Usage-based channels

How much it costs to send/receive emails, SMS, WhatsApp, calls, posts, mobile push, product tours, mobile carousels, and surveys.

Beth-Ann Sher avatar
Written by Beth-Ann Sher
Updated yesterday

This article refers to our new pricing plans. If you joined Intercom before March 14, 2024, this information may not apply to you. For information about one of our legacy plans, please log in to view these articles instead, or contact us through the Messenger.

Intercom's plans are omnichannel which means you can provide support wherever your customers are and handle conversations across different channels right from the Help Desk to deliver a consistent experience that scales.

All plans (Essential, Advanced, and Expert) give you access to these channels, but use of these channels is optional and you'll only incur additional fees based on what you use. Here's how it works...

  • Some channels have no usage charges and are free to use on all plans:

    • Chats

    • Banners

    • Tooltips

  • All other channels are usage-based and charged based on their own pricing metric:

    • SMS Segments

    • Bulk Emails Sent

    • Bulk WhatsApp Sent

    • Inbound WhatsApp Conversations

    • Phone Segments

    • Messages Sent: Posts, Product Tours, Mobile Push, Mobile Carousels, and Surveys

How does pricing work?

😃 You only pay for what you use.

📉 The more you use, the less you pay per message.

🔢 Prices work in tiers (see our price breakdown tables below). We calculate your monthly bill by adding up your usage for each tier.

Easily monitor and keep an eye your current usage from the usage dashboard.

All prices are shown in United States Dollars (USD).


SMS Segments

The metric 'SMS Segments' is used to calculate the cost of SMS Segments sent to or from a customer in your last billing month.

There are no SMS Segments included on your plan, you’ll be charged per segment. You won’t be charged for Phone Number Activation.

While the SMS Segments sent/received count stays the same, the price point changes depending on the region.

How to calculate the cost of sending SMS messages

This metric follows a tiered pricing structure. When your usage exceeds a tier threshold, the cost per SMS Segment decreases. Charges are determined by the proportion of your usage within each tier. So to work out the total cost, you’ll need to calculate the cost for each tier up to your total volume and then sum these costs.

Price breakdown

Lower Band

Upper Band

USA price per segment

Canada price per segment

UK price per segment

Australia price per segment

Tier 1

1

500

$0.0600

$0.0600

$0.0900

$0.0900

Tier 2

501

1,000

$0.0300

$0.0300

$0.0875

$0.0875

Tier 3

1,001

4,000

$0.0250

$0.0250

$0.0850

$0.0850

Tier 4

4,001

7,000

$0.0200

$0.0200

$0.0800

$0.0800

Tier 5

7,001

10,000

$0.0175

$0.0175

$0.0750

$0.0750

Tier 6

10,001

100,000

$0.0150

$0.0150

$0.0700

$0.0700

Tier 7

100,001

And above

$0.0100

$0.0100

$0.0650

$0.0650

SMS pricing examples

1.) You are sending 1,500 SMS Segments a month in the USA:

  • For the first 500 (Tier 1): 500 x $0.0600 = $30.00

  • For the next 500 (Tier 2): 500 x $0.0300 = $15.00

  • For the remaining 500 (Tier 3): 500 x $0.0250 = $12.50

  • Add up the costs from each tier: $30.00 + $15.00 + $12.50 = $57.50

So, it would cost $57.50 to send 1,500 SMS Segments in the USA.

2.) You are sending 2000 SMS segments a month: 1,000 SMS segments to Canada and 1,000 SMS segments to Australia:

Canada

  • For the first 500 (Tier 1): 500 x $0.0600 = $30.00

  • For the next 500 (Tier 2): 500 x $0.0300 = $15.00

  • Add up the costs from each tier: $45.00

Australia

  • For the first 500 (Tier 1): 500 x $0.0900 = $45

  • For the next 500 (Tier 2): 500 x $0.0875 = $43.75

  • Add up the costs from each tier: $88.75

Total cost of 2000 SMS segments split in half between Australia and Canada is $133.75 per month. Each region will have a different line item on your invoice.


Bulk Email Sent

The metric 'Bulk Email Sent' is used to calculate the cost of sending emails to multiple recipients via:

Each email sent to an individual customer is counted as one email sent, regardless of whether the email bounces back (including if the email address is invalid). If one email is sent to multiple customers, each one is considered a separate email.

Inbound emails or 1:1 emails sent via the Help Desk are free to use at no additional cost.

How to calculate the cost of sending emails

This metric follows a tiered pricing structure. When your usage exceeds a tier threshold, the cost per email decreases. Charges are determined by the proportion of your usage within each tier. So to work out the total cost, you’ll need to calculate the cost for each tier up to your total volume and then sum these costs.

