WhatsApp Templates


Creating templates to be used in your WhatsApp communications is a very important aspect of your use of WhatsApp as an engagement channel.

Unlike the other channels available in the platform, where your creativity can run loose as to how to create your templates, for the case of WhatsApp, there are guidelines that have been created by Metaverse, that must be followed to ensure a smooth and continuous operation of you WhatsApp account.

As these guidelines evolve with time, expanding the capabilities offered into areas that were previously restricted, a thorough understanding of the dos and don’ts of the use of your WhatsApp account as one of the tools of your business communication portfolio is a must. Keep updated on WhatsApp Business Policy in detail by clicking here and WhatsApp Commerce Policy here.

WhatsApp started with a single type of template used for transactional exchanges which were focused in addressing customer service issues. In this new release, we have included all the categories supported by WhatsApp.

As before, there are some basic but important rules that must be followed.

User consent. Opt-in needs to be explicit, via a defined process that clearly states the purpose of the communications that will be delivered. On the flip side, opting out needs to be just as clearly stated. The goal is to make the process for the users as transparent as possible.

Obtain an opt-in for each different categories of messages that you will send (E.g., order updates, relevant offers, product recommendations, etc.)

The underlying reason that WhatsApp is seeking, is to ensure that all exchanges with customers fulfill three basic elements and need to be,

  • Expected. As customers have opted in to receive information from your business over WhatsApp, they will not be not surprised when they receive your messages.
  • Relevant. Personalized messages to a specific person based on recent engagement with the business, pertinent and concise, with necessary information, and outline clearly, the steps needed to be taken.
  • Timely: Messages are received when they are relevant.

Keep in mind that as you create templates, all of them will be vetted for compliance with Metaverse policies and undergo an approval process. Once a template is approved it cannot be modified. Any changes to it will require the same approval process before it can be used.


Before you begin

You must

Creating a WhatsApp Message Template

The steps to create a WhatsApp template are the following:

  1. Select +New Template, located at the top of the Templates section.
  1. In the popup window that follows, select the WhatsApp option.
  1. The platform will display another popup with a list of previously existing templates along with their status (Approved, Rejected, Pending). You can start from a blank template.

If you select Create Blank Template you will be defining every aspect of the template. In either case you will be taken the Create a new WhatsApp template section, where you will have to configure all parameters of the template, for the Blank template case.

The template creation section, consist of two steps

  • Metadata
  • Personalize


The Metadata section is where you to define the message category, name, languages used in it, and the WABA account number, identified as the sender.



The message categories, are the standard message categories supported by WhatsApp: transactional, marketing, and one-time passwords.


The categories are used to identify the purpose of the template in WhatsApp’s approval process. Be sure that the contents of the message template and the category you select are aligned and reflect the intended purpose.


The template name is used to identify it from other templates in the Templates section, can be up to 250 characters in length, and it is restricted to lowercase letters, numbers, and underscores.



Here you select the languages that the messages will be sent in: English, Spanish and Portuguese (for Brazil and Portugal) from the dropdown menu. You can pick any combination of languages for your template and each will be subjected to approval separately.


Templates with multiple languages will appear as a single template in the Template section pane depicting the language(s) and their approval status for each language. The approval status of the template is color coded as shown below including the language to which it applies.



The sender is the number associated with your WABA account to be used for this template, and the dropdown menu will provide you with the options that have been setup within your space in the Digital Customer Engagement platform.



The Personalize step is where the message to be delivered is configured. It consists the template name at the very top of the Personalize pane as feedback of how it was set up, as many language tabs as selected at the Metadata step, and an emulated device screen.


Each language tab content must be in the language that corresponds to the tab being configured. The English tab needs English content, the Spanish tab needs Spanish content, etc.


Within each language tab you will find four template elements, from top to bottom:

• Header (optional)
• Body
• Footer (optional)
• Buttons (optional)


The body is the only mandatory element and it is where the message contents is entered, providing room for 1024 characters, and the capabilities to personalize the content with your user defined fields as variables, and emojis. All these elements add to the character totals so care must be exercised so that the 1024 limit is not exceeded.


