Are you wondering how to send WordPress form entries to WhatsApp?
This can be a great way of staying on top of form submissions, particularly if WhatsApp is a big part of your day-to-day operations.
You won’t be able to send entire forms to WhatsApp, but you can set your site up to send a notification to a WhatsApp number each time a form is submitted on your site.
But connecting a WordPress site with WhatsApp in this way can be complex, and most of the existing solutions are limited.
The good news is that the WPForms and Uncanny Automator integration provides an easy and powerful way to get this done.
Read on to learn how to set it all up!
How Can You Integrate WhatsApp into WordPress?
The most powerful way to integrate WhatsApp into WordPress is by using Uncanny Automator. Uncanny Automator is able to connect with WhatsApp’s Cloud API, which allows users to take part in two-way conversations with WhatsApp users.
While there are a few WordPress plugins that allow you to do things like respond to WhatsApp messages sent by your customers and prospects, Uncanny Automator is the only one that allows you to initiate WhatsApp conversations.
Here’s how to use this on your site!
How to Send WordPress Form Submission Notifications to WhatsApp
We’ll be using WPForms, Uncanny Automator, Facebook for Developers, and Business Meta to set things up. If you don’t already have a Facebook account, you’ll need to create one to follow along.
Once you have, follow these steps:
Step 1: Install WPForms & Uncanny Automator
First, we’ll get started by installing WPForms Pro. WPForms is the number one WordPress form plugin for sending form submission notifications to WhatsApp, with over 5 million active installations and 11k+ 5-star ratings in the WordPress plugin directory to prove its popularity.
Additionally, WPForms integrates seamlessly with Uncanny Automator. If you have the Pro license, you also get a huge collection of features that make form-building a breeze.
For help with installing WPForms, check out this helpful guide to installing WordPress plugins for beginners. Once you’ve got WPForms installed, the next step is installing Uncanny Automator.
Uncanny Automator is the leading WordPress automation plugin, and you can use it to connect and automate features across your WordPress plugins and apps. You can even connect multiple WordPress websites.
And as we mentioned previously, Uncanny Automator integrates seamlessly with both WPForms and WhatsApp, which makes it perfect for creating a connection between the two apps.
So go ahead and install Uncanny Automator like you installed WPForms above.
Step 2: Connect Your Site With Uncanny Automator
You can connect your site with Uncanny Automator from the WordPress admin dashboard. To do this, click through Automator » Settings from the sidebar in the WordPress dashboard.
The page will open in the General tab. Scroll to the License section and click the button labeled, Connect your site.
You’ll see a popup window where you can now initiate the setup wizard by clicking Connect your free account.
At this point, you’ll need to enter your name and email and set up your Uncanny Automator account. This step takes just a minute or less, and then you’ll be redirected back to WordPress.
Now, you’re ready to create a recipe. Recipes are Uncanny Automator rules that determine how your automation will run.
But to create a recipe that sends WordPress form submission notifications to WhatsApp, we’ll need to first set up a Business app on Facebook for Developers.
So we’ll hop out of WordPress for a short while but keep the tab open, as we’ll be right back.
Step 3: Create a Business App on Facebook for Developers
In order to send forms from WordPress to WhatsApp, we’ll need to create a Meta (Facebook) Business app first.
For this step, you’ll need to have a regular Facebook account. If you have one, it’s easy to create a Business app. Just navigate to developers.facebook.com and click My Apps to get started.
In the dashboard, click Create App.
On this screen, you’ll have a range of app types to choose from. Select Business, then scroll down and click Next.
After this, you’ll be prompted to provide some basic information, such as a name for your new app, email address, and your Business Manager account.
We’re assuming you’re starting from scratch, so you don’t already have a Business Manager account. In this case, leave it at No Business manager account selected. But if you do have one, select it from the dropdown. Click Create app to move on to the next stage.
On the next page, you’ll see a bunch of products you can add to your business app. Scroll down to add WhatsApp to your new Business app by clicking Set up.
This will redirect you to a WhatsApp Business Platform API window. You’ll be prompted to create or select a Meta Business account from a dropdown. This field will be set to Create a business account by default, so if you don’t have one, you can simply click Continue to move on.
