What is Drift?
Drift is described as a conversational marketing platform with features geared toward gathering quality leads, closing sales, and marketing. It’s a technologically advanced, powerful, and feature-rich solution with around 50,000 customers.
Table of Contents
- What is Drift?
- Drift Review Summary
- Drift Pricing & Cost
- Drift Features
- Drift Customer Support
- Drift vs. Competitors
- Is Drift Right For You?
Drift Review Summary
Drift is described as a conversational marketing platform, with features to support live chat, lead engagement, and marketing. With over 50,000 customers and more than 400 employees, it’s one of the largest messaging and marketing platforms. Drift describes their product as a “Revenue Acceleration Platform” because of the focus on lead capture, sales, and personalized account engagement.
Drift provides a large suite of products including live chat, chatbots, advanced reports, and information-rich visitor attributes. There are three plans to choose from: Free, Premium, and Enterprise. While Drift doesn’t publish pricing details, we know from speaking with customers that prices can hover around $80 per month per seat. There is also a discounted startup plan with three pricing tiers based on how much funding a startup has.
Customer complaints generally center around negative experiences with Drift’s customer service and billing practices. Some small businesses have mentioned they felt undervalued because they weren’t paying for enterprise plans, while others were charged even after they requested plan cancellations. Others are pleased with the functionality that Drift provides.
Overall, Drift is one of the most powerful—and expensive—choices on the market. It’s definitely ideal for sales teams and shouldn’t be considered if you’re just looking for a basic support tool. A few common alternatives are listed below.
Drift Pricing & Cost
Drift pricing starts at roughly $600 per month for 10 seats on the Premium plan and additional seats are priced at $80 per month. Enterprise customers should expect to pay thousands of dollars per month. The company also charges a fixed platform fee for all customers.
- Free: Free for live chat and one seat only
- Premium: Pricing starts at roughly $600 per month for 10 seats; $80 for each additional seat
- Enterprise: Price range unknown; best for large to enterprise businesses
- Startup Program: $500 for 10 seats; three tiers based on startup funding amount
Drift Key Features
Drift’s key features are outlined below. We’ll discuss how each can support your organization’s customer support, engagement, or sales goals. Along with descriptions of Drift, we’ll include images of the interface to provide a sense of what the tool looks like.
To learn more about how we research and rate software tools, read about SoftwarePundit’s review methodology.
Drift’s live chat feature is offered for free. With this tool, Drift customers can connect with their website visitors to provide support and capture leads. This feature is on par with the power and usability of similar live chat tools. There is an inbox on the company side and a standard widget that visitors will use to chat with agents.
The Conversations Inbox opens as a separate tab from the dashboard, or you can choose to download the Drift desktop application to house chats separately. Open and closed conversations can be viewed. All essential functions are included.
During active conversations, you’ll see this view:
Actions that agents can take in the inbox include:
- Schedule meetings with the visitor
- Send files and emojis
- Type preset commands (e.g., to send transcripts to visitor)
- Add tags to conversations
- Mark as a Conversation Qualified Lead (CQL)
- View visitor information and site activity
Though messages are delivered instantaneously, we found that the inbox states that visitors are typing even when they’re not or when they’ve already left the chat. These are fairly small details, but ones we felt were worth noting.
Unlike simpler solutions, Drift allows you to pull in customer data from other systems that can be used for segmentation, content personalization, and rich reporting.
Drift Intel, which is included in the Premium plan, gathers data from third-party sources like Crunchbase, SixSense, and ZoomInfo to augment your contact profiles. Example fields include visitor name, contact details, company name, and industry.
The Enterprise plan comes with Drift Audiences, which allows you to pull in data from your other systems. The company has integrations with most large software tools including Marketo and Salesforce. Below is an example of audience data:
The data stored in Drift is used to create basic and advanced marketing campaigns known as Playbooks. Playbooks are Drift’s targeted email and chat messages, which are often sent with the intent of actively greeting visitors, capturing visitor information, and routing visitors to the correct department. When building these messages, you’ll write the content, set the target audience, and set display rules. This section makes it easy to create all different types of targeted messages from the same tab.
When creating a Playbook from scratch, you’ll choose between a chatbot & live chat Playbook or a Landing Page Playbook. You’ll select the specific web page you’d like the Playbook to be active on and choose from a variety of types:
Below is an image of what building the full-screen takeover looks like.
Drift provides detailed metrics on how each chat and email Playbook performs. This section is slightly more detailed and laid out more intuitively than campaign metrics in other platforms. An example of the information Drift provides is below:
- Number of impressions, or how many times the Playbook was shown to visitors
- Number of sends, or how many times the Playbook was sent to visitors
- Number of conversations started from Playbook
- Amount of emails captured from conversations
- Amount of meetings were booked from conversations
There’s a breakdown of numbers for each day. These reports can be exported, customers can change the date range, and metrics can be viewed by day, week, or month.
Chatbots are software programs designed to converse with visitors when your company’s chat agents are not online. Bots often handle customer concerns after business hours and Drift’s bots can complete tasks like gathering contact information, providing answers to simple FAQs, and prompt visitors to schedule a meeting with the in-application calendar integration.
Drift’s chatbots are built in a workflow builder, where you’ll construct the conversation “tree”.
The chatbots can also:
- Notify visitors of team availability
- Send emails to remind contacts to schedule appointments
- Save reusable keyword groups
To help their customers understand how they’re performing and how their visitors are engaging, Drift offers a detailed reports section. There are reports on playbooks, chat performance, meetings, team performance, routing, email playbooks, and sales information if you have that integrated. Overall, this section is complex and incredibly detailed. It’s likely one of the most detailed reports you’ll find across chat softwares.
Below are a few images of Drift reports:
Below is a more detailed breakdown of metrics included in the reports section:
Drift offers some more features, which are briefly described below.
|Drift Email||Drift Email can be integrated with email campaign building tools, like Mailchimp, and will act as an email manager tool.|
|Drift Video||Drift Video enables you to record sales videos to engage your customers. These videos can be personalized and sent to individual customers. You’ll be able to see metrics concerning who has watched which videos and for how long.|
|Calendar Integration||All plans come with a calendar integration feature to easily set time to meet with visitors and potential clients. The two paid plans come with the calendar application in the chat.|
Drift has significantly fewer pre-built integrations than major competitor Intercom. However, there are many crucial integrations, including one with Zapier, which will allow you to independently build integrations with over 3,000 applications.
Drift Customer Support
Drift only offers support over live chat, and each conversation will be routed through the Drift Bot to connect you with the right team. There are a few emails published on the Drift website for specific inquiries.
|Customer Support Channels||Live Chat|
|Other Support Resources||Help Center, Blog Articles, Demo Videos, Live Demos|
|Application Status Page||Yes|
Drift Alternatives & Competitors
Drift competes most directly with Intercom. Most of the other solutions listed below are geared towards smaller companies and offer a smaller range of tools.
Is Drift Right For You?
Drift is a highly advanced customer engagement software that’s geared towards large teams across the entire sales funnel. A high price accompanies the power that it offers, and while the exact price ranges aren’t publicly available information, it will likely cost hundreds of dollars a month for non-enterprise customers. It’s likely not the right choice for those searching for a basic live chat tool due to its complexity. This platform is best for larger companies but can also work for smaller organizations that are willing to work with an advanced and expensive tool.
For our top alternatives, check out the following options.
If you are interested in trying Drift's chat-only plan, sign up here.