Last updated on June 13th, 2023

This simple intercom email trick helped us double installations

Joe d'Elia
Joe d'Elia
This simple intercom email trick helped us double installations

Related: Yes, you can see the user's screen from

Also see: 9 Smart Hacks to Use With

The biggest bottleneck we face as a software company is getting new sign ups
to install our system on their website. Because we provide instant screen
sharing built entirely in JavaScript, it is essential that they install it, or
we lose.

Most of our marketing and outreach efforts are targeted towards Customer
Success and Support roles, who often really want our product, but have no
way of installing it without the help of their dev team.

We’ve always relied on them to seek help with installation, but almost half
did not have Upscope installed after one month.

A simple change to our interface and emails we sent out cut that number in

The old way

Before implementing the change, we didn’t think about how a larger company
actually operates.


The user would sign up and be taken to a page with the code to install on
their website, without many instructions. At the top of the page we pointed
out that they could share the page with their dev if needed, but it clearly
wasn’t loud enough.

The old emails

Where we really messed up were the emails: over the course of 3 weeks, we’d
send around 5 emails to new sign ups that did not install the software.

All the emails were reminders that they’d need to install the software, and
we kept asking them why they hadn’t done it yet.

The problem with this is that we were talking to the wrong people. Our users
were never going to install the software themselves, so there was another
conversation between them and their developer which we had no control over.
That needed to change.


The new way

The first change we made was in the UI. After sign up, new users are now asked
with a question: Can you install Upscope yourself?

If they answer “Yes”, we show them the regular installation widget with
the code.

If they answer “No, please talk me through it”, we let them ask us
questions or schedule a phone call with a member of our team (through an
embedded calendly).

If they answer “No, my developer will do it for me”, we let them send an
email to their developer and tell them they can share the page they are
currently on with them. (Will expand on the email that it lets them send their
dev below.)


The new emails

This is where it gets interesting: instead of prompting them to install it, we
prompt them to tell their developer to install it.

To do this, we include a huge button in all emails that lets them send their
developer an email with one click. On top of that, we automatically cc
ourselves in that email so that we can answer developer questions directly and
be on top of things.

The email that the button generates is signed off with our user’s name, and
includes a link with the instructions for installation for their specific
company (no log in necessary).

The results

Allowing our users to easily reach out to their developers with a
pre-formatted message has almost halved the number of sign ups that never
install our software.

The best part is that this result is not driven by trying to persuade our
users to do something they were resisting, but by helping them take the next
step (contacting their developer) without having to think about what to write,
and without having to plug their developer’s email into our app.

How to do this yourself

If you have a product that requires your users sending out an email to a
colleague during on-boarding, you have three choices:

  1. Ask them to do it themselves

  2. Ask for the colleague’s email and do it for them

  3. Use the good ol’ mailto: to create an email for them

It’s very easy to guess why option 1 doesn’t work very well. It makes the
user think about what to write, and it’s very easy for them to put it off
until later.

A lot of people, myself included, wouldn’t be comfortable adding a colleague’s
email in another company’s website as I don’t know how it will be processed.
Will I be able to customize the email? Will they send them more than one
email? You’ll never know.

mailto: works great, however. There’s no thinking on the user’s part, it’s
immediate, and it doesn’t require them sharing their colleague’s email with
your company.

The best thing is that they can even be included in emails you send them,
which means they’d click it when their email software is already opened and it
would literally take them five seconds to send the email.

On top of that, you can cc yourself in the email so that you automatically
join the conversation.

How to craft a mailto: link for Intercom

There are many tools out there that let you create mailto links, but they
often don’t work for intercom because they will encode the brackets needed for
custom attributes.

So, I’ve put together a simple tool that will generate a link that will work
within Intercom! Check out the Codepen app

Do you have Intercom tips and tricks to share with us? Send us an email at!

Learn more about Upscope at

Intercom user?

See a full Intercom email drip campaign you can use as a
to see how
Upscope onboards, educates and retains users. Note: These templates are from
just before the update mentioned above.

Joe d'Elia
Joe d'Elia

Joe d'Elia is Upscope's Chief Technology Officer.