Get started sending Chat and Post messages

Send contextual chats, and posts to customers while they use your product or browse your website.

Beth-Ann Sher avatar
Written by Beth-Ann Sher
Updated over a week ago

With Intercom Chat and Post messages, you can send targeted messages to people based on the actions they take on your site or in your product. Chats or Posts sent in your app or on your website are great for encouraging people to take action. They’re up to ten times better than email at engaging your customers. 

You’ll have full control over how each message gets delivered, increasing its chance of being seen and read. Here’s how these messages work across web and mobile.  

Create and send a chat or post message

First, go to Proactive Support from the main menu and click + New message in the top right corner.

Then, choose Chat or Post as your content type.

You can also choose to start with a pre-made template by picking this content type from the left sidebar.

Tip: You’ll find templates for many use cases, like:

  • Offering help to users in their language.

  • Increasing your newsletter subscriptions.

  • Welcoming new users (from their account owner).

  • And more. 👍

For this example we’ll start from scratch with a 'chat', but the following steps also apply if you customize a template. 

Before composing your message, you’ll see these options to define how it’s received by your customers. Selections you make here will update the preview on the right, so you can see how your message will look: 

You’ll need to choose:

  1. Who the message should come from, and which Inbox you’d like replies assigned to.

  2. Reply type. — You can collect a visitor’s email address with a “Chat” message, or allow simple reactions (or no reply at all) with a “Post”. All message types support text responses.

  3. How the message should be sent; as a Snippet, or Full message.

  4. For "Post" messages you can also choose the format of the message; Small, or Large.

  5. Where it should be delivered first: Web, iOS, or Android. — To deliver the message wherever a customer opens your app first, select all available options here. This option will only appear if you have installed Intercom in your mobile app/s.

    If you choose "Show first on Web and iOS", your message will get sent if a user visits your website or opens your iOS app.

    If they open the Android app first, they will not receive the message. If they open the Android app after they've already received the message via Web/iOS, the message will get delivered to Android as well.

If you’ve installed Intercom, and configured push notifications on your mobile app, you can also send a push notification with Chat messages:

Push notifications notify customers that you have sent them a message. When a customer opens the notification they are directed to your message. Push notifications are great for starting conversations with customers. 

Note: Messages are counted as ‘sent’ once a push notification is sent, and marked as ‘seen’ when a user opens the message.

Now, it’s time to write your message content

The simple composer lets you create personalised messages that look great, with speed and confidence. It’s quick to style your text, insert images, and easy to add a call-to-action — all with a few simple clicks.

  • To format text on a mac, press “command + I” for italics, or “command + B” for bold. Use “ctrl” on Windows.

  • To add headers, links, and more, simply highlight some text and the options will display:

  • To create a bulleted list, just type -, +, or * and then hit space.

  • To create a numbered list, type 1) or 1. and hit space.

  • Any URL you type will be automatically converted to a link after you hit space at the end of the URL.

Add rich content to your messages

Adding videos, images, buttons, apps, and more is easy. Add them using the + icon on the left:

Note: Video clips must be in mp4 format and no more than 40mb in size. They'll display in a 4:3 aspect ratio.

A/B testing your message

To ensure that your content is performing as well as it can be, you should A/B test your message. Intercom makes it easy to create and send two versions of a message to see which is the most effective. Read all about A/B testing here.

Add follow up actions

If you’d like to qualify new leads, or let Custom Answers help any users who reply to this message, switch on follow up actions below the message and choose one or both: 

If you choose "email collector" as the reply type, you can also send an auto reply as a follow up:

Note:

  • The email collector is only available for 'Chat' messages. This is not supported on mobile.

  • If a user replies to the outbound content, we will try to match Fin AI Agent profiles with that particular user. If you don't have any Fin profiles live, Fin won't be able to answer to such outbound message. In this case, we would suggest to use a Workflow with the trigger 'Customer sends their first message' and then use the Let Fin answer action.

Choose when, how, and how often your message should be sent

There are a few different ways to build your ideal message audience. Read all about them in this article.

Set a goal for your message

Every message you send should have a goal, but open and click rates will only tell you so much. Goals are the true measure of how a message is performing. 

You can set a goal using any data you track in Intercom, whether it's an event or a user/company attribute. E.g. if your message should encourage people to create more projects, your goal might be "Projects is increased":

Schedule your message

Next, you can schedule a message to send at exactly the right time. There are three ways you can do this: 

  • Set specific dates and times for your message to start and stop sending.

  • Schedule messages to send during or outside your office hours. 

  • Set a custom delivery times during which your message will send.

And that’s it. Your message is ready to send. 👍

Chat & Post FAQs

Can I retract a Chat/Post message that a user has already received?

Once a user receives the message, it will be available indefinitely in their "Messages" tab in the Messenger. There isn't a way to retract the message for a user, but you can delete the message in Intercom and this will remove it from the Messenger for all users who received it.

To delete message, open the message, click More and click Delete.

Note: You may want to export the message data before deleting it, as the message will be inaccessible in Intercom after it's deleted.


If I change the content of a live message, will users who already received it see the new content?

No, users will see the content that was in place at the time they initially received it. Users who receive the message for the first time after you make the changes will see the new content. If you need to make critical changes to remove a message's old content, you can duplicate the message and delete the old version to remove it from the user's Messenger, and send them the new version instead.

Note: If you don't want users who received the first message to receive it again, you can tag the users who received the first message before deleting it in Intercom, and then exclude those tagged users from your new message's audience.

If I change the audience rules (or if a user no longer matches the rules) will they still see the message?

Yes, if a user already received a message and then no longer matches the audience rules, they'll still have access to the message in the "Messages" tab in their Messenger.

Is it possible to change <Name> from <App Name> to something more customised?

No. When using a default sender, it will always show up in the format Name from App Name

The only workaround here is to use a custom sender address, and in this case we will send it as Custom Name <custom email address>


💡Tip

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