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WhatsApp Templates: Best Practices, recommendations & examples

WhatsApp Templates: Best Practices, recommendations & examples

What are WhatsApp Business Templates?

WhatsApp Business API is a customer service solution using which businesses can directly interact with customers. For the businesses to reach out to customers, it is important to understand the concept of WhatsApp Business Templates.

Interakt allows businesses to build interactive WhatsApp Business templates to reach out to customers. Message templates are predefined message formats that can be used by businesses. A message template can be a simple plain text message or with media + text format.

In order to use a template, it has to be first approved by WhatsApp. There are a lot of conditions that have to be satisfied for the template to be approved by WhatsApp. This article will cover the best practices to create WhatsApp templates and the different reasons for rejections with examples.

Different sections in WhatsApp Template

The different template sections supported by Interakt are:

Header (Optional)

• Image
Document
Video
Text

Body (Mandatory)

• Plain text
• Text with placeholders

Footer (Optional)

Plain text

Buttons (Optional)

Call to action
Quick Replies

Best Practices for creating WhatsApp Templates

It is recommended to follow these best practices to increase the chances of getting the templates approved by WhatsApp. Failure to adhere to these can result in rejection of the template.

1. Build simple and concise message templates that will convey the information clearly to the users.

2. Templates should not have any grammatical or spelling mistakes. One best practice is to proofread the content for spelling and grammar before submitting for review to WhatsApp.

3. Make sure the formatting of the message is correct. For example, when using variable parameters such as {{1}}, {{2}} etc., make sure you put in the correct number of curly brackets. There should be two curly brackets on the left side of the variable and two brackets on the right side. Any incorrect number of brackets will lead to rejection of the template.

4. If you are using any links in your WhatsApp template, make sure you include the full URL. Do not use short links (i.e.) links generated using URL shortener like bit.ly, tinyurl etc. These links are known to obscure the link destination. Additionally, the domain in the URL should belong to your business only.

5. When entering a name for the message template, make sure you only use lowercase alphanumeric characters and underscores. Whitespaces and no other characters are allowed. For example, a valid template name can be ‘payment_update_details’ instead of ‘pymt_updt_01’.

6. Messages should be written in the same language as the template language. For instance, if you choose ‘English’ as the template language and send the message in Spanish language, the template will be rejected. Also, make sure that the chosen language is supported by WhatsApp.

7. Message templates must be tagged with the correct ‘Category’ and ‘Language’.

8. Message template should not contain any content that violates the WhatsApp Commerce Policy. For example, sending a survey link and asking users to participate in the survey. However, if you are planning to send a survey to assess the service experience, that is completely fine and will be accepted by WhatsApp. Similarly, if you try to send any non-transactional messages or games, contests and so on, such templates have full chances of being rejected.

9. Message templates should not contain any abusive content or threatening content.

In addition to the above, follow these steps to simplify the template approval process.
  • Make your message template name clear. Instead of using a name like "template_014," use "bus_ticket_details".
  • Remember that someone outside of your business will be reviewing your message templates. Providing more clarity gives reviewers context around how the message template will be used.
  • All appeals for rejected message templates require a sample. You can appeal a rejected message template through Direct Support.
  • If you need to write a message template to reopen the 24-hour window, we suggest starting with some mention of the previous conversation thread. Examples:
  • - I'm sorry that I wasn't able to respond to your concerns yesterday but I’m happy to assist you now. If you’d like to continue this discussion, please reply with ‘yes’.
  • - I was able to do some follow-up based on our previous conversation, and I’ve found the answer to your question about our refund policy. If you’d like to continue our conversation, please say ‘yes’.
  • Avoid spelling or grammatical errors. Messages with misspellings or grammatical errors may prompt customers to view these messages as spam or a hoax.

Examples of templates approved and rejected by WhatsApp

a. Templates that can get accepted

• Template Category - Account Update (New User Welcome)

Hi {{1}} , Welcome to ACME!

We are excited to have you with us.    

Cheers,
ACME Team

• Template Category - Appointment Update

Hi {{1}}, Your appointment with Dr.

{{2}} is coming up on {{3}}.

• Template Category - Shipping Update

Hello {{1}}, your order has been processed and is on the way to your doorstep.
You should be receiving it by {{2}}. Track the shipment with this code {{3}}.

We hope you enjoy using the product.

• Template Category - Reservation Update

Dear {{1}},WEB CHECK-IN is now open for your PNR - {{2}} for flight(s) departing within 48 hours! 💻

Check-in now on our website or mobile app - https://rb.gy/f1cx8y

Thank you for flying with us!

• Template Category - Auto Reply

Hi {{1}}, Here is your newsletter for {{2}}. Check it out!

Hi {{1}}. We see that you were interested in {{2}}.

To get more info, please reply with Yes.

b. Reasons for templates to get rejected

WhatsApp has a set of defined rules when it comes to sending messages to users. There are some unpermitted types of notifications that you cannot trigger using WhatsApp. If your template has any of these words or sounds in one of these ways, the template will get rejected.

If your message template(s) have been rejected, it may have been for one of the following reasons:

• Variable parameters are missing or have mismatched curly braces. The correct format is {{1}}.

• Variable parameters are not defined. All parameters must have a known purpose, for example, the type of media you plan to send in a media message. Your template will be rejected if we do not know what goes into a specific parameter. We strongly recommend adding a sample with your submission.

• Variable parameters contain special characters such as a #, $, or %.

• Variable parameters are not sequential. For example, {{1}}, {{2}}, {{4}}, {{5}} are defined but {{3}} does not exist.

The template contains instances of \n (newline character).

• The message template(s) contains content that violates WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy: When you offer goods or services for sale, we consider all messages and media related to your goods or services, including any descriptions, prices, fees, taxes and/or any required legal disclosures, to constitute transactions. Transactions must comply with the WhatsApp Commerce Policy.

• The message template(s) contain content that violates WhatsApp’s Business Policy: Do not request sensitive identifiers from users. For example, do not ask people to share full length individual payment card numbers, financial account numbers, National Identification numbers, or other sensitive identifiers. This also includes not requesting documents from users that might contain sensitive identifiers.

• The content contains potentially abusive or threatening content, such as threatening a customer with legal action or threatening to publicly shame them.


We hope this guide serves you better to create WhatsApp templates that can get accepted.

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