WhatsApp Business has helped thousands of companies reduce friction in their customer interactions. Either by replacing the existing communication channels like email and phone calls. Being able to communicate with customers on the world’s most popular messaging app is no new phenomenon.

Given the app's growing popularity, WhatsApp has constantly worked on developing new features to improve and boost the communication between the customers and the business.

One of the latest WhatsApp releases is the introduction of media and interactive message capabilities. As the name suggests, the business can share images, videos, and documents making the user messaging experience an absolute delight.

Until now, businesses could only send text messages to their customers but the introduction of interactive messages has opened up a whole new experience for businesses to communicate with their customers.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the types of interactive messages you can send using the WhatsApp Business API, how to set them up, and what you can and cannot do with this feature.

Media Message Template on WhatsApp

In media message templates, you can send messages containing images, documents, or videos to your customers.

Types of Interactive Message Templates on WhatsApp

WhatsApp Business currently offers two types of interactive message templates, mainly the addition of the following to WhatsApp messages:

  • Quick reply options

  • Call-to-action buttons

These can be tagged to the regular text and/or rich media messages that you send out to your customers.

How to create WhatsApp Business Media and Interactive Templates in TARS backend.

Once you have registered for WhatsApp Business API (WABA) service, you can use any chatbot inside the TARS builder as a WhatsApp chatbot.

Once you have configured the Business number, you can create templates Campaigns ➡️ Message Template ➡️ Create Message Templates.

Formating Rules

There are specific formatting rules for both the title and content of your template.

Template Name

WhatsApp message template name can only include lowercase alphanumeric characters and underscores.

Example: shipping_update | order_followup1 | renewal_pending

To speed up the approval process, WhatsApp advises businesses to use descriptive names for their templates rather than random ones like “message_124a”. It makes it easier for the person that will be approving your message as well as for you who will manage in a sea of other templates.

Template Content

The content of your template needs also be meticulously formatted.

  • Your template can be text-based, media-based (image, video, or document), or interactive (CTA buttons).

  • The main message body character limit is 1024 characters, while the header and footer can’t have more than 60 characters.

How to Submit a WhatsApp Message Template: The Process

The submission process differs from provider to provider. At TARS, we created a process that simplifies and streamlines the creation, submissions, and approval of the template so you can get your campaigns out in short order.

To manage or create Templates inside the TARS builder, you have to click on the Campaigns from the Menu option in the Admin Dashboard. Then click on Message Templates and finally tap the Create Message Template icon.

Once you click on the Create Message Template, a dialog box opens up which asks us to fill in the basic Campaign details.

  1. Template Name - WhatsApp advises businesses to use descriptive names for their templates rather than random ones. (max. 512 characters containing only lowercase letters, numbers, and underscores).

    Example: shipping_update | order_followup1 | renewal_pending

  2. Business Number - Select the Business Number from the scroll-down menu.

  3. Message Type - There are 2 message types, Text Message, and Media And Interactive. From the scroll-down menu choose the Media and Interactive option.

  4. Header Type - You can select an image or a document or a video as a header for your template. In this case, I am using an image.

  5. Body (Required): The template body should only contain text, parameters (unlimited), and emojis. The characters can't exceed 1024.

  6. Footer (optional): A footer may only contain text (max. 60 characters). Parameters, emojis, or formatting are not allowed.

  7. Buttons (Optional): There are two kinds of buttons, a CTA or Quick Reply. You can use one or the other, not both. A CTA button can let the customer call a specific phone number or visit a specific URL.

    Once you click on Add Buttons a dialog box opens up. You can choose any one of the two buttons i.e., Quick Reply and Call to Action. The Quick reply button can create up to 3 buttons that let customers respond to a message or take action.

    The Call to Action option has 2 buttons that let you call a specific phone number or visit a specific URL. You can choose either one by clicking on them from the drop-down menu.

    In this case, I am choosing the Quick Reply option with 2 buttons Yes and No.

    On the right side, you can see how your WhatsApp template would look.

  8. If you are satisfied with the result then click on the green Save button.

    This is how you create a WhatsApp Business Media and Interactive template.

    Do's and Dont's

    a. While creating the Templates make sure that there should not be any multiple spaces between the lines.

    b. There should not be any hyphen '-' in the Template Name.

    c. The character limit in the buttons should be less than 20.

    d. Make sure that you use short URL's in your Templates.

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