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WhatsApp Templates: Best Practices, Recommendations & Examples

Guidelines to help you get your templates approved by WhatsApp.

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. The template should not have any promotional content such as advertising, marketing, upselling content and so on.

For example, offering special coupon discount codes or free gifts will be considered as promotional content and the template will be rejected by WhatsApp. Similarly, sending messages asking for a time to have a discussion or messages that upsell an aspect of your business will be rejected.

3. 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.

4. 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. 

5. 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. 

6. 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’.

7. 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.

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

9. 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.

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

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.

Below are some of the unpermitted notification types when using WhatsApp templates - 

• Usage of sale or promotional content
• Recurring content like reminders, weekly/monthly newsletters
• Promotional materials with customers
• Requesting customers to share about the business to other customers
• Asking for ratings or review comments
• Marketing in the form of surveys
• Re-engaging with customers for a sale after an initial conversation

c. Rejected Templates examples with reason vs. Correct version

Below are some rejected template examples and the reason for rejection.

Rejected Template Reason for Rejection Approved Template
We are always happy to help you. Don't forget to download our app: https://....
Team XYZ
Promotional content We are always happy to help you.
Team XYZ
Hi {{1}}, This is {{2}} from {{3}}. Our systems show that you were looking at {{4}}. Need more info, reply with "Yes". Promotional content Hi {{1}}. We see that you were interested in {{2}}. To get more info, please reply with Yes.
Gentle Reminder : {{1}} Insufficient details Gentle Reminder : You have an upcoming appointment on {{1}}
Welcome to FlyJet!
Here is your e-boarding pass. You can show this at the gate for easy check-in. Pre-book your meals for your flight now and get 10% discount on our mobile app.
Upselling Welcome to FlyJet!
Here is your e-boarding pass. You can show this at the gate for easy check-in.
Hi {{1}}, we are glad to have you with us. It's Christmas time! And we have a special offer for you. Selling special discounts N/A
Be a Sales executive at {{1}} in {{2}}. An exciting earning opportunity
Do you want to apply for the Project? Reply with "Yes" or "No".
Job Offer messages N/A
Hi {{1}}, We hope you are enjoying Day 2 of your trial period. Today we will take a look at ...." Reminder messages N/A
Bonjour {{1}} {{LAST\_NAME}}, nous vous remercions de nous avoir choisis. Incorrect message format N/A
We see that you have been using this specific cosmetic product for a long time. Do you mind participating in a survey - https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/skin-care-products-survey-template/ Use of survey link N/A
Hullo {{1}} Spelling mistake Hello {{1}}
We tried to reach you yesterday. But, it looks like you were busy. Click Yes to continue chatting with us. Cold calling N/A

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

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