Customer Service

12 Best Drift Alternatives for 2022 [Overview]

by Gosia Szaniawska-Schiavo·Updated
Drift alternatives cover image

In the world of customer relationship management (CRM), Drift provides a unique product. The company offers a combination of live chat, conversational marketing, and conversational sales. Their software is used to help companies grow by maximizing the lifetime value of each customer.

Overall, Drift is best known for customization and great integrations. But there are many alternatives…

Despite the tremendous value it offers, Drift isn’t the right fit for every business. For example, businesses that communicate with non-English-speaking customers will find the platform lacking. That’s why we’ve compiled the best Drift alternatives for you.

In this article, we:

  • Go over the list of the best Drift alternatives
  • Compare what each CRM has to offer relative to Drift
  • Offer some guidance on how to choose the right Drift alternative

If you’re interested in CRM platforms, you can also check out:

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The best Drift alternatives are: 

NameRatingFree PlanPremium Features
1. Tidio4.7/5From $39/mo
2. LiveChat4.5/5From $16/mo
3. LiveAgent4.5/5From $15/mo
4. BirdEye4.8/5From $299/mo
5. Intercom4.4/5Individual cost quotes
6. HubSpot4.4/5From $45/mo
7. HelpCrunch4.7/5From $12/mo
8. Olark4.3/5From $29/mo
9. Zoho CRM4/5Individual cost quotes
10. Gorgias4.7/5From $90/mo
11. FreshSales4.6/5Individual cost quotes
12. Zendesk4.3/5From $25/mo

Drift competitors: overview 

Drift markets itself as a “revenue acceleration platform” and it delivers that acceleration by creating personalized marketing experiences. This means chatbots, messaging platform, and reporting features (including geotargeting) that make customer experiences seamless.

Within the marketing automation industry, Drift has a 1.16% market share. When it comes to the lucrative but competitive live chat category, Drift has a market share of 2.52%, making it the 10th most used live chat software.

Drift is not an industry leader except perhaps in real-time customer communication, but for such a relatively new company, it’s highly competitive. However, many alternatives that have been around for far longer are available, including many with different value propositions.

Why use a Drift alternative?

Drift exists in an ecosystem that’s very dynamic. Different companies have different needs —a startup will require different functionalities compared to an enterprise.

If you’re looking for the best option for your business, you’ll need to comparison-shop. But the good news is that at least one option will certainly fit into your existing customer relations infrastructure.

Most Drift alternatives:

  • Offer a mix of CRM/CSM tools and similar functionalities
  • Fall into a similar price range or offer less costly pricing plans (with some notable exceptions)
  • Offer services meant for a specific type of business, such as customer engagement tools and automation software

So let’s jump right in and compare your options. 

1. Tidio

Tidio's widget

Ratings: 4.7/5 ⭐ (948+ reviews) on G2

Tidio is known for simplicity, quality, and reasonable rates. It also offers some unique features that set it apart from simple web chat applications.

As a low-priced alternative to Drift and its other competitors, Tidio is both less expensive and more comprehensive. It provides a path to multichannel communication with customers while providing your business with crucial customer research.

Better yet, if you’re curious about how Tidio can help your business, you can install Tidio on your website via plugin, API, or JavaScript in a few minutes for free.

Key features

  • Easy to use
  • Free, simple version available
  • Creates customer profiles for enhanced marketing
  • 24/7 multilanguage chatbot customer service
  • Includes easy-to-use chatbot builder
  • Android and iOS apps available
  • Comprehensive knowledge base
  • Multiple integrations (Zapier, Pipedrive, Messenger, Instagram)

Pricing

  • Free plan with unlimited chats for customer messaging for two operators
  • Starter ($39/month/3 operators). Same offerings as free plan plus customer conversations with unlimited visitors, live typing, live website visitors overview, and notifications about customers
  • Team ($79/month/5 operators). Same offerings as starter plan plus quick responses templates, note-taking, and ability to see pages your visitors viewed
  • Scale ($399/month/unlimited operators). All features from the Team plan plus dedicated onboarding provided by Tidio support team, custom roles, and a dedicated chat support consultant
  • 14-day free trial period

2. LiveChat

LiveChat's widget

Ratings: 4.5/5 ⭐ (729+ reviews) on G2

If you’re looking for a simple, cheap, and effective CRM for your website, LiveChat is often a better alternative to Drift. Their name speaks for itself.

