3 AI-Driven Drift Alternatives: Elevate Customer Experience for Free

In this analysis, we explored alternatives to Drift, a popular conversational marketing tool. Our focus was on alternatives like Collect.chat, Chatra.io, and Crisp.chat, each providing unique features for customer engagement and support. We delved into aspects such as ease of installation, user interface, and pricing structures. This guide is ideal for businesses seeking effective communication tools for improving customer interaction and support, offering detailed comparisons to inform a well-rounded decision.

Any marketer striving for greens knows how important it is to connect with the audience and establish a rapport that makes way for two-way conversation.

In addition, on every marketing guide out there – whether it’s a 400-word blog or a 5000-word ebook, the single point hammered into our heads repeatedly, over and over again is how crucial it is to connect with the customers in a meaningful and relevant way.

Good Customer support wins you some brownie points. Optimizing a marketing strategy for maximum traction and conversions is a matter of getting your prospects and customers on the same wavelength as you and that’s where conversational marketing plays a big role.

As is clear by the term, conversational marketing is a marketing strategy that enables you to have one-to-one interaction with a prospect or a customer. This conversation can be had across one of the several marketing channels available.

Why do we need conversational marketing?

The first step in marketing to a consumer is understanding their pain points, to get a good grasp over the kind of problem they want solving.

And arguably the best way to go about it is hearing it directly from the customer, in unfiltered words and over a medium that does not let the message lost in translation.

Conversational marketing provides you that medium through which you empower your customer to communicate with your brand more closely than ever, instead of them having to fill up lengthy forms or respond to pop-ups or steer clear of the instinct to unsubscribe from your mailing list.

Conversational marketing uses techniques like having live chatbots on a brand’s website which gives brands the chance to interact with site visitors in real-time or design targeted messaging that transcends over the routine drivel of marketing to reach the right customer at the right time.

Having talked about the importance of one-to-one interaction, it is equally imperative to know that tricks like cold calling don’t belong to this stratagem, neither does sending out generic emails to prospects.

These methods are highly impersonal in nature, do not take into account a customer’s journey or specific wants and do not leave any room for scalability.

As someone using the principles of conversational marketing, all your marketing efforts – content marketing, digital marketing, SEO, etc. – get a major shot in the arm.

The Different Conversational Marketing Tools

Now you know how conversational marketing will grow your business, it is time to know which tools can help you to create a winning conversational marketing strategy.

There are several tools available in the marketplace, and each comes with a bevvy of benefits. But let’s focus our attention on the tool that is the market leader in the conversational marketing domain, and is holding the top position in this field. The tool in question here is Drift.

What is Drift all about?

Drift provides a range of services within the conversational marketing ambit, namely cloud-based chatbot, direct messaging within the app and a solution for management for emails targeted towards and sales and marketing departments.

It serves as the ideal platform for a brand to provide a modern buying experience to customers and ensure that the quality of the leads being generated is high.

Talking of lead quality, it surely is a sore point for a majority of marketers out there. Any marketer has a myriad of tools available either free of cost or at affordable prices (some are even able to secure funds for expensive tools) in order to maximize the number of leads being collected to be forwarded to the sales team.

However, one compromise that is made in this race to generate a huge number of leads is the quality of leads.

There is no point in having a huge stock of contacts of your website visitors who may have landed on your website due to X number of reasons and buying is probably languishing at the bottom of their priority list.

This is what leads to being a major point of conflict between the sales and marketing teams. Sales team needs people who have at least a real intention to buy when browsing the website, they don’t want people who were casually browsing.

There’s a lot you can do with Drift, like setting up your sales team’s calendar.

drift alternative

With Drift, you get the wherewithal and tools to ensure the lead quality is great, just so it becomes easier for the sales team to convert a lead into a customer, because that customer has expressed interest in buying through a one-to-one conversation which happens through mediums like in-app messages, on-page surveys, real-time chats, etc.

For sales and marketing professionals, Drift provides a goldmine of data as soon as a visitor starts conversing with a website.

Drift gives real-time information about which page the visitor is currently browsing. In case the visitor inputs their email address on the website’s pop-up or opt-in form, Drift displays the side profile drawer wherein the other information pertaining to the visitor like their social media account links, their company or job profile, the demographic data, etc. are available to the Drift user.

Moving forward, the Drift user can start the conversation with a visitor himself or can assign it to other agents, using features like full-page takeover and slider messages.

drift alternative

A challenge faced by most companies indulging in email marketing is that the open rate is very low. And if we consider the clicks on the links shared in the email, that makes for an even more discouraging number.

