Recommendations and best practices for creating WhatsApp Message Templates

WhatsApp requires all message templates be approved before they can be used to send business-initiated messages to users. Message templates that don't meet the criteria or usage guidelines will be rejected, and can't be used. This guide explains our recommendations and best practices for improving the likelihood that your templates will be approved by WhatsApp.

Template overview

WhatsApp Templates are used to send outbound, business-initiated notification and marketing messages to WhatsApp users that have opted-in to receiving your messages, but have not responded to you in at least 24-hours.

Templates are typically notification-type messages like delivery alerts and appointment reminders, or marketing and promotional messages like sale reminders and product launch announcements. The following categories are supported:

  • Marketing – Send promotional offers, product announcements, and more to increase awareness and engagement.
  • One-time passwords – Send codes that allow your customers to securely access their accounts.
  • Transactional - Send account updates, order updates, alerts, and more to share important information.

All templates must be submitted to WhatsApp and approved before they can be used. 

For more information about how WhatsApp templates work, see Rules and best practices for WhatsApp messaging on Twilio.

Forbidden use cases

For an extensive list of allowed and forbidden use cases and business verticals, see What use cases and businesses are allowed to use WhatsApp on Twilio.

Template Restrictions (Rejection Reasons)

WhatsApp enforces strict guidelines in their template approval process to reduce the potential for abuse and spam attacks. The following are some common reasons why Meta will reject templates.

  • Template purpose is not clear, concise, or well-written. For example, Hi, {{1}} {{2}} Thank you. is vague and not clear how it would be used or what the placeholder values represent.
  • Template placeholders are not sequential in order. For example, {{1}} and {{2}} and {{4}} are included but the placeholder {{3}} does not exist in the template.
  • Template placeholders cannot be right next to each other like {{1}} {{2}}.
  • Template content is identical to the content of another existing template.
  • Template body cannot start or end with a placeholder.
  • Template body cannot have the \n newline character.
  • Template body cannot have more than two consecutive \n newline characters.
  • Templates with Text headers cannot have emojis, asterisks, formatting markup, or the \n newline character.
  • Templates with Media headers (video, image, document) must include a sample with their submission.
  • Template is abusive or threatening in nature, such as containing content threatening to take legal action against a user.
  • Call to action button URL contains a direct link to WhatsApp, such as "https://wa.me/14154443344", which Meta does not allow.

Best practices for writing WhatsApp templates

Following these basic guidelines will increase the chances of your templates being quickly approved, and will help ensure that your customers enjoy interacting with your business.

  • Templates should be as short as possible to get the necessary information across.
  • Templates must not have any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Templates that include major spelling or grammatical mistakes are likely to be rejected. Templates with minor punctuation errors or grammatical inconsistencies may be approved, but should be avoided.
  • When submitting your Template in Console, ensure you select the appropriate message type and language.

Additional tips for creating excellent templates:

  • Get feedback from your teammates or coworkers to ensure the template you’ve written is clear and free of errors.
  • Think about a template message as a conversation starter, with the goal to convert this into a 2-way message by having the user reply. The two-way use case will keep your spend lower, as WhatsApp does not charge the Template message fee for two-way messages.
  • Make sure your customers understand why they received your message – you can remind them of the reason why they originally gave you permission to send them messages. For example:
    Hi {{1}}, thanks for your order {{2}} placed on {{3}}. Your order has shipped.
    You can get a tracking update anytime by replying TRACK.
  • Avoid sending surveys or using the word survey. Instead, you may ask the customer for their feedback.
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