Message Types

There are two types of messages when using WhatsApp for business communications, which depend on who initiates the conversation and the timeframe/duration of the chat.

Message Templates

Used by a company to initiate conversations with users, message templates are preformatted, non-editable messages that are reviewed and approved by WhatsApp. They are also referred to as ‘Highly Structured Messages’ (HSMs). 

Common use cases for message templates include:

  • Appointment reminders
  • Order and shipping confirmations 
  • Delivery tracking information
  • Account updates 
  • And more. 

Companies can just send Message Templates to users that have opted-in on WhatsApp. Please note that WhatsApp actively monitors when users block WhatsApp Business profiles

ℹ️ Message templates are charged with a WhatsApp message fee.

Session Messages

Also known as ‘chat messages’, session messages are triggered by user response to message template OR when the user initiates the conversation with the company. Once the user is active in the conversation, the 24-hour support window opens, whereby a company can communicate with the user without an approved message template. 

Session messages are ideal to increase customer engagement, especially in customer service, clienteling, and other high interaction use cases. 

There may be cases, especially when you’re using WhatsApp for customer service, that you need more than 24 hours to process an inquiry or answer a question. When this happens, you might need to send a message template to re-engage the affected customer, prompting him/her to answer it, thereby activating the “support window” again:

We have updates regarding your ticket {{1}}. Please respond back if you’d like to continue support. I was able to do some follow-ups 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’

ℹ️ During this 24-hour timeframe, WhatApp does not charge any fee per message sent. With tyntec, customer communication during the support window is included in our pricing packages.

In a nutshell:

Message Templates Session Messages
Who initiates Initiated by the business. Initiated by the end-user, or when the end-user replies to a company message.
WhatsApp approval The message is subject to specific content and formatting rules, and approval from WhatsApp. Business response to a user’s message is not subject to approval or content or formatting rules if sent within the 24-hour Customer Care Window.
Opt-in policy End-user must have opted-in to receive communications. Users do not have to have opted-in.
Fees A small fee is charged for each message sent, paid to WhatsApp (see rates here) and tyntec. Free to send (WhatsApp fees do not apply here) and included in tyntec’s packages.
Media messages Media message templates supported (images, PDFs, localizations, videos, audios, interactive buttons, etc.) by tyntec. Media supported (images, PDFs, localizations, videos, audios, interactive buttons, etc.)