Add variables to the content of the message by selecting + Add variable which will present a popup dialog box where the variable name is entered, and Add is selected to include the variable in the message text in the place where the cursor was left in the message entry box. The variable name must be any of the fields defined in the platform. The screenshot below shows the name field being added as variable.


The variables inserted in the body of the message will be enclosed in double curly brackets, e.g., {{name}}.




Variables to be added to the optional text header, or the message body, are platform defined fields and those that you have defined and added to the platform.

Review the fields section of the platform here


The Header is an optional element. It offers two options, either a text or a multimedia header, selected through radio buttons.


If text is selected as the header, it provides a title text entry box of up to 60 characters with an option to add one variable based on the fields defined in the platform. The character length of the field, once the actual value is placed, will contribute to the overall character length of the title, and care must be exercised not to exceed the 60 characters provided. The character counter under the text box will keep track of how many characters have been entered.

The header will be displayed in bold characters as the first element of the message on the recipient’s device. You can get a sense of its presentation through the emulated device screen to the right of the Personalize pane.


If Multimedia is selected, the platform will offer three options to select from – image, video, or document- and they are chosen by selecting one of the multimedia content images.


Selecting any of the multimedia options, makes a drop box appear to the right, where the multimedia file, that cannot exceed 5MB, needs to be placed for uploading onto the platform.

The allowed file types are:

  • For the image jpg or png files
  • For the video H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec files
  • For documents pdf files

As it was the case with the text header, the multimedia header will be placed at the top of the message.


Another optional element, the footer, allows to place a closing message or prompt for a Call To Action to your message that is 60 character in length. It immediately follows the Body section of the message and precedes the Button elements of the template.



If enabled, the Buttons option will allow you to configure either Call to Action (CTA) buttons (the default option) or Quick Reply buttons so they can be added to your WhatsApp message template. They are mutually exclusive as only one type can be defined for any given template.

  • Call To Action (CTA) buttons: A call to action button allows the customer to call a specific phone number or go to a specific URL. Up to two (2) distinct buttons are allowed, you can’t place 2 phone buttons or 2 URL buttons.

Under the CTA configuration there are two options that can be selected from the drop-down box:

  1. Call phone number. This option will create a button in the message that when selected, it generates a call to the number defined in the configuration entry section, shown below.
  • Enter the text to be displayed for the call action in Button Text box
  • Select the country code that corresponds to the number to be called
  • Enter the number according to the numbering scheme of the selected country
  1. Visit Websites. This option will create a button in the message that when selected it redirects to the URL defined in the configuration shown below.
  • Enter the text to be displayed for the action in Button Text box
  • Select URL Type, either Static or Dynamic, that corresponds to desired action. In either case, a base URL is used with the Dynamic case adding a suffix component to the URL to a general static website. This creates a personalized type CTA response with specific information by appending a variable at the end of the link.

An example of how these configurations will be displayed in the final message with both options, is shown in the following figure.


One CTA generates a phone call, and the other a redirect to the URL entered.

  • Quick Reply buttons: Messages include up to 3 options —each option is a button. This type of message offers a quicker way for users to make a selection from a menu when interacting with a business. That is, it allows you to include in the template up to 3 predefined responses as selectable buttons, offering a convenient way for your users to respond to your message.

The configuration consists in filling out the Button text box the response text (max. 25 characters).

Add Another Button can be used to create up to three (3) quick response buttons. An example is shown in the following figure.




Remember, for call to action buttons you are allowed to include up to two (2) distinct buttons: 2 phone buttons or 2 URL buttons.

And, for quick reply buttons you can include up to three quick response buttons.

After you have completed the WhatsApp Template content, click Save. Your template will now be sent for review.



If you forget to complete any field during the template creation, it will not allow you to save the template. But, to find out which field you need to complete, a message will be displayed mentioning exactly which field is missing and in which language it is located.

The status of your template is visible under Message Templates. If your template is approved or rejected 48 hours after being submitted, the Template Status will change to either one of those states in the Templates section of the platform.



