WhatsApp’s New Marketing Message Limits Policy Change: Detailed Guide

WhatsApp is continuously investing in improvements to ensure that the platform remains a high-quality space for people to engage with businesses. Marketing conversations continue to grow as an effective way for businesses to share updates with people who have chosen to receive them. 

To build the business, Meta is actively exploring new ways to help businesses improve the engagement of their marketing templates and create valuable user experiences. They are launching 2 changes in the WhatsApp Template, Here’s what you should know: 

  1. Per-User Marketing Template Message Limits
  2. Pause Templates based on Read Rates

Per-User Marketing Template Message Limits: Create high-quality user experiences

Meta is rolling out new measures, beginning with consumers in India, to enhance user experiences and optimize engagement with marketing template messages. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Limits on Template Messages:

Effective Date: Commencing February 6, 2024, Meta will implement new regulations governing the frequency of template messages sent to users in India. These regulations will extend to all Indian WhatsApp users by February 13, 2024.

What Does This Mean: These regulations entail restricting the number of template messages users receive from any business within a specified timeframe, with the aim of prioritizing high-quality and relevant interactions.

Impact: This limitation applies to the cumulative number of template messages a user receives from all businesses, not just yours. Consequently, there may be instances where a marketing message fails to reach a user, even if it’s their first message from your business that day, due to having reached the threshold for total marketing messages from all businesses.

Scope: These limitations exclusively affect marketing template messages that typically initiate new marketing conversations. Existing ongoing conversations between your business and WhatsApp users remain unaffected by this constraint.

Purpose: By curbing message overload and reducing spam rates, these measures aim to enhance user experiences and maximize engagement with marketing template messages, particularly in less active conversations.

  1. Addressing Message Delivery Issues

What Happens If Messages Don’t Get Through?

In the event that a template message fails to reach a user due to these limitations, you may encounter an error code such as “30013” for Cloud API (which corresponds to 131026 for Meta Cloud API) or “1026” for On-Premises API. However, it’s important to note that these error codes can cover a variety of issues beyond the new limits or it is not limited to this single error. For privacy reasons, Meta refrains from disclosing whether a message was undelivered due to these constraints (new policy change).

For assistance in troubleshooting, please refer to the Troubleshooting document for Cloud API and the “Why is my delivery rate not 100%?” FAQ for On-Premises API. These resources offer insights into potential reasons for non-delivery and provide guidance on determining their root causes.

If you encounter one of these error codes and suspect it’s linked to the limits, refrain from immediately resending the message. Instead, consider waiting for a slightly longer period before attempting to resend. Sometimes, exercising patience can lead to successful delivery.

Meta will continue refining our approach and appreciate your partnership as we invest in making WhatsApp the best possible experience for your business and your customers.

Pause Templates based on Read Rates: To Enhance template engagement 

Meta is introducing a new approach to template engagement by incorporating read rates as a pivotal metric in our quality rating system. Alongside traditional metrics like blocks and reports, read rates will now play a significant role in determining the quality of marketing message templates. 

This means that marketing message campaigns with low read rates may be temporarily paused, allowing businesses to refine and iterate on their templates for optimal engagement before scaling up their volume. 

These changes will commence on April 1, 2024, and will be rolled out globally.

What steps can we take to improve our message read rates?

Here are some strategies to improve your message read rates and increase your engagement with XpressBot:

  1. Audience: Tailor your messages to specific user segments for more relevant communication.
  2. Timing: To maximize chances of engagement with your templates, consider not sending on days when many businesses are competing for your customer’s attention, such as weekends or seasonal peaks.
  3. Frequency of Messages: Monitor how many marketing conversations a customer receives per day and week to avoid overloading the customer.
  4. Cooldowns: Give customers who have stopped engaging with your templates a break. Always include the option to opt out of marketing conversations on WhatsApp.
  5. Opt-in: Opt-in before any business-initiated messaging is required, but additional opt-in for marketing content is a recommended best practice to avoid negative feedback.
  6. Opt-out: Always include the option to opt out of marketing conversations on WhatsApp.
  7. Relevance of the Message: Make sure the subject line or preview text clearly indicates the message’s relevance. Similarly, if previous interactions have been negative, this may discourage people from reading messages.
  8. Optimize the first 60-65 characters: This is what people see first in their message preview on WhatsApp. Make it engaging, convey the main point, personalize it, and test different approaches to see what works best.

By leveraging XpressBot products and services, we provide comprehensive guidance to implement these strategies effectively. With our support, you can navigate WhatsApp’s evolving landscape while nurturing valuable connections with your audience.

