How To Article

WhatsApp Interactive Message: A How-To Guide

Gabriella
Content Writer, Respond.io
June 10, 2022

Want to know how to use WhatsApp Interactive Message for your business? Look no further! This blog post has everything you need to know about the different types of WhatsApp Interactive Messages, including WhatsApp Interactive Session Message and WhatsApp Interactive Message Template, their benefits and how to set them up.

What is WhatsApp Interactive Message?

WhatsApp Interactive Message is a WhatsApp Business API message feature with interactive buttons where contacts can select an option as a reply. It allows customers and businesses to communicate their needs and reply to each other easily.

If you've been looking to send interactive messages to increase engagement and click-through rates on WhatsApp, then you’ve most likely come across 2 types of WhatsApp Interactive Messages:

Types of WhatsApp Interactive Messages
Types of WhatsApp Interactive Messages

Let’s take a look at the two types of WhatsApp Interactive Messages and their functions.

WhatsApp Interactive Message: Session Messages

WhatsApp Interactive Session Messages are interactive messages that have to be sent within a 24-hour messaging window as a reply to customer-initiated messages.

Businesses do not need approval from WhatsApp to send interactive session messages but must abide by WhatsApp Business Policy and WhatsApp Commerce Policy.

interactive whatsapp messages: session message features
WhatsApp Interactive Session Message features

They can also use different types of WhatsApp Interactive Session Messages in the same conversation to prompt customers to take the next step throughout a purchase cycle or to direct them to an agent for customer support.

It is also important to note that customers can only select one button or option at a time when replying to interactive messages. However, they can choose to return to the first step or the previous step if they change their mind or make a mistake.

Next, we will discuss the different types of WhatsApp Interactive Session Messages and how to use them.

Types of WhatsApp Interactive Session Messages

There are four types of WhatsApp Interactive Session Messages. These include:

  • Reply Buttons
  • List Messages
  • Single Product Messages
  • Multi-product Messages

WhatsApp Reply Buttons

Reply Buttons offer an easy way for customers to select what they want from a short list of options consisting of buttons when communicating with a business on WhatsApp. They can send a maximum of three options along with text or media messages.

whatsapp business buttons: Example of WhatsApp reply button
Example of WhatsApp Reply Button

Businesses can use this feature for flight time changes, personal details amendments, choosing a payment method and more. If you need more than three buttons, use the List Message feature.

WhatsApp List Messages

List Messages consist of a menu of up to 10 choices that customers can choose from to let you know what they want from your business. Businesses can use this feature for customer care or FAQ menus, a selection of take-out menus, store locations and more.

interactive message whatsapp: Example of WhatsApp list messages
Example of WhatsApp List Message

Single Product Message

Single Product Messages are messages with a single product item from the business’ inventory. Businesses can display a product that a customer has selected from the product menu to prompt them to proceed with their purchase.

whatsapp message button: Single product message
Example of Single Product Message

Multi-product Message

Multi-product Messages are messages containing a selection of up to 30 items from a business’ inventory. This feature is best to show customers all the products you have under a category or your whole catalog if it has 30 or fewer items.

interactive buttons in whatsapp: Multi-product message
Example of Multi-product Message

The next section will discuss the second type of WhatsApp Interactive Message– WhatsApp Interactive Message Template and its functions.

WhatsApp Interactive Message Template: Template Messages

A WhatsApp Interactive Message Template allows businesses to make the most out of a standard message template consisting of just text and media by including interactive WhatsApp buttons.

interactive messages whatsapp: WhatsApp Interactive Message Template features
WhatsApp Interactive Message Template features

This type of WhatsApp Interactive Message can be used outside the 24-hour messaging window. However, businesses must get approval from WhatsApp and collect opt-ins from Contacts before sending Message Templates.

Types of Interactive Message Template

There are two types of WhatsApp Interactive Message Template buttons: Call-To-Action (CTA) and Quick Reply.

Call-To-Action

Businesses can use CTA buttons to direct customers to call them or visit their website. This feature is limited to two buttons, one button to allow customers to call you and another to visit your website or a specific landing page.

whatsapp button message: You can add call to action button with text or media rich template messages
Example of call to action

Keep in mind that you can only connect the call button to a landline or a mobile phone number that is different from your WhatsApp Business API number as you cannot call a WhatsApp Business API number.

Quick Reply

The Quick Reply feature consists of preset reply options that customers can click on to indicate what they want from your business. Businesses can add up to three buttons along with a text or media message.

This image shows an example of quick reply button whatsapp
Example of quick reply WhatsApp button

This feature is similar to the WhatsApp Interactive Session Message Reply Button with the exception that quick replies must be approved by WhatsApp before businesses can use them.

Now that you know the types of WhatsApp Interactive Messages and what they can do, let’s take a look at why businesses need to use WhatsApp Interactive Message for WhatsApp Business API.

