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What different types of business conversations are available in WhatsApp?

WhatsApp supports several conversation types, divided into four categories as shown below.

All WhatsApp messages are encrypted on the Clickatell API and by WhatsApp to ensure that data transfer between yourself and your customers is reliable and protected.

Conversation Categories

Conversations are categorized into one of the following categories:

  • Marketing: Create awareness, drive sales, and reconnect with customers. Examples include announcing new products, feature announcements, offering targeted promotions, and sending reminders about abandoned carts.

  • Utility: Follow-up on user actions or requests. Examples include confirming opt-ins, managing orders or deliveries (e.g., sending updates), updating accounts or sending alerts (e.g., payment reminders), and conducting feedback surveys.

  • Authentication: Currently not supported by Clickatell). Verify users using one-time passcodes (OTPs), possibly at various stages in the login process (e.g., account verification, account recovery, integrity challenges).

  • Service: Enables you to resolve customer inquiries.

Message templates are required to open marketing, utility, or authentication conversations. Service conversations can only be opened using free-form messages.

Opening Conversations

Meta sees a conversation as a 24-hour message thread between a business and a customer. Conversations are opened in one of two ways:

  • Marketing/utility/authentication conversations: Send an approved marketing, utility, or authentication template to a customer.

  • Service conversation: When no open conversation exists between you and the customer, a customer contacts you, and you reply within 24 hours with a free-form message.

When a customer messages you, a 24-hour period called a customer service window starts. If this window is open, you can send free-form messages or message templates to your customers. If you are outside the window, you can only send approved template messages to customers.

Free Entry Point Conversations

A free entry point conversation is opened if a customer contacts you via a Click to WhatsApp Ad or Facebook Page Call-to-Action button and you respond within 24 hours. If you do not respond within 24 hours, a free entry point conversation is not opened and you must use a template to message the customer. The free entry point conversation is opened as soon as your message is delivered and lasts 72 hours. Once the free entry point conversation is opened, you can send any type of message to the customer without incurring additional charges. However, you can only send free-form messages if there is an open customer service window between you and the customer.

For more information, see Meta's documentation:

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