A default install of Intercom will allow you to quickly answer important questions about your userbase. But sometimes you want answers to questions that are specific to your users and your product. You can send Intercom data specific to your userbase in two ways: custom user attributes and events. Below, we share some best practice examples to help you customize Intercom to be about your users.
What are custom user attributes and events?
Custom user attributes is data you send us about your users. Events are different; they’re specific actions your users take inside your product.
For example, if you’re a project management tool:
A custom user attribute you send might be something like the number of projects a user has created or the name of their plan.
While, an event can tell you when your user upgrades their plan.
Make Intercom to be about your users
You can send any custom user attributes you like to Intercom. Custom user attributes are ideal for helping you answer questions like:
How many/how much? e.g. which users are paying you over $10 per month?
What’s the name? e.g. show me a list of all the users whose job title is ‘Marketer’
Is it true or false? e.g. which users have used my calendar feature? (calendar feature = true) and which users haven’t? (calendar feature = false)
What date? e.g. which users’ subscriptions are due to end on September 1st?
Examples custom user attributes to send
You’ll have questions specific to your userbase. So you should send Intercom whatever custom user attributes you need to answer them. And you should only send data that captures meaningful information about your users (like their monthly spend, the number of teammates they have added or the date their subscription ends).
Here are a few common examples we see that you can take inspiration from:
Project created - If you own a project sharing tool you will want to know which (and how many) users have or haven’t created a project yet. This data tells you who needs help being successful with that feature.
To find out which users have yet to create a project, filter your User list to show everyone who has 0 projects created:
Calendar feature - You might want to see a list of all your users who have used your Calendar feature in the past day. This would be a valuable group to ask for feedback.
Job title - Maybe you want to see a list of all of the marketers using your product. You can tell this exact group of your users about your new analytics feature.
Monthly spend - Maybe you want to find out which users are spending over $50 per month on their subscription. This would be a great group to give a thank you gift to.
Here’s how you would filter your user list for that:
Songs uploaded - How many users have uploaded over 80 songs, for example, out of a possible 100? If someone is closing in on a limit, they’re a good contender for an upgrade, so you should let them know about your 500 song plan.
Ebook download - Which users have downloaded your latest ebook? This content loving group could be interested in your latest blog post written about a similar topic.
Product purchased - Maybe you want to know who has purchased over 5 products from your store. You could then offer this group a gift for their loyalty like a discount off a future purchase.
Remember, the above are just a few examples. You can send Intercom whatever data makes sense to you for better understanding your users.
Add descriptions to custom attributes
You can add a description to any custom attribute you create in Intercom. This will help both you and your teammates remember what your custom attributes mean. Here’s how to do that.
Track actions that users take in your product
To track specific actions users take inside your product, you should send events to Intercom. Events tell you the first time your user takes an action (for example, when a subscription was upgraded), the last time they take that action (e.g. the last time they exported a PDF) and the total amounts of time they take an action (like the number of times a particular feature was used). If you’re looking for inspiration, you can check out our guide to using events here.
Check out this podcast we recorded just for Intercom users all about planning your custom data in intercom.
And once you've got the right data into Intercom, the next step is to send users the right messages at the right time in the right place.