WhatsApp Message Templates Best Practices

When using the WhatsApp Business API for the first time, you are bound to use template messages. And why not? These pre-written messages help run your business on WhatsApp more efficiently and effectively.

But even though WhatsApp template messages are helpful, each one must be separately approved by WhatsApp. And more often than not your message templates might get rejected if they donโ€™t follow the guidelines provided by WhatsApp. However, we also understand that finding what to add and what not to add can get a bit challenging. So we noted down everything you need to know below.

Template Messages

You can only send Template Messages to users who have opted-in to receive from you. These templated messages are typically used for transactional notifications like purchase confirmations, delivery alerts, etc.

Since Template Messages are sent to users outside of the 24-hour customer care window, they are required to be highly structured and paid for (rates vary by country).

Here is an example of a WhatsApp Template Message:

What formats are allowed on Message Templates?

The most recent WhatsApp API update allows you to send the following content types: text, message templates, images, documents and audio.

WhatsApp defines the different variations as:

  • Text Messages

  • Media Messages

  • Message Templates

  • Other Message Types

Regardless of the content type, you have to get your messages pre-approved before going live โ€” and donโ€™t be surprised if your first message(s) get rejected by WhatsApp. Our MessageBird team has developed the following guidelines and best practices to help prevent your WhatsApp Message Templates from rejection.

Forbidden content

WhatsApp does not accept and will reject any use cases that meet the following criteria:

  • Items connected to defense, firearms, ammo, and explosives

  • Cigarettes, narcotics, alcohol, or products that are similar to them

  • Animal health and sales

  • Subscription notifications (newsletters, weather alerts, new blog posts, etc.)

  • Adult content

  • Gambling

  • 4 consecutive spaces maximum in message templates.

10 rules to follow to help your WhatsApp Message Templates not get rejected

When submitting your WhatsApp Message template, there are a few rules that you should keep in mind if you donโ€™t want them to get rejected. By following these guidelines, you can assure that WhatsApp quickly approves your templates so you can start delivering messages.

Rule 1: Grammatical errors

Grammar and spelling mistakes can mark your email as spam or unreliable automatically. Prior to submission, please carefully check and double-check the spelling of your messages.

The language you've chosen must also be compatible with your message template. Your message will be automatically rejected if it is written in Bahasa although the message language is set to English. The languages that WhatsApp supports are listed here.

Rule 2: Improve quality of your messages from low to medium in 7 days

Your messages' quality is tracked by WhatsApp as low (red), medium (medium), or high (green).

Within a week, WhatsApp may disable your templates, stop you from sending new messages, and possibly even reject others if you are unable to raise the quality rating of your messages from low to medium.

Rule 3: Variables for message templates

Each message variable is represented by a numerical placeholder, {{x}} in the Message Template. Each variable can be changed with text made up of letters, numbers, symbols, or spaces.

In our example, {{1}} stands for the client's name, {{2}} for the frequency of communications from the organization, and {{3}} stands for the client's unique training ID.

Rule 4: WhatsApp message template categories

When submitting your request for a Whatsapp message template make sure that they fall under any of the below categories:

  1. Alert update: Send reminders about updates to orders or delivery services.

  2. Shipping update: Send shipping updates for any new orders or purchases.

  3. Personal finance update: Update your customers on personal finance-related questions.

  4. Account Update: Inform clients of any alterations to their accounts.

  5. Appointment update: Send appointment confirmations and reminders.

  6. Auto- reply: Send automated responses to messages while on vacation or after work.

  7. Issue resolution: Respond to inquiries, problems, or requests for information from customers.

  8. Reservation update: Keep clients informed about their reservations via reservation updates.

  9. Payment update: Verify that payments were handled successfully by checking the payment update.

  10. Ticket update: Update a ticket by confirming and sending the status.

  11. Transportation update: Update your clients on any tickets pertaining to transportation.

Rule 5: Formatting rules

The formatting rules to stick to when writing your message templates are as follows:

Template naming: Only lowercase letters, digits, and underscores may be used in the name of your message template (for example, account update 1). Clarify the name of your message template.

Template size: The message's maximum character count is 1024, and it cannot contain new lines, tabs, or more than four consecutive characters.

Must be text-based: Include letters, numbers, special characters, emoticons, and formats unique to WhatsApp.

You can format certain text inside your WhatsApp messages using Bold, Italics, Strikethrough, or Monospace:

Rule 6: The Opt-in rule

Before you can start sending WhatsApp Template messages, you must get the user's express permission. Opt-in cannot be taken for granted.

State explicitly that the recipient has consented to receive communications from you via WhatsApp. When communicating, be precise and concise.

If you break this regulation, your account or phone number may be blocked.

Rule 7: Using URLs for messages

Sending links or URLs from your company domain is advised by WhatsApp. For instance, you should publish the complete URL when sharing a product link:


We don't advise utilizing short URLs or other URL shorteners like Bit.ly.

Rule 8: Chat automation with escalation path

Within the Customer Care Window, chatbots and chat automation are permitted, but you must establish clear and direct escalation routes to human agents.

These escalation routes consist of:

  • Phone number

  • Transfer in the chat with a human agent

  • Web support (on the business website)

  • Email

  • Visits to stores (ex: visit a retail store, bank branch)

  • Support form

Rule 9: Donโ€™t collect customer data or run promotions

WhatsApp is gradually rolling out new promotion and marketing message templates beginning in Indonesia and Mexico. However, if you are sending messages outside of those regions, we advise avoiding upselling, coupon codes, cold-call messages, or sending links with polls to collect customer data because doing so could result in your account being flagged or blocked.

Rule 10: 24 hr rule

Know how the 24-hour Customer Care Window functions and abide by the engagement guidelines. After a customer starts a chat with you, you can continue the conversation with that person for up to 24 hours. You should only use authorized Message Templates to send messages outside of the Customer Care Window. Other communication types may result in your account being flagged or blocked.

Reach out to out support team if you need assistance with Message Templates.

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