Work With Variables

Help Scout variables are placeholders for generated customer, User, Inbox, and conversation data. Variables are defined using specific text between curly brackets and % signs. Each type of variable has its own set of properties and locations in Help Scout where it can be used.

In this article

Variable Usage

You'll find a dropdown list of valid variables in the top right corner of the editor when editing saved replies, workflow emails, the inbox signature, or your auto reply. Pick one from that list to use it in your template. 

For example, say that you want to automatically insert the customer's first name in a saved reply. Use the {%customer.firstName%} variable to automatically populate the customer's first name when the reply is sent. 

Remember to place all variables between a curly bracket and a % sign.

Variable Fallback Attribute

Use the fallback attribute with variables that might not find a match in every use case. For example, some customer profiles do not contain a first and/or last name, only an email address. The text you want to automatically populate when the variable text isn't available will go into your after fallback=.  

A variable with a fallback looks like this: {%customer.firstName,fallback=there%}

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

Uses and Formatting

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

  • Automatically adding the responding User name, user photos, or other profile fields to the inbox signature.
  • Using the customer's first or full name in the auto-reply greeting.
  • Reference a specific conversation number in a follow-up workflow.

A variable will automatically populate in your templates with the exact text as it appears in the field it's pulling from. You can add formatting around those variables in the templates as needed, or add the data in the fields specifically as you'd like it to appear in the end result, but you cannot alter the text in the field for rendering.  

For example, if the Pronouns field on your user Anjuan Deese is set as they/them, and the Phone Number is set in the field as 555.658.4555 then the variable will automatically populate as they/them and 555.658.4555 exactly as shown. 

Example profile settings: 

Example inbox signature template:


Add characters for formatting before and after a variable by adding it to the template. For example, parentheses around the {%user.pronouns%} variable in the signature template will show the user's pronouns within parentheses in the rendered signature.

There is no method to alter the text within the variable using the templates. If you want the phone number to display as 555-658-4555 rather than 555.658.4555, you would need to change it to that format in the user's profile.

Variable List and Uses

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.subject ✔ 

Inbox Auto Reply Saved Reply Signature Ratings

Ratings Auto Reply Saved Replies Signature Ratings


Note: The Custom From Name in Inbox settings can accept the following variables:, user.fullName, user.firstName, and/or user.lastName. The field does not contain a dropdown to select the variable, but you can manually enter them there.

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