LiveChat offers many third-party integrations (for example, WhatsApp), a proactive and high-quality chat service, a sleek-looking chat widget, a functionality to book meetings, and more.

Pros

  • Strong plugins with popular platforms like WordPress, Shopify, and Facebook Messenger
  • Easy to use
  • Great customer service (even the worst customer reviews mention positive experiences with customer service)
  • SMS integration 

Cons

  • Relatively expensive for the range of features offered
  • Some users complain of an ineffective system for avoiding customers’ spam folders

Pricing

  • Starter ($16/month). Offers a basic ticketing system and customization, chat history is limited
  • Team ($33/month). Provides unlimited chat history and has more available features
  • Business ($50/month). Unlocks advanced reporting and work scheduling
  • Enterprise (must contact LiveChat for a quote). Customized to your needs and includes extensive onboarding assistance

3. LiveAgent

LiveAgent's integration options

Ratings: 4.5/5 ⭐ (1,367+ reviews) on G2

LiveAgent (formerly Salesforce Live Agent) is a CRM alternative to Drift that offers most of the typical tools of the industry like live chatbots and ticket routing. In addition, they offer extra coordination tools.

What’s best is that LiveAgent is a great option if you’re looking for more free features. CRM tools can take time for businesses to get accustomed to. LiveAgent offers a surprisingly rich selection of features with their freemium offer.

Pros

  • Free plan is quite comprehensive
  • Good option for small businesses
  • All plans are cheap if you just need one agent
  • Simple UI

Cons

  • Not as comprehensive as much of the competition
  • Limited interoperability

Pricing

  • Free. All basic features
  • Ticket ($15/month/operator). Unlocks the ticket plan
  • Ticket+Chat ($29/month/operator). Grants you tickets + chat
  • All-inclusive ($49/month/operator). Opens the all-inclusive plan with call center functionality, IVR, and hardware IP phone

4. BirdEye

BirdEye's analytics overview

Ratings: 4.8/5 ⭐ (1,414+ reviews) on G2

BirdEye is another all-in-one customer experience platform. It’s relatively popular—the company has at least 60,000 customers. BirdEye, as the name may suggest, focuses on a bird’s eye view of the customer experience. 

To that end, their most complete service package provides ticketing, chat, customizable surveys, analytics, and other basic services. As a Drift alternative, BirdEye offers a lot of analytical insights, albeit at a higher cost.

Pros

  • Modern, centered on user experiences
  • Advanced analytics insights
  • Multiple-purpose integrations (such as Peachtree for invoicing)

Cons

  • Some users complain of difficulties setting up integrations
  • High costs, perhaps prohibitive for many very small businesses

Pricing

  • Standard ($299/month). Provides single location functionality
  • Professional ($399/month). Unlocks listings, reviews, campaigns, and some other interaction features

5. Intercom

Intercom's widget landing page

Ratings: 4.4/5 ⭐ (2,112+ reviews) on G2

Intercom, like LiveAgent, offers an impressive free plan to prospective customers. But their simple, straightforward packages can be applied to a wider range of businesses than Drift’s or LiveAgent’s.

One of the more valuable features Intercom offers is comprehensive lead qualification. That means that customers get the attention they deserve, while Intercom also sorts customers into categories based on the actions they are likely to take.

Pros

  • No-nonsense, online-sales oriented approach
  • Highly customizable
  • Multilingual automated chatbots
  • Complete package for small-to-medium-sized businesses

Cons

  • Some users complain the interfaces are difficult to use
  • High costs

Pricing

Unlike most options on this list, Intercom doesn’t have flat pricing options. Their services are known to be more expensive than most alternatives. To learn about their pricing options, you must contact them and explain your business’s needs to receive a quote. 

6. HubSpot

HubSpot's panel

Ratings: 4.4/5 ⭐ (8,275+ reviews) on G2

Perhaps no comprehensive online marketing comparisons can be complete without including HubSpot. HubSpot offers many online marketing services, one of which is HubSpot Service Hub (CRM). However, if you benefit greatly from Service Hub, their other products can be integrated into your business, offering a powerful combination for growing businesses.

