What is a Whatsapp message template?

A WhatsApp message template is a pre-made message that businesses can use to communicate with customers over WhatsApp.

These templates are structured, pre-approved messages that can be used for various purposes, such as sending promos, reminders, updates, and more. they often involve placeholders for personalized information like names, dates, or order numbers. They need to be approved by Meta’s team to ensure compliance with guidelines and avoid content violations.

Rather than sending content for an entire message, a business can use a message template by sending the template identifier and the appropriate parameters. Message templates are designed to reduce the likelihood of spam sent to users on WhatsApp.

What types of WhatsApp message templates are there?

Available WhatsApp message templates include:

  • Simple text or media-based WhatsApp message template – You can include text, images, videos, and other media.
  • WhatsApp message template with CTA (call-to-action) – You can create templates with clickable buttons to make them more actionable.
  • WhatsApp message template with quick replies – Allows you to send messages to users without the need to type them out.

How to create a WhatsApp message template?

To create a WhatsApp message template, follow these general steps:

  1. Select the WhatsApp Business channel: Access your WhatsApp Business channel and choose “Message Templates.”
  2. Add a new template: Click on “Add template” or a similar option.
  3. Define template details: Fill in information such as the template’s name, language, category, and content.
  4. Submit for review: Click “Create Template” to submit the template for review by WhatsApp

What are the guidelines that WhatsApp message templates should follow?

It’s essential to adhere to these to ensure your template’s approval strictly:

What are the best practices for creating WhatsApp message templates?

  • Clear and concise: Keep your templates short and to the point.
  • Contextual: Explain the reason for the message. Customers should immediately understand why they’re receiving it.
  • Descriptive template naming: Use clear naming conventions with lowercase alphanumeric characters and underscores (e.g., “appointment_reminder” and not a random string of characters).
  • Correct category: Choose the appropriate category for your template (e.g., appointment update, shipping update, etc.) to increase approval chances.
  • Personalization: Use placeholders (e.g., {{1}}, {{2}}) for customer names, order numbers, or other relevant details.
  • Formatting: While you can’t use bold or italics, use symbols or emojis sparingly and professionally for emphasis.
  • Customer opt-in: Always obtain explicit customer consent before sending WhatsApp templates.
  • Don’t overwhelm: Use templates carefully to avoid spamming customers.
  • Human touch: Allow easy ways for customers to transition from template-based responses to live agent support when needed.
  • Regular review: Analyze the effectiveness of your templates and update them for optimization over time.

What are the benefits of using WhatsApp message templates?

For businesses

Efficiency and scalability: Templates save time for businesses by automating repetitive messages like order confirmations, appointment reminders, or shipping updates.

Improved customer experience: Templates deliver timely and consistent information to customers, enhancing their interaction with your business.

Compliance and spam prevention: WhatsApp’s approval process helps businesses avoid sending spammy or irrelevant promotional messages, ensuring a positive, consent-based user experience.

Personalization: Even with templates, you can add placeholders for personalization, making communication feel more tailored to the individual.

Enhanced brand image: Consistent, well-structured templates boost your brand’s professionalism and reliability.

For customers

Fast and reliable information: Customers receive crucial updates and information quickly and conveniently within a platform they already use.

Reduced spam: The template system minimizes unsolicited messages, protecting users from excessive promotional clutter.

24/7 availability: Customers can receive essential information outside of typical business hours.

Transparency: Customers understand why they are receiving a message, reducing confusion and potential frustration.

How to use WhatsApp message templates for customer service?

WhatsApp message templates are a fantastic way to streamline your customer service and elevate the experience. Here’s a breakdown of how to effectively utilize them:

WhatsApp message templates for different stages of the customer journey

1. Awareness

2. Consideration

3. Purchase

4. Post-purchase

5. Loyalty/Re-engagement

Session messages vs. WhatsApp template messages

Think of session messages as a regular conversation within a 24-hour window triggered by a customer reaching out to your business. When customers send your company a message, they open a session window where you can send free-form responses. 

You can answer questions, provide support, and resolve issues with flexible text messages, images, or videos. Session messages are perfect for building rapport and delivering timely assistance.

Template messages, on the other hand, are designed for sending out proactive notifications, confirmations, and updates—even when a customer hasn’t messaged you recently.

Here’s a table highlighting the main differences between session and template messages:

FeatureSession messageTemplate message
PurposeCustomer service & inquiries Notifications, updates, re-engagement
ContentFlexiblePre-approved, structured format
CostsFree within a 24-hour windowSmall charge per message
Approval processNoneWhatsApp review required


Feb 27th, 2024
7 min read

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