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  Article updated: December 26, 2022

WhatsApp message templates in Sparkcentral

If you’ve used 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. The only way to reopen the conversation is to send a message using a WhatsApp message template (previously referred to as a highly structured message, or HSM).

WhatsApp message templates let you send pre-approved messages outside of the 24-hour customer care window, as long as the contact has opted in to notifications. Contacts can then reopen conversations by replying to your message or tapping a button in your message.

  1. Your Hootsuite customer account manager will help you get set up to start using WhatsApp message templates. Here’s the message template process:
  2. Create your message text using the available template elements.
  3. Submit your messages to Hootsuite to get them approved by WhatsApp.
  4. Your customer account manager sends your approved messages back to you in a special template syntax.
  5. Add your new message templates as saved replies in Sparkcentral.

Template elements

Message templates can contain any of the following optional elements:

  • Header - A bold title at the top of your message
  • Body - The message you want to send to your customer
  • Footer - A smaller text area below your main message
  • Interactive buttons - Options that allow your contacts to take an action

The Header and the Body may contain variables. In this example, Sofia and the date and time are variables. Let us know that you’ll be here! is footer text, and Confirm and Reschedule are buttons that the contact can select to take different actions.

Interactive buttons can help keep your contacts engaged with your brand and help them find information on your website, connect them with your support team, or even provide a personalized payment URL.

WhatsApp offers two types of interactive buttons:

  • Quick reply buttons
    When a contact selects a quick reply button, a message containing that button text is sent in the conversation, with no need for them to type anything. You can add up to three quick reply buttons in one message.

    A WhatsApp message with 3 quick reply buttons, Support, Engineering, and Sales.

  • Call-to-action buttons
    These buttons either trigger a phone call or open a website when selected. You can use both fixed and dynamic URLs for websites. You can add up to two call-to-action buttons in one message.

    A WhatsApp message with 2 call-to actions buttons, Call us, and Visit our website.

Submit template content for approval

To submit your WhatsApp template content for approval, contact your Hootsuite customer account manager and provide them with the following information:

  • The name of the message template (for internal use)
  • The languages you want to use for your templates
  • The text messages for all languages
  • If you’re including buttons, the phone numbers or URLs they will connect to

After you submit your content, Hootsuite will send it to WhatsApp for approval, which may take up to 48 hours.

Send a WhatsApp message template via Sparkcentral

Your customer account manager will deliver your approved content in the correct message template syntax and explain how to use it.

It will look something like this:


header_text=[[ ]]
body_text=[[ ]]

Because this format is difficult to type or memorize, we recommend adding it as a snippet on the Saved replies tab. Go to Sparkcentral saved replies to learn how to create a snippet. In this case, the content of your new snippet would be the entire message template, in the syntax just described.

Additional costs

WhatsApp charges a small fee per message template sent. Consult the pricing for WhatsApp message templates in your region. See the WhatsApp Conversation-Based Pricing page for more information.


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