Create 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! They'll automatically be available after 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 Settings > Auto Reply.

Enter your reply subject in the Subject field. We default to Re: {%subject%} in the subject field as this is a standard reply subject line, but you are free to change that as you like. Enter the body of your reply in the Message field. Use variables to auto populate information. See Work With Variables for more there. 


Toggle the switch to enable or disable sending the Auto Reply. 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.

A Note about the From Name

The Auto Reply will use the From as is set in your Mailbox Settings on the Auto Reply message. This means if the From there is set to the Mailbox name or a Custom Name, that's what will go out on your Auto Reply message as well. If you've used a User variable in your custom From setting, that will populate with the Account Owner's name on the Auto Reply. 

If your Mailbox is set to the Help Scout User name for the From, it will show the Mailbox name in the Auto Reply instead. 

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 a conversation that existed 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 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 exist in the email — this keeps us from having your auto reply reply to someone else's auto reply and create a big loop of auto replies! 

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 want to check in with your IT team or email administrator to get those removed. 

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