This is where Drift proves to be valuable. You have a handle on things like establishing the base with the customer at just the right time, and this is where the features like customer triggers prove to be of great use.

This real-time reach proves to be handy as you can nudge customer through a buyer journey much more smoothly.

Driftbot , the chatbot feature of Drift, brings the power of artificial intelligence to chatbots. Not every chatbot you come across the web has artificial intelligence empowering it, those chatbots need tons of manual input of the kind of possible queries that customer is expected to ask.

But with Driftbot, everything is dealt with intelligently, it can study patterns and come up with the most ideal answers to customer’s queries; thus ensuring that customer feels you have a good grasp over their challenges and requirements, thus boosting the customer-brand relationships.

With Drift, you can create a profile that further allows you to set up your digital business card. Those who feel intimidated by the sound of it, don’t worry – it happens to be an extremely user-friendly process as it is a matter of just a few clicks.

It builds a customizable page which can be shared with the professionals you are doing business with. What this does that it makes you reachable at all times.

Installing Drift is easy. It can be done by installing a JavaScript widget in simple steps and there you go, live chat is enabled on your website. The entire setup does not take much time either.

Update: With Drift Fastlane, customers no longer have to fill out forms and wait for the company to connect back. Instead, they can have conversations with sales instantly – or book a future meeting – without ever leaving the website.

Your marketing and sales data isn’t unified – it’s spread across multiple systems, and different departments are using different systems. This makes it difficult to pull together the information you need to do the best work for your customers. You can unify these data and perform better in terms of revenue with personalized conversations from Drift.

Prioritize the most important accounts and organize the followup from single Drift interface. Automatically route the replies and conversations among the teammates who can deal with right information.

Drift Pricing

Adding to the usefulness of Drift are its pricing plans that suit different kinds of pockets – whether they are deep or on a budget. Whether you are just starting out with your business or are handling the online marketing operations of a huge enterprise, there is a package for everybody.

drift alternative and pricing

Free plan: Don’t go by a preconceived notion that if a plan comes free of cost, it is of not much use. While this may still be true of a lot of tools out there, Drift ensures that even the customers who don’t have a budget but wish to boost their marketing efforts through conversational marketing have a lot to choose from.

They can implement chatbot on their website for real-time chat with the website visitors. The profiles can also be created with this plan and for those who have a decent mobile presence can use Drift as a mobile app tool as well.

With this plan, you can send 150 emails a month. There are limited integration options available, with Slack and Vidyard.

Standard Plan of $50: With the Standard plan, you do have to part with some of your cherished cash, but it is surely not a lot of cash, especially considering what you get in exchange.

It enables you to engage with more purpose with your leads. Apart from the features that are part of the Free plan, you also get the option to design custom greetings, get a live view of who is visiting your website in real time, and use the email sequences feature.

It allows more integrations, so in addition to Slack and Vidyard, you can also integrate with Knowledgebase and Zapier. The Standard plan allows you to send 150 emails in a day.

Pro Plan of $500: So, from a decently priced plan of $50, Drift jumps right away to the $500 price tag. As you would imagine, the Pro plan is for businesses that spend big and earn bigger.

Apart from the features like bot playbook, automated meetings, this plan helps your marketing team to push activities to CRM. you get the Calendar Drop feature.

As for the number of emails you can send out, it is at 150 emails per day. But what truly makes this plan stand out is the integration capabilities. You can integrate Drift with a range of other platforms, namely Hubspot, Salesforce, Vidyard, Outreach, Zapier, Slack and Segment.

Drift alternatives

Having gone over the features and pricing of Drift in depth, it is important to also look at a few good alternatives before you make your mind up on where should your money go.

So while there are a bunch of conversational marketing platforms other than Drift, we will talk about the ones that give some serious competition to Drift.

3 AI-Driven Drift Alternatives: Elevate Customer Experience for Free 1
Drift G2 review[01] Drift G2 review

1.) Trustworthy alternative to Drift: Collect.chat

Collect.chat is a highly intuitive chatbot builder that can be used by novices and experts alike to set up interactive chatbots on their websites.

It allows for simple drag and drops functionality for you to build live chat support on your website.

