Communication
May 26, 2020

Intercom pricing in 2020: Everything You Need to Know

Pim de Vos
Pim de Vos

Intercom pricing is complicated. 

The software company’s pricing plans are relatively expensive, difficult to understand and the monthly bill you receive can be unpredictable.

There is no doubt that Intercom offers a high-quality product, especially for big companies with huge customer service operations. However, this comes at a price that is out of most businesses’ leagues.

These same issues are also voiced in reviews that I found on G2. The software itself rightfully gets a lot of praise, but there are also some remarks concerning the costs. 

An IT-manager that works at a small business with 11-50 employees recently noted:

“Cool software as a service for marketers, but it is very expensive for small start-ups. We can’t pay 1-2% of our revenue.

On Capterra, there are also a big number of reviews agreeing that Intercom prices are complicated and not suited for every type of business. Here is a selection:

I also read a couple of blog articles about Intercom pricing. What I noticed is how quickly they have become outdated. Even some of the blogs from late last year have already become irrelevant.

This is because Intercom seems to spend quite a sum of its time on improving its pricing, causing changes in their plans. 

As an entrepreneur, you probably clicked on this article to make sure that you get your money’s worth. And I promise you: after reading you will be able to determine that. To make sure that you make a decision based on current information, I will regularly update this blog to keep up with Intercom’s pricing plans.

Let’s dive in and find out everything about Intercom pricing plans, added costs, and the best alternatives to Intercom.

Intercom features

Intercom is a robust customer communication software tool with a wide spectrum of features.

Their main focus is their live chat – or as they call it ‘business messenger’ – which has all the functionalities you could expect in this day and age. 

Depending on your pricing plan, Intercom also offers other features such as:

  • Creating your own help center
  • Custom chatbots
  • Inbound and outbound email
  • Product tours (for an extra fee)
  • A/B testing & goals

If you decide to go for the full Intercom package, you can get the full VIP treatment. You can even get access to personalized training sessions and a dedicated relationship manager. As long as you are willing to pay accordingly.

Intercom pricing in 2020 explained

Intercom pricing is based on three different factors: 

  • All the features you require (pricing plans and add-ons)
  • The number of users (all the individuals in your organization that need access to Intercom)
  • Number of unique customers or leads that you have reached monthly
Intercom pricing plans explained

The most remarkable aspect of Intercom’s pricing set-up is that it can be unpredictable. It is tricky to predict how much money you are going to be billed at the end of the month. 

Before we get into that, though, let’s first take a close look at Intercom’s current subscription offerings.

Intercom pricing plans

Intercom currently offers four different pricing plans: Start, Grow, Accelerate, and Scale. 

Intercom pricing plans

Start

If you decide on using the Start subscription, you pay a minimum of $39. For this minimum price, you can only give access to one user.

Since you probably need your team to collaborate on your customer communication – just like most of us do – you will need to give access to more users. If you want to give more users access, you pay $9 extra per user per month.

The number of features in this plan is quite limited. On Intercom’s website, they are also very open about this: ‘For basic chat and messaging’.

For instance, you cannot create your own help center with this plan. It only offers the most basic of live chat functionalities.

Besides that, some simple automation features such as auto-replies are not even a part of this subscription. This is a functionality that saves teams a lot of time on a daily basis and is usually included in comparable pricing plans from competitors.

The same goes for the ability to create your own help center, which can only be done with a more expensive plan. And a good self-service option is something you just can not miss in this day and age.

Grow

The Grow plan starts at $99 a month, and you get immediate access for five users in your organization.

However, if you want to upgrade your subscription to give access to more users, you don’t pay $9 extra per user, but $19 per user per month. That means if you want to use Intercom’s Grow plan with 15 team members, you will pay at least $289 per month. 

With the Grow plan, you will get access to more features, such as building your own help center, using quick replies, and applying a lead generation bot. 

But when you compare how these functionalities are priced to other competitors, it is still quite expensive. 

