Working with variables

Help Scout variables are placeholders for generated customer, User, mailbox, and conversation data. Variables are defined using specific text between curly brackets and % signs. Each type of variable has its own set of properties. For example, User variables pull data from the Help Scout User profile. 

In this article

Variable usage

When editing saved replies, workflow emails, the mailbox signature, or your auto-reply, you'll find a dropdown list of valid variables in the top-right corner of the editor. To insert a variable, just open the menu and pick one from the list. 

Let's say you wanted to automatically insert the customer's first name in a saved reply. Using the  {%customer.firstName%} variable will automatically populate the customer's first name when the reply is sent; that way, you don't have to type it out manually when the editor is open. Remember to place all variables between a curly bracket and a % sign. 

Variable fallback attribute 

Use the fallback attribute with variables that might not populate with the correct or appropriate data in every use case. For example, some customer profiles do not contain a first and/or last name, only an email address. A variable with a fallback looks like this: {%customer.firstName,fallback=there%}!

In our example above, if the customer has a first name populated on their profile, let's say "John" in this case, the variable output would read: Hi John! If no first name was present, the variable output would read: Hi there! 

Common use cases

Here are a few common scenarios where variables are super handy: 

  • Automatically adding the responding User name and job title to the mailbox signature. 
  • Using the customer's first or full name in the auto-reply greeting. 
  • Reference a specific conversation number in a follow-up workflow. 
  • Add the mailbox email address to the signature alongside other options to get help. 

Complete variable list

Certain variables can only be used in certain areas of Help Scout. Follow the tables below to see where specific variables can be used. 

User  Auto Reply Saved Replies Signature Ratings






Customer  Auto Reply Saved Replies Signature Ratings

Conversation Auto Reply Saved Replies Signature Ratings
conversation.number  ✔ 

Mailbox Auto Reply Saved Reply Signature Ratings

Ratings Auto Reply Saved Replies Signature Ratings

ratings.url ✔ 
ratings.great ✔ 
ratings.okay ✔ 
ratings.bad ✘  ✔ 
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