As well as engaging visitors, you can use Custom Bots to target and upsell your users. 

Here are some examples of the powerful ways you can use Custom Bots to engage users:

  • Upsell customers: Grow your business by encouraging customers to use more products.
  • Provide proactive support: Provide users who haven’t finished setting up a feature with ways to get help.
  • Announce features: Launch new features to users in a fun and engaging way with a video bot.
  • Book meetings with high-intent customers: Automatically invite users to book a meeting with your accounts team after they show intent to act, such as viewing your upgrade page. 

Here’s how to set up your bot:

First, target users with a bot

To start creating your first bot, go to: Operator > Custom Bots > Outbound, and click 'New Custom Bot':

Note: You can choose to create a bot from scratch, or from a template.

Choose a title

You should add a title that accurately describes your bot’s goal, so your teammates can easily understand the bot’s purpose:

First, design your bot

Create an engaging welcome message 

A great welcome message is crucial to your bot’s success, as users will decide whether to interact with your bot based on it.

It’s easy to create your welcome message. You can add text, emoji, GIFs, attachments, images, video, Product tours, and even apps:

Pro tip: You should add a short video to personally welcome users:

Give customers clear paths to follow

Once you’ve created your welcome message, add reply buttons to give users options to choose from:

Create personalized paths for different kinds of users

Now, you can direct users down new paths based on their replies. Each path lets you create a personalized experience for your customer.

Just click, ‘Choose a path’, then add a new path beside each reply button. 

You can easily jump to editing your new paths with the arrow button next to each one:

Build customized follow up actions

After each step in a path, you can trigger any of the following actions:

  • Tag the customer.
  • Tag the conversation.
  • Assign the conversation to a specific inbox.
  • Mark it as priority.
  • Let Resolution Bot respond to any follow up questions.

If you have the Salesforce, HubSpot, or Marketo app installed in your Intercom account, you can also:

  • Create a lead in Salesforce.
  • Create a contact in HubSpot.
  • Enrich a lead in Marketo.

Just click "+ Add" below the bot messages, and select from the list of actions:

Then, at the end of each path, you can choose either reply buttons to direct users onto a new path, or complete the path with follow up actions:

If you choose to end a path with follow up actions, you can complete the path in a number of ways, including tagging the customer, assigning it to a team, sending an app, closing the conversation and more.

For example, if a user selects 'I'm interested in upgrading', you share a page that explains your pro plan using the content showcase app. You could also assign them to your sales team by round robin:

Note: Round robin is set up on a team inbox level, so you can ensure all conversations in that inbox are fairly distributed among available teammates. 

It's also important to give uninterested users a quick exit to their interaction with your bot.  For example, if users chose ‘Not right now’ (Path D), you could simply share an upcoming webinar and close the conversation.

Note: You’ll need Inbox to use follow-up actions. 

Choose where and how often to send your bot

After creating your Custom Bot, you should choose exactly how you'd like it to send to leads or customers.

First, select when to show the bot until:

Choose from:

  • Seen — Show the bot to customers once, then not again, whether or not they interact with or dismiss it.
  • Any interaction happens — Show the bot to customers consistently, until they engage with it (choose a bot path), open the Messenger, or dismiss the notification.
  • Engaged with — Show the bot to customers consistently until they engage with it by selecting a bot path. If they dismiss the bot or open the Messenger, it will be hidden for the remainder of their session. When they start a new session, the bot will be shown again, until they engage with it.

Read this article to learn more about sending Custom Bots more than once.


Next, choose where to show the bot first:

Select from:

  • Web
  • iOS
  • Android

Measure Custom Bots' effectiveness with A/B testing and Control groups

A/B testing

It's simple to A/B test different content or bot paths so you can see which is most effective at engaging with visitors and generating leads on your site.

First, click 'Run a new test', and select 'A/B test':

You'll then see two versions of your Custom Bot, 'Test A' and 'Test B':

Switch between them to make any changes to the bot's paths, content or follow up actions you'd like to test. 👌

Pro tip: It's a good idea to test one change at a time, so you can accurately identify the cause of any difference in results.

Control groups

To test the effectiveness of a bot overall, you can use a control group instead:

A control group will send your Custom Bot to one half of the audience only, so you can gauge the difference that impact it has on encouraging visitors to hit your bot's goal.

Read this article to learn more about A/B testing and Control groups.

Next, choose your audience

You can target users based on any data you track about them. For example, you could upsell free users to a paid plan:

Note: This example uses a company attribute.

Pro tip: You should also add multiple filters to ensure you target the right audience. For example, you could add:

  • ‘Signed up’ more than 30 days ago - target customers (and remove trial users who are still being onboarded)
  • ‘Last seen’ is less than 14 days ago, so you only target active users. 
  • ‘Browser language’ is English, so you target users who speak the language of your message.

The more targeted you make your audience, the more effective your bot will be.
Combine 'And' with 'Or' filters if you need more flexible audience targeting.

Set your trigger times

Once you’ve finished designing your bot, you can choose to turn on trigger times:

Set a goal for your Custom Bot

Before setting your bot live, you should set a goal, so you can accurately measure it's impact. This is the action you'd like your customers to take, or the change that should occur as a result of receiving the Custom Bot.

For example, if you're using a Custom Bot to encourage customers to upgrade to your pro plan, you might set the goal 'Plan is Pro':

You can also define the time limit for this change or action to occur:

Tip: The shorter the time period, the more confidently you can attribute the change to your Custom Bot.

Preview your bot, then set it live 

You can preview your bot privately on any web page, where you’ve installed the Intercom Messenger. Read this article to see how.

Once you’re happy, set your bot live:

Note: To create, edit and set Custom Bots live you must have permission to send messages to more than one person at a time. Permissions are only available on certain Intercom plans. See our plans and pricing here.

Now, your bot will trigger for any user who matches your audience rules.

See how your bot performs 

Once your bot is live, you can easily review its performance.

Here’s what each stat means: 

  • ‘Sent’ is the number of users who received the bot welcome message.
  • ‘Engaged’ is the percentage of users who clicked a reply button on the welcome message. 
  • ‘Completed’ is the percentage of users who reached the end of any path, or if a teammate joined the conversation. 

To understand how often your bot is sending, open the custom bot, and click "Sent" for a graph of sends over time:

To dive deeper into your bot interactions, click on "Engaged" or "Completed" for a full list of conversations started by your bot:

For a detailed look at the paths customers are following through your bot, click on "Path analysis":

Tip: Learn more about path analysis here.

What’s next? 

Did this answer your question?