When you have created a message template, it is important to note that you cannot add a new component to an existing template. You must create a new template — with a new template name — if you wish to add a new component into a template. You are only able to edit a message template if it is Rejected. It’s possible that your template will be rejected due to formatting such as excessive line breaks, or spaces between words.

Once the message template has been approved, you can test it by sending it. The steps to send a WhatsApp message template are the following:

  1. Go to the Templates section of the platform, identify the template that you got approved, and click on its View icon.

Once clicked, it will display the detailed template contents and settings.


Add the content to test the template by sending it, to ensure the behaviour is as expected. You will need to specify all the personalized fields

  • Language: From the Language dropdown menu choose in which language you want to send the message to the test number from the languages you selected when creating the template.

  • Recipient: Enter the phone number you are going to test the template with.

  • Personalized Fields: Enter the value of the personalized fields.

Remember these placeholders are then replaced with each of the Recipient’s information. For this example, the template message contains 2 personalized fields: {{email}} and {{activation_link}}. The values for each field need to be entered so that they can sent to the test number :


Click on the Send icon to send the message template to the recipient.




It is important to note that if you modify (edit) any WhatsApp template with Pending or Approved status, the template will have to go through the approval process again.

If you modify (edit) a template with Approved status, the campaigns you have running will be paused and you will not be able to use it in new campaigns.

If you modify (edit) a template that is configured between one or more languages, you won't not able to remove any language. For example, the template named "Test01" is configured in two languages: English and Spanish. If you want to remove (deselect) either language, you will not be able to do so.

Notes and Policy

Message templates were designed to allow WhatsApp to control the type of content that is sent to its users. As such, they have many restrictions around the types of content that are allowed on the platform. Abusing the platform or ignoring WhatsApp’s rules may lead to a phone number — or even your WhatsApp Business Account — becoming banned from the platform. Please exercise caution!

To avoid wasting time on rejected templates, here is a list of some of the reasons a message template may get rejected. It is important to note that, while it is unlikely, an approved message template may be revised and later rejected if WhatsApp decides that it no longer follows the guidelines.

To be sure that your templates get approved, please avoid these types of templates:

The message template contains content that violates WhatsApp’s Business Policy

  • Do not request sensitive identifiers from users. This includes asking people to share full credit card numbers, financial account numbers, National Identification numbers, or other similar information either as plain text or in the form of attachments that contain this information.
  • Do not send a survey or poll to collect data from users. You may only send a survey to collect information about an experience the customer had with your business (and even these templates are often rejected).
  • Do not send messages that are non-transactional. This means that you should only send messages from which you expect a reply.

The message template contains potentially abusive or threatening content

  • Do not send messages that threaten customers with a legal course of action
  • Once set, calls to actions cannot be changed. Additionally, a single message template can have a maximum of 1 phone and 1 URL call to action button each.

The message template is formatted incorrectly

  • Do not submit message templates with spelling or grammar errors. If Facebook approves a message template with spelling or grammatical errors, you will not be able to edit or correct them. (If you are stuck with an approved message template that contains errors, your only option is to delete the message template and submit a new one.)

The next table summarizes each component you can include in the media message template and their different types of options.

Main ComponentsOptionsRequired
HeaderText: Contains text, personalized fields (placeholders), and emojis.

Image: It must be less than 5MB and the format .jpg or .png.

Video: It must be less than 5MB and the format .mp4, .3gpp (Only H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec are supported).

Document: It must be less than 5MB and the format .pdf.
Text MessageContains text, personalized fields (placeholders), and emojis.Yes
ButtonsCall To Action: Up to two (2) distinct buttons (format options) are allowed.

Format Options:

- Phone Number
- Static URL
- Dynamic URL

Quick Reply: Up to three (3) distinct buttons are allowed.

Creating & Sending a Media Message Template Example

In this section we help you to understand the location of the header, text message and buttons according to the template type. That is, this diagram shows each parameter in which the media template is composed and how it will be created, sent and displayed by the user.

The next Media Message Template example includes only a Header, Text Message, and Call To Action Button with a Dynamic URL. This template will include also placeholders located in the Header and Text Message.