FAQs Enhancing Template Engagement: Please read this for more detailed information below – 

Q: Will these changes be launched globally?

A: Yes, it will roll out globally on April 1, 2024.

Q: What are the new changes to the message quality rating system?

A: We have updated our system to include read rates as a key factor in determining the quality of marketing message templates. This is in addition to traditional metrics like blocks and reports. We may temporarily pause marketing message campaigns with low read rates, giving businesses time to iterate on the templates with the lowest engagement before scaling volume.

Q: Why are read rates being included in quality assessment?

A: Read rates are a crucial measure of user engagement and interest. They provide insight into the relevance and value of messages to people. Curbing low-quality messaging is expected to improve engagement metrics overall for the platform, such as read rates, and ultimately better return on investment for businesses.

Q: How does template pausing work today?

A: If a message template reaches the lowest quality rating (a status of Active – Low quality), it will automatically be paused for a period of time to protect the quality rating of phone numbers that have used the template. Pausing durations are as follows:

  • 1st Instance: Paused for 3 hours
  • 2nd Instance: Paused for 6 hours
  • 3rd Instance: Disabled

While templates will unpause on their own after satisfying the pause duration, you may also unpause a template immediately by using WhatsApp Manager (unpause button) or by using the API (unpause endpoint). See the Message Template Guidelines developer documentation for more details.

Q: What are the charges for the Blocked Messages

A: No, businesses will not be charged for messages that are blocked due to these limits.

Q: What is the threshold for read rates that could lead to a template being paused?

A: We do not provide a specific threshold as it may vary over time depending on overall user engagement on the platform. However, most businesses with strong customer engagement maintain read rates of 65-80%.

Q: How can we track our message read rates?

A: Businesses can monitor message read rates in real time via a dedicated dashboard with message template metrics in WhatsApp Manager.

  • From Overview in WhatsApp Manager, hover over the Account tools suitcase icon in the left sidebar.
  • Select Message templates. The metrics are displayed in the table.
  • Select any message template, then click the template Insights tab to see additional metrics, including “Messages Read”.

You also receive a read event webhook for each message (if the user has turned the “read receipts” setting on) via the messages webhook.

Q: How are we accommodating the timing of messages? 
For example, people may not check messages during work hours, which could result in low read rates.

A: Our system accounts for variations in user availability by analyzing read rate trends over an appropriate period, rather than solely relying on immediate response times. This ensures a fair and realistic assessment of message engagement.

Q: Will we receive any warnings when our templates are at risk of being paused from low read rates?

A: We will continue to provide notifications about changes in template quality, just as we do currently.

These notifications will be sent via webhooks and through the WA Manager when the status of a template changes from green (good quality) to yellow (medium quality/warning), or from yellow to red (low quality/template paused). 
Notifications about paused templates will:

  • Be surfaced in the Business Manager Notifications Center
  • Appear in the banner in WhatsApp Manager
  • Be sent as an email to all admins set in the Business Manager
  • Be sent as a webhook notification

Q: What information is available in the quality change webhook?

A: The values below will be available in the webhook, which are all self-explanatory.

  • “previous_quality_score”
  • “new_quality_score”
  • “message_template_id”
  • “message_template_name”
  • “Message_template_language”

Q: What information will be included in the error codes and how can I ensure my business receives them?

A: Ensure you are on the latest versions of the API to receive error codes for paused templates as below:

Error codes on the On-Premises API

  • Paused templates:
    • Error code: 2061
    • Message: Template status is PAUSED so cannot be sent.
  • Disabled templates:
    • Error code: 2062
    • Message: Template status is DISABLED so cannot be sent
  • Paused templates:
    • Message: Template is temporarily unavailable to use because it was paused due to low quality.
  • Disabled templates:
    • Message: Template is permanently disabled due to consistent low quality and multiple pauses. It is no longer available to use.

While WhatsApp’s recent policy changes regarding marketing messages may seem daunting at first, they actually present a unique opportunity for businesses to evolve and enhance their engagement strategies. With XpressBot’s comprehensive range of innovative solutions, including our tailored WhatsApp products and services, you’re not only prepared to navigate these transitions effortlessly but also positioned to excel in today’s dynamic digital landscape.

Our suite of offerings, encompassing Campaign, Chatbot, Live Chat, Voice, and Call Center functionalities, empowers you to transcend the traditional one-way communication model of WhatsApp and provider Conversations. By infusing context, personalization, and expert guidance into your messaging approach, you can effectively overcome these challenges and cultivate robust connections with your audience.

Remember, the key to success lies in building an engagement channel that not only delivers relevant messages but also adds genuine value to your audience’s individual needs and preferences where you can trust XpressBot.