Alternatively to using Drift, you can try HubSpot’s CRM for free and decide if their (pricier) paid service packages are a good fit for your business.

Pros

  • Works with other HubSpot subscriptions for a more complete marketing system
  • Includes an inbound marketing platform
  • Extremely rich range of integrations (such as Slack, SurveyMonkey, Eventbrite)
  • Feature-rich, free package for small businesses 
  • Simple, easy-to-use interfaces

Cons

  • Paid plans are very expensive
  • Limited customer support unless you subscribe

Pricing 

  • Free. Includes most basic features, analytics, email marketing, ticketing, and live chat. It’s ideal for small and growing businesses
  • Starter ($45/month). Provides higher limits for marketing contacts (up to 1,000) and more advanced features such as A/B testing and campaign management
  • Professional ($360/month). Offers all from the Starter plan plus unlocks more advanced features such as contact scoring, custom surveys, and forecasting
  • Enterprise ($1,200/month). Unlocks all advanced features and provides priority support and advanced automation features

7. HelpCrunch

HelpCrunch's panel

Ratings: 4.7/5 ⭐ (165+ reviews) on G2

HelpCrunch combines CRM with online marketing functionalities you won’t find in other Drift alternatives.

You should consider HelpCrunch if you’re looking for a versatile CRM platform that factors in email marketing in addition to the standard suite of CRM features. The typical profiles of HelpCrunch customers include SaaS companies and ecommerce companies.

Pros

  • Free trial
  • Relatively inexpensive for the number of features you get
  • Interchannel communication interface

Cons

  • Some users complain of occasionally sluggish performance
  • No fully free version

Pricing

  • Basic ($12/month/operator). Offers widgets, popups, a help desk, and educational resources. Also provides basic automation
  • Pro ($29/month/operator). Opens more of the above and adds unlimited messages, advanced automation, and customization
  • Enterprise (must contact sales to receive a quote). Personal onboarding assistance, a customized package to meet the needs of large enterprises, plus all the features from Basic and Pro plans

8. Olark

Olark's chat panel

Ratings: 4.3/5 ⭐ (220+ reviews) on G2

As a Drift alternative, Olark puts a lot of focus on personalization. The “human touch” is a concept that’s growing in marketing in customer relations. Olark realizes that and is perhaps a bit ahead of the curve. 

Olark includes typical CRM features like automatic FAQ chats, ticketing, and more. But they stand apart when it comes to the small touches that work. Attention-grabbing but subtle interfaces may sound small, but Olark’s practices resonate with customers, who give the platform great reviews. If you want a simple, grounded, and very inexpensive channel for customer relations, Olark is worth considering.

Pros

  • Advanced personalization features
  • Low-cost compared to its competitors
  • Ease of use
  • Comprehensive for the price tag

Cons

  • Not as many features as other Drift alternatives
  • Not as dynamic as many other solutions
  • No free plan

Pricing

  • 14-day free trial. No freemium plan
  • Basic ($29/month/operator). Standard features without AI bots 
  • Pro version (individual pricing). Includes support automation

9. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM's panel

Ratings: 4/5 ⭐ (2,083+ reviews) on G2

Zoho CRM is focused on providing mid-sized businesses with contact management, sales funnels, and omnichannel customer interactions. They provide forecasting and various analytics as a part of their service packages. In its totality, Zoho CRM goes above and beyond the scopes of many other Drift alternatives.

In fact, it’s a fully-fledged customer management system with a longer list of features than many of the other entries on this list. Their less typical features include sales force automation, lead management tools, and gamification tools. Many SMBs also use Zoho CRM and Zoho’s other flagship products in tandem.

