With the exception of recent concerns with its privacy restrictions, WhatsApp has been an unrivaled communication service app. Its enormous success is due to two key factors: early user adoption and features. It is, however, the latter that has kept it ahead of the curve and maintained its attractiveness in the face of increasing competition.
One of the most recent features is ‘Auto Reply,’ which makes it easier to respond to your contacts while you are gone. What is it, and how do you go about setting it up? That’s everything.
What is the Auto-Reply feature in WhatsApp?
The auto-reply feature, as the name implies, allows you to set messages to react automatically when you are not available to do so. You may use it to plan “away messages” and even automatically greet new clients with greeting texts.
The auto-reply functionality was created primarily to help small enterprises with well-defined operating hours. If you aren’t a business owner, though, you can still utilize it for personal purposes. You can always use third-party apps to auto-reply if you don’t want to move to a different version of WhatsApp.
Set Auto Reply in WhatsApp Business
The auto-reply functionality is currently only accessible on WhatsApp Business, a version of the program designed specifically for enterprises. Users can create a Business profile, list their products and services, and set up auto-replies to communicate with consumers and keep them informed.
As previously stated, the auto-reply feature on WhatsApp Business is divided into two parts: ‘away message’ and ‘greeting message.’ To get to these, go to the upper right corner and tap the three vertical dots…
and choose Business Tools.
This will bring up the following screen where you’ll be able to access Away message and Greeting message options among others.
Let’s take a look at how to set them up:
This is the main auto-reply option. It lets you reply to customers outside of working hours or when you’re away from the office. In the “Business Tools” screen, tap on Away message.
Here, toggle On Send Away Message.
Then tap on Away message.
Here you can fill in and personalize the message you wish to send to your customers when you’re not accessible to react. Then tap OK.
Then, tap on Schedule to set when these away messages are triggered.
Here, you get three options –
1. Always Send – For when you’re away from work for an extended period of time.
2. Custom schedule – To specify exactly when these “away messages” are active. We’re thinking lunch hours and weekends.
After you choose this, enter the “Start time” and “End time”.
3. Outside of business hours – This option activates the away message during your business’ off-hours (based on the timings you provided under “Business profile”).
Lastly, under Recipients, you have the option to choose whom you auto-reply to.
The next four settings provide you complete control over which recipients receive the auto reply.
The greeting message, which you can create and send automatically, enables you welcome new clients or re-engage those who haven’t contacted you in over a fortnight. To customize it, tap on Greeting message in ‘Business tools’.
Then toggle On Send greeting message.
Under it, you can tap on the Greeting message…
… and type in your message.
Then tap on Recipients to choose who gets auto-replied to with a greeting message.
Here, too, you’ll get the same options as in ‘Away Messages’.
Third-Party apps to auto-reply on WhatsApp
We’ve only looked at using the auto-reply feature on WhatsApp Business so far, mostly since the normal WhatsApp app (which most of us use) does not have one. However, there are a few notable third-party WhatsApp apps that allow you to tailor auto-replies for your own use. They are as follows:
AutoResponder for WhatsApp
This is one of the most popular WhatsApp auto-replying apps. Although many of its capabilities are only available with a Pro membership, the basic ones do the job for the most part.
Download: AutoResponder for WhatsApp
Open AutoResponder for WhatsApp and tap on the ‘+‘ icon at the bottom right corner to create a rule.
Rules are based on the “if this, then that” approach and allow you to specify who and when your auto-replies are sent to.
Type the message that will activate the autoresponder under “Received message” on the Rule screen.
The incoming message can either be an Exact match to what you specified or a Similarity match. More sophisticated pattern matching options are only available for PRO users.
Under the “Reply messsage”, type in the message you want to send automatically.
You can also choose specific contacts to send the auto respond to, or contacts that you’d rather not respond to this way.
Once created, the rule can be paused under the Pause rule for… option for a period of time.
Even without the Pro features, AutoResponder for WhatsApp is one of the best auto-replying apps for WhatsApp.
Watomatic – Auto Reply for WhatsApp & Facebook
Watomatic features a simple and minimalist look and may be used as an autoresponder for both WhatsApp and Facebook. But, because we’re only talking about WhatsApp right now, let’s look at how to set it up to automatically answer to your contacts.
Once downloaded, open the app and toggle on Auto reply and be sure to uncheck Facebook Messenger (if you don’t want to auto reply on Facebook).
Then tap on Auto-reply text to curate an automated reply.
Here, type in the message that you want and hit Save.
This message will be received by anybody who texts you on WhatsApp, regardless of who they are or what they are texting about. Although the lack of flexibility in the auto reply options is an apparent downside, it serves its purpose well enough if your goal is to inform others of other ways to contact you.
WhatsAuto – Reply App
WhatsAuto is the final auto-responding app you should be aware of. This is a surprisingly effective autoresponder with a user interface that makes it simple to access the various adjustable options.
Once installed, under the “Home” tab, simply turn on Auto reply.
Then tap on Auto reply text to customize your message.
Fill up the blanks with your message. You can also use “Reply Tags” to make it appear as if you’re addressing your contact personally. This adds a touch of personalization and authenticity to the message..
Then tap on the tick-mark at the top right corner to confirm.
Under the “Contacts” tab, you will get a screen that is similar to what WhatsApp Business users get when choosing the recipients that get auto replied to.
That’s all there is to it. Because official auto-replying is only accessible on WhatsApp Business, you’ll have to rely on third-party apps if you’re using WhatsApp as your personal messenger.
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