The third part of the series “E-mail Marketing with WordPress” is about getting in touch with your leads and customers directly.
With a live chat plugin you can help your customer directly. The quick advice can increase your conversion rate, because the direct line to your company creates trust. In addition, potential customers are more likely to leave your data for a newsletter.
Live chats are becoming more and more popular. Meanwhile there are a lot of free or cheap, but also expensive plugins for WordPress. And that’s not surprising, since most people around the world communicate several times a day via various chats and social media: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and Co. to name just a few. Getting in touch quickly, feedback after a few minutes – the entire market is growing rapidly.
You can also implement this trend in your company. However, a live chat plugin also has its disadvantages. Not everyone is computer-savvy and can cope with a live chat. Some customers prefer a voice on the other end of the line. Therefore, offer your customers other ways to contact you. So they can decide for themselves how they prefer to get in touch with you.
You can find out which are the best live chat plugins for WordPress in part 3 of the series “E-mail marketing with WordPress”.
The name is program. The developers of LiveChat promise a very easy and clear application.
The LiveChat plugin enjoys great popularity worldwide. Its trademark is an extremely user-friendly and tidy interface. Menus and settings can be found intuitively. The promoted main features include desktop alerts on incoming chat messages, automatic reply functions and the possibility of user administration and the collection of statistics.
For example, it is possible to store standardized welcome greetings in the form of a pop-up chat on the landing page. If the chat is abused by users, you have the possibility to block them. Extensive statistics on user behavior and conversation rates can also be easily retrieved. You can see how long the customer has been waiting for an answer by means of a colored marking.
The special thing about LiveChat are the support tickets. These can also be created offline and forwarded to you by e-mail. The company LiveChat attaches great importance to data protection and advertises with a strict compliance to the data protection regulation. The hosting on German servers is also to be evaluated positively. LiveChat can be tested for four days free of charge, after that the starter package costs $16 with annual billing, $33 for the team package and $50 for business. If you need even more and want to use the additional features, you can sign an individual enterprise contract.
How to install the plugin in WordPress you can see here: to the instruction.
Conclusion: Setting up LiveChat takes no more than five minutes. Very fast, very simple. Suitable for beginners and professionals. Proactive chat invitations help to start chatting. You can even send personalized messages based on various criteria. Although you can download the LiveChat plugin for free, you need a premium subscription to use it beyond the thirty-day free trial period. Especially great is the huge app ecosystem and the support of all major platforms.
Olark also promises a quick start with its chat software: a few visual adjustments and you’re ready to go. Olark is a fully functional live chat solution. Strictly speaking, it is not a good example of a WordPress live chat plugin, but it can be easily integrated into a WordPress website via a handy widget.
Qualitative data, product feedback, new ideas for your marketing strategy – all of this can be achieved with Olark’s chat tool, which allows you to define event triggers to send customized messages to customers or offer help when they need it. You can also create detailed chat reports about customer satisfaction and the activity of a prospect. These will be sent to you by email. You can test Olark for two weeks for free. After that, you will be charged $12 per month per employee for a two-year payment. You can then access premium features such as real-time reports and links to frequently asked questions that are not available in the free version.
For integration you get a piece of code directly from Olark, which you can then embed anywhere in WordPress. No matter if as HTML element in the sidebar, in the template or via a plugin like the Header Footer Code Manager. This is how Olark looks like in your WordPress:
Conclusion: The cloud-based tool is inexpensive and provides a lot of features. Olarks supports complex rules for the automation of live chats to attract more customers and speed up your workflow. Automatically greet customers, send custom messages based on visitor behavior, redirect chats to the right department, show and hide your chat box and more.
The cloud based tool Zendesk was formerly called Zopim Live Chat and is based in California. Zendesk Chat is one of the most popular live chats for WordPress users. It is very easy to install thanks to its own WordPress plugin. Zendesk Chat’s chatboxes are among the most stylish you can find, with really nice and customizable layouts and themes.
