Is there a guideline for template messages?

The WhatsApp Trust & Safety team has published the HSM template guidelines to help businesses understand why the templates may be rejected and what they need to watch out for.

The objectives of the guidelines are to give businesses more clarity around our template approval and ensure that businesses send quality messaging and limit low quality user experience.


Please find tips & guidelines for drafting templates below:


  •     Be specific and clear. Our reviewers may not know a customer’s business and need more clarity
  •     Upselling, cold-call messaging, sending a poll to collect data, and including certain phrases that sound promotional are all considered promotional
  •     Check for spelling errors and use appropriate formatting (e.g., double curly brackets for parameters)
  •     Do not include abusive content or threatening messages in your HSMs

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your respective partner manager who can escalate the issue.


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

1) Template(s) are considered promotional:

  •   Advertising, marketing, or promotional messages are not permitted. Below are some examples:

      Offering coupon codes and/or free gifts

      Upselling. E.g.,

      “Here is your boarding pass, with seat assignment and gate information. If you would like to save 10% on your in-flight dinner, order your meal through our app.”

      Cold call messages. E.g.,

      “Is now a good time to talk?”

      “Thank you for your interest, can we speak now?”

      “I tried contacting you but you weren't available. When are you free?”

      Sending a survey or poll to collect data. E.g.,

      “Hi, we're interested in knowing how you feel about certain food groups. Do you mind participating in a survey?”

      Inclusion of certain words or phrases that make the template promotional (even though the content of your template may be fine).

      Tip: Think about how your template sounds when read out loud.

  •   We do not approve templates with floating parameters (i.e., lines with just parameters and no texts). Please surround the parameters with information so it's clear as to what will be inserted. In the below, we're referring to {{3}} and {{4}} as the floating parameters.



      TICKET NO: {{1}}

      PASSENGER NAME: *{{2}}*


      {{3}} - {{4}}


2) Formatting is incorrect:

  •   nitijjbhfvcgnujlfuckdkeuuneebkjlTemplates with spelling mistakes will be rejected.
  •       Make sure to use parameters like {{1}}, {{2}}, etc. and include the correct number of curly brackets: 2 on the left side of the number and 2 on the right side of the number. Find out more about formatting in the WhatsApp Business API Guidelines

3) Templates contain potentially abusive or threatening content:

  •   Examples

      Templates that threaten customers with a legal course of action will be rejected.

      Templates that threaten to add customers to a WhatsApp group with their friends and family to shame them if they don't pay back their loans will be rejected.


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

  •   Make your template name clearer. Instead of using a name like "template_014," use "bus_ticket_details"
  •   Remember that someone outside of your business will be reviewing your templates. Providing more clarity give reviewers more context around how the template will be used
  •   If you need to write a template to re-open the 24-hour window, we would suggest starting with some mention of the previous 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’”

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