Table of Contents

WhatsApp Message Templates

Joshua Lim Updated by Joshua Lim

What are Message Templates?

WhatsApp message templates are pre-defined messages that businesses can use to initiate conversations with customers. Templates can be used for a variety of purposes, including customer service, notifications, and sending promotional messages.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using WhatsApp message templates.

  • WhatsApp message templates are not free and are charged based on the number of conversations and the template category you use. Learn more about WhatsApp pricing here.
  • WhatsApp Message Templates require pre-approval from Meta to ensure they abide by WhatsApp’s Business and Commerce Policies.
  • You can only send message templates to your customers to continue the conversation after the 24-hour Customer Service Window ends, which will start a business-initiated conversation.

WhatsApp Message Template Categories

Business-initiated conversations are broken down into 3 message template conversation categories:

  • Utility Templates: These templates relate to a transaction, post-purchase notifications and recurring billing statements.
  • Authentication Templates: These templates enable businesses to authenticate customers with passcodes during the login process such as account registration or recovery. Use copy code or one-tap autofill buttons to deliver a one-time password (OTP) via an authentication template.
  • Marketing Templates: These are templates to market a product or service to customers, such as relevant offers to customers who have opted in.
It’s important to choose the right template category during the submission process to avoid your message template getting rejected. Learn more about WhatsApp message template categories here.

Setting Up Message Templates

Rules for Creating Message Templates

There are some rules to follow when creating message templates to increase the chances of your message template being approved by Meta.

Message Template Content Rules

These are some of the content that are prohibited when sending message templates:

  • Threatening content
  • Data collection
  • Prohibited services
  • Contests or quizzes
Message Template Formatting Rules

There are formatting rules for each part of the message template.

  • Name: Lowercase alphanumeric characters and underscores. Other special characters and spaces are not allowed.
  • Body: Cannot contain tabs or more than 4 consecutive spaces and its character limit is capped at 1,024 characters. This includes letters, numbers, special characters, and emojis.
  • Placeholder: Must be written within double curly brackets, like this: {{1}}. When customizing the content of a placeholder, you may include letters, numbers, or even special characters.

WhatsApp Message Template Fields Overview

The WhatsApp Message Template table below shows a general overview of each template.

The following is a description of what each column represents:

Field

Description

Status

Indicates the current Status of the Template

Name

Indicates the Name of the Template

Category

Indicates the Category of the Template

Quality

Indicates the Quality of the Template

Language

Indicates the Language of the Template

Label

Indicates the Label of the Template

Actions

Indicates the icon to open up the Action menu

Creating and Submitting Message Templates

Meta assigns categories to message templates submitted for WhatsApp Business Platform (API) and Cloud API channels based on their template guidelines and the content of the templates. This can prevent your template from being rejected for miscategorization.

Step 1: Navigate to Settings > Channels.

Step 2: Locate the WhatsApp Business API channel > click the Manage Templates icon. Alternatively, click Manage > Templates.

Step 3: In the Channel configuration page, click Templates > Submit Template.

Step 4: Fill in the required information to create the template

Field

Description

Template Name

The name can only contain lowercase alphanumeric characters and underscores ( _ )

Category

The category to which the message template belongs. Learn more on how to choose a template category with these template guidelines.

Language

The language that the template is written in.

Step 5: Create the message by filling in the necessary components, then review the message in the preview section.

Building Block

Description

Body

The Body contains the most important text of your template. Only text is supported.

You may use markdown to format the content of this block.

Header

The Header is optional and serves as the title or header of your template. It supports the following:

• Text

• Image (.jpeg, .jpg, .png)

• Video (mp4)

• Document (.xt, .pdf, .ppt, .doc, .xls, .docx, .pptx, .xlsx)

• Location

Footer

The Footer is optional and only supports text. It can be used to provide supplementary information in your message template.

Button

The Button is optional and adds interactivity to your templates. There are two types available:

  • Call To Action Button
    • Used to send your client to a Website or call a Phone Number
    • Maximum one URL and Phone Number per template
    • • URL can have a parameter for personalization
  • Quick Reply Button
    • Used to get quick answers from your client
    • Maximum 3 Quick Reply Buttons per template
    • Each Quick Reply button cannot have more than 20 characters

* Quick Reply Buttons are supported only on iOS, Android and web platforms, but not on Windows platform. Refer to more details here.

Step 6: Provide sample value if you have included any parameters in your message template content.

Providing sample values to the parameter in the message template will assist the WhatsApp reviewer to understand the message you are trying to send to your Contacts.

