✉ Introduction

What is a WhatsApp Message Template?

You must use a message template to start a business-initiated conversation. Within open conversations (business-initiated or user-initiated) you can send message templates.

If you want to send a message to a customer after a 24-hour customer service window ends, you can only send them a message template (also known as template message or business-initiated message).

Message templates are customizable messages that you create and WhatsApp must approve before you can send them to customers. It takes WhatsApp up to 24 hours to approve a template and once it’s approved you can use them indefinitely for as many customers as you want. For example, a payment confirmation message that can be customized for the customer’s name and the price of the product is a message template. Here is an example:

Hi {{1}}, we have received your payment of {{2}} for a total of {{3}} bags. The expected delivery date is {{4}}.

The curly brackets with a number in the middle are variables you fill in every time you want to send the template to a customer. Depending on the WhatsApp inbox you use, it can automatically fetch the data for the variables from the customer’s profile so that you don’t need to manually fill in the variables. This is especially helpful if you want to send bulk messages. Rasayel inbox, as a example, has this feature.

Message Template Components

In its simplest form, a message template includes texts. You can add placeholders for variables, which you can fill in to customize a template for each customer. You create variables in your templates by using double curly brackets and a number in between them, as shown in the following example:

“Hi {{1}}, your order for {{2}} for a total of {{3}} is confirmed. The expected delivery is in {{4}}.”

When you want to use the template above to send a message to a customer named Alex you can customize it to say the following:

“Hi Alex, your order for five burgers for a total of $30 is confirmed. The expected delivery is in 1 hour.”

Message Template Category

There are three message template categories:

  • Marketing - messages like promotional offers, product announcements, and anything to increase awareness and engagement.
  • Transactional - messages like order updates, payment confirmations, alerts and alike that facilitate a specific, agreed-upon request or transaction
  • One-Time Password - messages with codes that allow your customers to securely access their accounts.

Before June 1, 2023, all of these categories belong to business-initiated conversations and incur the same charge. Effective June 1, 2023, each of these template categories correspond to one of business-initiated conversation categories. To learn about the three conversations categories, see Conversation. To learn about their pricing, see WhatsApp Business Platform Cost.

Message Template Formats

There are three formats of message templates:

  • Text-based message templates
  • Media-based message templates
  • Interactive message templates

Text-based message templates

These messages are entirely in text. Below is an example of a text-based message template received by a customer:

Text-based message template.

For information about how to make the text bold, italic and other formatting changes, please refer to this page.

Media-based message templates

These messages include a photo, video, or voice message. In the example below, a business has sent its customer the shipping information of a product as an image.

Media-based message template.

Interactive message templates

Interactive message templates include text and buttons that let customers take certain actions like replying to a question or visiting a website page. There are two types of buttons for interactive message templates; quick reply buttons and call-to-action buttons. Below is an example of a message with call-to-action buttons. Pressing the first button starts a phone call with the number the business has provided. Pressing the second button leads them to a website where they can track their order.

Interactive message template.

We talk about them in more detail in Interactive Message Templates.

Message Template Language

Your template could be in various languages that WhatsApp supports. See Translations on Meta’s Message Template page for a full list of supported languages.

Message Template Quality Rating

Quality Rating

WhatsApp sets a quality rating for every message template. Quality ratings are based on user feedback signals in a rolling window of the past 24 hours, such as blocks, reports, and the reasons users provide when they block a business. A message template’s quality rating will appear in the WhatsApp Manager whenever it has an Active status and will be displayed after a hyphen in the message template’s status:

  • Active - Quality pending (highlighted in green)
  • Active - High quality (highlighted in green)
  • Active - Medium quality (highlighted in yellow)
  • Active - Low quality (highlighted in red)

Any approved WhatsApp message template starts off as “Active - Quality pending”. As long as a message template has an Active status on WhatsApp Manager (or appears as ‘Accepted’ on Rasayel), regardless of the quality rating, it can be sent to customers. If the status changes to anything else, the template cannot be used. For a full list of possible statuses seen on WhatsApp Manager, please check Meta’s Message Templates page.