WhatsApp Template Best Practices To Follow

Kazi Nazia

Content Editor

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 don’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 — and don’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 don’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; it requires the end consent. user's The consent must

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.y. 

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: Don’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 regarding anything.

Do you find yourself chasing down new customers because current customers aren't sticking around, and you need to keep your eCommerce business afloat? Is it a sustainable strategy to run your eCommerce business?

We hear you saying no because it actually isn't. It's time you need to focus on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

In this competitive narrative, you can't really go far by keeping on investing in getting NEW customers rather than keeping your OLD customers. What you really need to concentrate on is maximizing your revenue from your present customers. And this is where customer lifetime value comes into play.

According to Tim Cameron Kitchen - CEO of Exposure Ninja, "In order to increase your customer lifetime value, you need to pull two levers. One, increase the number of purchases. And two, increase the purchase value of each customer. And of course, a good business will have a combination of both of these levers."

We want your business to have high customer LTV. So we noted down a series of pointers that you could follow to increase your customer lifetime value and higher profits. Before we dive into the strategies, let's start with the basics.

What is Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)?

According to Omniconvert, "customer lifetime value (CLV) shows how much revenue a business can expect from one customer compared to how long the company predicts that customer will stay."

Customer lifetime value is an important metric for eCommerce brands to measure the average accumulating total of their purchase for some time.

Lifetime value helps you determine if your business will scale the ROI from marketing. It also helps you evaluate the retention strategy depending on how low or high your LTV is.

How To Increase Customer Lifetime Value

You can increase your customer lifetime value by either increasing your Average Order Value or Average Purchase Frequency. An increase in either of these metrics will rise Customer Lifetime Value. Apart from that, let's take a look at the other ways to increase CLV.

Improve Your Customer Support

Treating your customer right is the core to increasing customer lifetime value. According to Tim Han, an international speaker and author from success insider - "treating your customers like family is the key to recurring customers."

Now we're not telling you to turn a blind eye to their red flags and keep on supporting them. But we definitely recommend you to go a bit above to give them special treatments. In fact, according to research from PWC,  86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. So enhancing your customer support is an absolute must.

A solid customer support strategy includes attention to the customer pre, mid and post-sale. Your customer support should cater to your customer at every stage of their buying journey. A great way to make sure your customer's queries are always answered in no time is by using an AI-powered chatbot. Having a live chat available can turn a customer question into a sale or complaint into a resolution. We recommend you check out MyAlice as their chatbot can actually automate your entire selling process from start to finish. And the best part is, MyAlice is completely free to sign up!

You need to make sure your customers are returning again and again for the delightful experience you provide.

Send out occasional gifts

Who doesn't like free stuff? Especially when it comes as a surprise from a place you shopped from. We find ourselves leaning towards shops that offer great discounts or free goodies in most cases. And that's because this is a psychological trick that all of us fall for.

Lippincott's creative consultancy provided a scientific and psychological-based study called the "Happiness Halo" - proving exactly that. In the "Happiness Halo," the author stresses, "Appeal to customers' reason and they're yours for a day. Appeal to customer's emotions, and they're yours for a lifetime."

And nothing is more solid than sending gifts to appeal to your customer's emotions. It shows them that you care about them more than just a means of getting some sales.

We're not telling you to send out gifts 365 days a year to every customer for every purchase. But rather, identify your loyal set of customers and potentially loyal customers, and then send out occasional gifts to show them you care.

Nudge Your Customers into Subscriptions

One of the most popular ways (that works) of increasing the number of purchases of your customers is by bumping them into subscriptions. They're one of the new trends of e-commerce. And they can be lucrative enough that we even see big names like GoPro getting into the subscription realm they previously didn't opt for.

You can nudge them into a subscription by displaying a subscription-biased pricing option of your product.

This basically means you will show the pricing option of a one-time purchase on one side. And on another, the pricing option is based on subscription. However, you need to show your customers how the subscription pricing will be more effective and profitable.

This will incentivize them to opt for the subscription rather than going for a one-time purchase.

Another way of getting your customers into subscriptions is by showing the subscription as the default purchase method. And if customers want to go for a one-time purchase, they need to click on that purchase method.

You can do to level up the subscription game by giving them an option to allow your customers to customize the time frame and the amount of product for the subscription. This way, they will not have too much stock of the product based on their lifestyle. And they are less likely to cancel the subscription altogether.

Integrate Add-ons and Upsells

Another great way to increase the average order value of your customers is by adding add-ons and upsells. Big names like GoDaddy GoPro have been using this pricing strategy for years now, which has helped them generate more sales.

Everything that you throw at your customers before and after purchasing the products is for one thing - increasing the order value.

And therefore, there's an increase in customer LTV. Some of your add-ons and upsells features may seem annoying to your customers. But it's a genius idea for your business.

Since you are competing in a very competitive and price-sensitive space, If you want to maximize your customer acquisition, you need to maximize the value of every customer you get through the door.

By doing so, you can save the money that you would have otherwise spent on getting new customers. So you can now invest it in other business activities. Like - marketing. Which will help you build market share without increasing the price of their core product.

— Introduce Premium Versions

Introducing a line of premium versions of the same product can incentivize your customers to opt for better options. But, you need to make sure you can present it in a manner that demonstrates why the premium versions are better than the regular ones.

That way, customers who always want the best of everything are more likely to opt for the premium purchase. The pricing of the premium product will also be higher than the regular, which may be a problem for some of your customers. In such a case, you can introduce split pay for that.

Now split pay is absolutely everywhere and another massive trend of e-commerce over the last few years. One of the biggest players in the split pay market -Klarna, claims to increase the average order value by up to 58%.

Split pay will help you get more sales for your premium products and end up increasing the average order value for your customers.

Drawing Conclusion: Loyalty Brings Revenue

The right customer lifetime value model can boost your company's growth and progress in many ways. It puts more money in your business's wallet by lowering customer acquisition costs and saving money on marketing and sales activities.

Delivering a great deal of value, understanding the customers being in their shoes, prioritizing customer service are what they need to come back to you again and again.

Learn More:

  1. How Customer Service Can Help Sustain Your E-Commerce Business
  2. How To Get Repeat E-commerce Customers: Encourage Them To Return For More

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