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.
Drift provides a visual flow builder when you are going to create your chatbot flows (called Playbooks in Drift):
Every chatbot flows consists of several elements that you can easily add and edit. For example, you can create a question:
And determine the ways a user can respond to that question:
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
- Test chatbot
- Interface easy to use?
- Easy to setup a chatbot?
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
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:
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.
- Gallery (Horizontal list)
- Vertical list
- Persistent Menu
- Quick Replies
- Free text input
- Location sharing
- Email validation
- Phone number validation
- Date validation
In Drift, you can see a complete overview of all the user that talked to your chatbot:
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 fields
- User segments
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.
On the other hand, it is possible to create conditions in Drift, which allows you to create personalized chat experiences:
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.
- Multiple languages
- Easy to translate
AI & NLP
With Drift, you can create keywords so your chatbot automatically responds to them:
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.
- Dialogflow integration
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.
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 software:
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”:
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 50 direct integrations with other software applications, like:
- Google Calendar
- Facebook Pixel Tracking
- Google Analytics
- Google Sheets
And much more.
If that’s not enough, you can integrate with almost any software application by using Zapier or Integromat.
Furthermore, Drift provides its own API, which allows you to create your own webhooks with Drift.
- Google Sheets
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:
But you can also get more advanced and show a complete PDF besides your chat widget:
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:
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):
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:
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
- Native website widget
- Landing pages
- Facebook Ads
- Facebook comments auto-reply
- Button creator
- Custom URLs for your chatbot
Drift provides a free plan which gives you access to their live chat.
Their Pro plan gives you access to chatbots, integrations, a dedicated customer success manager and more:
Unfortunately, it is unclear how much their Pro plan costs. If you want to get info on their pricing, you need to chat with them, so this probably is custom per client.
But in the past, it was around $400 per month, which is pretty expensive.
- Free trial
- Free plan
- Price per month400
- Monthly pricing available?
- Money back guarantee
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:
Moreover, you can see how well your chatbot flows are performing in terms of money and ROI:
Ultimately, you can see analytics per chatbot flow, so you can analyze where people are dropping off:
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.
- User input
- User retention
- Sent messages
- Open rate
- Click rate
- Conversion rate
- Fall back rate
- Volunteer users
- Custom dashboards/reports
Unfortunately, Drift doesn’t provide any direct eCommerce integrations.
- Buy directly within the chatbot
- Cart abandonment
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.
- Make template
- Share template
- Duplicate chatbot flows
- Duplicate chatbot elements
With Drift, you can optimize your chatbot flows by using A/B testing.
- A/B Testing
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.
- Customer support
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