Intercom is one of the best live messaging platforms on the internet right now. It not only allows you to chat with your customers in real-time but also provides you marketing tools to help track user interaction and close a purchase. However, many entrepreneurs are scouting for alternatives to due to its expensive nature, which is defined on the basis of total user conversations. There is also the lack of any generous free subscription tier that may provide you access to some basic features before you’re ready to commit to the chat platform entirely. Hence, it’s not quite affordable for the ones who’re just setting out on a new entrepreneurial journey with plans to interact with customers to drive sales. So, if you are looking for Intercom alternatives, here are 10 powerful yet cheap alternatives to that may come in handy for the growth of your business:

Cheap and Best Alternatives


Our first recommendation is a completely free live messaging platform, for those who’ve been looking for the cheapest alternative to Intercom. allows you to embed a chat widget in your website or app but lacks the sleek UI and marketing automation tools that may help you drive sales.

The primary focus of is providing brands with the multitude of features you find in common live messaging platforms for free. This means you can customize the chat widget, converse via mobile (even by using pre-defined shortcuts), analyze visitors in real-time and trigger actions to proactively interact with them. dashboard

You may be thinking that there must be a catch because who provides you such a complex platform for free. Well, there is nothing – no cap on the number of visitors, agents or even ad placement. However, Tawk provides you customization options that allow you to remove the Tawk branding, add video+voice calling and more. You can also hire agents for as low as $1/hour from your dashboard. Isn’t it the tool you’ve been looking for?

Visit Website (Free Tier, Paid Plan start at $9)
Platforms: Web, Android and iOS


Though Intercom may have ignited the flame for instant customer satisfaction, it is Crisp that’s building the features that further enhance the support experience. The company’s LiveChat platform is a simple and intuitive alternative to Intercom with features such as rich media (audio/video messages, link snippets, GIFs, and file attachments) messaging, chat handover to social platforms and even an in-chat game.

Crisp Dashboard
Crisp Dashboard

Crisp takes the lead on its competitors by offering you with a free tier that provides access to necessary features, locking the analytics and a few add-on stuff. You’re required to shell out $25/month to support a team of 4 agents, unlimited chat history, automated triggers, user location map, and integrations such as Facebook Messenger.

And that’s not all. You can further increase the chances of sales by selecting the Unlimited $95 subscription tier. It unlocks features such as real-time video calls and Magic Browse, which allows agents to track a customer’s actions. Agents can also temporarily access their customer’s screen to help them complete the purchase using the Live Assist feature.

Visit Website (Free Tier, Paid Plans start at $25/month per 4-agent team)
Platforms: Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android and Slack Plugin

3. Freshchat

The latest addition to CRM service provider FreshWorks’ arsenal, Freshchat, now plans to take on Intercom with its proactive messaging and sales platform. They are offering a minimalist and clean experience with unlimited contacts, ten agents, 30-day chat history, and other basic functionality for free.

Freshchat provides you 30 days to take the fully-featured messaging solution for a spin before you are willing to pay for the same. This means you’ll not only have access to the familiar messaging experience but add-on user engagement tools as well. You can then access user properties, analyze the data, and launch in-app or email campaigns to score more on the customer satisfaction meter. The back-end UI of the service has also been designed quite intricately.

Freshchat DashboardThis shows that Freshchat has taken cues and built upon the ideologies of the leader of this already crowded segment. Though it lacks many features due to its fairly recent debut, the company will update them in upcoming releases. It currently also lacks an Android mobile app but FreshWorks’ platforms are known to mature quite quickly.

Visit Website (Free Tier, Paid Plans start at $15/agent per month)
Platforms: Web, iOS and Android (coming soon)

4. HelpCrunch

To compete against an established giant, even HelpCrunch has adopted the oh-so-common omni-channel, unlimited contacts and chats functionality for a fixed price tag. It is offering a sleek, fast and interactive chat widget UI similar to Intercom.

HelpCrunch supports multi-channel messaging and combines all messages from a single user under one roof – be it email, the chat widget or social media. This is possible because the platform automatically gathers all personal or behavioural customer data, coupled with their chat history until date, to provide an actionable insight into them. You can then follow up on their queries with emails or instant solutions.

