Work with Beacon 1.0

This article refers to Beacon 1.0 - our original Beacon. For help with Beacon 2.0 check out our Beacon collection!

Beacon puts help at your customers' fingertips. With the embed code installed on your website, customers can contact you and search your Docs without leaving the page. Once you create a Beacon in Help Scout, you can copy/paste the embed code before the </body> tag on your site to activate it. 

In this article

About Beacon

Beacon is available on all plans at no extra charge. You can place a Beacon on your home page, a pricing page, or anywhere you'd like to provide a quick and easy way for customers to browse your knowledge base or simply get in touch. 
  • Tightly integrated with Help Scout Docs, allowing your customers to instantly search for articles on any page.
  • You can display recommended articles within a Beacon related to the page a customer is currently viewing. 
  • Beacon Topics on the contact form are mapped to Help Scout tags, so conversations are tagged automatically when created.  
  • Beacons are responsive, so they'll work (and look mighty fine) on all mobile devices. 
  • Highly customizable, allowing you to translate text, or alter the display of your Beacon with a little bit of code editing. 

Types of Beacons

Beacons can be set up as a pop-over, or as a modal. Pop-over Beacons are great if you want to keep the Beacon off to the side, allowing customers access to articles while still looking at the main content on the page. Modal Beacons are helpful if you'd like to tether the Beacon to a call-to-action button or link on the page. 

Pop-over Beacon

Pop-over Beacons are visible on all pages in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. 

Modal Beacon 

Modal Beacons must be attached to a link or button. When activated, the Beacon appears front and center on the page. 

Creating a Beacon


You must be an Administrator to create and manage Beacons. Head over to Manage → Beacons, then click on the New Beacon button at the top of the page.


Give your Beacon a name (not seen by customers) and toggle the Docs search option if you'd like to couple Docs search with your Beacon. You can select which Docs site to search just below the toggle button. If you'd like to include a contact form, flip the switch and pick which mailbox form submissions should be sent to. Hit the Save Beacon button when you're done.


Copy and paste the code before the </body> tag on your site and you're good to go. While your Beacon is usable right away, you'll probably want to customize it just a bit before adding it to your website. Head over to our developer documentation page to learn more about customizing your Beacon.

Common questions

Do I need a Help Scout Docs subscription to use Beacon? 
A Docs subscription is not required to use Beacon. You can just use the standard contact form, which allows customers to select a topic and send submissions right to your Help Scout mailbox. 

Can I place a Beacon behind a protected site or paywall? 
You bet. You can embed the Beacon code on any page, public or protected, and it'll work just fine. 

Is there a limit to how many messages can be sent through a Beacon?
Yes. Within a 60 minute window, no more than 5 messages for any given IP or email address, nor more than 100 messages for any single Beacon can be sent through. 

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