Message Template Guidelines

The goal of this guide is to help businesses understand how to keep templates in good standing on the WhatsApp Business Platform. Message templates are reviewed daily by a Meta team. In a future release, we will be rolling out new template workflows and improvements to the review process.

Rejection Reasons

If your message template(s) have been rejected, it may have been for one of the following reasons:

  • Variable parameters are missing or have mismatched curly braces. The correct format is {{1}}.
  • Variable parameters are not defined. All parameters must have a known purpose, for example, the type of media you plan to send in a media message. Your template will be rejected if we do not know what goes into a specific parameter. We strongly recommend adding a sample with your submission.
  • Variable parameters contain special characters such as a #, $, or %.
  • Variable parameters are not sequential. For example, {{1}}, {{2}}, {{4}}, {{5}} are defined but {{3}} does not exist.
  • The template contains instances of \n (newline character).
  • The message template(s) contains content that violates WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy: When you offer goods or services for sale, we consider all messages and media related to your goods or services, including any descriptions, prices, fees, taxes and/or any required legal disclosures, to constitute transactions. Transactions must comply with the WhatsApp Commerce Policy.
  • The message template(s) contain content that violates WhatsApp’s Business Policy: Do not request sensitive identifiers from users. For example, do not ask people to share full length individual payment card numbers, financial account numbers, National Identification numbers, or other sensitive identifiers. This also includes not requesting documents from users that might contain sensitive identifiers.
  • The content contains potentially abusive or threatening content, such as threatening a customer with legal action or threatening to publicly shame them.

Quality Rating and Template Status

The template quality rating and status for your WhatsApp business account are listed in the Message Templates tab in WhatsApp Manager.

Quality Rating

Your template’s quality rating is based on how messages were sent in the past 24 hours, using your template, and have been received by recipients. It is determined by a combination of quality signals we get from users on your template. Examples include user feedback signals such as blocks, reports, and the reasons users provide when they block a business.

We show it in three different states:

  • High (green)
  • Medium (yellow)
  • Low (red)

If we do not have enough quality signals from conversations between your business and customers, your quality status will be marked as Quality pending in WhatsApp Manager. In contrast, in the API it will be displayed as unknown.

Template Pausing

Starts September 7, 2022 for Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, and will be available globally in October.

If a template reaches the lowest quality rating (red), we will pause the template to protect the phone number’s quality rating.

Each instance of pausing a template will gradually increase in duration and look as follows:

  • 1st Instance: Pause the template for 3 hours
  • 2nd Instance: Pause the template for 6 hours
  • 3rd Instance: Disable the template

A business will be notified that a template is paused through alerts delivered through WhatsApp Manager notifications. Additionally, email notifications will be sent to the admins set in Business Manager. You can also subscribe to all message template status updates through the message_template_status_update webhook, which provides a Paused update with the amount of time the template will be paused. The status of the template will also change to Paused in WhatsApp Manager, and the quality will default to red.

When a template is paused, a business may make modifications to the template’s targeting, delivery parameters or other such changes, or simply wait until the pause period is completed. Once the pause period is completed, the business will have to call the messaging APIs in order to begin sending messages again.

Businesses may also unpause a template by editing content through the WhatsApp Business Management API (available Sep 7 2022) and send your edited message template for approval. Once approved, businesses will need to call the messaging APIs to begin sending out messages again. We send notifications when the template is available again through WhatsApp Manager alerts, email alerts and notifications on the message_template_status_update webhook.

Status

There are different statuses for templates:

  • Pending: This is when a business first submits a template that hasn’t yet been on-boarded and approved.
  • Approved: The template is approved to be sent on our platform.
  • Rejected: The template is rejected based on two reasons:

Occasionally, a template may show one of two particular statuses that are related to quality: Paused and Disabled. The Paused status will be visible once the template pausing feature is available for businesses (Available in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico on September 7, 2022, and will be available globally in October).

  • Paused: When the quality rating reaches a low (red) state, the template is moved to a Paused status. If the quality rating improves to a high (green) or medium (yellow) state, the template returns to an Approved status.
  • Disabled: After a template has been paused for the 3-hour and 6-hour periods and/or reaches a low quality rating for a third time, the template across all languages will be disabled. When disabled, a template cannot be edited or used for sending messages.

Notifications

You will receive an email notification if a template status from your WhatsApp business account(s) changes to Flagged or Disabled.

Adding a Sample

We highly recommend adding a sample to your template submission for approval. Keep in mind they are mandatory for the appeal process.

During message template creation, you can add a sample message template by clicking the Add Sample button. This helps us better understand the use case during the review process:



After clicking on Add Sample, a dialog helps you add the information:



After adding the sample, your header looks like this:

Filing an Appeal

You cannot file an appeal on a rejected message template unless your message template containing parameters has a sample attached.

If your already created message template was rejected, and you need to add a sample follow these steps:

  1. In the WhatsApp Manager, click Message Templates.
  2. Find the message template that you would like to edit, and hover over the pencil icon at the far right.
  3. When the Edit menu option appears, click on the pencil icon.
    You are now able to edit your message template and add a sample (the Add Sample button will be at the top right of the screen).
  4. Click Submit after making your changes to send your message template for review. It will be reviewed in under 24 hours.

Tips

In addition to the above, please consider the following to accelerate the approval process.

  • Make your message template name clear. Instead of using a name like "template_014," use "bus_ticket_details".
  • Remember that someone outside of your business will be reviewing your message templates. Providing more clarity gives reviewers context around how the message template will be used.
  • All appeals for rejected message templates require a sample. You can appeal a rejected message template through Direct Support.
  • If you need to write a message template to reopen the 24-hour window, we suggest starting with some mention of the previous conversation thread. Examples:
    • I'm sorry that I wasn't able to respond to your concerns yesterday but I’m happy to assist you now. If you’d like to continue this discussion, please reply with ‘yes’.
    • I was able to do some follow-up based on our previous conversation, and I’ve found the answer to your question about our refund policy. If you’d like to continue our conversation, please say ‘yes’.
  • Avoid spelling or grammatical errors. Messages with misspellings or grammatical errors may prompt customers to view these messages as spam or a hoax.

Learn More