Once you’ve done that, click Start using the API.
On the next page, you’ll see 5 steps. For this guide, we’ll only need to work through Steps 1, 3, and 5.
From Step 1, grab the following details:
- Temporary Access Token
- Phone number ID
- WhatsApp Business Account ID
We’ll need these details when we hop back into WordPress shortly. For now, you’ll notice that what you have is a temporary access token that will expire in 23 hours.
You can use it for testing purposes, but you’ll need a permanent access token for the connection to work fully. We’ll show you how to get a permanent token shortly.
At this point, we’ll tab over to our website and head back into the Uncanny Automator Settings page. Here, we’ll add our Access Token, Phone Number ID, and WhatsApp Business Account ID to Uncanny Automator.
To do this, head into the WordPress admin dashboard and click through Automator » Settings » Premium Integrations » WhatsApp. Then paste the details and click Connect WhatsApp account.
We’ll have a functioning Uncanny Automator and WhatsApp connection at this point, but we’ve used a temporary Access token, which will expire in a few hours.
We’ll need to create a permanent one in a few steps when we configure webhooks. But first, let’s add a phone number to your business app.
Add a Phone Number to Your App
Setting up a phone number is an important step that will allow you to send messages to WhatsApp numbers.
To add one to your business app, scroll down to Step 5 and click Add phone number. If you chose Create a business account when you first landed on the WhatsApp Business platform, a modal will pop up now, prompting you to create a WhatsApp Business profile.
Here, you’ll need to enter a few details:
- WhatsApp Business profile display name
- Business description (optional)
On the next page, there’ll be a few more fields you’ll need to fill out:
- Legal business name
- Business email
- Business website/URL or a social media profile
Click Next once you’re done.
Now, you can go ahead to enter the phone number you’d like to use with WhatsApp.
You’ll need to use a number that can’t be used elsewhere on WhatsApp. So you must either use a number that’s never been connected to a WhatsApp account or delete the account if your number is already connected to WhatsApp.
Next, we’ll need to configure webhooks.
Webhooks are an important part of how Uncanny Automator will communicate with WhatsApp. To set this up, scroll down to Step 3 and click Configure webhooks.
On the Webhooks configuration page, click the Edit button in the section labeled Configuration.
Now, we’ll quickly hop back into the WhatsApp settings in Automator. Copy the Webhooks URL along with the value in the field labeled Verify Token.
Head back into the WhatsApp Business tab, enter these details, and then click Verify and save.
There’s one more step to take here. Scroll down and click Manage.
Then scroll down again to Messages and click Save these settings, and your webhook will be all configured.
Finally, we’ll need to set up a permanent access token, and we’ll be ready to start sending form submission notifications to WhatsApp.
Configure a Permanent Access Token
First, we’ll have to add a new System user to your business app. To do this, you’ll need to log on to the Meta Business Suite and click on Business Settings.
Then, look for the System users link under Users.
Click Add to get started.
Enter a name for the new system user, and assign them the role of admin from the dropdown labeled System user role, then click Create system user.
Now, you’ll need to assign assets to the new user. Particularly, we want this user to have full access to the WhatsApp business app we’ve created.
So we’ll scroll down to the Assigned Assets section and click Add Assets.
Then, in the Apps section, click on the App you want to add—you should have only one at this stage, scroll down and toggle the button next to the Manage App button. Click Save to move on to the next stage.
We can now go ahead to create our new token. Simply click Generate new token in the section labeled Generating Access Tokens.
From the available permissions, choose whatsapp_business_management and whatsapp_business_messaging and, again, click Generate token.
Copy the token and click OK.
Now, we’ll head back into Automator settings, where we previously entered the temporary access token and other details. To get back here, click through Automator » Settings »Premium Integrations » WhatsApp. Once there, click Disconnect.
Swap out the temporary access token you entered previously with the permanent one we’ve just created and save these settings.
And now, we’ll have a connection between your site, Uncanny Automator, and WhatsApp but it won’t be fully functional just yet.
