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Get started sending emails
Get started sending emails

Learn how to create and send targeted, personal emails your customers will want to read.

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

With Proactive Support, you can send targeted emails to all your users and leads. These can be one-off messages or part of ongoing campaigns to engage your customers.

Create and send an email

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

Then, choose Email as your content type.

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

You’ll find email templates for many use cases, like reengaging inactive users or reminding people about items in their cart, and they’re all completely customizable.

General settings

Before composing your email, you’ll see these options on the left to define who it’s sent from, and which inbox you’d like replies assigned to:

You can also choose which email list you want to send this email to based on your customer's subscription type.


Then customize the style of your email, including:

  • Email template - choose a default template or one that you've created.

  • Template background - Select the background color that will appear behind your email content or text.

  • Body background - Select the background for the body or border of your email.

  • Links - Select the color and style (italic and/or bold) of any links in your email content.

If you need a completely customizable layout, you can Switch to HTML editor.

Message content

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

To format text, add links and HTML simply highlight some text and the options will display.


If you'd like to revert a change you've just made, simply use the undo or redo buttons in the top right:

Text formatting

Use the options on the left to change the text font, color, or alignment.

Add rich content

Insert rich content into your email by hovering over the composer and using the + icon which appears. This allows you to add:

  • Text

  • Image/GIF

  • Button

  • Divider

  • Spacer

  • Social links

  • File

  • Code

  • Emoji

  • Bulleted list

  • Numbered list

  • HTML

Most email clients do not properly support embedded videos. Gmail, for example, will show them as attachments at the bottom of the message. For this reason we don't allow embedding videos in Intercom emails.

Having said that, if you create an image with a video thumbnail and then add a hyperlink to the image, when a customer clicks on the image it will open the video in a new tab.

If you've added an image/GIF or button, you can click on it within the composer to bring up a left sidebar with settings and adjust the dimensions, alignment, etc.


Once you’ve drafted the message, you can preview how it'll look on mobile by clicking on Mobile preview.

Or send yourself a test by clicking on Preview at the top of the page and sending it to your own email address.

It is possible for you to send a test message to up to 5 unique email address at one time, by separating the email addresses with commas.

There is a limit of 50 unique email addresses that you can send a preview email to per message per day. If you exceed that limit of 50 unique email addresses, you will see an error popping up with Max number of test email addresses per day reached. Could not send to: <email_address>

You must give your email a Subject before you can send a test to yourself.

If an email does not include a Subject, you'll be unable to set it live and the following message will appear:

To include emojis in emails or subject lines you can either copy + paste the emoji in or you can use your machine's emoji keyboard

Most email clients like Gmail or Yahoo don't tend to have issues with receiving emojis, however, Outlook and iPhone/iPad occasionally convert the emoji symbols into the word you are looking to show (i.e. 😊 as * grinning *)

A/B test 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.

Set up rules

First, decide if if you want your email to be triggered automatically and then target the right audience.

  • Triggers - Allow you to automatically send repeatable messages based on when customers match event or date based rules.

  • Audience - Allows you to choose who will receive the message either when an event or date based rule is matched, or as soon as you set your email live.

Use triggers

If you want to send an ongoing email any time a customer matches the rules, use triggers to send repeatable messages based on events you track in Intercom.

For example, if you wanted to re-engage customers by sending an ongoing email any time a customer is inactive for more than 90 days, you could add a trigger for "Last seen if it's 1 day after the date" and then add an audience rule for "Last seen more than 90 days ago":

To use event or date triggers, the audience must be "Dynamic" and not "Fixed".

Add audience rules

The audience who receives this email can be:

  • Dynamic - people who match rules now and in the future (for sending an ongoing message), or

  • Fixed - only people who match rules right now (for sending a one-off message).

Choose who should receive this email by clicking + Add audience rule. The audience can be defined using people and company data you track through Intercom or by uploading a CSV file with the customer data.

For example, you could send this to a "Fixed" audience of users "Last seen more than 90 days ago" and this will send only to users who matched this rule when the email was set live.

You can combine "And / Or" filters in your audience rules for very specific targeting. Select an audience segment you've created, or use the + icon to create a new filter group.

For example, you could send this email to users "Last seen more than 90 days ago" and "Country is Ireland" and this will send to all users who match both rules when the email is set live.

A filter group can be created using "And" / "Or" to combine data (not both). If you want this email to match users from different filter groups, simply click + Add audience rule to make a new filter group. Then you can choose whether users must match both filter groups, or whether they can match either filter group.

For example, you could send this email to users who match the rules in:

  • Group 1 - "Country is Ireland" and "First Seen less than 30 days ago" or

  • Group 2 - "Country is United Kingdom" and "Tag is Beta users"

This would send to all users who match either of these filter groups when the email is set live.

The audience preview for email messages won't look the same as when you're targeting the same users with a chat or a post message, or if you are filtering them in Contacts.

With email messages, we automatically exclude users that:

  1. Don't have an email

  2. Have unsubscribed from you

  3. Have marked your emails as spam

  4. Have bounced any emails you've sent to them

The users that are excluded from receiving email messages can be found within your Contacts by using the same filters in your message and then additionally adding Email has any value and Unsubscribed from Emails is true or Marked email as spam is true or Has hard bounced is true.

Choose frequency and scheduling

When you've finished setting up who will receive your message, you can choose to start sending the email as soon as you set it live, or on a custom date and time you decide.

Set goal and UTM tracking

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. 

To add a goal, choose the attribute or event for the result you want to measure from the dropdown under “Goal and UTM tracking”: 

For example, if your goal is to get people to log in to your app, you could use the goal “Web sessions is increased” and any user who logs in after receiving it, will contribute to this goal's total.

You can set a goal using any data you track in Intercom, whether it's an event or a user/company attribute.

And that’s it. Your email is ready to send!

This button will change depending on your Rules and Frequency and scheduling.

  • "Schedule to set live" - will appear if you've chosen to schedule it for a time in the future. This means the email will automatically send on the date and time you selected.

  • "Set live" - will appear if you have added event or date based rules for the audience. This means the email will send automatically only when those rules are matched.


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