Introducing promotional messages on WhatsApp Business API

Multichannel marketing has proven growth, conversion, and ROI for businesses across industries. Instant messaging apps have taken user engagement to the next level with their versatile use cases. It’s easier for marketers to leverage instant messaging apps to deliver a seamless customer experience where their users are most active and readily available. It’s not surprising that WhatsApp—lauded for its flexible use scenarios—is the most popular messaging app adopted by businesses.

If you are new to WhatsApp business API, here are a few resources to get you started:

Table of Contents
  1. Non-transactional Messages for WhatsApp Business API

  2. What is a WhatsApp Message Template?

  3. What Are the Possible Use Cases With Non-Transactional Messaging?

  4. Who Will Be Able to Send Non-Transactional Messages

  5. How to Get Started With Whatsapp Non-Transactional Messages

  6. The Way Forward with Non-Transactional Messages

Non-transactional Messages for WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp is a real game-changer for businesses seeking to deliver an exceptional customer experience. However, to protect their users and business value, WhatsApp has policies restricting companies from sending spammy, promotional messages. WhatsApp’s Business API only allows companies to send users transactional notifications proactively.

However, the company recently announced a significant change in their business messaging policy, introducing non-transactional notifications to Indonesia and Mexico. 

The reason for the shift? People find value in engaging with businesses throughout the customer lifecycle. WhatsApp provides a conduit for connection and a quieter, more intimate channel for learning about a brand’s products and offers. 

To help our partners forge even deeper relationships with customers in Indonesia and Mexico, Insider’s WhatsApp business API will enable non-transactional messages for partners in both countries.

For now, you can only send a few types of non-transactional messages, and to send those messages, you need to have your users opt-in to receive them using an approved message template. 

What is a WhatsApp Message Template?

WhatsApp Business API enables conversations between businesses and customers. If a company initiates a conversation, then a message template must be used. Businesses must first submit their content to WhatsApp and get approval. These templates are a combination of alphanumerics combined with variables or unique parameters.

For example, if you were to send an order confirmation message on WhatsApp to your users, such as:

Hi Chris! Thanks for placing an order at POSH Street. Your order 123456, for a total of USD 50.00, is confirmed. The expected delivery is Dec 26, 2020

Here’s the Message Template that you would need to submit to WhatsApp for approval:

Hi {{1}}! Thanks for placing an order at POSH Street. Your order {{2}}, for a total of USD {{3}}, is confirmed. The expected delivery is {{4}}.

What Are the Possible Use Cases With Non-Transactional Messaging?

Here are the possible use cases you can implement using WhatsApp’s non-transactional messaging: 

  • Marketing – You can send marketing messages ranging from app downloads to coupons to free gifts.

Marketing Non-Transactional Message

  • Cart Abandonment – You can remind cart abandoners about items waiting in their carts with a triggered message and nudge them towards completing their purchase.

Cart Recovery Non-Transactional Message

  • Cross-Selling – Send targeted messages to increase the opportunities for a cross-sell and boost incremental revenue

Cross-selling Non-Transactional Message

Who Will Be Able to Send Non-Transactional Messages

For now, WhatsApp Business has limited non-transactional messages to Indonesia and Mexico. If you are present in either of the countries, you can leverage Insider’s WhatsApp Business API to send promotional messages based on your customers’ behaviors. These messages can consist of but are not limited to cart abandonment messages, special offers, and marketing campaigns.

How to Get Started With Whatsapp Non-Transactional Messages

To get started with sending non-transactional messages on WhatsApp, you need to have these prerequisites and considerations aligned to WhatsApp’s business policies.


  • Business must be present in Indonesia or Mexico and have the same country setting in their Business Manager
  • No additional integration work is required to unlock this capability
  • No change to the message template creation process

Considerations & Restrictions

  • Businesses must get opt-in from users before sending any proactive messages, including non-transactional messages. And these opt-ins need to adhere to WhatsApp opt-in policy guidelines
  • Broadcast notifications, such as recurring newsletters, are still not allowed on the platform
  • Businesses must follow WhatsApp’s commerce policy

The Way Forward with Non-Transactional Messages

Insider will provide updates as we expand our offerings and as WhatsApp rolls out non-transactional messages to more countries.

As you begin to send non-transactional notifications, please share your feedback with us. We are excited about this new update and look forward to learning more about what use cases drive valuable experiences, boost engagement, and uplift conversions for business on WhatsApp. 

If you are already using our WhatsApp business API product, reach out to your account managers to find out more about non-transactional messages. 

New to Insider? Schedule a personalized demo to see how WhatsApp can grow your business.

Srikant is a seasoned product marketing leader with 15+ years of experience in building and marketing SaaS products. As VP of Product Marketing at Insider, Srikant is responsible for Insider's product positioning, GTM and analyst relations. When not working on product marketing projects, Srikant loves exploring the design and engineering of things