How to use WhatsApp Business message templates and interactive buttons
In July 2020, WhatsApp released a new form of notification templates: Interactive Message Templates (also known as WhatsApp Interactive Buttons). In this blog we’ll explore what these templates look like and how to use them to increase customer engagement.
In June 2023, WhatsApp had 2.78 billion users worldwide, which makes it the customer communication channel of choice for many businesses. 61% of customers say that messaging is the easiest, most convenient way to contact a business, and WhatsApp Business API enables medium and large enterprises to talk to customers on their favorite chat app.
It’s no surprise then that businesses of all kinds are adopting a WhatsApp marketing strategy to provide customer support and send proactive notifications like back in stock notifications, monthly reports, receipts, and more.
The interactive message template with interactive buttons is designed to make it easier to support these efforts and increase your customer engagement.
Let’s first take a look at what WhatsApp Business template messages are, before getting into detail on WhatsApp interactive buttons.
What is a WhatsApp Business message template?
A WhatsApp Business message template provides businesses a way to proactively reach out to customers using WhatsApp notifications.
Notifications, in this case, are templated messages that are pre-approved by WhatsApp. Using WhatsApp Business message templates is a must when reaching out to customers on WhatsApp since they ensure a high-quality messaging experience and prevent marketing spam.
You can create different message templates, depending on your business needs. These include:
- Simple, text-only notifications, such as account statuses or delivery reminders.
- Rich media notifications, such as e-receipts, boarding passes, and onboarding videos.
- Interactive notifications with buttons that direct customers to perform an action, such as visiting your site, contacting your support team, or scheduling an appointment.
You can also use variables in your templates to create highly personalized messaging. Examples of this include addressing a customer by name and mentioning the specific product in their purchase when sending a template message requesting customer feedback. The possibilities are endless!
Did you know you can only send message templates to customers who gave their consent during the opt-in process? Learn more about how to collect WhatsApp opt-ins.
What are WhatsApp interactive buttons?
Want a customer to call you? Visit your website? Or maybe you want to ask customers for feedback on their latest order? WhatsApp interactive buttons let your customers take any desired action at the literal push of a button.
Businesses using WhatsApp to contact customers can share the same level of information as they could with plain text and media message templates, while also using one-click responses to navigate customers through the entire journey.
Types of WhatsApp interactive buttons
There are two types of WhatsApp interactive button options to choose from:
1. WhatsApp call to action buttons
Use WhatsApp call to action buttons to direct consumers to your website, or connect them to your contact center.
Call to action button templates can have a maximum of two buttons, and support these two actions:
- Call phone number: enable your customers to call your customer support team with one click.
- Visit website: direct customers to a specific part of your website. You can choose to set a fixed or dynamic URL.
2. WhatsApp quick reply buttons
Use predefined WhatsApp quick reply buttons to receive instant replies from customers.
Quick reply button templates can have up to three buttons in one message, and the button text is always predefined.
Quick reply buttons also give you the opportunity to track responses and react accordingly – for example, you can send a notification to inform a customer about your new service offering, and give them quick reply options such as:
- Tell me more
- Schedule an appointment
- Not interested
Then, you can segment your customers based on their level of interest.
WhatsApp interactive buttons benefits
Notifications with either type of buttons can be text-only, or you can combine them with different media – documents (pdf), images, videos, location, and more.
The options are numerous and depend on your business needs, but regardless of the combination you choose, the expected result is the same – complete, valuable information in one single message.
Higher response rates
WhatsApp interactive buttons make it easier for customers to reply to your notifications.
As a result, businesses see increased response rates to messages containing interactive buttons, since not only is it easy to reply literally with the push of a button, but customers also know what to say.
Real-time customer service and support
Using clickable buttons turns one-way notifications into fast, two-way customer communication.
Now, you can give customers a chance to reply to your notifications, receive relevant information, ask for support, or perform an action in just one click – minimizing customer effort and increasing engagement.
This brings a layer of interactivity that helps customers stay connected with your business across their entire journey.
Easy customer segmentation
WhatsApp Interactive Buttons make it easy to track customer responses and later segment customers based on their preferences.
This can help you tailor your communication so you can provide the best possible experience on your customers’ channel of choice – and as a result, increase overall customer satisfaction.
More personalized interactions
More granular customer segmentation results in more messaging that is more focused on a customer’s individual needs.
The more specific the customer segments get, the more personalized interactions can become. This leads to greater levels of engagement and customer satisfaction.
How to make WhatsApp interactive buttons
WhatsApp interactive buttons are a feature of the WhatsApp Business API.
To add WhatsApp interactive buttons to your customer communication toolbox, you’ll need to first create a WhatsApp Business account to access WhatsApp Business API.
Next, you’ll need to create interactive message templates which need to be approved by Meta. Follow Meta’s guidelines on message templates to ensure your templates receive approval.
Once your templates are approved, they’ll be granted an active status and can be sent to your customers.
Start using WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp is becoming the one-stop-shop for business-to-customer interactions. With different types of message templates, businesses can adjust their communication to fit their needs and meet customer expectations. From awareness to retention, WhatsApp enables you to build customer relationships that last.