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Apr 10, 2021
6 minutes read

A Starter Guide to WhatsApp Message Templates & Buttons

WhatsApp Message Templates are specific message formats that businesses use to send out notifications, alerts, and customer care messages to people who have opted-in to receive messages. These may include appointment reminders, shipping information, issue resolutions, payment updates, and can now be enriched with interactive buttons.

What is a WhatsApp Business Message Template?

A WhatsApp Business message template is the most efficient way to communicate with WhatsApp Business API Solutions customers via WhatsApp. Templates enable you to use message content repeatedly once users have opted-in to receive text messages from you.

Creating WhatsApp Business message templates makes responding to messages faster. WhatsApp Business templates, or Highly Structured Messages (HSM), can personalise the information sent to the customer, streamlining customer service efforts automatically.

WhatsApp Business greeting message templates can help you:

  • Generate brand loyalty

  • Decrease response time

  • Improve customer experience

  • Increase customer engagement

  • Respond to customers outside business hours

  • Generate business leads.

The Customer Care Window is a 24-hour period in which you can exchange with a customer without prior opt-in authorisation. Within these 24 hours, you can send both Session Messages and Message Templates. You can send Message Templates both inside and outside the Customer Care Window. These messages can be used to send notifications as long as the customer has opted-in to receive communications from you.

Want to learn more about the customer care window? Read WhatsApp Business API - What is a Customer Care Window?

Approval of WhatsApp Message Templates

WhatsApp uses Message Templates in a very specific format to send notifications. Having an approval process in place for these templates helps ensure WhatsApp can keep track of conversations' quality.

Rich Features Already Available in Templates

You can use rich media in your templates' header and add buttons; you are the one who makes the choice!

A Message Template can consist of text and can be enriched with:

  • emojis

  • URLs

  • Image

  • PDF

  • Video

  • Buttons

We have been waiting for the button feature since the WhatsApp Business API launch, and this is the first step to start using them!

The new interactive buttons can help in making customer interactions faster and simpler. You can now start an easy chat by using buttons to guide the logical conversation flow. This will help automate your internal process and limit misunderstandings with predefined answers.

We have made it really easy: you can request your Interactive Button Templates for WhatsApp directly in Channels in your dashboard.

We can't wait to see what you will create to give your customers the best experience or how you will optimise your flow via our WhatsApp API!

What Makes WhatsApp Buttons Valuable?

  1. It creates clear options for your customer to choose from. Which helps define faster journeys to the right answers.

  2. Fewer mistakes are made when offering clear options, and this is easier to interpret for a chatbot.

  3. It simplifies conversational flows.

  4. It is the same for all WhatsApp Business Accounts, so it offers a consistent way of showing options.

Two Ways to Use the New WhatsApp Business Buttons

Call to Action Buttons (CTA-URL)

CTA buttons come in three options. Using a static URL, you can give direct access via a single click to your website. You can also set up the button to visit a dynamic website. Your customer is then directed to a personalised website. Finally, you can use it to call a predefined phone number.

Quick Replies

Using buttons as quick replies can be used in many use cases like reservation confirmation, checking phone credit, balance checks, ordering services and more. This option allows you to create up to three buttons for your customer to choose from.

What Does a WhatsApp Business Message Template Look Like?

A greeting message template may consist of text, emojis, or WhatsApp-specific formatting and contain 1024 characters. To customise the message, you can use numbered placeholders inside double curly brackets {x} that correspond to personalised fields.

For Example:

Hello {1}, thanks for your order! We will let you know when your order is ready to be shipped. You can track your order with the number {2} here {3}. Enjoy your day!

WhatsApp Business is a channel to send useful information and provide customer support. Therefore, sending advertising, marketing, and promotional messages is prohibited and can result in the disapproval or suspension of message templates with such information included.

Most Popular WhatsApp Business Message Templates

WhatsApp message templates must fall into one of the following categories. If your template does not fit into one of the below template types, it is more likely to be rejected by WhatsApp:

Account Update

Account updates enable you to inform customers about changes to their account settings.

Here's an account update example for an eCommerce/retail business:

Hello {1} !

Welcome to our services at Your Company Name Retail. In the next 24 hours, you will be notified about the status of your Smart Devices.

Starttime: {2}

Alert Update

Use alert updates to notify customers about changes to products or services ordered.

Here's an alert update example for a recruitment message:

Hi {1},

We may have work for you that matches your availability requirements. Are you still available? Please let us know.


{2} of {3}.

Appointment Update

Most businesses find that appointment updates and reminders are one of their most valuable business tools. Here's an appointment update example for general use:

Hello {1}, this is an appointment reminder for your upcoming visit.

DATE: {2}

TIME: {3}

1234 Main Street, Suite E

Please remember to bring a valid Driver's License or photo ID.

For changes or cancellations, please call us at {4} or reschedule online now {5}.

Thank you.


Never miss a customer text! Use a WhatsApp business greeting message template that's ideal for weekends, holidays, or other business closures:

Hello {1},

Thank you for contacting us. We will respond to your message within 24 hours. We look forward to speaking with you!

Issue Resolution

Resolve customer issues and inquiries quickly with issue resolution templates:

I've done some research based on our last conversation, and I have found an answer to your question.

The product costs {1} and is available at {2}.

If you want to continue with our conversation, please respond with 'yes.'

Payment Update

Send simple payment confirmations to put your customers' minds at ease:

Hello {1},

We received your payment totalling {2} on {3}.

Thank you.

Personal Finance Update

Respond to account balance questions with a personal finance update template:

Hi {1},

The balance on your account is currently {2}. Type 'HELP' if you have any questions.

Your Company Name.

Reservation Update

Forgotten reservations can affect your bottom line. Whether you own a restaurant, hotel, or other reservation-based business, reservation templates are lifesavers:

Hi {1},

This is confirmation that {4} has paid {6} for reservations and will be checking in on {5}. Please click here to confirm: {2}

Your Company Name.

Shipping Update

Customers love to know where their packages are. Use shipping updates to keep them in the loop:

Dear {1}

Thanks for your order. Your order has been shipped. Your tracking number is {2}. Enjoy your purchase.

Ticket Update

Whether you're confirming tickets or sending e-tickets, use ticket updates to build excitement for your event:

Hi {1}!

Please show this ticket at the main entrance of {2} to see {3} in concert on {4}.

See you at the show!

How to Register New WhatsApp Business Templates

To register your message templates, you must provide a template name and template type.

What is a Template Name?

A unique name to identify the template's business use case. The name must be spelt in lowercase letters and without spaces. (underscore is allowed).

Example: order_confirmation.

WhatsApp advises businesses to use descriptive words for new templates rather than random ones like "message_12345." This speeds up the approval process and helps you manage the templates you create.

What is a Template Type?

You will need to select the type of message from the predefined set listed in the above section.

Start sending WhatsApp Message Templates in Campaigns

To upload your complete contact list, you can use Address Book. Address Book is a simple and intuitive contact management tool to manage your database of customers and clients.

Import up to one million contacts via Excel or CSV. Once your database is uploaded, you can create and send personalised campaigns at scale.

Is your WhatsApp Message Template approved? And your contacts opted in to receive WhatsApp messages? Then you're all set and ready to go.

Navigate in your platform account to the pre-installed Campaigns app, which you can find under the nine dots in the upper right corner.

Start a new Campaign by clicking on the + and select WhatsApp as your channel.

Select your contact list;

Fill in your template variables.

That's all it takes. You can set up your Campaign in less than 5 minutes

Looking to Improve Customer Engagement with WhatsApp Template Messages?

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