Intercom, Explained

The right digital marketing technology is essential for businesses to compete in almost every industry, but choosing software that will streamline your process effectively can be tricky. Intercom is a messaging system designed to increase efficiency throughout all parts of the sales funnel. This guide will cover the basics of Intercom and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

What Is Intercom?

Intercom is a customizable live chat messaging system for marketing, sales, and support teams to seamlessly assist customers. While it appears as a chatbot to customers, Intercom has a three-part system that combines live chat, automated email, and educational articles for a streamlined system to easily assist customers throughout all points of a sale and beyond.

Intercom takes the traditional idea of a chatbot one step further by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and a fully functional service desk. AI systems learn from interactions with customers to improve service over time. Instead of simply chatting with customers, Intercom allows customers to take actions like scheduling a meeting, requesting a demo, or completing a signup or purchase. Users can also purchase complimenting apps or even design their own apps to work with the system.

Who Is Intercom For?

Businesses rely on Intercom to assist customers on their established website. The website offers a variety of monthly plans, starting with early-stage startups all the way to premium packages, making it useful for any size business. Intercom’s essential purpose is to power sales through targeted marketing and support, so it’s useful for any industry making direct individual or business to business (B2B) sales.

Convenience and simplicity are major factors in the Intercom system. Businesses suffering from lost productivity due to complicated sales processes or lack of inbound communication can improve overall sales growth with the addition of Intercom. Additionally, businesses who are already successfully using other apps can still use them with Intercom. 

Essentially, Intercom is for any business relying on interaction with customers to make final sales and promote growth. 

Who Isn’t Intercom For?

Intercom is used on business websites to help answer questions and give information that’s not readily available. It improves the customer experience after a potential customer or existing user has already reached the website. Intercom likely wouldn’t be useful to a company that doesn’t complete sales online or needs assistance getting consumers directed to their website.

Intercom is designed to improve communication with customers and add understanding of a product or service. Some products/services are completely obvious without the use of this type of communication. Businesses who already have a transparent website with the necessary product information readily available aren’t likely to profit from the addition of intercom.

How Much Does Intercom Cost?

Intercom has three distinct plans: essential, pro, and premium. However, they also offer separate pricing for early-stage startups, annual pricing, and add-on opportunities. Plan prices vary with features and services necessary (including all of Intercom or specific features based on individual needs).


  • $89 per month for all of Intercom with 200 active people and 2 seats included
  • Additional seats are $19 each per month.
  • Active people can be added to the plan as follows: 201-500 $16/month, 501-1,000 $15/month, over 1,000 $15/month per additional 1,000 users.
  • Partial plans start as low as $38 per month.


  • $153 per month for all of Intercom with 200 active people and 2 seats included
  • Additional seats are $39 each per month.
  • Active people added as follows: 210-500 $20/month, 501-1,000 $50/month, over 1,000 $50/month per additional 1,000 users.
  • Partial plans start as low as $75 per month.


  • Custom pricing that requires a chat.
  • Premium offers a slew of features that appears to eliminate the need for add-ons.

All plans come with the offer of a 14-day free trial. Features vary according to plan size with Pro being the most popular choice. Add-ons include articles from $49/month, custom or answer bots for $99/month, and product tours from $119/month. 

Intercom Alternatives 

There are many chatbot alternatives that can allow you to assist customers on your website. However, many traditional bots don’t offer the same customer communication opportunities as Intercom. Some viable alternatives may include FreshChat, Helpscout, BoomTrain, and Userengage. Features of these alternatives vary widely as do starting prices which range from $19/month to $500/month. It’s important to consider all of the features available when determining which program will truly help your business thrive.

Pros of Intercom 

  • The program integrates seamlessly with existing apps
  • Targeted messaging can be used to better engage different customers.
  • Multi-platform tracking allows businesses to better understand customer behavior.
  • Real-time communication offers great support and feedback for customers.
  • Conversation tagging allows ease when bringing additional employees into a conversation.
  • Easily customized to meet your needs.

Cons of Intercom

  • There isn’t a completely free version.
  • No transparent pricing is offered for the premium version.
  • Training can be tricky with so many features to learn.
  • Email templates don’t offer user flexibility.


It’s vital that all of your software applications play nice together for customers to get a quality experience from your website. Intercom shines when it comes to integration with other apps. Even the essential plan offers the ability to connect to over 100 apps and integrations. Pro automatically includes connectivity with Twitter and Facebook. Some of the most popular integrations used with Intercom include Slack, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Google and Outlook Calendars, Stripe, and Hubspot. The website offers its own app store with the capability of quickly downloading existing apps. Additionally, Intercom offers the ability to build your own app within a matter of hours.

Intercom works to help thousands of businesses in many different industries improve communications with customers to quickly boost sales. While the system might not be for everyone, it definitely adds convenience to many aspects of online marketing and sales. Instead of reinventing the wheel, Intercom has simply provided a way to expand existing structures into a more streamlined cooperative experience to improve both production and customer communication.