Table of Contents

HSM Templates section

Xandro Lopez Updated by Xandro Lopez

Introduction

What is an HSM template?

A Highly-Structured Message (HSM) is a Template that is required for proactive/outbound messaging in Whatsapp.

These are used because of limitations to how WhatsApp would like brands to use their API channel.

Therefore, WhatsApp must approve your HSMs before you can start sending them.

These messages can be sent to initiate a conversation with your clients or to re-activate them once the 24-hour WhatsApp support window is closed.

How to find the section

Click on Channels > WhatsApp Business/WhatsApp Pro > Message Templates

Guidelines to Request a HSM template

Since HSM templates can be either Approved ✅ or Rejected ❌ by WhatsApp, it is important to keep some things in mind.

The first is that all HSMs are approved case-by-case, so a template that was approved for one company may be rejected for yours.

It might also take a few attempts to get your HSM approved.

Guidelines

In order to have a higher chance ✅ to get your HMS templates approved, make sure that:

  • your use cases for messaging comply with WhatsApp's Business Policy and WhatsApp Commerce Policy.
  • make sure your HSMs fit the use case you have submitted.
  • make sure you select the template category that best suits your use case.
  • make sure your HSM does not contain promotional material

WhatsApp will very likely reject ❌ your template if it contains:

  • Sales discounts, promotions or offers.
  • Brands asking for reviews or surveys.
  • Brands advertising products, services or events the customer may like (whether or not it is based on purchasing or browsing behaviour).

Keep in mind that message templates are intended to provide a better user experience rather than marketing campaigns.

Please click here for Facebook's official Message Template Guideline documentation

How to request a template

Go to the Message template section and click the button in the top right corner which says "Request Message Template"

This will open a small window that will ask for all the template details.

Below you'll find an explanation of each field you need to fill out.

Template name

When creating a message template, it is mandatory to give it a name.

It is advised that the name reflects the template’s content.

This name must have no more than 512 characters and may only contain lowercase letters, numbers, and underscores.

No other characters or white space are allowed. 

Example

order_confirmation123 ✅

Order_Confirmation123 ❌

order confirmation 123 ❌

Category

When submitting a message template, it is required to choose a category.

This makes it easier for WhatsApp to review and approve a template by providing context for how the message template will be used.

The category values are described below:

Template category

Use case explanation

Example

Account Update

Notify the user about a change in their account settings

  • Membership expiry
  • Settings have changed
  • Password has changed
  • Preferences have changed

Payment Update

Notify the user about a payment update for an existing transaction

  • Send a receipt
  • Status of a payment transaction has changed

Personal Finance Update

Confirm a users financial activity

  • Payment reminders
  • Fund transfer confirmation or update
  • Payment receipt confirmation

Shipping Update

Notify the user of a change in shipping status for a purchased product

  • Shipping confirmation
  • Status change
  • Product delivery

Reservation Update

Notify the user of any changes/updates in their reservation

  • Booking confirmation
  • Booking cancellation
  • Itinerary changes

Issue Resolution

Notify the user of a customer service issue resolution update

  • Issue is resolved
  • Request for additional information
  • Issue status update

Appointment Update

Notify the user of a change in an appointment

  • Appointment cancelation
  • Appointment time change

Transportation Update

Notify the user of a change in their transportation reservation

  • Change in a flight
  • Trip cancelled

Ticket Update

Updates or reminders for an event that the user has already purchased tickets for

  • Event changes
  • Event cancellation

Alert Update

Notify the user with relevant information

  • Check in/Check out times
  • Open/Close hours

Language

When creating a new message template, you must choose a language code. The language codes are described here.

A message template can be created in as many languages as desired. However, when translating the template into multiple languages, please be sure to use the exact same message template name.

Parameters

When we want to use variables collected from the users, we can use place holder to submit. Once it was approved, when sending the template, whatever you send it by chat section or by campaigns, we can add the variables to the template:

Parameters are available for header section, body section and call to action section(only available for website).

Please bear in mind these limitations:

  • The header fields can only have up to 1 variable.

{{1}} from Landbot. ✅

{{1}} from Landbot. {{2}} ❌

  • You can't send variables in footer.

Alexander Gao from Customer success. ✅

{{1}} from {{2}}. ❌

  • You can't send variables in call phone number.
  • The numbers have to be in a right order start from 1.

Hi {{1}}, I'm {{2}}. Welcome to {{3}}. How are you? Visit our website: {{4}}. ✅

Hi {{0}}, I'm {{1}}. Welcome to {{2}}. How are you? Visit our website: {{3}}. ❌

Hi {{1}}, I'm {{3}}. Welcome to {{4}}. How are you? Visit our website: {{5}}. ❌

  • It doesn't have to be in a same order in different sections, for example: if you have parameters in header section, as {{1}}, you can set from {{1}} in body section.

This is a wrong example :

Right example:

The header is optional.

The header can only be one of the following options: 

  • text (title)
  • image
  • document

a) Text (Title)

A text header has a limit of 60 characters, including parameters.

In the example: 

Hello {{1}}, this is an update for your account. 

This header contains 44 characters not including parameters.

This means that both parameters combined can only be 16 characters long when sending this template.

If you try to add more characters, the message will fail.

Therefore:

  • Hello Johnathan, this is an update for your account 8472693. ✅
  • Hello Johnathan Smith, this is an update for your account 0018472693. ❌

b) Image

When creating a message template with an image header, you do not specify the actual image that will be used.

You only specify that an image will be used in the message template’s header.

The image only needs to be specified when sending the template.

The image must also have less than 25MB.

c) Document

When creating a message template with a document in the header, you do not specify the actual document that will be used.

You only specify that a document will be used in the message template’s header.

The document only needs to be specified when sending the template. The document must also have less than 25MB.

Body

The body is mandatory.

The body of a message template should only contain text, parameters, emojis and formatting (bold, italic, strikethrough and monospace).

There is no limit to the number of parameters allowed in the body but when sending the message template, the total number of characters can't exceed 1024.

If using parameters in the body, they may contain many characters as long as the total body length does not exceed the aforementioned 1024 characters.

The footer is optional.

When creating a message template, you may include a footer at the end of the message.

A footer may only contain text. No parameters, emojis, or formatting is allowed.

A footer has a limit of 60 characters.

Buttons

Buttons are optional.

There are two different kinds of buttons that may be added to a message template: call to action and quick reply.

If you wish to send a call to action, you may not send a quick reply in the same template and vice versa.

a) Call-to-action

A call-to-action button can allow the customer to call a specific phone number or go to a specific URL.

If using a phone number call-to-action, the button text (max. 20 characters), and phone number are required fields for template creation.

If using a URL call to action, the button text (max. 20 characters) and URL are required fields for template creation.

However, when using a URL, it is possible to add a parameter at the end to customize the URL. To add a parameter to the URL, simply add {{1}} to the end.

Once set, the call-to-actions can not be changed.

Additionally, a single message template can have a maximum of 1 phone and 1 URL call-to-action button each.

Here’s an example of each type:

  • Phone - call to action
    • Button text: Call for more info
    • Phone Number: +1 123-987-6543

b) Quick reply

A quick reply button can allow the customer to easily respond to a message template with up to 3 predefined answers.

For quick reply buttons, all that is required is the button text (max. 20 characters).

This quick reply can then be used to trigger one or another flow in the bot.

Template's Approval Status

Once you have requested your template it will show up in the list along with its current status.

You'll only be able to contact users with the Templates that have already been Approved.

Adding a translation

The translation here means to add another template with the same name and under the same category.

Preview

From the preview section you can check how the template will look before you send it

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