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Using events as filters and triggers

How to use Intercom events when you message customers.

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

Intercom events record actions your customers take in your app or on your site, as well as the details of those actions. You can use those events to filter and segment your users, trigger messages to them, or target the messages that they receive.

Triggering and targeting your messages with events are very similar processes and can be used together. This article breaks down exactly what the differences are, so you can get the most out of your events.

For example if you have a video editing app, you may want to notify your customers when an upload has completed so they can share it with their teammates. In this case, you would:

  1. Trigger the message with an event “Upload complete” — This ensures it is sent every time an upload is ready.

  2. Target the message with the event “Added teammate” — This means it only sends to users who have added at least one teammate.

Trigger messages when events are tracked

Event based messaging lets you send repeatable messages to customers each time an event occurs in your app.

These messages can include the details of the event, and can be filtered to only trigger for certain types of event. Event based messages also have built in over-messaging protection; you choose how often, and for how long the messages are sent.

Event triggers determine when a message is sent.

All of this is controlled in the 'Rules' and 'Frequency and Scheduling' tabs in the message composer:

Target messages (or other content) based on events

When you create a message, bot, or article, you can use events to target your content at certain people.

You can target content with multiple events, and base filters on how many times, or how recently an event has occurred.

For example, if you have a video app with a pro plan that has higher video limits, and better team collaboration you could send a message to your customers after they’ve uploaded 10 videos, and invited a teammate in the last 7 days:

Event filters decide who receives your messages.

Quick summary:

Event based messages (triggered)

Messages targeted with event filters (not triggered by events)

Send frequency



Can include event metadata



Sending frequency and limit



Use multiple events



Based on event count, or recency




  • You can use both of these features together, so you can have a message with a combination of these attributes. Note that when combining event triggers with event based targeting rules, the targeting rules must have been satisfied at the point of triggering the event. The event trigger won’t update the user instantly in the same request.

    • For example if you want to send a message only the first time a user triggers a purchased-item event and not for any subsequent purchases, you would use a count of 0 (i.e. users who have never triggered the event before).

  • All the features listed here for event based messages are optional, so you could have a message triggered by an event, that sends only once, and contains no metadata.


Active event count limit

  • There is a hard limit of 500 unique event names per user

  • We don't encourage using events to track stuff like page views - it will fill up the quota really quickly and if the aim is to trigger messages based on views, URL targeting and Visitors targeted messages are a better option.

What’s next?


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