Step 4: Create a New Form
At this point, you’ll be done working with the Facebook for Developers platform.
To send WordPress forms to WhatsApp, we’ll now have to set up an Uncanny Automator recipe and enable this recipe on the forms we’d like to send to WhatsApp.
First, we’ll need to enable Uncanny Automator on a WPForms form. Whether you’re connecting an existing form or a new one, this is quite easy. For this guide we’ll assume you want to create a new form, but the steps are the same.
From the WordPress admin area, navigate to WPForms » Form Templates. This will take you to the template gallery, where you can choose from over 500+ prebuilt, customizable form templates.
For this guide, we’ll choose the Simple Contact Form Template. But if you’d like to build one from scratch, simply choose Blank Form.
Clicking on Simple Contact Form Template will open up the form in the form builder. We can customize the form by adding form fields from the panel on the left, but the simple contact form is good enough for this example, so we’ll leave it as is.
What we want to do is to set up this particular form to send submissions to WordPress. So, navigate over to the left sidebar and click through Marketing » Uncanny Automator.
Click Create Automation.
You’ll now be prompted to connect your WhatsApp account with Uncanny Automator. Go ahead and click Connect account to move on.
You’ll now be redirected to an Uncanny Automator recipe page.
Step 5: Create a New Recipe to Send WordPress Form Entries to WhatsApp
Uncanny Automator recipes have two parts: a trigger and an event. The trigger is the action or initial event that triggers a follow-up action called an event.
In this case, a form submission will be the trigger, and receiving a notification on a WhatsApp number will be the action.
So, first, navigate to the Triggers section and click on the WPForms logo, then choose A form is submitted as your trigger.
Then, scroll down to the Actions section and click Add action.
Look for the WhatsApp logo, and click on it when you find it.
Then click on Choose Action. You’ll see the options to Send a WhatsApp Template to a WhatsApp number and Send a WhatsApp message to a number.
By default, your first message to a WhatsApp number using the WhatsApp Cloud API has to be a WhatsApp message template. Once the recipient of the message template responds to your initial message, you’ll be able to send them a regular message.
None of the available WhatsApp message templates is designed to be used for form submission notifications. However, since you’ll be setting this notification up for internal use, you might not mind using one of the complementary WhatsApp message templates. So go ahead and click Send a WhatsApp message template to a number.
You can make limited customizations to these default templates by pulling data using preset variables. Here’s what to do:
Click Get variables to add variables like a user’s name and email to the template.
What we’re looking for are variables to add content to the body of the template. So in the Body variables field, click on the asterisk to see the available variables.
Simply select the variable-type you want and then select the tokens you’d like to include in the template.
In this case, we’ll choose from the Triggers section, since the trigger is an action in WPForms, and we want WPForms-specific tokens.
When you scroll below the Triggers label, you’ll see the trigger for our recipe, which is the submission of a form. Click on the dropdown icon next to it.
You’ll now see a bunch of WPForms-specific tokens to choose from.
We’ll select Name, Email, and the message field for our form, which is labelled What can we help you with. Yours might be something different.
You can also add a bit of text to the template to help organize things. We’ll add a few labels to ours, along with some punctuation marks. Remember to add some spaces in between the content. If you don’t, the text will appear without spaces when you receive notifications.
Remember to toggle the Status button on the right of the page to make the connection live, and that’s it!
You’ll now have a fully active connection that sends a message to a WhatsApp number each time a form is submitted on your website.
You’ll see the name of the user, which is Sullie Eloso, in this case, and their email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll also see that the template adds a bit of text that isn’t useful. We can’t change this from your site, but you can create a fully customized template, if you’d prefer, on the Meta Business Manager platform.
And that wraps it up for our guide to sending form submission notifications to WhatsApp!
Next, Get Slack Notifications When a Form is Submitted
We’ve just shown you how to set up your website to send form submission notifications to a WhatsApp number. Did you know you can do the same thing with Slack? Learn all about this in our guide to getting Slack notifications from WordPress forms.
Ready to build your form? Get started today with the easiest WordPress form builder plugin. WPForms Pro includes lots of free templates and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.
This content was originally published here.