WhatsApp, like emails and SMS, prevents SPAM and ensures a high-quality messaging experience for customers, and makes sure your messages don’t appear as marketing spam. WhatsApp provides pre-approved message templates that can be used by businesses when they reach out to customers.

Marketing messages over WhatsApp are restricted, and the primary focus is on sending notifications and reminders or providing real-time customer support.

Customers also have the option to block or report businesses they don’t want to receive notifications from by submitting a claim with reasoning to WhatsApp’s support team.


Now the question comes on how to make templates that gets approved by the Facebook team.

Let us look at the things to take care when submitting a template message:

Content Rules:

The content inside the template should be drafted in accordance to WhatsApp Policies. You could say WhatsApp cares more about the value you will be providing to your customers rather than the value they are providing to your business.

Any message that is considered promotional and sales-oriented in nature, will be rejected.

We will go through some examples on what gets rejected and what gets approved later in this article.

WhatsApp will only approve messages that fall in the following category:

  1. account Update

  2. alert update

  3. appointment update

  4. issue resolution

  5. payment update

  6. personal finance update

  7. reservation update

  8. shipping update

  9. ticket update

Formatting Rules:

Template Name: The template name should contain only lower case alphanumeric characters and no spaces. To speed up the approval process, it is suggested that the template name gives a context of the message content e.g. A template with name payment_reminder will get approved faster than a template name mes_2134

Template Content: The content of your template needs also be meticulously formatted.

Your HSM template:

  • Must be text-based containing only letters, digits & special characters, emojis and WhatsApp-specific formatting (see formatting table below)

  • Can’t have more than 1024 characters

  • Can’t include newlines, tabs, or more than four consecutive spaces

  • Must indicate variables with {{#}} – a numbered placeholder where a specific number represents the variable index (please note that your variables must begin counting at {{1}})

Template Translations: Although you are able to send template messages in various languages, WhatsApp doesn’t offer translation services. So, if you wish to address your audience in another language, you need to submit your own translation of the template. Naturally, the translations must follow the same rules as the original template.

Reasons why your template messages get rejected:

The message template(s) which contain content that violate WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy get rejected. 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.

  • A survey after an experience is fine, but do not submit a survey or poll to collect data from users.
    Example: “Hi, we're interested in knowing how you feel about certain food groups. Do you mind participating in a survey?”

  • Games, contests, tests and quizzes - anything that involves skill, competition, and/or chance - are not allowed on the platform.

  • You may only initiate chats if you are sending a transactional notification. Non-transactional messages will be rejected.

    • Personalize your messages and make it clear that your customers have requested to hear back from you.
      Example: “Hi {{1}}, thank you for your online inquiry, I’m following up on your request to know more about our courses for the fall.”

The message template(s) are considered promotional

Advertising, marketing, or promotional messages are not permitted. Some examples of this include the following:

  • Offering coupon codes and/or free gifts

  • Upselling
    Example: "Here is your boarding pass, with seat assignment and gate information. If you would like to save 10% on your in-flight dinner, order your meal through our app.”

  • Cold call messages
    Example: “Is now a good time to talk?”, “Thank you for your interest, can we speak now?”, “I tried contacting you but you weren't available. When are you free?”, etc.

  • Inclusion of certain words or phrases that make the message template promotional (even though the content of your message template may be fine).
    Tip: Think about how your message template sounds when read out loud.

The message template(s) contain potentially abusive or threatening content

Some examples of this include the following:

  • Message templates that threaten customers with a legal course of action will be rejected.

  • Message templates that threaten to add customers to a WhatsApp group with their friends and family to shame them if they don't pay back their loans will be rejected.

Some examples of Approved and Rejected Templates:

Rejected

The above template was rejected since it was promotional in nature due to use of words like "Avail Best" and "Reasonable Cost". The same type of template was approved (below) without the promotional phrases

The template below got rejected since it had phrases like "exciting service packages"

The below message got rejected since it had a lot of dynamic values and was considered promotional in nature

In a lot of cases like the below example, the differences are very minute and sometimes it’s not even that clear why one message is OK while the other not.

Approved:

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