Price breakdown

Emails sent is greater than or equal to

Emails sent is less than or equal to

Price per email sent

Tier 1

1

100

$0.04500

Tier 2

101

500

$0.03000

Tier 3

501

1,000

$0.01500

Tier 4

1,001

5,000

$0.00750

Tier 5

5,001

10,000

$0.00500

Tier 6

10,001

50,000

$0.00300

Tier 7

50,001

100,000

$0.00250

Tier 8

100,001

500,000

$0.00200

Tier 9

500,001

1,000,000

$0.00100

Tier 10

1,000,001

2,000,000

$0.00050

Tier 11

2,000,001

And above

$0.00025

Email pricing example

This month you are sending 3,000 emails to inform your customers about a new product launch:

  • For the first 100 (Tier 1): 100 x $0.04500 = $4.50

  • For the next 400 (Tier 2): 400 x $0.03000 = $12

  • For the next 500 (Tier 3): 500 x $0.01500 = $7.50

  • For the remaining 2,000 (Tier 4): 2,000 x $0.00750 = $15

  • Add up the costs from each tier: $39

So, it would cost $39 for 3,000 Bulk Email Sent.

Alias email addresses

When you send an email to an alias (or group) address, remember it might represent multiple individual email addresses. So if you send an email to an alias linked to 50 email addresses via Contacts, it will count as 50 separate emails and you'll be billed for each one.

Duplicate email addresses

Noticed duplicate email addresses on your list? Each one counts! If your list has two of the same email addresses, and you send to that list, you'll be billed for two emails sent to the same address. Find out how to remove duplicate users.


Bulk WhatsApp Sent

The metric 'Bulk WhatsApp Sent' is used to calculate the cost of any teammate initiated conversation sent via WhatsApp through the Proactive Support section in Intercom. This includes WhatsApp messages sent either 1:1 or 1:n (one-to-many).

How to calculate the cost of sending WhatsApp messages

This metric follows a tiered pricing structure. When your usage exceeds a tier threshold, the cost per WhatsApp message decreases. Charges are determined by the proportion of your usage within each tier. So to work out the total cost, you’ll need to calculate the cost for each tier up to your total volume and then sum these costs.

Price breakdown

Lower Band

Upper Band

Price Per Unit

Tier 1

1

500

$0.1000

Tier 2

501

1,000

$0.0950

Tier 3

1,001

2,500

$0.0900

Tier 4

2,501

4,000

$0.0850

Tier 5

4,001

5,500

$0.0800

Tier 6

5,501

7,000

$0.0775

Tier 7

7,001

8,500

$0.0750

Tier 8

8,501

10,000

$0.0725

Tier 9

10,001

And above

$0.0700

WhatsApp pricing example

This month, you want to start a WhatsApp campaign for your most loyal customers. You are planning to send the campaign to 1,500 users:

  • For the first 500 (Tier 1): 500 x $0.1 = $49

  • For the next 500 (Tier 2): 500 x $0.095 = $47.405

  • For the remaining 500 (Tier 3): 500 x $0.09 = $45

  • Add up the costs from each tier: $142.50

So, it would cost $142.50 for 1,500 Bulk WhatsApp Sent.


Inbound WhatsApp Conversations

The metric 'Inbound WhatsApp Conversations' is used to calculate the cost of using:

How to calculate the cost of Inbound WhatsApp Conversations

This metric follows a tiered pricing structure. When your usage exceeds a tier threshold, the cost per WhatsApp message decreases. Charges are determined by the proportion of your usage within each tier. So to work out the total cost, you’ll need to calculate the cost for each tier up to your total volume and then sum these costs.

Price breakdown

Lower Band

Upper Band

Price Per Unit

Tier 1

1

500

$0.0450

Tier 2

501

1,000

$0.0425

Tier 3

1,001

2,500

$0.0400

Tier 4

2,501

4,000

$0.0375

Tier 5

4,001

5,500

$0.0350

Tier 6

5,501

20,000

$0.0325

Tier 7

20,001

And above

$0.0300


Phone Segments

You will be billed based on your region and usage of:

Phone:

  • Phone numbers

  • Inbound minutes

  • Outbound minutes

  • Recording minutes

Messenger calls:

  • Messenger call minutes

  • Recording minutes


Messages Sent

The metric 'Messages Sent' is used to calculate the cost of sending Posts, Mobile Push, Product Tours, Mobile Carousels, and Surveys. Usage of these channels is only available if you have the optional Proactive Support Plus add-on.

The Proactive Support Plus add-on includes 500 'Messages Sent' each month. If you go over this, you’ll start being charged per message (see rates below).

What counts as 'Messages Sent'?

Posts

Every time a post is presented to an end user. If a user sees the same post on web and on mobile, this counts as two Messages Sent.

Mobile Push

Every time a mobile push is sent to an end user’s device (not a teammate). If the same mobile push is delivered to two devices logged in to the same user account, this counts as two Messages Sent.

Product Tours

Every time a tour is presented to an end user. The user does not need to take the tour. The same tour can be presented multiple times to the same user which counts as a Message Sent each time.

