Email Sending FAQs
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Written by Cam
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Email delivery process

How quickly does Intercom deliver emails?

We deliver both ongoing and one-off emails as quickly as possible to your selected users. The time it takes to deliver your message is based on two major factors:

  • The number of users you're messaging (the more targeted your messages are the quicker they’ll be delivered).

  • And the state of our queues when you hit the send button

    When sending to large a large audience, the first 1,000 gets sent pretty quickly so you can tell the message is working, then, the remainder are sent out over the course of a few hours depending on the state of our queues at the time.

Why do emails to smaller groups of users deliver faster?

We batch message delivery into several logical units of work and each stage is processed on a queue. Messages sent to a smaller number of users get placed into higher priority queues. Therefore, the more targeted your messages are the faster they’ll get delivered.

How quickly will new users receive emails?

In the first two hours after a new user is created in your Intercom account, Intercom will check for any emails they should receive every time we receive a ping request. (This should happen each time they load a page in your web app where you have Intercom installed).

After the first two hours, Intercom will check every hour for any emails that users should receive.

How quickly are transactional emails sent?

For transactional emails, we know these are the most important so they match instantly and send in our highest priority queue – typically within seconds or minutes, however in times of high traffic there can be slightly longer delays.

Can I pause an outbound email?

Yes, depending on the audience type. If you pause a Fixed email, it will have already been sent to the full audience as it sends to the users who match at the time it's set live (assuming it hasn't been scheduled for a future date). Pausing a Dynamic email will prevent the email from sending to any further users at the time it's paused.

Can I recall an outbound email?

No - once an email has been sent, you cannot recall it.

What should I do if we have hit spam traps and are now blocked from sending mails?

To reactivate your mailings and resolve the issue of hitting spam traps, follow the recommendations listed here. Implement double opt-in into your signup flow, review your message audiences, and make sure you're correctly filtering out email addresses that have not been verified. Once you have made the necessary changes, contact Intercom's support team with the details of the actions you have taken, and we'll review the sending restrictions on your workspace.


Email audience & participants

Can I add a CC or BCC to my outbound email?

It's currently not possible to CC or BCC a participant in outbound emails sent from the Proactive Support tab. If you start an email conversation with a user from the Help Desk, you can CC participants but you cannot BCC.

Why is my audience preview smaller than I expected?

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.

This should account for the discrepancy you are seeing with the numbers in your audience preview.

I used the csv import in the audience but the preview is smaller than the number of emails in the file, why?

There are a few things to keep in mind when using the filter audience from a csv feature:

  • The contacts in the csv must already exist in Intercom, this import does not create a contact for an email if it doesn't already exist.

  • If you have duplicate email addresses in your contacts, we cannot determine which one should be added to the audience. The prevent this issue, you should also import their User ID.

  • As mentioned in the FAQ above, we will remove users who have bounced, marked as spam or have unsubscribed from your emails.


Unsubscribe contacts from emails

How do I unsubscribe a Contact from receiving emails?

There are a few ways to do this:

Via the Intercom code snippet

You can opt out a particular user from receiving bulk emails by including an extra option in the intercomSettings snippet:

var intercomSettings = {  
'app_id' : 'abc123',
'email' : 'john@example.com',
'created_at' : 1350467386,
'unsubscribed_from_emails' : true
}

Via the Contacts profile in your Workspace

You can unsubscribe/resubscribe Leads and Users from receiving bulk emails by selecting the specific subscriptions or checking "unsubscribed from all emails" within their profile:

If you provide a value for unsubscribed_from_emails in intercomSettings for a user, it will override any manual action taken on the user's profile page, or by the user clicking unsubscribe links in their emails.

Via the Help Desk

You can unsubscribe Leads/Users directly from the Help Desk when you are chatting with them by going to the 3 dots beside their name in the Lead/User Data Help Desk App 👇:

How do I bulk subscribe/unsubscribe users?

You can set users as unsubscribed from emails in Intercom by uploading a CSV containing user emails and a second column "unsubscribed_from_emails" with the value true in each row.

Here is an example of what that CSV would look like:

When you import the users, map the Email field, then skip the others until you see "Which additional columns would you like to import".