The steps to create a media message template that includes a Header, Text Message, and Call To Action Button with a Dynamic URL are the following:

  1. Go to Templates section and select the + New Template button. Once selected, it will be displayed a dropdown menu.
  1. From the dropdown menu, search the WhatsApp Template option and selected it. Then, click on the Create Blank Template button to create a New WhatsApp Template.
  1. From the MetaData section enter the following information to set up your template:

    3.1 Select the Category of your business. The category field in your WhatsApp Business profile basically lets you define or state the industry your business is in. The WhatsApp Business App comes with a list of industry options to choose from – we recommend choosing one that is relevant to what your brand sells.

    In this example, we select the Marketing category option.

    3.2 Enter the Name of the template.

    In this example, we enter the "promotional_code" template name.

    The Template Name must be in lowercase.

    3.3 Select the languages that the messages will be sent in: English, Spanish and Portuguese (for Brazil and Portugal) from the dropdown menu.

    In this example, we select the "English" language option .

    3.4 Select the Sender number through which the template will be sent.

    3.5 Select the Next button to go to the Personalize section.

  1. From the Personalize section enter the following information to personalize by including the header, body footer or buttons to your template.

    In this example we are only to include a Text Header, Text Message (Body), and a Call To Action Button with a Dynamic URL :

    4.1 Click on the Header toggle to enable the header options. Select the Text option and enter the next text header example: "Welcome to EliPackage!"

    4.2 Enter the text for your message and select the + Add variable option to add personalize fields (placeholders) to the text message.

    In this example, we enter the next text message: "Your promotional code is {{promoCode}}"
    The placeholder is -> {{promoCode}}.

    4.3 At last, we are going to add a Call To Action button with a dynamic URL. Click on the toggle Buttons to enable the buttons options. Select the Call To Action option from the button types dropdown menu and select the Visit Websites option.

    In the Button Text (textbox) enter -> "Click Here".
    In the URL Type dropdown menu, select the "Dynamic" option.
    In the Website URL (textbox) enter the static URL with a forward slash at the end -> "www.google.com/".
    In the URL Suffix (textbox) enter the personalize url as placeholder-> "{{survery_url}}".

    If you set a Call To Action button with a Dynamic URL to your WhatsApp Template. Remember, in the Website URL (textbox) enter the static URL with a forward slash at the end -> "www.google.com/".

    4.4 Select the Save button to save the whatsApp template. It takes WhatsApp up to 48 hours to review a message template.

  1. The next step is to create a .CSV file that includes the placeholders we added in the WhatsApp template.

    In this file, we are going to add the following columns:

    • code
    • survery_url
    • mobile

    Each column represents the placeholder we set previously except the mobile column. For this reason, it is necessary and mandatory that the name of each placeholder is exactly the same as the name of the column in the .CSV file.

    The "mobile" column includes the mobile number of each recipient you want to send the template to. In this case we are going to send the template to three recipients.

  1. Once the WhatsApp template has been approved, we proceeed to send the WhatsApp Template to your recipients.

    The steps to send the template are the following:

    6.1 Select the + New Campaing icon located to the left of the Main Dashboard. Once selected, it will be displayed a dropdown menu.

    6.2 From the dropdown menu, first enter the Campaign Name, then search the WhatsApp Messaging option and selected it.

    In this example, we enter the next Campaign Name: "Campaign Promotions".

    6.3 Once the WhatsApp campaign is created, we proceed to click on the Sender number from the Detail section. The selected sender number must be the sender we set when creating the whatsApp template.

    6.4 From the Recipients section, define the broadcast recipients by selecting the "Upload a CSV List" option. Once selected, we proceed upload the .CSV file we created previously which contains 3 colums (code, survey_url, mobile). Then, click on the file'column that contains the mobile numbers. In this case we click on the "mobile" column and select the Load Subscribers button to upload the three subscribers with their corresponding placeholders and mobile numbers.

    6.5 From the Message section , click on the Use Template toggle and select the whatsApp template we created previously.

    6.6 Finally, from the Summary section, send the whatsApp template to your recipients. In this example, the template was sent to three recipients.


Therefore, each recipient will receive a Text Header, a personalized Text Message (body) and a personalized Link (Dynamic URL).