Recommendations and best practices for creating WhatsApp Message Templates

WhatsApp requires all message templates be approved before they can be used to send notification-type 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 transactional messages to WhatsApp users that have opted-in to receiving your messages, but not responded to you in at least 24-hours. Templates are typically notification-type messages, like delivery alerts, appointment reminders, etc. Marketing/promotional templates are now allowed all in countries. All templates must be submitted to WhatsApp and approved before it can be used.

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

Forbidden content

Any use cases that fit the following criteria are not allowed by WhatsApp and will be rejected:

  • Subscription messages (newsletters, weather alerts, new blog posts, etc.)
  • Adult content
  • Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or related products
  • Animal health and sales
  • Gambling
  • Defense, weapons, ammunition, explosives, or related products
  • No more than 4 consecutive spaces in message templates (further information can be found here.)

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

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 must have a specific purpose and be clear, concise and well-written. For example, {{1}} {{2}} is vague and would be rejected – it is not clear how it would be used or what the placeholder values represent.
  • 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 will 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.

Examples of rejected and revised approved templates

Rejected template Approved revision
{{1}}, {{2}}!
I am Jenn, the virtual assistant.
We will put our platform up and running soon, I would like to get to know you better by asking 5 questions.
Do not worry, I will not share your answers with anyone.
What is the name of the city where you want to buy the property?
{{1}}, thank you for your interest. In which city do you intend to buy the property?
Hi {{1}}! Not sure how to activate your Prepaid Card? It is quick and easy! Get your new Prepaid Card in your pocket and start to enjoy all the advantages! Access at {{2}}. Hi {{1}}! Our records show that your new Prepaid Card is delivered. Reply “ACTIVATE” to activate your card now.
Hi {{1}}, this is {{2}} from BusinessName. Trying to touch base with you over text as I couldn't connect with you either by phone or email… N/A - failure to comply with opt-in requirement.
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