11 min read

Click to WhatsApp ads and click-to-chat: This is how it works!

WhatsApp Business Platform
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WhatsApp ads and WhatsApp links are very effective click-to-chat formats for quickly directing more users to your messaging service. We explain how the different features work, how you can set them up, and show you examples.

By communicating with customers quickly and easily on WhatsApp, companies can build a very direct and valuable relationship with their customers. But the problem for many companies is: How do (potential) customers find our WhatsApp service in the first place?

Although it's now possible to search for companies in WhatsApp's "Business Directory", the feature is still not available in all countries, and many users are not even aware that the feature exists yet. It's also not the most intuitive way to try to find a company's WhatsApp information when surfing the web. 

Companies must therefore increasingly draw attention to their WhatsApp service "from the outside". Click-to-chat options such as WhatsApp ads or WhatsApp links are perfect for this! Because, with them, users can get directly into the WhatsApp chat with just one click. In this guide, we'll show you how this works, what specifics you should be aware of, and how other companies do it.

What's WhatsApp click-to-chat?

Messaging apps are the perfect channel for communicating with customers directly, personally, and without algorithms. WhatsApp, in particular, is one of the most popular messenger apps in the world and therefore especially exciting for companies. But WhatsApp has two specific downsides for businesses:

1. WhatsApp users can’t search for businesses on the app (at least not in all markets). 2. Advertising within the app itself isn’t allowed.

This makes it more difficult for businesses to attract customers to their WhatsApp account, but click-to-chat provides a solution. Click-to-chat means that you can direct users to a WhatsApp chat with a single click. Here's how it works:

"WhatsApp’s click-to-chat feature allows you to start chatting with someone, even if you don’t have their phone number saved in your contact list. As long as their WhatsApp account is active, and you know their number, you can create a link and start chatting with them at any time. Once you click the link, the chat will open automatically."


So, you create a link that leads a person directly into a WhatsApp chat with your company, either in the app itself or on WhatsApp Web. This can be achieved through ads via Facebook and Instagram (click-to-WhatsApp ads), or through WhatsApp links or QR-codes.

What are the benefits of click-to-chat?

Click-to-chat makes it simpler and more convenient for users to contact you via WhatsApp. All it takes is one single click, and a chat opens up between you two. Without this hack, customers would need to find your WhatsApp number, save it to their contacts, and only then would they be able to contact you, but this takes a certain amount of time and effort. Not every customer is willing to put in this type of work.

That’s where  click-to-chat significantly simplifies the communication process with your company and elevates the customer experience for your client base. Also: the easier you are to contact, the more people’s interest will be piqued, leading to your company gaining a wider audience.

It’s very important to distinguish between actual WhatsApp links and click via WhatsApp advertisements (click-to-WhatsApp ads) when using click-to-chat.

The advantage of click-to-chat ads is that you have a prominent ad space for your company, which means that you can solidify your company’s branding as well as gain more awareness, leading to a wider audience reach.

However, you can basically post WhatsApp chat links anywhere, on any site. This could be a pop-up or a widget on your own website, a brochure, or poster with a QR-code, and even a Google advertisement,  a newsletter link, or your own e-mail signature.