We're up for renewal with Drift next year. I feel like it's getting a little expensive for what they offer. We currently use Salesforce, Drift and Autopilot - and I feel like it would be nice to have that all in one platform.
HubSpot Conversations is quite similar to Drift (and Intercom). It adds a chat box to your site where customers can send questions—and where your team can chat live or add bots with automated replies. And perhaps its best selling point is that HubSpot Conversations is free, alongside the equally free HubSpot CRM. It's quite similar to Drift, at least for letting customers start chatting from any part of your site and engaging them with automated replies, though many of the features that would make it most similar to Drift though come with paid plans.
In Drift, the chat box is designed around integrations with other products. It can create leads in Salesforce and HubSpot, trigger marketing campaigns in Marketo and Outreach, add data to Google Analytics, create meetings in Google Calendar, and much more. In HubSpot, the bot is more built around HubSpot CRM. If you’re using it alongside HubSpot’s other tools, HubSpot Conversations would likely be a good fit. If you’d rather continue using Salesforce and other apps, it will likely take a bit more work to get things to work together the way you want (though you could use HubSpot CRM integrations to copy data out from the Conversations tool). Though one integration that both tools include is a Facebook Messenger tool to chat with contacts from your Facebook page.
With HubSpot, you’ll want to use its companion CRM to manage contacts and conversations together. It’s free, with core features to manage your leads, with paid add-ons for automated marketing and sales tools. While it’s not as customizable as Salesforce, it does let you add custom fields and build unique views for your needs. And its marketing hub tools include similar email automation options as Autopilot.
For many advanced, automated options, you will need HubSpot’s paid marketing plans. For instance, Drift includes tools to get notified if a lead is on your site; HubSpot offers that as well, but only with Marketing Hub Professional or Enterprise suscriptions. The same goes for making custom reports, sending marketing emails, lead scoring, and more.
HubSpot’s chatflows and bots seem to have fewer options than Drift’s, so it might be worth trying to set up a few bots in the free version first to test it out. And one feature that HubSpot doesn’t have an alternate for is Drift’s video onboarding tool.
HubSpot Conversations and CRM are both free, but its marketing and sales tools are what you may end up paying for. The average company pays around $1,100/month for HubSpot and can be far more, depending on what features you enable—versus Drift’s average starting price of $400-$1,500/month plus per-user fees. But with HubSpot, that’s everything in one, and you may save versus all of the tools you’re paying for separately today. One other thing with HubSpot is its onboarding fees, where anything beyond Starter plan comes with one-time onboarding fees of $3,000 or more, though many Capiche HubSpot users were able to negotiate that down.
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Disclosure: I'm co-founder/CTO at HubSpot, so am a bit biased (but not necessarily wrong).
I think @maguay did a brilliant job with his response. It's detailed, thoughtful and *right.
I'd add one high-level note: Though HubSpot's Conversations and Drift are solving similar customer need, HubSpot's Conversations is part of a larger platform. If you were not using HubSpot for CRM, marketing, sales or service -- then chances are, you wouldn't use just our HubSpot Conversations product. You could -- but you probably wouldn't. Customers that get the most value are those that use HubSpot Conversations along with other parts of the platform (even at the free tier), like HubSpot CRM.
Hope that's helpful.
Following @dharmesh's lead, you're spot on with the detailed breakdown and comparison, @maguay.
One awesome (and not mentioned) feature that both Drift and Hubspot (Conversations) share is the ability to integrate with Slack for real-time communication and responding.
As full-suite Hubspot users, it's incredible to have new chat submissions fed into a shared Slack channel where a number of our team members can respond directly to the conversation within Slack. Beyond that, each chat message pushed to Slack provides a breakdown of the specific website page the chat began on and if the user is already a contact in our CRM, information on that person.
To top it all off (and to your point of utilizing Hubspot's CRM with the conversation tool), chat's can be linked to existing contacts or stored on a new contact record - giving our team a full breakdown of all communication with that contact, in one place.
I've had this question a few times recently. Drift is awesome, but there's more to HubSpot than Chat. A better comparison would be to look at replacing SalesForce, Drift and Autopilot with HubSpot Growth Suite.
Disclosure: I'm co-founder of BabelQuest - a HubSpot Solutions Partner (Diamond Tier), and we have expertise in implementing HubSpot in large complex organisations. This often means replacing SalesForce.
One thing I'd add to @maguay is that the onboarding fees don't apply if you are using a certified HubSpot Solutions Partner to do the onboarding for you.