Whatsapp Business Message Types: Session vs Template Messages

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If you’ve used the Whatsapp personal or business app before, you might expect the Whatsapp API to function similarly.

But that’s not the case: WhatsApp accounts function quite differently when used for personal and business purposes.

WhatsApp Business API allows two types of messages: Session Messages and Template Messages.

To use WhatsApp Business and reach customers more efficiently, you must understand both these message types well!

In this article, we will go through Session messages and Template messages in detail, as well as some other critical factors of Whatsapp messaging.

Whatsapp Business: Templates and Sessions

In January 2018, WhatsApp introduced the WhatsApp Business feature for small businesses.

Businesses across all market sectors profit incredibly from using the WhatsApp Business app and its big brother, the WhatsApp Business API.

WhatsApp Business helps businesses to:

  • Maintain effective two-way communication with customers.
  • Boost real-time customer support
  • Offer customers a reliable way to communicate with the firm.
  • Save time and reduce customer service delays
  • Expand the reach globally and generate more interactions.

And much more.

WhatsApp chatbot

Templates and sessions are the two most widely used WhatsApp message kinds for business accounts.

  • A Session Message is a message sent within 24 hours – in response to the message initiated by the customer.
  • On the other hand, a WhatsApp template message is an outbound message that follows a pre-approved conversational template to reconnect with the customer after the 24-hour window.

Let’s take a closer look at each message type with some examples.

Session Messages

Session messages are the messages you send once a customer contacts you on your chat service within a particular time frame.

Whatsapp Chatbot

A 24-hour session window is opened, during which you can freely communicate with the customer through the WhatsApp Business channel. 

The session window refreshes and resets every time the consumer responds for another 24 hours.

There are no limitations on the format of your response, and it can be text, links, media, etc. You can also send multiple messages at the same time.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, there is no WhatsApp session message fee, which means you can communicate with the customer for free within the specific time window.

As part of session messaging, you can also send promotional content like offers, discounts, surveys and so on.

Session messages were designed primarily to avoid spam and to provide quick customer service.

For example, when a customer contacts your business. Within 24 hours, you can respond in any way you want to support their query and drive them towards a purchase. You can also provide the customer with extra information, suggest alternatives, ask them to explore other services, and so on.

Template Messages

WhatsApp defines message templates as “message formats for common, reusable messages that a business may want to send.” Simply put, template messages are paid pre-approved messages that you can use to notify users or re-connect with them after the 24-hours window.

WhatsApp template messages must follow the structural guidelines and should be approved by Whatsapp before use. However, once approved, they can be used over and over again.

Messages can include routine notifications, welcome and thank you notes, replies to customer issues, delivery and shipping alerts, etc. 

WhatsApp Chatbot notification

Approved Template Messages

To ensure high-quality interaction and prevent spam, WhatsApp reviews submitted templates within 48 hours. The majority of WhatsApp-approved message templates contain useful information and are clear of any promotional or manipulative content.

Templated Message

Make sure your templates must be one of the approved formats below:

  • Account Updates: For updated details on user accounts
  • Alert Updates: To provide important information or updates
  • Appointment Updates: To inform customers of confirmations, reminders, or alterations to their appointments
  • Auto-Reply: Automated response when your business is unavailable or on break.
  • Payment Updates: To update customers on their payments
  • Personal Finance Updates: To provide customers with information about their finances.
  • Issue resolution: For responding to queries or feedback from customers
  • Reservation Updates: To inform customers of confirmations, reminders, or modifications to their reservations
  • Shipping Updates: To let customers know when their order will be delivered
  • Ticket Updates: To provide updates or information on tickets
  • Transportation Updates: To send information about transportation

Rejected Template Messages

Whatsapp generally rejects templates that include:

  • Insufficient data
  • Spam messages
  • Promotional content
  • Ambiguous communication
Templated Message

Whatsapp message limitations

Businesses must be aware of the rules and regulations to create superior template messages and avoid messaging bans.

  • For template messages, WhatsApp provides three tier limits: 1000, 10,000, and 100,000. Businesses in each category are limited to sending 1000, 10,000, and 100,000 messages per day. Based on the number of unique recipients and a high-quality rating from WhatsApp, one can be upgraded to the top tier.
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  • Only lowercase letters, digits, and underscore characters can be used in the template message title. There cannot be any other special characters in the title.
  • The message’s content must be free of grammatical and spelling errors.
  • The template messages have a 1024-character length constraint to ensure that business messages are straightforward.

There are various other constraints that businesses must consider before developing template messages.

Template messages are much more restrictive, while session messages are free, easy to use, and have no constraints. 

Most importantly, Template messages cannot be sent in bulk, and currently, the only way to send template messages is through the WhatsApp Business API.

To understand more about session messages, template messages, and their limitations, or to obtain the Whatsapp Business API – contact Botosynthesis®!

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