Pros

  • Strong emphasis on data security and privacy
  • Wide range of features
  • Relatively low costs for what you get
  • Sales tools

Cons

  • Some users complain about UI failures
  • Sometimes slow
  • Can be hard to use

Pricing

  • Standard ($14/month/operator). Offers basic marketing assistance, mass emails, and workflow features
  • Professional ($23/month/operator). Provides inventory management and tools for sales teams
  • Enterprise ($40/month/operator). Opens advanced customization options, mobile SDK, and MDM, plus more options
  • Ultimate ($52/month/operator). Unlocks the most advanced features and almost unlimited use

10. Gorgias

Gorgias' panel

Ratings: 4.7/5 ⭐ (69+ reviews) on G2

Gorgias is the one CRM here totally dedicated to the customer management of ecommerce companies. More specifically, it was designed uniquely for Shopify, but works well with BigCommerce and Magento. 

While Gorgias offers most of the features typically associated with CRM software, they follow up with features like social media sentiment analysis and loyalty plans. These features are meant to make the sales and customer loyalty processes more seamless.

Pros

  • Easy implementation
  • Chatbot templates
  • High quality, comprehensive analytics
  • Ecommerce-focused
  • Seamless, powerful integrations

Cons 

  • Technical difficulties due to frequent updates
  • Relatively expensive

Pricing

  • Basic ($90/month). All basic features, but limited tickets
  • Pro ($450/month). Allows more tickets than with the Basic plan. Also provides Magento integration
  • Advanced ($1,130/month). same as the Pro plan but with a dedicated Success Manager

11. FreshDesk Messaging

FreshDesk's panel

Ratings: 4.6/5 ⭐ (958+ reviews) on G2

FreshDesk Messaging from FreshSales (formerly known as FreshChat) provides sales enablement technology, as well as CRM features offered by Drift and other alternatives you’re by now quite familiar with.

For sales enablement purposes, FreshSales offers personalized and automated email campaigns. In addition, the all-in-one sales and marketing tool offers lead and customer qualification. In terms of regular CRM features, they offer automated chat available in dozens of languages.

 Pros

  • Intuitive, customizable interfaces
  • Advanced forecasting, analytics and insights
  • Enhanced sales processes
  • Rich marketing features

Cons

  • Only the most expensive plans have great features
  • No third-party integrations

Pricing 

  • Freemium. The free package includes 24/5 support with chat, email, and phone support. Mobile app features are also provided.
  • Growth ($15/month/operator). Includes sales sequences, WhatsApp Business integration and visual sales pipeline
  • Pro ($39/month/operator). Includes all of the above plus 3k chatbot conversations and sales management
  • Enterprise ($69/month/operator). Offers all features from the plans above plus custom modules, AI-powered forecasts, and a dedicated account manager

12. Zendesk

Zendesk's panel

Ratings: 4.3/5 ⭐ (3,590+ reviews) on G2

If you’re looking for an alternative to Drift, it makes sense to consider another trusted industry leader. Zendesk is active globally, offering chatbots and other services in dozens of languages. They serve over 85,000 businesses worldwide.

As a versatile SaaS platform, it offers “Zendesk Support” and “Zendesk Support Suite” packages. These options fit in with most small- to medium-sized business needs.

Pros

  • Comprehensive management customization
  • Useful alerts and escalation management system
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Some users complain of technical challenges with data migration

Pricing 

  • Suite Team ($49/month). This plan includes all basic features (live chat, ticketing system, email automation) with some limitations
  • Suite Growth ($79/month). It provides all the features from the Suite Team plan but with limitations that are acceptable for bigger teams
  • Suite Professional ($99/month). Unlocks the full range of services
  • Enterprise (You must contact Zendesk for a quote). These packages are more comprehensive and personalized, but of course, come at a much higher cost

Conclusions: how to choose the best Drift alternative 

The key to choosing the best Drift alternative is choosing the CRM software that suits your business’s unique needs.

For example, an ecommerce company may find one option to be excellent, but that same option may be awful for another business. So, it’s important to consider factors such as:

  • Industry
  • Budget
  • Business size
  • Workflow complexity

To make matters simpler for you, we’ve compiled some of the companies that are more useful based on your business’s specifications. 

Best overall:

Best for very small businesses:

Best for eCommerce:

Best for additional sales features:

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Gosia Szaniawska-Schiavo
Gosia Szaniawska-Schiavo

As a Senior Content Writer by heart and trade, Gosia explores the subjects of digital experience and trend watching on Tidio's blog.

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