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  Article updated: December 04, 2023

Create WhatsApp message template replies

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.

Audience: Enterprise Inbox 2.0 admins with Advanced Inbox. Want more Hootsuite features? Upgrade your plan.

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

Create a WhatsApp message template

  1. Contact your customer account manager to help you get set up.
  2. Create your message text using the available template elements and send it to your customer account manager. Provide your customer account manager 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 using buttons, include the phone numbers or URLs they will connect to
  3. Your customer account manager will submit your message to WhatsApp for approval, which may take up to 48 hours.
  4. Your customer account manager will send you your WhatsApp approved message in a special template syntax.
  5. Add your new message template as a saved reply. Learn more about saved replies.

Template text elements

Message templates can contain any of the following elements:

  • Header - A bold title at the top of your message
  • Body - The message you want to send to your customer
  • Footer - A small text area below your main message

The Header and the Body may contain variables. In the following example, Sofia and the date and time are variables, and Let us know that you’ll be here! is footer text.

Template buttons

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

In the previous example, Confirm and Reschedule are buttons that the contact can select to take different actions.

WhatsApp offers two types of interactive buttons:

  • Quick reply buttons - When a contact selects the button, it sends a reply for them (they don't need 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 - When a contact selects this button, it will trigger a phone call or open a website. You can use both fixed and dynamic URLs for websites, and add up to two call-to-action buttons in one message.
    A WhatsApp message with 2 call-to-action buttons, Call us, and Visit our website.

Send a WhatsApp message template via Inbox 2.0

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 Saved reply. Learn how to add a saved reply. The content of your new saved reply snippet would be the message template in the syntax previously described.

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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