The Value Of Live Chat: Comparing Email and Chat Conversion Rates


Meet Will.

Will is our numbers guy here at Drift.

He runs operations, and every day he digs into our metrics, and there’s one thing that has stood out about how our customers are using Drift for sales:

Live chat blows email out of the water when it comes to conversion rates.

We’ve talked about how live chat messages get 15x more engagement than email (the benchmark click rate from MailChimp data is typically anywhere between 2-3%).

Just using the message on our pricing page as an example: 63% of the people that open that message actually start a conversation with one of our sales reps.

Anyway. We know that everyone doesn’t want to go super deep on the math, so we grabbed Will and got him in front of a whiteboard to break things down even further.

Here’s Will on the value of live chat:

PS. Can’t watch right now? You can read the transcript of this video below. 

Hi. I’m Will. I work in operations at Drift and I’m here to talk about the value of chat.

To keep it simple, let’s think about what it takes to get one deal. You’ve got two channels to get there. You’ve got email and you’ve got chat.


Email is like a dude who sits on side of the road at a stoplight with a sign like this and says, “Hey, pull into my store, pull into my parking lot.” Super high volume, low conversion rate kind of play.

You send out 300 emails to get 30 replies, three demos, and these are best in class metrics, just to get to one deal.

Now, let’s think about chat.

Chat, to me, is like the Apple employee that greets you when you walk into the store and says, “Hey, how can I help you?”

With chat, you have 20 conversations (by the way, these are numbers that we see every day.) You have 20 conversations, and 16 of those are support related, four of those are sales related, but they’re warm leads, so one out of those four is going to convert into a deal.

So, which would you rather have? Would you rather have 300 conversations to get to one sales deal through email and deal with the content creation and the followup? Or would you rather have 20 live conversations in chat to close a deal?

That’s how we think about the value of chat.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop by the Drift site and let us know.

Drift is a sales communication platform that helps businesses generate more leads and close deals faster. Click here to learn more.

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