Zendesk offers a mobile app that gives you centralized access to services such as Twitter, Facebook Messenger and more. You can not only chat, but also make phone calls, send e-mails and social media messages. With this plugin you can also send targeted messages depending on the customer’s behavior and automatically start the chat. A pre-chat form gives you data about the customer and his behavior even before you start chatting. The customer can also contact you if you are not there.
Choose between four packages at Zendesk. The cheapest package “Team” costs 14 € per month and agent. In comparison: The most expensive model “Enterprise” costs 59 € per month and agent. Test the plugin first for free.
A standardized offline form informs the visitor if you are not online at the moment. He can leave his contact details and you will get in touch with him.
Conclusion: If you don’t have many leads and visitors on your website yet, but you still want to get in contact with your potential customers, the free version is worth it. However, a single chat will not be enough for long. Other plugins already offer a larger scope in the trial version.
This plugin is also cloud based and offers several chat options in one tool. If you care a lot about the look of the chat, you will be happy here. Embellish the background images and messages according to your taste. The widget is customizable and placeable, you can choose colors and three different styles: Business, modern and classic.
This is what the chat window looks like on a website, for example:
With up to three users Tidio remains free of charge. Afterwards the plugin costs you 15 € per month for three users. For each additional user you pay 10 € more. An advantage is that the websites are available in several languages and the chat works on PC, Mac iOS and Android.
Like Zendesk, it is possible to send messages via social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. E-mails and of course the chat messages can also be written and read via the widget. If you are not online, the visitor will be asked to leave an email address so that you can get in touch when you return.
And this is what Tidio looks like:
Conclusion: Tidio is recommendable because it can be customized in many ways. Immediately after installation and clicking on the Tidio tab, the chat field becomes visible. Make a few settings and you can start a conversation with your visitors.
The price of Tidio is mediocre, the free version is perfect for small websites as they rarely use more than three chat operators and will send less than 500 mails per month via the system.
The company has been based in America since its foundation in 2012. Pure Chat has numerous users worldwide. Pure Chat is one of my favorite live chat plugins because of the exceptionally beautiful chat boxes it builds. Every part of the chat box can be customized, with unlimited colors, eye-catching animations and custom images.
Pure Chat offers many features. If you take a look at the website, you can see that already in the free version some features are available. An unlimited number of chats, iOS and Android apps, data transfer, different administration roles like admin and user are available in the trial version. If you are offline, you can convert the chatbox to an email form. The customer can leave messages in this way.
In the “Growth” package, for which you pay $39 for four users, analysis, support, SMS notifications and more are available. In the third package, “Pro”, you pay $79 per month for 10 users. All features are available to you on an unlimited number of websites. The price is okay and cheaper than Zendesk.
This is what Pure Chat looks like on your PC and smartphone:
A video tutorial and the manufacturer’s manual will help you to set up the plugin in your WordPress backend. The corresponding WordPress plugin is of course free. You can easily embed the widget, the e-mail forms and triggers in the dashboard and redesign them with a few clicks.
Conclusion: Pure Chat has a lot of features to offer, but unfortunately it is not available in German. The free version of Pure Chat allows up to 15 chats per month. If you need more, plans start from $39/month, which includes four users and unlimited chats. By the way, chats are conducted through the Pure Chat dashboard or mobile applications directly from your smartphone.
Winning customers, addressing customers, support for customers. These are the three cornerstones of Intercom. It enables businesses to communicate with customers over the Internet, but always personally and on a large scale. So it is more a customer communication platform with a range of integrated products for each team – including sales, marketing, product and support.
Von Intercom’s products enable targeted communication with customers on the website, but also within web and mobile applications and via e-mail. A Unified Inbox is created, so to speak, through which one can speak centrally with each customer.
The WordPress plugin works with over 100 apps, such as Google Analytics, Zendesk Support, Facebook, Outlook Calendar, MailChimp, Shopify and many more. If you are offline, a message is sent to the visitor via the chat window. He can then tweet or email you and you can contact him when you are back.
The price of this tool is slightly higher. Start-ups receive Intercom for $49 in the first year. After that you can choose between three packages. Essential, Pro and Premium. Starting at $87 a month, even the cheapest version is expensive.