  • Those who feel intimidated by the prospect of writing programming codes in order for their website to display chatbots can use Collect.chat. Also, you get the live chat functionality at an affordable price.
  • This tool comes with a number of question templates. These prove handy for users who find it hard, especially in the beginning to form the relevant questions that can elicit a response from the website visitors. There are personalization options available as well.
drift alternative

Collect.chat also allows for fast and easy installation. There are different ways you can install it. You can either add a code snippet to your website or install the WordPress plugin for this tool or simply send the snippet over the email or any other medium to your developer.

The admin dashboard is very interactive and visually easy to manage the different functions provided. The powerful visualizations on the dashboard enable easy tracking and you get a clear-eyed view of the customer responses and other insights.

3 AI-Driven Drift Alternatives: Elevate Customer Experience for Free 2
Best chatbot service discussion Quora [02] Best chatbot service discussion Quora

Collect.chat Pricing

The Collect.chat plans start from a free plan and go all the way up to $99.

drift alternative
Parameters Drift vsCollect.chat
What do we like?Best Chatbot service for websitesVery easy to set and get started
What we don’t like? Expensive
No built-in AI
 No free trial for premium plans
Best forB2B companies with large trafficBig businesses
PricingN/APaid plan @ $24/mo

2.) Excellent Drift alternative : Chatra.io

On its website, Chatra.io poses a question for you – “Are you there when your visitors need you?” – and provides an efficient answer to that as well. Through its wide range of impressive features, it makes sure that your visitors’ grievances or simple queries are never left unanswered.

Chatra.io helps a great deal in boosting sales by answering questions that prevent visitors from converting into buyers.

When you realize that a visitor just needs a nudge at the pricing page or at a checkout stage, you can chat with them online and clear their concerns. And not just sell to new customers, it can prove very handy to cross-sell and upsell too.

drift alternative

Email marketing is one marketing technique that has only become more important with the emergence of Smartphones. Chatra.io proves to be a great assist for you to build an email list.

As and when customer ask a question through the Chatra.io bot, their emails get stored so that you can use it for your marketing endeavors.

Cart abandonment is a major pain point for e-commerce players all across the globe. In fact, 69% of carts do not get to the checkout stage, which ultimately leads to a huge loss in revenue.

But with Chatra.io, you can display custom messages during exit that the users can respond to, explaining why they are abandoning the cart so that you can help them with their concern and turn the loss into conversion.

Chatra.io can be great to collect actionable feedback, which can help you identify common problems and deep dive into what your customers really want.

3 AI-Driven Drift Alternatives: Elevate Customer Experience for Free 3
Chatra.io Quora discussion [03] Chatra.io Quora discussion

Chatra.io Pricing

drift alternative

While Chatra.io provides the free trial option, you can also use their Free Forever plan if you want it for a small enterprise. Their plan for bigger businesses comes at $15 per agent per month if billed annually or $19 per month if you choose to be billed monthly.

Parameters Drift vs Chatra.io
What do we like?Best Chatbot service for websitesPersistent conversation for the same users making it very humanlike.
What we don’t like? Expensive
No built-in AI
The chat is laggy
Best forB2B companies with large trafficE-commerce businesses
PricingN/APaid plan @ $15/agent/mo

3.) Reliable drift alternative: Crisp.chat

The live chat support marketplace has another hotly pursued tool in the form of Crisp.chat. Owing to its growing line up of features, this tool has been making a serious impact on the market.

A brief overview of crisp features on their website:

drift alternative

The customer support implemented using Crisp.chat is very modern and chic. You can have the support implemented across multiple channels, integrating an advanced form of messaging customer experiences using modern messaging.

The messaging can be trigger-based, and your website visitors can start conversations with your agents also via popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Slack, etc. The visitor messages are stored in a shared inbox and can be picked up by any agent for responding to them.

Crisp.chat also serves as a fantastic marketing tool, especially if you are looking to strengthen your email marketing efforts.

You can Retarget customers and visitors by using Crisp.chat to send targeted emails and in-app messages. You are provided a Crisp user management system, using which it becomes effortless to manage, edit, and export all the information pertaining to your users and leads.

You can run “Crisp Drip Campaigns” and use the contextual information captured during past and current conversations.

3 AI-Driven Drift Alternatives: Elevate Customer Experience for Free 4
Crisp chat Capterra review [04]Crisp chat Capterra review

Crisp pricing

As for the pricing, Crisp offers 3 plans. The Free forever feature is for small websites that need to have a basic live chat feature, and it allows for 2 seats.

For startups that are looking to boost their customer-brand relationship, the Pro plan starting at $25 is a good bet and allows for 4 seats.

