Drift Review

By Joren Wouters Updated on

Drift Review

Drift is a live chat and chatbot solution focused on B2B companies. They call themselves the “Revenue Acceleration Platform”, but is this true? And should you use their software to create your chatbots?

Let’s dive in!

Full disclosure: I never got access to a Pro account of Drift, because Drift doesn’t allow free trials or testing out their platform. Therefore, I got access to several demos of their platform and based my review on these.

What is Drift?

Drift is a chatbot builder mostly focused on B2B companies and they call themselves the “The Drift Revenue Acceleration Platform”.

In addition to chatbots, they also provide their own live chat, which is all part of the Drift software.

 

User Interface

Drift provides a visual flow builder when you are going to create your chatbot flows (called Playbooks in Drift):

drift-flow-builder

Every chatbot flows consists of several elements that you can easily add and edit. For example, you can create a question:

drift-create-question

And determine the ways a user can respond to that question:

drift-create-response

Also, you can test your chatbot flows before they actually go live.

With the visual flow builder of Drift, you can easily set up your own chatbot and the interface is also extremely easy to use.

Visual Flow Builder
Create chatbot dialogs with a visual flow builder.
Test chatbot
Is it possible to test the chatbot before putting your new flows or changes live?
Easy to use?
Is the chatbot platform easy-to-use?
Easy to setup a chatbot?
Is it easy to set up your chatbot with this chatbot platform?

Chatbot elements

Drift provides enough chatbot elements that you can use in your chatbot flows.

First of all, you can send messages with your chatbot and ask questions.

Then, you have Drift Skills, which allow you to:

  • Capture email
  • Get the phone number of the user
  • Lookup articles in your helpdesk
  • Automatically create tickets
  • Route conversations to live chat
  • Automatically send emails to the user (if you have their email)
  • Schedule a meeting
  • Or go to a different node in your Drift playbook

And by using conditions in Drift, you can create personalized chat experiences:

drift-conditions

 

Also, what I really like about Drift is their “Schedule a meeting” element which automatically shows possibles dates and times for the user to schedule a meeting:

drift-schedule-meeting-element

Unfortunately, Drift also doesn’t provide some chatbot elements, such as Audio, Video and Galleries. This is a bit of a drawback, because otherwise, you could create a richer media conversation.

Delays
Use delays between messages in your chatbot
Images
Can you send images via your chatbot?
Video
Can you send video via your chatbot?
Audio
Can you send audio via your chatbot?
Attachments
Can you send attachments via your chatbot?
Gallery (Horizontal List)
Show a gallery of cards inside your chatbot. A card consists of an image, title, subtitle and button.
Vertical List
Show a vertical list of items inside your chatbot
Emoji's
Can you use emojis inside your chatbot?
Persistent menu
Can you add a persistent menu to your chatbot?
Quick replies
Can you add quick replies to your chatbot where users can click on?
Button
Can you add buttons to your chatbot where users can click on?
User Input
Can chatbot users freely type text to your chatbot whenever they want to?
Location Sharing
Can users share their location inside the chatbot?
Email validation
When a chatbot user gives their email, can the platform validate it's a correct email address?
Phone number validation
When a chatbot user gives their phone number, can the platform validate it's a correct phone number?
Date validation
When a chatbot user gives a date, can the platform validate it's a correct date?

Users

In Drift, you can see a complete overview of all the user that talked to your chatbot:

drift-create-segment

And by filtering on the users that talked to your chatbot you can create your own user segment based on custom fields.

For every user, you can ask a certain question and store the answer to that question in a custom field (called Attributes in Drift).

Also, with Drift, you can assign tags to the user based on answers they provide to your chatbot.

Custom field
Store information from your chatbot users inside fields. For example, you can ask for someone's email and store it inside the "email" custom field.
Tags
Add tags to users in your chatbot flows to organize and categorize contacts.
User Segments
Can you create user segments based on custom fields and tags?

Messages

With Drift, it is not possible to send broadcasts or sequences, but this is obvious, because you can only create a chatbot for your website with Drift.

Also, Drift supports multiple languages. However, it is not easy to handle multiple languages at the same time. You need to copy all your chatbot flows and translate them one-by-one. Also, if you want to support multiple languages on one website, you need to code this yourself.

So it is possible to handle multiple languages on one website, but it is not easy to do this.

