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  Article updated: September 13, 2021

WhatsApp highly structured messages (HSMs) in Sparkcentral

A highly structured message (HSM) is a pre-approved message that can be sent outside the 24-hour customer care window, or proactively if you have obtained opt-in from the person you are contacting.

HSM templates must be approved by WhatsApp Business before you can send them.

HSM elements

HSMs can contain any of the following optional elements:

  • Header: Displayed in bold
  • Body: The message you want to send to your customer, displayed in regular font size
  • Footer: Displayed in smaller font size
  • Buttons: Up to two buttons that let customers take action
    • Call phone number
    • Visit URL (static)

The Header and the Body may contain variables. The format for variables is {{1}}, {{2}}, …

Place them in the text where you want them to be inserted.


Interactive buttons

Interactive buttons are an effective way to keep customers engaged with your brand and navigate them directly to the right information on your website, support team, or even to a personalized payment URL.

Quick reply buttons

You can add up to three quick reply buttons in one message. Your customers can easily re-engage in your conversation or be directed to the right team with one click.

Rout a conversation

You can create a routing flow by using buttons in WhatsApp. By linking a Sparkcentral auto responder with interactive WhatsApp buttons, you can direct your customers seamlessly to the right team within your organization.

Restart a conversation after the 24-hour window

If you’re using WhatsApp to communicate with customers, you’re probably familiar with the 24-hour customer care window: 24 hours after your customer’s last message, the session automatically closes. If you want to reinitiate a conversation after that, you’ll need a paid HSM. With WhatsApp interactive buttons, customers can reopen the conversation in just one click.

Call-to-action buttons

You can add up to two call-to-action buttons. You can choose between a call phone number button that allows your customers to call customer support with one click and a visit website button that sends your customers to a specific part of your website. You can used both fixed and dynamic URLs.

Call to action buttons

Send a query-specific URL

You can add a specific variable to the URL that automatically links to a unique landing page for your customer.

Send assets through WhatsApp

To share assets such as videos and documents with customers, you can use WhatsApp interactive buttons. These buttons send them directly to a landing page with these necessary assets.

Submit an HSM template for approval

To submit an HSM template, simply contact your Sparkcentral customer success manager and provide them with the following information:

  • The name of the HSM (for internal usage)
  • The languages in which you want to send the HSM
  • The text messages for all the chosen languages
  • If you add a button, the phone number or URL that it will refer to

After you submit your template, it may take WhatsApp up to 48 hours to approve it.

WhatsApp 24-hours customer care window

When customers send a message on WhatsApp, you have 24 hours to reply. This timeframe is defined by WhatsApp. In Sparkcentral, you will know if the 24-hour window has passed if you see a message that states: Customer Care Window has expired. Your outbound will have to be an HSM.

Send an HSM via Sparkcentral

To send an HSM via Sparkcentral, you'll need to use a certain syntax. Your customer success manager will deliver you the correct format and explain how to use it.

It will look something like this:






header_text=[[ ]]

body_text=[[ ]]


You might notice that HSM Templates are difficult to type or memorize. To address this challenge, you can use Knowledge Base snippets.

Create a Knowledge Base snippet

See Sparkcentral agent Knowledge Base to learn how to create a snippet. In this case, the content of your new snippet would be the entire HSM template, in the syntax just described.

Additional costs

WhatsApp charges a small fee per HSM sent.

Consult the pricing for HSM in your region. See the WhatsApp List Price Schedule for more information.

Sparkcentral charges an additional 10% handling fee.