As for those looking at large scale implementation, the Unlimited Plan comes at $95 and, staying true to its name, offers unlimited seats.

drift alternative

So, if you are looking at alternatives to Drift, you have got a pretty good list of alternatives in the form of the 3 tools mentioned above.

Parameters Dirft vsCrisp .io
What do we like?Best Chatbot service for websitesAffordable pricing with a powerful feature set.
What we don’t like? Expensive
No built-in AI
The interface is not very good.
Best forB2B companies with large trafficStartups and mid-sized businesses.
PricingN/APaid plan @ $25/mo

Having said that, there are many more in the marketplace, and it’s better to know about as many as you can before you take a call.

Let’s highlight some more options that you can look at:


Livechat is an interesting option to look at when scouting for conversational marketing platforms. It proves an array of features to ensure that your visitors remain engaged with your website and you have a handle on their requirements and challenges.


Botengine keeps things interactive and user-friendly, when adding some automation to your website to keep your marketing endeavors conversational and effective.


As playful as the name sounds, Smooch.io keeps things free of fluff or unnecessary complications, making the task of setting up the tool easy and worthwhile.


As the name suggests, Manychat.com facilitates live chat with website visitors at the most convenient times to ensure they are never left in the lurch, not being able to find answers to the most pressing of questions. So while this is an impressive lineup of tools that also saves on your capital, it does lack the sheer scale of the features and capabilities that Drift and, for that matter, Collect.chat, Chatra.io,  and Crisp.chat provide. These are relatively lightweight live chat tools but worth pondering over.

How does Intercom stack up against Drift

The marketing industry reserves a special place for Intercom, considering the fact that it has helped businesses from all industries expand their reach and grow exponentially over the years. It is touted as a great solution for customer support.

The messaging feature of Intercom has enabled hordes of businesses to send targeted messages to their visitors and convert them into paying customers.

This conversion is aided by the inbox feature that helps in assigning, replying and closing conversations with visitors.

The integrations of Intercom with different platforms doesn’t leave much to be desired, since all bases are well covered, right from Mailchimp, Marketo, Facebook to JustCall, Toky, Leadbridge.

So, one can say that Intercom is an all-in-one tool that can manage customer support on various channels.

When you compare intercom with Drift, on the surface level there appears to be very little to choose between.

Intercom does a great job of qualifying your leads based on their activities and browsing behaviour or your website or app so that you send out the most relevant messages.

Drift and Intercom are very similar in this regard because both use certain criteria before establishing a connection with the visitor, for example, a visitor browsing a pricing page for the fourth time is treated differently than a visitor browsing the ‘About Us’ page.

The Inbox feature in Intercom is pretty dynamic as it includes varied automated workflows, which serve as a great aid for agents to cut back on the time spent on non-productive tasks.

The Operator Bot is highly intelligent and intuitive as it can predict the intent of your leads and throw at you some very useful suggestions.

Drift goes a little further as it facilitates conversation with the visitors and customers in real-time. When a user’s concerns are being addressed instantly, they would invest more trust in a website and thus are more likely to convert into a buyer; this real-time interaction serves as a great enabler for that conversion.

In addition, Every agent with Drift has a standalone profile page to themselves, which makes it easy for customers to touch base with them for any query or issue.

This gives a more human touch to the brand-customer interaction as customers are not made to feel like they are interacting with bots.

For every solution that Intercom provides, you have to deal with different products. Drift, on the other hand, integrates all the features into a single, robust platform.

The pricing structure of Intercom is a little unusual, as it depends on the number of Active Users your website or mobile app is drawing in a month.

There is further segregation – so you have plans divided into categories like All of Intercom, Marketing plans, Sales plans, and Support plans. Under the first plan, the plan starts from $136, the Pro plan comes at $202 and the Premium plan can be discussed with the Intercom team.

The pricing strategy for Drift is also more amicable as you are paying only once for the entire platform, instead of paying separately for separate features, as is the case with Intercom. The support services of Drift and Intercom do leave a room for improvement. The phone-based support in case of Intercom is nearly non-existing while the email support in Drift is a no-show for a lot of users.

But thankfully, due to the nature of the features both products are selling, their visitors can express their grievances and get their issues solved right there on the live chat.

