.

From WhatsApp FAQsย "Staying safe on WhatsApp":

We may ban accounts if we believe the account activity is in violation of our Terms of Service.

Per ourย Terms of Service, we may retain the right to ban you without notification. Please be aware that a user report of conduct in violation of our Terms of Service won't necessarily result in us banning the user or otherwise taking action against the user.

Please review the โ€œAcceptable Use of Our Servicesโ€ section of ourย Terms of Serviceย carefully to learn more about the appropriate uses of WhatsApp and the activities that violate our Terms of Service.

For more information about the WhatsApp Terms of Services and the consequences of its violation, please click on this link!

Next Steps

Once you have your subscriber list, you may want to send them broadcast messages or notifications. If that's the case, please read this article on how to send broadcast messages/notificactions.

How did we do?

Parent Bot/Linked Bot - Add a main bot to your Whatsapp number

WhatsApp Campaigns ๐Ÿ’Œ

Contact