Broadcasts
Send a message to all or a part of your chatbot users at a specific date and time
Sequences
Send messages on a pre-defined schedule with a certain time interval between those messages
Conditions
Make checks in your chatbot flow based on if-then logic. For example, if the user has not given their email, ask for their email.
Multiple languages
Is it possible to create a chatbot in multiple languages?
Easy to translate
Can you translate text to other languages without using a third-party platform and without creating duplicate flows?

AI & NLP

With Drift, you can create keywords so your chatbot automatically responds to them:

drift-keyword-groups

Unfortunately, that’s all there is regarding AI & NLP of Drift. It is not possible to understand the intent of the user or use entities.

And I think this is a huge drawback for a chatbot builder that position themselves as one of the best in the industry.

Keywords
Trigger chatbot flow based on certain words or phrases a user says to the chatbot.
Intents
Trigger a chatbot flow by understanding the intent of the user.
Entities
Capture specific information from sentences. For example, if a user says "veggie pizza", the chatbot can understand it's not a regular pizza, but a veggie pizza.
Dialogflow
Does the chatbot platform provide a direct integration with Google's AI Platform?

Channels

With Drift, it is only possible to create a chatbot on your website and automatically send emails (once you capture the email of the user).

This is a bit of a drawback, because this doesn’t allow you to create an omnichannel chat experience with Drift.

Website
Can you publish your chatbot on your website?
Facebook
Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
Instagram
Can you publish your chatbot on Instagram?
Whatsapp
Can you publish your chatbot on WhatsApp?
Telegram
Can you publish your chatbot on Telegram?
SMS
Can you publish your chatbot on SMS?
Slack
Can you publish your chatbot on Slack?
Skype
Can you publish your chatbot on Skype?
Email
Can you publish your chatbot on email?
Merge contacts across channels
Can you merge contacts across channels, when the same person contacts you over multiple channels?

Integrations

Drift performs really well regarding integrations.

First of all, they have a built-in live chat, which is the most important integration of any chatbot platform:

drift-livechat

And their live chat is also extremely easy to use and has some smart features. For example, you can save certain replies and your live chat and reuse them by just typing in “/savedreply”:

drift-saved-reply-livechat

Also, a huge benefit of Drift is that they provide an iOS and Android app which allows you to respond to customer questions on the go.

Moreover, they provide over 50 direct integrations with other software applications, like:

  • Salesforce
  • Marketo
  • Slack
  • Google Calendar
  • Facebook Pixel Tracking
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Sheets

If that’s not enough, you can integrate with almost any software application by using Zapier or Make (formerly known as Integromat).

Furthermore, you can get or send data by using API calls inside your playbooks and you can get webhooks from Drift when an event happens.

Livechat integration
Direct integration with live chat, either via a built-in live chat functionality or a third-party live chat platform.
Zapier
Direct integration with Zapier, one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
Make
Direct integration with Make (formerly Integromat), one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
Google sheets
Direct integration with Google Sheets, to store or retrieve data from sheets.
Make API Calls
Can you call an API inside your chatbot flow to send or get data from other applications?

Marketing

Drift gives two main ways of chatting with your customer: landing pages or their website widget.

Let’s cover the possibilities one-by-one:

Drift’s landing pages

First of all, Drift provides standard landing pages, showing a chat widget:

drift-landing-page

But you can also get more advanced and show a complete PDF besides your chat widget:

drift-advanced-landing-page

This is especially useful for delivering lead magnets to your audience and simultaneously getting their contact information.

 

Drift’s advanced website widget

With Drift, you can create a website widget that matches the branding of your website:

drift-widget-colors

Moreover, you can show a specific widget depending on characteristics of the user (such as their location, new/returning users and the number of pages they visited):

drift-website-targeting

Also, you can trigger a website widget from a button on your website, which makes the widget a good alternative to a contact form.

 

What is Drift Intel?

Drift Intel allows you to turn anonymous customers into known companies.

Based on the IP address of the user, Drift Intel automatically detects with which company you are talking. When you know their company, you can ask specific questions and infer other characteristics from them:

drift-intel

The drawback is that the detection of companies is based on IP addresses, which isn’t always reliable, because some people use VPN’s which show a different IP address than their real one.

Facebook website widget
Embed your chatbot as a Facebook Widget on your website.
Native website widget
Embed your chatbot as a native widget (your own branding & colors) on your website.
Landing pages
Can you create a simple landing page to drive users to your chatbot?
Facebook Ref URL
Can you create a URL that goes to a specific flow inside your Facebook chatbot?
One-Time Notification
Send one-time notifications via Facebook Messenger for a topic that a chatbot user has opted-in for
Facebook Ads
Start a conversation with your chatbot when someone clicks on a Facebook Ad
Button creator
Add a button to your website to drive users to your chatbot
Custom URLs
Generate a simple URL that can be shared anywhere to send users to your chatbot

Pricing

Drift provides a free plan which gives you access to their live chat.

