Last Updated on August 11, 2022

WhatsApp accounts turn out very differently for personal and business usage. Although you may think the API responds the same way, it is not so. In WhatsApp Business, there are two different types of messages that you can send: session messages and template messages.

To make maximum use of your business account and understand how to reach your customers more efficiently, you must know the differences. 

Learn more about Whatsapp Chatbot

Templates and Sessions

WhatsApp launched the WhatsApp Business feature in January 2018 for small businesses. As of 2021, there are more than five million businesses that use this feature to reach their customers.

WhatsApp Business helps small business owners to:

  • Carry out convenient two-way communication with customers
  • Improve real-time customer support
  • Provide a reliable channel for customers to reach the business
  • Achieve global reach and initiate more conversations
  • Save time and reduce delays in serving customers

The two most popular types of WhatsApp messages for business accounts are templates and sessions. A WhatsApp template message is an outbound message that uses a pre-approved template for conversation. On the other hand, WhatsApp session messages are the replies that you send to the user within a window of 24 hours.

template message vs session message
template message vs session message
Session MessagesTemplate Messages
The user sends a message first, and the session lasts for 24 hours from the most recent message’s time.These are generally unsolicited and are sent to users who have agreed to receive messages from your business.
The content is not pre-approved.The template is pre-approved.
The business can reply to the user for free within 24 hours.Template messages should be structured and are generally chargeable.
They are aimed at providing swift customer service and addressing their queries.These can be appointment reminders, delivery alerts, shipping information, etc.

Let’s explore each message type with examples.

Session Messages

When a user has your business number and messages you on your chat service, you can respond to them within 24 hours. There is no WhatsApp session message pricing and you can respond for free. Your reply can be in the form of text, links, media, and so on, without any restrictions.

Kommunicate support

You can also send promotional content as a part of session messages, like surveys, offers, discounts, and so on. There is no limit on the number of messages exchanged. Session messages help you address user concerns and run the business successfully. 

For example, a user messages you to place an order. Within 24 hours, you can respond however you want, to help with the purchase. You can also send the user additional information, offer alternatives, ask them to explore other products, and so on.

Template Messages

Message templates are defined as “message formats for common, reusable messages. If a business wants to send.” If you somehow fail to reply to a user’s message within 24 hours, you can connect with them only through paid template messages.

https://www.twilio.com/docs/whatsapp/tutorial/send-whatsapp-notification-messages-templates#examples-of-approved-and-rejected-message-templates

There are certain WhatsApp template message guidelines that control promotional content and prevent broadcasting. WhatsApp lets you create templates and submit them for approval.

Approved templates can be routine notifications, welcome and thank you notes, replies to customer issues, delivery and shipping notification, etc. You can use placeholder values in templates inside double curly braces ({{…}}) for content that needs to be dynamically customized.

https://docs.clevertap.com/docs/whatsapp

Approved Use Cases

WhatsApp reviews submitted templates within 48 hours, to assure high-quality interaction and stop spam. Make sure your templates fall under one of the approved formats.

Approved use cases
  • Account Update: For updated information about user accounts
  • Alert Update: To send important news or updates
  • Appointment Update: To communicate confirmation, reminders, or changes in customers’ appointments
  • Auto-Reply: For when your business is offline or on holiday
  • Payment Update: To inform customers about their payments
  • Personal Finance Update: To inform customers about their personal finances
  • Issue Resolution: For responding to customers’ queries or  feedback
  • Reservation Update: To communicate confirmation, reminders, or changes in customers’ reservations
  • Shipping Updates: To inform customers about their order’s shipping
  • Ticket Update: To send ticketing information or updates
  • Transportation Update: To send transportation information

Message templates typically approved by WhatsApp include valuable information and are devoid of any promotional or misleading content.

Rejected Message Templates

Templates that are rejected generally contain:

  • Insufficient details
  • Promotional content
  • Spam
  • Ambiguous messaging
Rejected messages template

Messaging Limitations

WhatsApp has messaging limitations for volume and quality. There are three tiers of limits and new numbers are initialized at Tier 1. Subsequently, it is promoted based on the number of unique recipients and a good quality rating from WhatsApp.

https://support.twilio.com/hc/en-us/articles/360024008153-WhatsApp-Rate-Limiting

WhatsApp sessions and template messages are both beneficial for small businesses and let them connect to users at a place of their convenience. Knowing their specifics allows you to channelize content and budget the right way to reap maximum benefits.


At Kommunicate, we are envisioning a world-beating customer support solution to empower the new era of customer support. We would love to have you on board to have a first-hand experience of Kommunicate. You can signup here and start delighting your customers right away.

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