Step 7: Click on Submit to submit your message template for approval.

Once you have submitted your message template for approval, you must wait approximately 24 hours for the approval process to be completed. Check your template status on the platform by navigating to Settings > Channel > your connected WhatsApp Channel > Templates. Then, sync your template to get the latest status update.

Syncing Message Templates

WhatsApp Business Platform (API) and Cloud API message templates are now automatically synced.

The purpose for syncing your message templates on the platform is to retrieve their latest message template statuses.

Steps to sync message templates

Step 1: Navigate to Workspace Settings > Channels.

Step 2: Locate the WhatsApp Business API channel > click Manage.

Step 3: In the Channel configuration page**,** click Templates > click Sync Templates to begin the syncing process.

Step 4: Syncing Completed

When the syncing is complete, the message templates will be listed with their corresponding statuses, quality ratings and the last synced date time will be updated. The rejection reason will be displayed below the rejected message template.

The following table lists the possible statuses for the message templates:

Status

Description

Submitted

The message template is submitted and pending approval.

Approved

The message template is approved and can be sent to Contacts.

Rejected

The message template is rejected and cannot be used.

Disabled

The template has been disabled due to recurring negative feedback from customers.

Appeal

The template is under appeal.

In Review

The template is still under review. Review can take up to 24 hours.

Reinstated

The template is under reinstated.

Flagged

The status occurs when the quality rating is low. This is a warning status. If the quality rating improves to a high or medium in 7 continuous days, the status will return to Approved.

Paused

The template has been paused due to recurring negative feedback from customers.

Use the search and filter at the top right corner of the listing to easily find your templates.

Review Template Status: Rejected after Submission

Meta determines the template category based on the template contents and their template category guidelines.

There could be several reasons why Meta did not approve your message template:

  • Technical issues: Ensure your message templates are formatted correctly and do not contain any technical errors.
  • Inappropriate language or tone: Avoid using offensive, harassing or spammy language.
  • Incorrect use of template category: Ensure the right template category is selected to match the type of message being sent. For example, when sending an authentication code to your customer, an authentication template must be used.
  • Violation of Meta Commerce Policy: Make sure your message templates comply with the Meta Commerce Policy, which includes guidelines on content such as spam and unapproved products or services.
What to do when my message template is rejected?

Follow these steps to resolve the issue:

  • Review the rejection reason: Check the rejection reason on relevant platforms (respond.io, FBM).
  • Edit and resubmit the message template on:
    • respond.io: Create a new message template, edit message and resubmit.
    • Facebook Business Manager (FBM): Edit the message template in your FBM. Then, submit the edited message template. Learn more here.

Sending Message Templates

Before sending your message templates, ensure that your message template has been approved and the status is Active.

Steps to send message templates:

Step 1: Click the Template Message icon in the messaging bar.

To send a Message Template after the customer service window has expired, click the Send Message Template button at the bottom of the Messages Module.

Step 2: Select the template to send to your Contact.

Step 3: Personalize the message and specify the parameters for the template.

You may use Dynamic Variables to fill in the required fields i.e. the values for {{1}}, {{2}}, etc.

When a user is typing the values for the parameters, the parameters in Message Preview will be replaced with the values for users to review before sending it to the Contact.

Step 4: Review the information and click Send.

Best Practices when Sending Message Templates

Before sending your message templates, there are certain best practices you can follow to ensure your message template is well-received and not being blocked or reported as spam by your customers. This is to ensure your message template quality rating remains at a high quality. Some examples include not spamming your customers and getting opt-in from your customers.

Obtain customer opt-in before sending message templates

Opt-in is a mandatory process where businesses obtain explicit consent from their customers to send them messages. This consent is required for sending marketing, utility, and authentication conversations outside the 24-hour window after a customer's last message.

Available Opt-In Methods:

  • SMS: Requesting consent through a text message.
  • Website: Using a consent form or opt-in checkbox.
  • In a WhatsApp Thread: Directly asking for consent in a WhatsApp chat.
  • By phone: Using an interactive voice response (IVR) flow
  • In person or on paper: Obtaining written consent via a physical document.
Learn more about getting opt-in here.

Sending Location Message Templates

There are 2 ways you can send a Location message template:

  • Use Google Maps URL: Copy the Google Maps URL that you want to send and paste it into the URL field.
After you have entered the Google Maps URL, the fields below will be automatically filled in except the Address field which must be filled in manually.
  • Input address fields manually: Input the Name, Address, Latitude and Longitude fields manually. The accepted format for latitude and longitude are (3.1545313,101.7151839) or {"longitude":3.1545313,"latitude":101.7151839}.