The only drawback of HelpCrunch is its limitation to add the chat widget to one platform per agent. It means you’ll have to add multiple agent accounts to make this messaging service reach a wider audience via your web, Android or iOS platform. It offers customers 14-day trials (without credit card details) to try out the whole experience before asking to pay $12/agent per month for the live chat feature and $25/agent per month to also include email automation in the mix.

Visit Website (14-day Free Trial, Paid Plans start at $12/agent per month)
Platforms: Web


Though not available for free, (and LiveChat, a fork of this platform) is a smarter and cheaper alternative for Intercom users. It does include most of the features already available within Intercom but then tops it with message sneak peaks, agent ratings, chat routing, and integrations for the chat widget. is not only suitable for beginners who want to utilize a customizable and ready-to-use chat widget but will also please developers who’d like to introduce changes as per their needs. The platform provides APIs to allow developers to tinker and build features atop the current offering. widget

It is available on all major desktop and mobile platforms, which is surely a plus, but the platform lacks analytics or customer data management support. You can try out this minimalistic chat widget for 14-days, followed by a modest fee of $10/agent per month.

Visit Website (14-day Free Trial, Paid Plans start at $10/account per month)
Platforms: Web, macOS, Windows, iOS and Android

6. LiveAgent

If you have been searching for a feature-intensive CRM service, then you should stop what you’re doing and pay heed right away. LiveAgent not only offers you live chat functionality but also includes ticket management, social messages, and customer care support (phone calling functionality) all in one integrated platform. You may need to add a required account or phone number to activate some of these functionalities.

It also operates a little differently than Intercom, wherein you don’t just shoot a message in the air and wait for a reply from the support people. The LiveAgent chatting widget first searches and then connects you to a live representative to initiate a two-way conversation. There are times when you’re queued until one of the representatives becomes available to answer your query – a feature I haven’t seen anywhere else.

The drawbacks of this platform are that the back-end UI is a bit complex and may take you some time getting used to. Also, there is no free tier to use the app, it requires you to shell out $29/agent per month after the free 14-day trial period ends.

Visit Website (14-day Free Trial, Paid Plans start at $12/agent per month)
Platforms: Web, iOS and Android

7. UseResponse

With most technology giant’s trying to flood their messaging services with AI-enabled bots, UserResponse gives you the chance to use them as a customer interaction platform. It does not want to limit the visitors at embeddable chat widgets but is also providing them with an option to easily communicate using popular messaging platforms like Viber, Facebook Messenger, Skype and more.

UseResponse chat window

This Intercom alternative also packs most of the basic functionalities a brand is looking for in a CRM messaging platform. You get single sign-on, email automation, and also analytics to help your brand better understand the userbase and set up lead-generation campaigns.

UseResponse Dashboard

In addition to live chats, users of UseResponse can also opt-in to choose from a collection of three additional modules namely Feedback, Help Desk, and Knowledge Base. The subscription plans for each module are the same and you’ll be given a 14-day free trial period, post which each module will cost $15/agent per month.

Visit Website (14-day Free Trial, Paid Plans start at $15/agent per month)
Platforms: Web

8. ZenDesk Chat

Adding to their existing and trusted CRM platform, Zendesk has also stepped foot into the crowded live messaging widget ecosystem with Zendesk Chat. While this may have become repetitive but this platform also includes common features like pre-chat forms, visitor lists, offline lead-generation forms and chat badges to improve the visibility of your widget.

Zendesk Chat window

Zendesk has also added chatbots to take over the conversation from agents, jump between older messages in conversation history, and user profile linking. It packs cross-platform support, making Zendesk Chat accessible on most popular platforms. Also, the platform even offers you features like automated message triggers, agent reports, chat routing, real-time monitoring and conversion tracking for your leads.

Zendesk Chat agent dashboard

Zendesk Chat is not suitable for burgeoning businesses because the free tier allows you to chat with only one concurrent user while retaining 14-days chat history. However, you can extend the functionality of your chat widgets by picking a paid plan for as low as $15/agent per month.

Visit Website (Free Tier, Paid Plans start at $14/agent per month)
Platforms: Web, Android and iOS

9. Drift

One look at Drift’s chat widget or the backend and you’re reminded of Intercom’s UI itself. The resemblance in aesthetics and functionality is uncanny and it also transcends to the responsive UI and intuitiveness of the chat widget. This live chat platform is the closest alternative to Intercom  but not the cheapest of the lot here.

