May 29, 2023

How to Set Up Automatic Replies on WhatsApp for Your Business Communication

Reading time about 10 min
A happy man looking at his ipad. He is probably getting a lot of good engagement from his WhatsApp Business messages.

More customers are reaching out to businesses on their phones, looking for interaction every time of day. The WhatsApp auto-reply feature allows you to set up automatic replies on WhatsApp so that your customers are taken care of, even when you’re not there. 

Automated replies create a positive customer experience and build your credibility as a business. You also won’t have to manually respond to every message… Pretty amazing!

What is the WhatsApp Business autoreply feature? 

The WhatsApp Business auto-reply feature allows you to set up pre-made, automated replies and messages for your customers. They send automatically on WhatsApp for those moments when you can’t respond. The feature’s available to WhatsApp Business accounts. 

Not sure you have one? Here’s how to create a WhatsApp Business account.

People today are more comfortable reaching out to businesses via text. 9/10 consumers say texts are their preferred method of communication, and more people are choosing over-the-top (OTT) apps like WhatsApp. This is the best time to get familiar with how to send automated messages on WhatsApp!

How to set WhatsApp auto-reply messages

There are two ways to do it:

  1. From your WhatsApp Business account.
  2. Via a WhatsApp partner platform that gives you access to the WhatsApp API.

The first option is great if you need to set up simple away messages or automate a welcome message. It’s easy to set up, but the kind of messages you can send is limited. 

In the second option, a CRM platform communicates with WhatsApp through an API, enabling you to send automated messages for a greater range of situations. You can create customizable auto-replies, transactional automated messages, and integrate WhatsApp messaging into a larger marketing strategy.

Related: Differences between WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API

Setting up automatic replies with the WhatsApp Business app 

Setting up auto-replies in your WhatsApp Business account is simple. We’ll show you how to set up an away message for business as an example. 

1. Open settings

Click the three dotted lines on the top right corner of your account to open the menu (Android) or open up your Settings (iOS).

2. Click “Business Tools”

3. Select “Away Message”

4. Activate the “Send away message” toggle button 

Away message toggle button for automatic replies on WhatsApp away message menu.

5. Edit your away message 

6. Click the “Schedule” button to choose when to send your message

You have three options for choosing when to send your message.  

  • Always. Start off all of your messages with a specific auto response. This is helpful if you are out of town for a week for example. 
  • Custom schedule. This works great if there is a specific time when you know you won’t be in. If you have a meeting coming up next Tuesday, prepare your away message in advance! 
  • Outside of business hours. Keep your customers informed even when closed by setting up your daily away hours. This is based on the hours in your business profile. 

7. Choose recipients 

WhatsApp Business automatic reply menu for scheduling send time.

Once you finish setting up your away message, hit save and you’re done — almost. Meta will have to verify your message first. 

Good to know: You can also send quick replies in the WhatsApp Business app. These are pre-made, saved responses for you to use in live interactions. You can set these up in the same place you set up away and greeting messages. 

Pros to using the autoresponder for WhatsApp

  • Easy to start using for small businesses with a lower volume of inquiries to handle 
  • Great for managing routine out-of-office hours

Limitations to using the autoresponder for WhatsApp

  • Automated messages can only be sent during specific timeframes based on your business profile
  • Contact profiles cannot be updated or stored in a CRM 
  • You must have internet connection for messages to be sent 
  • You cannot customize based on customer information 
  • You cannot send auto-replies for actions taken by customers outside of WhatsApp

2. Setting up your auto-reply message using a WhatsApp Business API 

Cover all your grounds with automated messages and provide customer support at any time of day (or night!), no matter what channel customers reach out to you on. Using WhatsApp Business API allows you to send an auto-reply in WhatsApp for the widest variety of situations — as long as contacts have opted-in for WhatsApp communication. 

Automatic reply on WhatsApp business for an order confirmation. Template provided by Brevo.

Design autoresponders for any scenario you like, including custom parameters. 

1. Create your auto-reply

A gif of setting up an automatic reply on WhatsApp for a sale campaign.

Platforms like Brevo make it easy to create automated messages with drag-and-drop message templates. 