An overview of all the Drift alternatives discussed in this guide:

Drift AlternativesPricingFeatures Summary
Collect.chatThe Paid plan starts at $24/mo billed monthly.What is good?
Easy to setup and get started

 Receive messages on whatsapp

Good pricing if you do not have to tailor many responses

What is not good?
No free trial for premium plans.
Chatra.ioThe paid plan starts at $15/agent/moWhat is good?
 Persistent conversations for same users

Free version is good

What is not good?
The chat is sometimes laggy
Crisp.chatThe pricing plan starts at $25/mo for one website with 4 seats.What is good?
Cheap pricing with an advanced feature set

Good for email marketing as well.

What is not good?
 The interface is not that interactive.
LivechatThe starter plan is priced at $16/moWhat is good?
Ticketing system feature

 Great user interface and easy to use

What is not good?
 It is expensive
Smooch.ioThe Paid plan starts at $495/mo that allows 500 monthly active users.What is good?
An omnichannel platform that connects your software with all messaging platforms.

Simple with no complex features

What is not good?
 Not as powerful as its competitors.
Manychat.ioThe paid plan starts at $10What is good?
 Helps with engagement at appropriate times

What is not good?
The tool needs a lot of improvement.
Drift alternative table
3 AI-Driven Drift Alternatives: Elevate Customer Experience for Free 5
Best chatbots G2 competitive grid

Our Experience – What Should You Finally Choose

It’s a tough one. As a website owner or a professional in charge of taking the call on which conversational marketing platform to invest your business’ funds in, there are a lot of questions that come to mind and need answering. In this guide, we have tried to answer most of your questions.

If one looks closely at all the features and prices of the tools involved, it can be surmised that that Crisp.chat, Chatra.io, and Collect.chat is easily the best alternatives to Drift.

Not only these 3 tools have the best of all the features needed for an impressive live chat, but they also suit the pockets of a range of businesses or individuals alike.

Or, if you are looking at big-game tools to invest in, Intercom does come across as a great alternative to Drift. But the final verdict does tend to lean towards Drift for all its gains over Intercom.

What are some alternatives to Drift?

Some good alternatives to Drift are JivoChat, Intercom.io, Freshchat, ZenDesk chat and chatra.io.

What does Drift do?

Drift provides cloud-based conversational marketing services. You get Driftbots powered with artificial intelligence. For sales and marketing professionals it offers highly insightful data as soon as visitors start browsing the site. You get a lot of information that is helpful for generation high quality leads.

Which is the cheapest alternative to Drift?

There are lightweight tools like Manychat.com, smooch.io and Chartra that are worth pondering over. They are not feature rich as Drift but offer basic functionality.

Amongst Freshchat, Intercom and Drift which is the best?

Freshchat: It is a mid-range alternative which have an intuitive interface
InterCom: An all-in-one tool that offers everything ranging from email marketing, messaging app, analytics platforms and a few more.
Drift: A strong alternative to Intercom that offers one solution.
If pricing is not an issue then Intercom is the best. Otherwise, Freshchat is not a bad option to try. Drift works well but speed is a problem with it.

How much does Drift cost?

The following are the plans that Drift offers:
Standard: $40
Professional: $400
Premium: $1500
Enterprise : Contact the sales team

What are some popular drift competitors?

Common Drift competitors are Hubspot, Intercom, Salesforce, Pardot.


01 Drift G2 review
02 Best chatbot service discussion Quora
03 Chatra.io Quora discussion
04 Crisp chat Capterra review

Richa Kumari
Richa Kumari

Richa here, I am a senior software engineer and Airtable specialist with over 8 years of technical experience. Currently leading development teams at a Fortune 100 company, I possess expertise across No-code platforms, email APIs, project management, and CRM systems. I have in-depth knowledge of Airtable, including its app, API, and enterprise implementations. I also understand the broader API ecosystem, including standards, security, GraphQL, and asynchronous technologies. With a background in analyzing complex data pipelines and customer funnels, I offer valuable insights into integrating systems and managing APIs throughout their lifecycle. My articles provide actionable guidance on evaluating and implementing tools like Airtable, Salesforce, Notion, and MuleSoft. I stay up-to-date on the latest no-code platforms and CRM offerings so I can advise businesses on alignment with stakeholders, customers, and technical capabilities. As an experienced engineer, I am dedicated to sharing my knowledge so organizations can effectively leverage technology to meet strategic goals.

  1. Chatra.io is a great tool and I was able to put it to use for my all the chat interactions. The only thing is that at times it can become a bit expensive if you want to use it for more than one agent. But, overall it is pretty flexible and caters to almost all the needs of varying users.