The highlight of Drift is the inclusion of an AI virtual assistant to the live conversation. It replaces your forms and helps you collect the best leads in real-time using the assistant. It’ll also help you personalize messages for visitors based on their information to pro-actively target important personnel.

Drift Chat Window

In terms of pricing, Drift is not the best alternative because its free tier allows one agent to reach only 100 active contacts. It also provides you features such as email fallback (when you’re not using Drift’s backend), scheduled hours, profiles and slack integration. But, you’ll have to shell out $50/agent per month for unlocking other features, with additional $15 per agent.

Visit Website (Free Tier, Paid Plans start at $50)
Platforms: Web, iOS and Android

10. Olark

Much like Intercom, Olark is a live messaging platform that lays focus on the functionality, as well as aesthetics, of the embeddable chat widget. It lays great emphasis on real-time reporting for chat volumes, automated replies, searchable transcripts, and integration of some of the most common tools like Google Analytics, Salesforce, and Mailchimp among others to the platform.

Olark’s chat widget customization can easily be done according to the needs of a brand. It provides you with options to choose the background type (light or dark), chat widget position/shape and the corner type to match your brand. It also includes an option to localize the chat box for the language of your region.

Olark chat widget customization

As for the pricing, the free plan is extremely limited and allows agents to have a sum total of 20 conversations a month, which is way low than some of the apps mentioned above. You can, however, unlock the complete feature set for as low as $17/agent per month after the completion of your 14-day free trial.

Visit Website (14-day Free Trial, Paid Plans start at $17/agent per month)
Platforms: Web, third-party client support


While the aforementioned CRM platforms will enable you to generate leads and help out your website visitors but many of them may still seem like over the top for your task. It means you require an even simplified and familiar experience to manage your customer relation efforts. Here step in Skype and Messenger, two platforms that require minimum effort to set up:

  • Skype Web Control

As the name suggests, Skype Web Control allows you to integrate a Skype chat widget on your platform to enable free visitor interaction. Navigate to this link to customize your Skype chat widget and copy the 2-line code to get started. Yes, it is as simple as it sounds.

Skype Web Control Widget

This developer tool extends the basic functionalities of Microsoft’s chat platform, such as text messages, file attachments, and stickers, to any website. Further, it will allow you to quickly solve visitor problems using voice or video call features. It is currently in developer preview mode but suitable for beginners looking to interact with their visitors.

Visit Website (Free)
Platforms: Web, macOS, Windows, iOS and Android

  • Messengerify

If you feel Skype isn’t your cup of tea, Facebook Messenger definitely will be. The social media platform is one of the leading advertiser and lead-gen networks for brands across the globe and you can become a part of the crowd by integrating a floating Messengerify chat head on your platform as well.

Messengerify Website

This integration will not utilize any third-party CRM software, but the messaging interface already baked into Facebook. It’ll provide you with the facility to chat both on-site & off-site while keeping track of users using Messenger– simply by using the app on your phone.

Messengerify provides you access to the chat head code without customizations for free but charges $29 for altering the branding of the chat interface. This is, however, one-time fee and can be worth it if you’re planning to manage customer interaction via Messenger itself.

Visit Website (Free Tier, Paid Plan costs $29)
Platforms: Web, macOS, Windows, iOS and Android

SEE ALSO: Top 8 LinkedIn Alternatives You Should Check Out

Does Intercom Really Need A Replacement?

If you ask most entrepreneurs, there is no doubt their first recommendation for a live chat messenger will always be Intercom. It is because the platform enables you to handle lead-generation, sales prospects, and email automation from a single dashboard. The platform has amassed 100,000 monthly active users and 17,000+ paying customers, thanks to this powerful feature set.

But as we’ve already mentioned before, the platform is heavy on the pocket and budding businesses may not be quite comfortable with spending lavishly on live customer support. Thus, you can manage your consumer interaction by picking any one of these alternatives and make a switch to Intercom when you feel the time is right — the business is booming. Which live CRM platform according to you is simple, reliable and worth the money? Share your thoughts in the comments down below.