With the Messages product, you can send Emails, In-apps, and Mobile push messages to engage your customers. There are two ways to send them: as an ‘Ongoing’ message, or a ‘One-off’. 

  • Ongoing messages will send to everyone who matches the filters now and anyone who matches the filters in the future.
  • One-off messages will only send to people who match your audience filters now.

Where do I choose how a message sends?

When composing a message, under step 2 ‘Choose your audience’, you can choose ‘Ongoing’ or ‘One-off’.

Note: You can’t change the way a message will send after it has been set live.

Ongoing messages are great for: 

Onboarding new customers 

You can trigger messages to send at key moments during onboarding. For example, you can let customers know when they should use an important feature for the first time, or contact them right before their trial ends. Check out this guide to create your first onboarding campaign

Helping customers at key moments 

Ongoing messages are great for helping customers inside your app at key moments while they’re using your product. For example, after customers take a specific action in your product, you can trigger an auto message that guides them to take the next logical step. Learn how to anticipate your customer’s questions. 

When do ongoing messages send?

Ongoing messages won’t send to a given user more than once unless you use a company variable in your message. If you do, it will send to your user once for each company they’re a member of in Intercom.

In-app ongoing messages send when:  

  1. The customer logs in or visits your site.
  2. They match the audience filters you’ve set. 
  3. During the scheduled delivery times.

Important: If you use a “Last seen” rule in your audience filters, we send any messages based on that rule before the ‘Last seen’ value is updated with the login. 

An email user auto message sends when: 

  1. Users match your audience rules. (The audience filters are checked every hour.)
  2. During the delivery times you set. 

Pro Tip: We will trigger message matching for a GET request via Intercom's REST API to our conversations endpoint with a user_id parameter and type=user parameter. This means that if you use the REST API to send either data updates or event calls and want to trigger an immediate email message, you can make this call after your update or event call to trigger messages to be checked for that user. This is limited to once every 15 minutes per user.

One-off messages are great for: 

Announcing a feature or update 

These work well for time-sensitive announcements like when you want to launch a feature. Here’s the best way to announce your new features.

Reaching out to a high profile customer now 

Manual messages are perfect for when you want to speak to a customer right now. For example, when a high profile user signs up, you might want to reach out and offer the chance to chat, or to let them know that they qualify for your VIP support. 

User testing a message

Manual messages are ideal for trying out a message you’re thinking about automating. If you're sending a mail out to 100s of 1000s of users, you’ll really benefit from trying it out with 20, or 50 users first, and seeing what the reaction is like. 

Send a one-off message to a single person

To send a one-off message to a particular customer, head to their profile and click ‘Send a message’ in the top right corner: 

Or, to send a one-off message from the Intercom conversations mobile app

  1. Open a customer’s profile
  2. Click the message icon in the top right corner 
  3. Compose and send your message. 

Note: The message is sent as an in-app chat by default, but you can send it as an in-app announcement or by email too.

Where are all my Ongoing or One-off messages?

To see all your Ongoing or One-off messages in one place, use this filter on the messages list, under Outbound: 

What’s next? 

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