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Start a conversation from the Help Desk
Start a conversation from the Help Desk

Send a new email or chat directly from the Help Desk to existing users or leads.

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

There may be times when you need to reach out proactively to a specific customer, or communicate with a third party (like a vendor or supplier) for assistance.

Intercom lets you start a new conversation with one or multiple contacts in your workspace, without leaving the Help Desk. These conversations can be managed just like any other. You can snooze them, leave internal notes, and use Macros.

How to start a new conversation

Click the compose icon from the Help Desk menu and select Conversation.

Select the channel you want to start a conversation on.

Learn more about starting a conversation on WhatsApp.

If you select Chat, the message will send an in-app message as well as a push notification (if the customer is eligible to receive push).

Search users and leads (by name or email address) for the person to contact.


  • You can contact one or multiple people at once, as long as you have their associated email addresses.

  • You can't add the email address of a teammate within your workspace. If you want teammates to participate in a conversation, @mention them in a note instead.

  • If you want to send an email to a person that is not in your contacts' list yet, simply enter the email address and new contact will be created

Choose who the message should be sent from.

As a default the email will be sent by you. If you have a custom sender address set up in your workspace, you can choose to send the new message from that address.

Here, you can also select who the conversation should be assigned to after your message has been sent.

If your message is sent from a custom email address, replies will go to that address. You must have Can send outbound emails from custom addresses permission enabled to send messages from a custom address. To see these replies in your inbox you must also have email forwarding enabled.

Add an optional subject line.

The subject line is set as the conversation title automatically in email conversations. Teammates can choose to override this title.

Compose your message

Compose your message and insert macros, emojis, GIFs, articles, attachments, images, or tours. Simply use keyboard shortcuts with ⌘/Ctrl K or click the three dots below the composer to insert content.


  • Pin your most frequently used inserters to the composer.

  • Get help composing your message with AI assist.


  • Notes can’t be added to the conversation before it’s sent and the pane is disabled on the new conversation page. They can be added afterwards as per usual

  • App, articles and Product Tours cannot be inserted when composing a new email. They can still be inserted via macros but won’t display correctly in the email received by end users

If you'd like to streamline your email process, consider using macros with ⌘/Ctrl K , like you see below👇

Macros with tag actions will tag the new outbound conversation.

When emailing multiple participants, you can decide to create a group conversation with all the participants, or you can preserve the privacy between participants by sending a separate email to each.

If you toggle the Send separately option on before sending, this means:

  • An individual conversation is created with each person.

  • Email addresses will not be exposed to each other.

  • These conversations can be found in your inbox after you send them.

If you toggle the Send separately option off before sending, this means:

  • A group conversation is created.

  • Email addresses are exposed to all users.

  • The first participant added will appear in the TO field while the others will appear in the CC field.

  • The group conversation can be found in your inbox after you send it and any replies for the participants will be threaded to that one conversation.

And finally, click send.

Metadata in email conversations

View the metadata for all inbound and outbound email conversations by clicking on the email header in the conversation thread to collapse or expand the details.

In the collapsed state, it will include from and to addresses and in the expanded state, it will roll out more details such as reply-to, cc recipients, date and subject.

Metadata helps provide you with clarity and context, allowing you to confirm the authenticity of emails, communicate with the intended recipient, and provide accurate information when replying to queries.

Particularly useful in cases of:

  • Forwarded messages where From address is usually different from reply-to address.

  • Identifying the sender addresses in teammate replies.

  • Conversations with multiple participants.

It also helps you distinguish between email and Messenger conversations. The metadata included in group conversations becomes particularly valuable in scenarios where it is important to identify the sender or recipient of a message.


Can I customise the email template when sending an email from the Help Desk?

No, it's not currently possible to edit the email template here. You will need to send the email from the Proactive Support tab if you wish to use a template.

How are new outbound conversations from the Help Desk included in reports?

  • Outbound conversations from the Help Desk are counted in all Conversation reports except New inbound conversations.

  • Outbound conversations from the Help Desk are included in the Customer engagement reports.

  • Conversation topics: Outbound conversations from the Help Desk are surfaced here once a new reply is added by the recipient or a teammate.

How do CSAT ratings work with outbound conversations from the Help Desk?

Conversation rating requests (CSAT) will be sent on outbound conversations from the Help Desk as long as they meet the other necessary criteria.

Can I retract/recall an email?

No - it's not possible to recall an email once it has been sent.

Can I CC or BCC an email address on an outbound email created from the Help Desk?

When creating an email, if you choose to not send the email separately, one participant will appear in the TO field and the rest will appear in the CC field. This is organised alphabetically so the email address that comes first in the alphabet will appear in the TO field.

There is no way to BCC in Intercom emails.


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