Benefits of WhatsApp Interactive Messages

Using WhatsApp Interactive Messages enables businesses to capture customers’ attention and keep them engaged throughout a conversation.

It helps businesses create a seamless customer journey by providing an enhanced customer experience, minimizing human error and increasing response rates and conversions.

whatsapp message with button: Benefits of WhatsApp Interactive Messages
Benefits of WhatsApp Interactive Messages

Let’s explore each of the benefits in the section below.

Enhanced Customer Experience

WhatsApp Interactive Messages can be used to direct customers along a predefined path in the customer journey. Businesses can also customize the message according to customers’ situations to provide a personalized experience.

For example, businesses can show a list of appointment time slots for booking or use Reply Buttons to show a customer’s previous delivery address. This allows customers to find what they're looking for from businesses easily and reply to them with a single click.

Minimize Human Error

Interactive messages provide a simpler and more consistent way for people to find and select what they want from a business. Since every single button is planned carefully, it leaves little to no room for human errors like mistyping or unclear messages.

Without interactive messages, customers and businesses will have to type every single reply by themselves which can leave room for error that could lead to unclear communication.

Increase Conversions

Businesses can also use the CTA button to direct customers to contact them or visit their website when sending promotional messages via broadcast to increase conversions.

During testing, WhatsApp found that interactive messaging results in higher response and conversion rates compared to purely text-based messaging. This is due to its ability to guide customers throughout the conversation and allow them to reply quickly.

Setting up WhatsApp Interactive Message

With respond.io, it’s simple to set up and send WhatsApp Interactive Session Messages and WhatsApp Interactive Message Templates. Read on to learn how to set them up and use them to connect with your customers right away.

How to set up WhatsApp Interactive Session Message on respond.io

To set up interactive session messages on respond.io, you’ll need an advanced automation tool like Workflows. Workflows allow you to automate conversations and use interactive messages on WhatsApp Business API without any heavy coding.

Follow the steps below to set up WhatsApp Interactive Session Messages with respond.io Workflows.

1. Navigate to Workflows on the respond.io platform and click on Add Workflow.

how to add button in whatsapp message: Create workflow on respond.io
Navigate to Workflows on the respond.io platform and click on Add Workflow

2. Set the Workflow Trigger to Conversation Opened.

WhatsApp Interactive Message: Set the Workflow Trigger to Conversation Opened.
Set the Workflow Trigger to Conversation Opened

3. Create a welcome message with the Add a Message Step to greet your customers. Make sure to set the Channel to WhatsApp in the configuration drawer.

WhatsApp Interactive messages: Create a welcome message
Add a message to greet your customers

4. Choose the Ask a Question Step, click on Multiple Choice and compose your message. You can use this step for List Messages and Reply Buttons.

If you’ve provided three replies or fewer, Reply Buttons will be shown to the Contact. If you provide more than three options, the Contact will see a List Message.

how to create interactive buttons in whatsapp: Add ask a question step on respon.io
Choose the Ask a Question step, click on Multiple Choice and compose your message

Below is an example of what the Contact will see after the Workflow is published.

this is how interactive messages on whatsapp with reply buttons and list messages looks like.
Example of Reply Buttons and List Messages

Single and multiple product messages are currently not supported on our platform. However, if you would like to use them on your WhatsApp Business API, you'll need a developer to code it with the help of Meta for Developers documentation.

5. Save the responses as Variables to use the data in other parts of the Workflow.

Save the responses as Variables to be used in other parts of the Workflow on respond.io to see button in whatsapp message
Save the responses as Variables to be used in other parts of the Workflow

6. Add Branches based on the number of choices provided. Then designate one Branch for each choice and label it accordingly. This way, you can personalize messages based on the selected choice and assign them to the right support agent.

After setting up, save and publish your Workflow.

Add Branches for each choice provided

How to Set Up WhatsApp Interactive Message Template on respond.io

Setting up a WhatsApp Interactive Message Template on respond.io is easy especially when you can submit the template for WhatsApp’s approval on the platform itself.

To get started, navigate to Settings > Channels > WhatsApp 360dialog > Templates. Fill in the details of the template message you would like to create. Refer to the image below for a CTA template message example.

WhatsApp Interactive Message Template: call-to-action
Example of WhatsApp Interactive Message Template CTA

To set up quick replies, follow the same steps. Then, select Quick Reply when customizing your message and compose the text for each of the buttons. To see what a quick reply template message looks like, look at the image below.

WhatsApp Interactive Message Template: quick replies
Example of WhatsApp Interactive Message Template quick replies

Need more information on how to set up WhatsApp Interactive Message Templates? Read our WhatsApp Message Template Blog for a step-by-step guide.

We hope this blog has given you a better understanding of how to set up WhatsApp Interactive Messages and how they can help your business elevate its customer communication on WhatsApp Business API.

Further Reading

Want to know more about WhatsApp Business API? Here are some readings that might interest you.

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