More features are possible as extensions. But you have to pay extra for them every month. Guided tours for your customers cost 119 $. Suggested articles that help your customers help themselves cost $49. Unfortunately, bots also cost $99 per month.
You can create and combine behavior and time triggers. Examples are name, last viewed products, registration, projects, company name and time zone. If a customer triggers the defined trigger, a previously written automated message can be sent via the chat. Generate leads with Intercom, have questions automatically answered by bots, connect different products from Intercom and forward conversations to the appropriate employee.
Conclusion: Intercom is a very powerful communication solution and is already heading towards CRM / HubSpot with its holistic approach. If you want to centralize your customer communication across all departments, Intercom is the right choice.
LivePerson is the oldest live chat plugin in our comparison. It has been on the market since 1995 and is used by numerous customers. The plugin has not been tested with the last 3 major versions of WordPress. It may not be maintained or supported anymore and may have compatibility problems when used with newer versions of WordPress!
The enterprise monster of chat tools uses artificial intelligence such as chat and voicebots and places great emphasis on their further development. The price is individual and is not revealed on the website. This much is certain: The provider can be paid very well. For a start-up it is probably rather over budget and even medium-sized companies are not necessarily the target group of LivePerson.
The company has thousands of employees at seven locations worldwide and is used by giants like Adobe, Telekom, Microsoft, Citibank, Sky, Disney and others.
Conclusion: Meanwhile LivePerson has become a real heavyweight for corporations due to its success and does not even offer a current WordPress plugin anymore. Even if you probably won’t decide for LivePerson, the tool should still be mentioned here. The worldwide successful chat tool has simply earned its place in this list.
According to the providers of this tool, Drift is the world’s first and only conversation platform for marketing, but that’s what some claim… Let’s take a closer look.
Drift would like to help you generate even more leads and establish contact with your customers. You can use it to host webinars, add forms to your website and integrate third-party content to get even more clicks. Enable real-time notifications, chat bots and browser targeting – these are just a few of Drift’s features.
The tool is available as a plugin for WordPress. However, the plugin has not been updated for more than a year. In offline mode, the visitor gets an automatic notification that you are not online. The widget status shows the visitor the business hours and sends automatic welcome greetings.
The tool is available in four packages and is in the upper price range. In the free version you can chat and have 100 free contacts. In all other packages there is an unlimited number of contacts. But already in the pro version you pay 400 $ per month, in the premium class even 1500 $ per month.
Conclusion: Drift is a versatile tool that offers you everything you need to develop your marketing strategy. It should also be mentioned that small companies and start-ups receive a 93% discount at the beginning. This can really be worth it.
WP Live Chat by 3CX
The completely free plugin of WordPress was suitable for everyone who cannot or does not want to afford an expensive plugin. But in the meantime it has been taken over by 3XC!
The WordPress plugin promises an installation in only 30 seconds. After that you can start right away. The tool is simple and designed for speed. Of course there is no chatbot with a free plugin. The chat is responsive, you can define different triggers and it is possible to forward the chat to other employees.
Interesting is the possibility to chat directly to a website visitor. However, the chat must first be confirmed by the user. You can have an unlimited number of chats at the same time, pre-defined answers will do the work for you. You can even see what your counterpart is typing into the chat window before sending the message. If you are not online, they can leave you a message.
Conclusion: The Plugin is still free, but has its weak points, for example with the somewhat complicated mechanism. Nevertheless it is evaluated altogether to approximately 90% as very good. The Plugin is compatible with the usual translation Plugins and Google Analytics. A premium version allows to encrypt the chats, set up a user profile, add a company logo and exclude the chatbox from some pages.
Another absolutely free plugin on this list, which is also equipped with all important features.
Automatic answers, visitor statistics, quick installation, easy configuration. You can book agents to take over your chat communication for 1 $ per hour (but not in English). With Tawk you have a simple chat tool that can’t do everything, but still keeps up with the big tools.
