Creating a mailbox auto reply

Using an auto reply is a great way to let your customers know that you’ve received their message, and that someone will be in touch soon. This is all about how to create auto-replies.

Note: Brand new to Help Scout and looking for your auto-reply settings?  Give us a shout and we'll switch them on, as we keep those hidden for the first 24 hours

Edit and enable the auto reply

When a customer emails your mailbox, Help Scout can send an auto-reply to the customer immediately. One auto-reply is sent per conversation, so the customer won’t receive more than one in a 24-hour period.

Admins can quickly toggle your auto-reply on/off, or make changes to the message as needed over time. Note that only administrators and account owners will have access to this setting.

Open a mailbox, then head over to SettingsAuto Reply.

Fill in the subject field and write up your reply.


Toggle the switch to enable or disable  sending of this reply when new messages are received. Check the Office Hours option if you only want to send your auto-reply outside of regular business hours. 


Click on the blue Save button when you’re finished.

Troubleshooting the auto reply

As mentioned above, for all new conversations, we only send one auto reply per customer, per 24 hours. In other words, if a customer were to email you twice back-to-back, they'd only receive one auto reply for the first conversation. If you'd rather your customers receive an auto reply for  every new conversation, let us know and we can flip a switch on the back-end to make that happen. 

We don't send auto replies when customers reply to pre-existing conversations. This means that if a customer replies to an email that was created before your auto reply was set up, they wouldn't receive an auto reply.

If you're testing the auto reply, make sure you're not using the words "auto" or "reply" anywhere in the subject or body of your test message. We have some logic in place to suppress the auto reply when those words are detected - mainly to prevent an email loop. 

And lastly, if you're still not seeing the auto reply, take a quick look at your email headers for your test message. Check out the Thread Options menu, then click on the Show Original option, followed by the Headers tab at the top of the modal. You're looking for these headers: 

  • Precedence: bulk
  • auto-submitted: auto-generated
  • X-Auto-Response-Suppress: DR, OOF, AutoReply

If see any of those entries, you'll need to snag someone with access to your mail server to have them removed.

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