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  Article updated: April 29, 2024

WhatsApp message templates in Sparkcentral

Use WhatsApp message templates (previously called highly structured messages, or HSMs) to send pre-approved responses to contacts who have opted into notifications. If you don't use a template, your WhatsApp conversations will automatically close 24 hours after the contact's last message.

What are WhatsApp message templates?

If you respond to a WhatsApp customer within 24 hours of them reaching out to you, you can simply enter and send your response in Sparkcentral. However, if you are trying to have a conversation in Sparkcentral with a customer who has not messaged you before or who hasn't sent you a message in the past 24 hours, you must use WhatsApp template messages to do so.

When you use WhatsApp message templates, contacts can reopen conversations in WhatsApp by replying to your message or selecting a button in your message.

Tip: For information on the WhatsApp template policy and governing rules, see the WhatsApp Business Policy.

Message templates can contain any of the following elements. The body text is required, everything else is optional.

  • Header - A bold title at the top of your message. In the following image, this is the text that reads "Your upcoming appointment."
  • Body (required) - The message you want to send to your customer. In the following image, this is the text that reads "Hi Sofia! We're looking forward to seeing you on June 6 at 2:00pm."
  • Footer - A small text area below your main message. In the following image, this is the text that reads "Let us know that you'll be here!"
  • Quick reply buttons - Buttons that send a reply for the customer (the customer doesn’t have to type a message). You can add up to three quick reply buttons to your template. In the following image, "Confirm" and "Reschedule" are quick reply buttons.
    A WhatsApp message with two quick reply buttons - confirm and reschedule.
  • Call to action (CTA) buttons - Buttons aimed at keeping your customers engaged with your brand. For example, you may want to use a CTA button to locate a product on your website, connect a customer with your support team, or provide a personalized payment URL. In the following example "Support," "Engineering," and "Sales" are CTA buttons:
    A WhatsApp message with 3 CTA buttons, Support, Engineering, and Sales.

Your message templates can include placeholder text for text that you want to customize before you send it (like a date or time, for example).

Before you begin

In order to create a WhatsApp message template, you must have the following:

  • A WhatsApp account connected to Sparkcentral.
  • Administrator permissions for your Hootsuite organization.
  • Administrator access to your verified business account in Meta Business Manager.

Create a WhatsApp message template

Once you create a template, you'll be prompted to send it to Meta for review.

  1. Sign in to your Meta Business Manager page.
  2. Follow the steps in the Meta help article Create message templates for your WhatsApp Business account to create your template and send it for review.

Tip: Preview some sample message templates in the Meta Business Help Center.

Send a WhatsApp message template via Sparkcentral

Once your template is approved, you can modify the following code to create a message in Sparkcentral. You can save time by adding the template code as a saved reply in Sparkcentral.

  1. Copy the following code into your message or saved reply.

  2. Return to the WhatsApp Manager, Manage message templates page (see Edit message templates for your WhatsApp Business Account for instructions) to get information needed from your template.
  3. Select Namespace in WhatsApp Manager to find your namespace code, and then replace the namespace code (781ae99c_f5cf_33d0_b2dc_b569ec050c84) with your unique code.
    Message templates in WhatsApp Manager with Namespace selected showing namespace code.
  4. Find your Template name in WhatsApp Manager, and then replace the template code (template_1) and the fallback code (template_1) with your template name.
  5. If you do not want your template to be written in English, replace your language code (en) with your preferred language code. Find your language codes.
  6. Test your template by sending a WhatsApp message to your WhatsApp number.

Important: WhatsApp charges a small fee per message template sent. Consult the pricing for WhatsApp message templates in your region. See the WhatsApp help: Conversation-Based Pricing.


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