If you are offline, you can have a contact form appear instead of the chat window so that the visitor can leave you a message. In your WordPress backend you can follow what your customer is doing on your site. You can then start the chat or wait until you are contacted.
If you want to remove the Tawk.to branding, it will cost you $12 a month, but that’s the other side of the coin. The developer says that you should not pay for chatting with visitors on your own site.
And how to use Tawk, you can see in this video:
Conclusion: Tawk is a really great live chat, which can be integrated and used very easily in WordPress. I think it’s especially cool that you can just start with the free version with a little branding and upgrade to paid accounts with multiple users and advanced features at any time.
The cloud-based tool ZOHO offers, among many other functions via SalesIQ, the possibility to get in touch with your customers through multiple channels.
ZOHO offers a huge selection of tools and software, including a multi-channel CRM. If you use this, you can take advantage of some really awesome features. The live chat of this tool offers you for example the possibility to identify your visitors via the integrated CRM. What is the visitor currently doing on your site? How strong is his turnover? ZOHO will find out for you.
Chatbots communicate day and night with your customers, so you are always available. Layouts and forms can be customized for the chat. Views and filters can be customized and support is multilingual. Functions can be added via custom scripts.
ZOHO can of course be tried out for free. After the trial period you can choose between three packages. The basic package costs 17 € per month for three users. Five users are covered by the professional package for 53 € and Enterprise offers you all the features for ten users for 116 €.
To add the ZOHO plugin to WordPress, you don’t need any HTML knowledge. The interface is user friendly and easy to use. All features can be set directly from the dashboard after configuration. The english manual will help you to install the plugin.
Conclusion: It is hardly possible to summarize this tool in a few sentences, because it has a lot of features. The price is absolutely okay considering the range of functions. Especially as a larger company you will benefit from the many options ZOHO offers.
The Cologne-based company provides you with a user-friendly live chat for your website. Userlike has been on the market since 2012 and aims to provide users with an easy and uncomplicated live chat.
The tool offers automated welcome messages, individual and customizable designs, creation of customer profiles and co-browsing. You can assign skills to the operators. This allows the customer to chat directly with the right contact person. The internal chat logic ensures that visitors who have already used the chat once chat with the same operator again.
In the dashboard you can see when a customer contacts you. Userlike’s live chat works even when you are not at your desk. You will receive a message via an instant messenger and can react. If you don’t have the possibility to contact your customers at the moment, you can convert the chatbox into an e-mail form and the customer can leave a request and his data.
The developers promise a setup within five minutes: Install the plugin and set it up in the dashboard, done! And this is how it looks like with you:
At Userlike you can choose between five price packages. The free version offers a chat widget, an operator and unlimited chats. If that is enough for you or if you just want to test the plugin, you can use this version for an unlimited time. You can get the package “Team” for 29 €, “Corporate” for 99 € and “Business” for 299 € per month. The price for “Flex” is available on request, but you can request a demo. Only in this package chat offers are available to you. Userlike wants to reach a broad mass of users, you can see that in the pricing. If you pay more, you will of course get more features.
You can set up the free WordPress plugin with the help of this guide.
Conclusion: The tool from Userlike is suitable for beginners and professionals. Those who are still at the very beginning with their business will get along with the free version for now. But Userlike also addresses large companies and offers you the possibility to establish personal contact to your customers.
Conclusion and recommendation
One plugin in particular convinced me: Tawk Why? Because it is really free at the beginning and still implements a professional live chat directly in WordPress. So you can easily start with the free version with a small branding and upgrade to larger accounts with multiple users and advanced features at any time if needed.
Olark can also be very interesting for some. The cloud based tool is cheap and provides a lot of features. Use Olark’s easy to configure rules for automating live chats to attract more customers and speed up your workflow. Automatically greet customers, send custom messages based on visitor behavior, redirect chats to the right department, show and hide your chat box and more.
Userlike convinces through simplicity. It is suitable for start-ups and large companies, everyone can choose their own package. The young Cologne-based company provides a great live chat tool – it’s worth trying out!