What do our two Intercom installations cost us?
15,000 users + 3 modules = $741 per month
Intercom was costing $741 for 15,000 users when using the standard Inbox, Messages and Articles modules.
This covers 2 support agents and additional agents would cost $39 each on the pro plan and $19 each on the lower plan.
Note, if you all you want is a chat box, they have a free plan for that.
2,500 users + 3 modules = $284 per month
$284 for around 2,500 users for standard Inbox, Messages and Articles modules.
Do you need to buy all the Intercom modules?
The 3 basic modules together come to a total of around $136 to $202 depending on if you get the base plan or the pro plan.
If you get an individual module then it can range from $87 to $150 so getting all of them makes sense and they do all work together very effectively.
If you want an effective minimum solution then we’d recommend ‘Inbox’ and ‘Messages’ because it means you can chat and send email campaigns to sign ups which is the heart of it. However, you may as well get all of them based on the pricing.
The messages module (email campaigns / in-app messages) makes up a significant and powerful part of Intercom.
If you’re an early stage startup then get Intercom at a special rate of $49 for all modules for a year.
Intercom is good for SaaS but not if you’re Facebook
Intercom costs more depending on how many users you have.
If you’re a free consumer product with 100,000 sign ups then maybe it’s not the right chat tool for you.
If you’re a SaaS company then it’s a great tool but you might want to trim old users from Intercom occasionally (though not from your own database of course).
Once you start adding more users then the costs go up
Intercom’s 3 main standard modules with 10,000 users costs $563 / month.
For 30,000 people it’s $1241 / month.
Above 50,000 users you can contact them for a custom enterprise plan.
How do you keep these costs down? Remove inactive users.
If you've got enough money then paying $400 or paying $1,400 for something so important is not going to matter to you.
However, if you're a smaller company and you like to keep costs down, you can do it by removing inactive users.
We’ve used Intercom across 2 projects and we use all 3 main modules.
In one of them we regularly clear out inactive users from Intercom to reduce costs.
They’re in the database and when they do return to the site, the API adds them to Intercom anyway.
We have not tested it yet but we recently come across a tool that promises to remove inactive users from Intercom for you.
Any problems with this approach?
Intercom Messages module lets you email all the users and if they’re not all there then… well, you can’t email them all.
However they are on our system and we can bring them back in or use an alternate tool to send them emails.
Why do we use Intercom and not some other service?
We played with a few but simply put, Intercom helps replace a number of other processes made of in-house work and tools and it would be crazy to think about switching and going back to using multiple tools.
We agree internally that, whatever the cost is, the return rate is so much higher.
See the case studies at the bottom to understand the details.
How much do Intercom add-ons cost?
Upscope.io: $49 / month works across all major live chat systems and lets you click once to see what the user sees and take control to guide them remotely. It's instant screen sharing that's a support and sales, time saving and sales making, dream.
Statbot.io: $60 / month and provides more in-depth stats than Intercom’s own which are great for performance management and reporting. Also check-out Notion for another set of incredible Intercom stats though their pricing is by request.
Toky.co $15 / agent / month for VOIP calling. You can click on phone numbers directly within Intercom to call the user and it works across a number of other CRM and sales tools. Also, add it to your home page for customers to call you.
Aircall $30 / agent / month is another VOIP calling system that integrates with Intercom and it's worth comparing their features with Toky if you're shopping around.
See a full set of integrations here: https://www.intercom.com/integrations
Only need live chat? Here are some alternatives.
There are live chat companies that focus on live chat and don’t have the onboarding emails side built in.
We used LiveChat before Intercom and would still use it
We used LiveChat before Intercom and it was solid.
I guess we only switched because of the onboarding emails that Intercom has though my co-founder still talks lovingly of LiveChat's features for support specifically.
What I liked:
The pricing is simple. It starts from $16 per logged in agent.
It had all the apps and features we needed to run support cleanly as a team.
It has all the integrations that many other live chat systems have.
I can't think of anything bad to say about it and I'd still consider it for a new project. That tells me a lot about how much I appreciated it.
Re:amaze is a live chat app with 5 star reviews
Reamaze is popular among both SaaS and e-commerce companies.
It also has 5 star rated reviews for its e-commerce integrations.
We’ve covered how Re:amaze is a good alternative live chat app.
Give your employees their own personalised live chat
We came across Inzite.com which gives every person on your team their own mini personal live chat so people can reach them directly.
This makes it feel more human and engaging and would be great for high ticket item support where you want to talk to a qualified person.
You can embed your profile onto your site using the Inzite widget and people can chat to you, call you or schedule a meeting with you.
Here is how the customisable embed can look when added to your site:
You can then directly chat to each person:
Check out Inzite.com here, they may well be the perfect tool for many industries
See a set of case studies on using Intercom to grow a business
If you'd like to learn more about the day to day practical use of Intercom in making sales, doing marketing and lots more then read some case studies on how it feels to use it.