Accelerate

According to Intercom’s website, its Accelerate plan is the most popular pricing plan among its customers. 

And honestly, when it comes to features it does get interesting here.

With this plan, you can create your own custom chatbot, use multiple team inboxes, create a help center for internal usage, get 24/7 prioritized support, and the list goes on. In short: all the key features you need from a complete customer communication tool.

Cool stuff. However, this also comes at a price. The pricing suddenly takes quite a big jump from the previous pricing plan.

You can acquire the Accelerate plan from $499,- with additional seats for $49 per user, per month. 

Scale

With the Scale plan, you get one of the most robust customer communication tools on the market. 

The plan starts at $999 per month, which includes only 10 users. For every extra seat, you pay $99 per month extra. 

Let’s say, for instance, your team consists of 30 people. Using the Scale subscription, this would cost you at least $2979 per month.

Number of visitors reached

So, we discussed all of the pricing plans now, but here’s the kicker: there are more possible extra costs. 

And it’s not add-ons. We are getting to those later on in this article.

If you want to be able to reach your website visitors proactively with Intercom, you should pay close attention to how many people you message per month.

Intercom pricing and the people reached

The above note is added to every single Intercom pricing plan. Even the most expensive ones.

With each plan, you can freely send messages to 2000 of your customers. However, if you send a message to one more, you will be charged an extra fee of $50 a month. For many companies, the number of customers easily passes the 2000 mark each month. So that’s another extra fee you need to take into account. 

Intercom add-ons pricing

If you really want to go all-out, you can also consider one of Intercom’s add-ons.

Intercom add-ons pricing

The first add-on is a cool one: offering your customers a product tour. With this feature, you can give website visitors a nice first impression of your product. 

The pricing here is – again – a little complicated. Until 1000 ‘guided users’ – people that take your product tours – you pay an extra $199 on top of your pricing plan. After that, you are asked to pay $25 more per 1000 users. 

Intercom’s other add-ons are also of high quality: advanced lead generation, advanced customer engagement, and advanced support automation. The added features that come with this add-on can really take your operation to the next level, but they are far from free of costs. 

Discount for ‘early-stage companies’

Intercom probably received a big number of questions concerning their pricing, because they also offer a special subscription for early-stage companies.

Intercom early stage pricing

This looks like a great deal at first, but there are no specifics given on when your company is actually eligible for this subscription. When are you actually an early-stage start-up? How do you prove that?

I wasn’t able to find if there are any hard requirements for this. What it does say, is that after a year you will continue to pay their regular fee. 

Alternative to Intercom

If you have figured out that Intercom’s pricing may be a bit too complicated or expensive for your situation, there is no need to worry. There are a lot of competitors that can form a great Intercom alternative.

Trengo

Intercom alternative

Trengo is the best Intercom alternative that actually comes close to its features. Especially when it comes to pricing, Trengo is more affordable.

First of all, Trengo offers the same key features that you need, including live chat, email, a team inbox, help center, and chatbots.

Just like with Intercom, you also pay per user, but there are no other hidden costs. So there is no need to worry about how many people you reach out to, and there will be no surprises on your monthly bill. 

Trengo’s most popular pricing plan – called Scale – costs you €25 per user per month. It has less extensive features, but the key features that your team will use on a daily basis are simply on the same level.

Let’s draw up a quick comparison between Intercom’s Accelerate plan and Trengo’s Scale plan. We are not taking any added costs or add-ons into account, only the number of users.


5 users
10 users
20 users
25 users
Intercom’s Accelerate plan
$499
$499
$989
$1234
Trengo’s Scale plan
€125
€250
€500
€750

Conclusion

Intercom has a great product but charges its customers more than most of its competitors. In the end, it is up to you to take a close look at your budget and make sure you get value for money. If you have enough room in your budget, Intercom can definitely be a super useful tool.

Trengo’s pricing is more straightforward. You simply pay less and there are no unpleasant surprises. Couldn’t hurt to try out a free 14-day trial, right? 

Try Trengo for free!🚀

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