Include images, gifs, links, and other dynamic content to engage your customers. Get creative with bold fonts, emojis, or anything unique to your brand. 

A gif of adding CTA and quick reply buttons to automatic reply campaign template on WhatsApp.

Include call-to-action (CTA) buttons, or set up quick replies for faster communication with your customers. Quick replies in automated messages are pre-set action buttons, such as an unsubscribe button. 

Pro-tip! Always include the option to unsubscribe as well to make sure you only send to engaged contacts. 

2. Add your auto-reply to a workflow automation

You’re not limited to sending replies in response to WhatsApp inquiries. Choose an event to trigger when your message sends, such as when a customer checks out on your website, or signs up for promotional updates. 

Brevo offers ready automation workflows for abandoned carts, successful purchases, new subscribers, email interactions, anniversaries, and many more. They all can include automated WhatsApp messages!

Brevo automations dashboard with buttons for making automations such as welcoming emails, birthday emails and more.

Setting up and following marketing automation best practices will help you streamline your automatic replies. It also paves the way for future marketing campaign efficiency and success. 

The pros of using a WhatsApp Business API

A WhatsApp Business API gives you all of the features of WhatsApp Business and all the power and precision of a CRM platform. 

Send auto replies triggered by customer actions and preferences

Encourage customer engagement with auto-send WhatsApp messages. Some ideas include:

  • Abandoned cart WhatsApp messages
  • Loyalty rewards updates 
  • Price-drop notifications for customers’ favorite items
  • Happy birthday messages 
  • Opt-in or order confirmation messages 
  • Transactional messages

Customize your messages

CRM suites like Brevo offer customizable templates so you can make auto-reply messages as unique and personal as you like. Make your message reply pop with gifs and images.

Drop in a link to your social media, or link to your customer’s shipping tracking page. 

Send transactional messages

Customers appreciate getting confirmations and transactional updates! Keep them in the loop and make a customer experience that is the best of the best, every step of the way. 

Send appointment reminders

Make appointments easy with automated reminders. This means less emailing for you and fewer no-shows. 

Nurture leads

Automatic replies on WhatsApp help get your customers what they are looking for. Your contacts are already interested in you, so keep the conversation going. Share relevant and helpful links, such as to booking pages, your website, and event pages.

Build better customer relationships

Auto-replies speak for you when you’re not there. They let your customers know that they’ve been heard and help them feel taken care of. 

Once you’ve mastered setting up auto-replies, you can develop your marketing strategy even further with WhatsApp campaigns

Auto reply WhatsApp Business greeting message examples 

And now for some message samples for inspiration before you get your own replies rolling!

Welcome discount auto-reply

Automatic welcome message on whatsapp that offers a discount code for 25% off to new customers.

Every new customer’s favorite welcome message! Lightly sprinkled with emojis and bold font to make everything clear and easy to find. 

Discover more: 13 Examples of WhatsApp business greeting messages for new subscribers

Holiday greeting message

Hi there and happy [holiday name]. We got your message, but are closed until the [date]. Reach out to our support team at [ phone number] if you need assistance with product orders or shipping, they’ll be happy to help!

Kind regards,

[Your Name]

Be back soon greeting message

Automatic reply on whatsapp example for an away message. It says "We're not in at the moment".

This example gives specific information about when you’ll be back. It also includes a link to helpful information so they can get started without you. 

Introduction-to-our-company greeting message

Automatic reply on WhatsApp example for a message that welcomes new users to a brand.

This type of WhatsApp automated message is a simple introduction to what your brand is about. Tailor it to your brand voice and welcome your contacts right on their phones. 

All your messages on Brevo will appear in a message preview like this. You can test your messages on colleagues to make sure it looks perfect before sending them off to Meta for verification.

Provide an outstanding customer experience with automatic replies on WhatsApp

Turn one-time conversations into long-term relationships with Brevo’s WhatsApp Business API. Give customers 5-star attention with automated messages for transactions, confirmations, updates, and even simple “BRB”s. 

Try WhatsApp campaigns on Brevo

Enjoy unlimited contact storage, customizable messages, event-triggered messages, and 1,000 free messages during your first month of a yearly subscription plan. 

Try out Brevo >>

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