Their Pro plan starts at $2500 per month and gives you access to chatbots, Drift Intel, Real-Time Notifications and Conversational Landing Pages.

If that’s not enough you can also go with their Advanced or Enterprise plan, which comes with Fastlane, Audiences, A/B testing and more. The downside of these two last plans is that it is unclear how much these cost:

Pricing plans of Drift.

Free trial
Does the chatbot platform provide a free trial?
Free plan
Does the chatbot platform provide a free plan?
Price per month
What is the lowest price per month for creating a chatbot on this platform?
2500
Monthly pricing available?
Is it possible to pay monthly?
Money back guarantee
Is there a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform?

Analytics

Drift provides three kinds of analytics. First of all, you can see an overview regarding the number of visitors, number of conversations and the different type of audiences:

drift-analytics-conversations

Moreover, you can see how well your chatbot flows are performing in terms of money and ROI:

drift-sales-analytics
drift-analytics-pipeline
drift-analytics-sales

Ultimately, you can see analytics per chatbot flow, so you can analyze where people are dropping off:

drift-flow-analytics

These analytics give you good insights into how your chatbot is performing and where you could improve.

That being said, I think it is a bit of a drawback that you cannot analyze which user input wasn’t understood by the chatbot. If they would have this, you could easily improve the answers of your chatbot, which isn’t possible now.

Dashboard
Dashboard that provides general analytics of your chatbot.
Flow analytics
Can you analyze how users are going through your chatbot flows?
User input
Get the input from users that your chatbot didn't understand.
Sent messages
The number of messages that were sent by your chatbot.
Open rate
The percentage of chatbot users that opened a message inside your chatbot.
Click rate
The percentage of chatbot users that click on a button inside your chatbot.
Conversion rate
The percentage of users that converted through your chatbot. For example, the percentage of users that gave their email address
Fall back rate
The percentage of interactions where the chatbot did not know an answer to a question.
Custom dashboards/reports
Can you create your own dashboard or reports?

eCommerce

Unfortunately, Drift doesn’t provide any direct eCommerce integrations.

Payments
Collect payments inside your chatbot
Shopify
Direct integration with Shopify to get products, order information and cart data.
WooCommerce
Direct integration with WooCommerce to get products, order information and cart data.
Buy directly within chatbot
Ability for chatbot users to buy products or services directly from a chatbot
Cart abandonment
Trigger messages in the chatbot when a user abandons their cart on a website or inside the chatbot

Templates & Cloning

Drift provides templates, but it is unclear how much.

Furthermore, you cannot create these templates yourself and share them with others.

On the other hand, it is possible to duplicate your chatbot flows and chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them.

Number of templates
How many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?
5
Make template
Can you make templates yourself?
Share template
Can you share self-created templates with others?
Duplicate chatbot flows
Is it possible to duplicate chatbot flows, so you can easily reuse them?
Duplicate chatbot elements
Is it possible to duplicate chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them?

Optimization

With Drift, you can optimize your chatbot flows by using A/B testing.

A/B Testing
Can you optimize your chatbot flows by performing A/B tests?

Support

Drift provides extensive documentation and video tutorials through Drift Insider.

Besides that, Drift also provides a lot of videos and webinars regarding sales & marketing for companies, which could be useful.

Also, they provide support via email and live chat.

Tutorials
Does the chatbot platform provide tutorials on how to use its platform?
Documentation
Does the chatbot platform provide documentation on how to use its platform?
Customer support
Does the chatbot platform provide customer support?

Conclusion

So, should you buy Drift to create a chatbot and live chat on your website?

Yes, I think you should.

But it depends on two things: the number of website visitors you have and the average revenue per user.

Drift is especially useful for B2B companies that have lots of website visitors with a high average revenue per visitor. And then, yes, I would recommend using Drift. While Drift only allows you to put a chatbot on your website, they ace that channel.

Drift has an easy-to-use Visual Flow Builder, you can assign custom fields & tags and make user segments, has a really good live chat, advanced landing pages, an advanced website widget and good analytics (so you can improve your chatbot).

That being said, Drift also has some disadvantages:

  • No galleries, images and attachments
  • No built-in AI – only keywords
  • Supports only two channels (Website and Email)
  • Pretty expensive

 

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