Mobile Carousels

Every time a mobile carousel is presented to a user. The same mobile carousel can be presented multiple times to the same user which counts as a Message Sent each time.

Surveys

Every time a survey is sent, regardless of whether the survey was taken or completed. A survey counts as a Message Sent if: a user is shown the survey by matching your audience rules; or a user interacts with the first question embedded in an email; or a user clicks on a survey’s shareable link (in a chat, post, email, webpage, etc.)

Note:

  • If a user matches your audience rules for a message, they’ll be shown the message and this counts as a 'Message Sent'. They don't necessarily have to interact with the message.

  • ‘Messages Sent’ does not include emails, SMS, or WhatsApp as these channels are available without the Proactive Support Plus add-on and use their own metric.

How to calculate the cost of sending Posts, Mobile Push, Product Tours, Mobile Carousels, and Surveys

These channels use the 'Messages Sent' metric which follows a tiered pricing structure. When your usage exceeds a tier threshold, the cost per message decreases. Charges are determined by the proportion of your usage within each tier.

So to work out your ‘Messages Sent’ total, you’ll need to include any messages sent through product tours, surveys, posts, mobile push, and mobile carousels during a billing month. Then calculate the cost for each tier up to your total volume and sum these costs (see examples).

Price breakdown

Greater Than or Equal To

Less Than or Equal To

Price Per Message Sent

Tier 1

1

500

$0.0000 (included in add-on)

Tier 2

501

1,000

$0.0700

Tier 3

1,001

2,000

$0.0600

Tier 4

2,001

3,000

$0.0500

Tier 5

3,001

5,000

$0.0400

Tier 6

5,001

10,000

$0.0300

Tier 7

10,001

100,000

$0.0250

Tier 8

100,001

250,000

$0.0200

Tier 9

250,001

and above

$0.0175

Messages Sent pricing examples

1. This month your Product Tour was presented to 400 users, and you don’t use any other features included in Messages Sent. Your total Messages Sent usage is 400.

You won't incur any usage-based charges for Messages Sent, since you are below the 500 Messages Sent included in the Proactive Support Plus add-on.

2. This month your “Welcome” Post was presented to 100 users. You also sent 400 Surveys. Your total Messages Sent count is 500.

Again, you won't incur any usage-based charges for Messages Sent, since you are within the 500 Messages Sent included in the Proactive Support Plus add-on.

3. This month your Mobile Carousel was presented to 3,000 users.

  • For the first 500 (Tier 1): No charge (included in add-on)

  • For the next 500 (Tier 2): 500 x $0.0700 = $35

  • For the next 1000 (Tier 3): 1000 x $0.0600 = $60

  • For the remaining 1000 (Tier 4): 1000 x $0.0500 = $50

So, it would cost $145 for a Mobile Carousel to be presented to 3,000 users.


How we bill

When a teammate sets a message live on a new channel for the first time, we'll notify the billing contact so there are no surprise charges.

Monthly subscription

If you’re on a monthly subscription, you’ll be billed ahead for your seats and add-ons, and in arrears for usage-based charges (Additional Usage).

Example

If you use 1,200 Bulk Emails Sent in a month, the usage-based charges would be billed in arrears and calculated as follows:

100 * $0.04500

+ 400 * $0.03000

+ 500 * $0.01500

+ 200 * $0.00750

= $25.50

Monthly/quarterly/annual contract

If you have contracted usage, you’ll be billed ahead for the contracted amount based on your billing frequency (monthly, quarterly, annually).

Additional Usage is billed monthly:

  • Message usage above contracted amount (emails, WhatsApp, SMS, etc.) is billed in arrears.

  • Seats usage above contracted amount is billed ahead for the next month, based on the final volume of the current month.

Example

You have a monthly contracted quantity of 500 Bulk Emails Sent, but you use 700 Bulk Emails Sent in a month, the Additional Usage charge would be calculated as follows:

  • 500 * $0.01500 = $7.50 (contracted value, billed ahead), plus

  • 200 * $0.00750 = $1.50 (billed in arrears).

You have also contracted for 10 seats, but you have assigned 15 seats as of your monthly billing date. This is calculated as follows:

  • 10 contracted seats billed ahead for next period with contract charges.

  • 5 additional seats prorated from when added and billed in arrears.

  • 5 additional seats billed ahead for next month.

If you have a quarterly/annual contract, Additional Usage won’t be billed ahead for the quarter or year, just for the next month of usage. Any reduction in usage during that period will also be prorated and credited against the next invoice.


View your usage

You can stay effortlessly in tune with your current usage by navigating to the icon at the bottom left of your screen, select Billing, and view the Subscription page. This will show your estimated usage up to the present day of your billing cycle.

To monitor the speed of your usage and keep an eye on your proximity to contracted limits or included values, you can explore your usage dashboard.

If you’re unable to view this page, it's likely that you don’t have Can access Billing settings permission which you’ll need to request from the Admin of your workspace.


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