Create a rule-only template to send acknowledgements to your customers when your Support Agents are under pressure. Here’s how to set it up.

Before you start

You’ll need an Admin login to eDesk in order to view, create and edit templates.

Example: Autorespond between 11am and 1pm with an acknowledgement of your customer’s message.

Our rule-only template will do the following when messages arrive during the busiest time period:

  • automatically respond with a prewritten message that thanks the customer for their message and informs them that a member of the Care Team will be in touch before 5pm.
  • add the tag “Autoacknowledged”  to the ticket, so that Support Agents know that the customer has been contacted but expects a follow-up.

You can learn all about rule-only templates here.


First, we’ll create the message in a rule-only template and tell eDesk to send the template during peak hours. Then we’ll set up a rule that automatically performs the following actions:

  • autorespond with the template
  • add the tag “Autoacknowledged”

Note: In this instance, we will use a rule-only template because we want to autorespond with the template during a predefined time period and add a tag to the ticket. However, if we only needed to autorespond with the template during a predefined time period, then it would be more appropriate to use an Autoreply template instead. See here.

We’ll call this template Peak Time Acknowledgement. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Create the template and write the message that will be sent to the customer.

  1. In Settings → Smart Tools → Templates, click + Add Template and select Rule-only from the menu.
  2. In the Template section, enter Peak Time Acknowledgement and tick the Active Template checkbox to make it active once it’s saved.

    Note: Leave the Template Type field unchanged.
    Template Name field
  3. In the Message and Language section, select English from the Language menu and enter text acknowledging the customer’s message into the Message field:
    Message and Language fields
    Note: We don’t want to attach the invoice so don’t click the Attach Invoice checkbox, and we will set up the conditions in the Rule Only tab, so leave the Usage Conditions section unchanged too.

Step 2: Ask eDesk to respond with the template during peak hours only.

  1. We want eDesk to autorespond with our Peak Time Acknowledgement template during the busiest times, which are between 11am and 1pm Monday to Friday. Click the Rule-only tab at the top of the page, and under Date & Time Conditions, click + Add weekly time restriction. Set the time periods for each day of the week as follows:
    Date & Time Conditions fields  

    Note: Leave the Date & Time Conditions - One Off section unchanged. We don’t need to set this up.

  2. In the Autoresponder Options section, set the following:
    • Delay: Leave this unchanged as we don’t need to delay sending the response to the customer.
    • Frequency: set the frequency to Once every 24 hours so that if the customer responds a second time, eDesk won’t send this template again for 24 hours.
    • We want this template to be used for all customers, so we will leave the Exclude fields blank. 
    • We don’t need to add a signature at the bottom of the response so we won’t tick Include the channel signature.
      Autoresponder fields
      Note: We’ll use a rule to configure the other conditions for this template so we will leave the Change Message status field in the Misc section unchanged, and we don’t want to make this template an AI template, so you can ignore the AI Settings tab.
  3. Click Create Template to save the new template.
    The new template is added to the list in Settings > Smart Tools > Templates.

Step 3: Set up the rule and ask eDesk to use it only once per ticket.

  1. Now we’ll set up the new rule that will send the template during peak times and set the tags and status for the ticket. We’ll call this rule Peak Time Acknowledgement but it can have any name. Go to Settings > Smart Tools > Message Rules, click + Add Message rule.  
  2. In the General section:
    • enter the name Peak Time Acknowledgement.
    • tick the Active checkbox to make the rule active once saved.
    • tick the Stop processing further rules if conditions are matched checkbox. 
    • leave the Do not show ‘Rule matched’ note in ticket thread checkbox unticked. We want our Agents to see that eDesk has answered this.
    • tick the Only use once per ticket checkbox. We don’t want eDesk to autorespond with this template to more than one message from a customer for the same ticket.
      General section  
  3. In the Conditions section, set up this condition, which will apply to all customer messages:

    Message Type ANY OF THESE Initial incoming message, Incoming message (excluding initial message)
    Conditions field

Step 4: Bind the template to the rule, and ask it to assign tags and set status for the ticket.

  1. We will now bind our Peak Time Acknowledgement rule-only template to the rule, and tell eDesk to assign tags when the rule conditions match the customer message.
  2. In the Actions section, set up the following:
    • Assign to tags: Autoacknowledged
      Note that we assume these tags have been created already. Click here to learn how to create new tags.
    • Tag assignation mode: Apply all.
    • Assign ticket owner: No assigned owner.
    • Mention users: No mentioned users.
    • Mention user mode: Apply all.
    • Changed ticket status: Don’t change status.
    • Webhook URL: None
    • Bind an Autoresponder: Peak Time Acknowledgement

    Actions section

  3. Click Create Rule to save the rule. That’s it! The rule and template are active and so eDesk will now send the template as an autoresponse when a customer message arrives during peak times and matches the conditions in the rule.

What’s next?

Click here to learn about all the different types of template that you can use with eDesk.