Edit a WhatsApp Message Template

Step 1: Navigate to Workspace Settings > Channels

Step 2: Locate the WhatsApp Business API channel > click the Manage Templates icon. Alternatively, click Manage > Templates.

Step 3: In the Channel configuration page, click Templates > click Edit Template located in the ACTIONS menu

Step 4: Edit the content that you wish to update

Step 5: Click on Submit to submit your message template for approval.

Limitations

  • Only message templates with an ApprovedRejected, or Paused status can be edited.
  • You cannot edit the Template Name, Template Category and Language of an approved message template.
  • Approved message templates can be edited up to 10 times in a 30 day window, or 1 time in a 24 hour window. Rejected or paused templates can be edited an unlimited number of times.
  • Editing a template from the platform can only be done with WhatsApp Business Platform (API) and WhatsApp Cloud API Channels.
After editing and resubmitting a message template for approval, it will be assigned an 'In Review' status.
After an edited WhatsApp template has been approved, the workflow and broadcast will continue to send the previous content of the template.

Delete a WhatsApp Message Template

Step 1: Navigate to Workspace Settings > Channels

Step 2: Locate the WhatsApp Business API channel > click Manage.

Step 3: In the Channel configuration page, click Templates > click Delete Template located in the ACTIONS menu.

You cannot delete sample message templates provided by Meta. The delete button will still be present, but the message template will still exist if you click delete.

FAQ and Troubleshooting

Why is my WhatsApp message template taking so long to approve?

The approval process for WhatsApp message templates can vary depending on the content type. This process will take approximately 24 hours. It's important to follow the guidelines closely to avoid any delays or rejections in the approval process. Learn more about the message template approval process and guidelines here.

This is due to a limitation from both Android and iOS. The first template message from a business will display the link in the message as plain text. For Android users, the link will turn into a clickable hyperlink after the Contact replies to the business once. However, for iPhone users, the link will remain as plain text until the Contact saves the business’ phone number. This is due to a security measure taken by the iOS system.

Workaround solution:

To encourage Contacts to click the link, you can embed the link in a Call-To-Action button in the template message. Follow these steps to create your template with a Call-To-Action button.

Here’s an example of how a message with a Call-To-Action button will look like:

What is the maximum character limit for a WhatsApp template message?

A WhatsApp template message has a maximum character limit of 1024 characters.

How many message templates can my WhatsApp Business account have?

A single WhatsApp Business Account can create up to 250 message templates.

Why was my predetermined WhatsApp message template rejected?

This is likely because of Meta's inconsistency while reviewing message templates. To get the template approved, you will need to edit the rejected template and re-submit it for approval.

  1. Go to Workspace Settings > Channels
  2. Select your WhatsApp Business Platform (API) Channel > Templates
  3. Select Edit Template in the Actions column
  4. Do not change anything and click Submit Template

How do you categorize message templates that may be both utility and marketing? What about ones with vague content?

Templates with mixed content, such as order updates combined with promotions or offers, are categorized as marketing. The same applies to templates with unclear content, like placeholders or general phrases. These are also classified as marketing.

What can I do if Meta incorrectly rejects my message template, but I believe it's categorized correctly?

If Meta rejects your message template but you're confident it's correctly categorized, you can request a review via Business Support.

  1. In your Meta Business Manager, select the rejected template.
  2. Click on "Request Review"
  3. Choose "Correct category was rejected" as your reason.
  4. The template's status will then be updated to "In Review."

Why is my messaging window locked, and why can't I view and select my message templates, even though they are approved and synced?

This issue occurs when your WhatsApp Business API account balance is zero. While your message templates remain approved and are correctly synced with your account, they become invisible and unselectable in the messaging composer. Additionally, a zero balance in your WABA account leads to the messaging window being locked. To resolve this, you need to top up your account balance, which will allow you to view your templates and unlock the messaging window.

Why did I receive the error "WhatsApp Business API: Receiver is incapable of receiving this message"?

WhatsApp (Meta) is implementing new approaches, starting with consumers in India, to create more valuable experiences and maximize marketing template message engagement. The number of marketing conversations a person receives from any business in a given period will now be limited (starting with a small number of conversations that are less likely to be read). If a marketing template message is not delivered due to the limit, you will receive an error code. For more information on this limit, refer to this link by Meta.

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