Choose the column unsubscribed_from_emails , then choose "Create a new custom attribute" from the drop down (ensure it's called exactly "unsubscribed_from_emails"), then give it a Boolean data type. Finally, confirm and import users.

Can I still contact unsubscribed Leads/Users?

Yes. Leads and Users that are unsubscribed will still receive:

How do I send a one-off message to a single Lead/User?

You can start a 1:1 message with by clicking the "New conversation" button within a Lead/Users profile👇:


Click tracking

What is click tracking?

Intercom helps you to measure success of a message with open tracking, goal tracking and click tracking. These tracking methods help to identify which parts of your message are the most successful in order to optimize future campaigns. Engagement is a good measure of health for your campaigns. Engaged users typically open your emails, click on your links and take the actions you encourage them to take in your message.

How does it work?

Click tracking works by overwriting the link in the body of a message to go through our own portal before redirecting a user to the final destination.

For example, if you paste a link like www.example.com/picardspersonallog, we will transform that into another unique link. When a user clicks the link they are redirected through our domain, where we increment the click counter and then forward the user onto the original destination.

Here’s what the links look like:

Our default click tracking domain is intercom-clicks.com and this link will expire in 4 days, which means the link will still work but the lead will not be identified.

Click tracking also allows you to identify leads you've emailed when they follow links to your site.


For example, if you send an email to a new lead: "michelle@example.com" and they click on a link which takes them to your site, they'll be automatically identified with the same email address when they start a conversation in the Messenger. This allows you to greet them with a personalized in-app message, and continue the conversation.


If you do ABM (Account based marketing), you can also be notified directly when the lead visits your site, even if they don't start a conversation.

From the Clicked stats on a message, you can see which users clicked links in your message, and the number of times each link was clicked.

Can I use a Deep Link?

Using Intercom you can embed a deep link in your in-app messages or as the URI for your push messages. To enable deep linking for your mobile app please see our Android and iOS Developer Docs for more information.

Can I use a Universal Link?

Universal links are used to direct users to specific iOS mobile apps are incompatible with our current click tracking offering. If you already support universal linking and host your own Apple App Site Association (AASA) file, turning off click tracking will allow you to direct users to specific apps on their mobile device.

You can specify which domains you wish to turn off click tracking for in Proactive Support > Settings, under Universal linking.

To use universal links in the iOS SDK (eg. in in-product messages or articles), you’ll need to follow the steps in our developer documentation.

Where is this surfaced in Intercom?

This feature surfaces in three places in Intercom:

Composer

When you’re inserting a URL into an email we surface a header linking to a doc to explain how we track link clicks and how we identify leads who click on these links:

Help Desk

When you’re talking to a person that has been identified in the Messenger by clicking on a link, we surface a small alert icon below the message, with a tooltip that links out to a doc explaining how we identify people and warn of possible impersonation.

Settings

Ability to toggle this ON/OFF can be found in Settings > Security. It will be OFF by default for existing customers and ON by default for new customers:

Can I use it to identify Leads that open links sent in an Email?

Yes, click tracking allows you to identify leads you've emailed when they follow links to your site.


For example, if you send an email to a new lead: "michelle@example.com" and they click on a link which takes them to your site, they'll be automatically identified with the same email address when they start a conversation in the Messenger. This allows you to greet them with a personalized in-app message, and continue the conversation.


If you do ABM (Account based marketing), you can also be notified directly when the lead visits your site, even if they don't start a conversation.

From the Clicked stats on a message, you can see which users clicked links in your message, and the number of times each link was clicked.

How do I turn "On"/"Off" the ability to identify Leads based on their email address?

Your Workspaces ability to identify leads you've emailed based on their email address can be adjusted from within your Workspace Security settings within the Data Security Settings tab, under Lead email identification.

Does click tracking work in articles?

Currently, Intercom does not have click tracking available within articles


Use cases

How can I set up the rules for an email to be sent 14 days after a user has signed up?

To set up the rules for an email to be sent during the second week of a user's sign up, you could use the rule "signed up more than 13 days ago and signed up less than 15 days ago," in the audience rules section.


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