Slack is a well-established team collaboration tool with over 10 million daily active users and more than 85.000 paying teams.
Since you landed here, you're probably thinking that Slack is too expensive, or you're not sure is it worth paying for it.
Fortunately, I want to help you overcome these obstacles and make better decision.
In this article, we're going to see who should pay for Slack, who shouldn't and what are the benefits and shortcomings of Slack's product.
Note: Before we go any further, wanted to let you know that I'm not associated with Slack in any kind. This is just my personal opinion and results of the interviews i conducted.
What is Slack’s pricing?
Slack is a freemium business, which means that you can have a lifetime free account as well as some of the paying accounts. The paying plans are starting at $6.67 per user per month when billed annually, and finishing at $12.50 per user per month when billed annually (except for the enterprise plan that’s going per quote).
In short, Slack isn’t the most expensive team communication and collaboration tool on the market. But it also isn’t the cheapest one.
But Slack definitely has the most features and use cases than any other team collaboration tool on the market.
Let’s compare different Slack Pricing Plans:
|Number of messages||10k of the most recent messages||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Number of apps/integrations||up to 10||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|OAuth with Google||No||Yes||Yes|
|SAML-based single sign-on (SSO)||No||No||Yes|
|Custom Retention policies for messages and files||No||Yes||Yes|
|Voice and video calls||One-on-one only||Up to 15 participants||Up to 15 participants|
|File Storage||5 GB total||10 GB per team member||20 GB per team member|
|Support||Standard Support||Priority Support||Priority Support|
As you can see, you have some restriction in the Slack’s lifetime free pricing plan.
The reality is, in the free plan, 10k messages is not a lot, but if you're the small team of maximum 5 members, it can be enough.
The truth is, Slack pricing is suited for teas at different stages.
Even if you want one of the premium plans, you will pay per user - which means that your package will grow as you grow - which is not bad.
If you’re the 5 person team, your pricing can be as little as $33.35 per month - which is not too much keeping in mind that you will be able to do much more than just communicating with your team (but more on that later on).
Even better, if you're the remote company, look at Slack as at your office. In reality, you will pay at least $200 for the cheapest office (depending on where you live - somewhere perhaps even $1000 at least). With Slack, you're paying as little as $33.35.
So, before we actually see is it really worth to pay for Slack or not, let’s see its benefits.
Benefits of Slack you can’t live without
Without any doubt, Slack is a great team collaboration tool. For me and a lot of different people I interviewed, we can’t live without it.
Now I’m going to explain why.
1. It’s the best and most easy-to-use team collaboration platform
I personally tried a lot of different Slack alternatives in my entire career. I used Basecamp, Slack, Chanty, Microsoft Teams and Discord as well.
For me, honestly, Slack has the most user-friendly interface and it’s easiest to use. It’s relatively easy to navigate through and to divide your work and processes in different channels.
In terms of communication, Slack has many shortcuts that are helping us to be more productive and say more in less time - which is really great actually.
So in terms of UI/UX, for me at least, Slack is the easiest and most efficient tool to use.
2. Slack isn’t just the team collaboration platform
This is something that a lot of people oversee or don’t realize, and honestly, this is one of the biggest benefits of Slack over other team collaboration platform.
Don’t take Slack’s mantra to easy. Slack is really the place where work happens - without any doubt.
Slack has so many use cases that not a lot of us is aware of. There are literally hundreds of things you can do inside Slack except for team communication.
For example, did you know that you can run your entire customer support processes from Slack?
Yeah, you can answer to your email messages from Slack, chat with people who are sending you Facebook messages or even capture leads in real-time through Live Chat in Slack.
Slack is much more than a simple team communication tool.
If you learn how to take the full potential of Slack, over time, you can't live without it.
3. Slack has 1000s of different apps and integrations
In other words, Slack is the process-automation heaven. There are 1000s of different apps that are built just for Slack and different integrations that can help you to build and automate different workflows for your company.
That means that you can integrate a lot of tools (that you’re probably already using) inside Slack.
In other words, if you implement enough processes, you will be able to spend 95% of your time inside Slack, and only 5% of your time outside of it.
That means that you won’t need to use hundreds of different tools at the same time - only one.
For example, your entire lead generation process might be done from Slack.
I recently created an infographic on how to automate different processes with Slack apps under $300/mo - which only speaks about the power Slack has.
But, enough about the Slack’s benefits. Are there any shortcomings of Slack?
Shortcomings of Slack
I spoke with a lot of people about their opinions around the Slack’s product.
The most intrigued thing is that not a single one of them had complaints about the Slack’s product in general.
The only complaints I’ve got are around the 10k message limit in the Slack’s free plan.
Which of course, it’s not a big deal if you’re still the young company.
Are there any Slack alternatives worth considering?
In the last couple of years, Slack got a lot of different alternatives worth mentioning.
Some of them are more affordable while some of them are a little bit more expensive.
One of the best Slack alternatives I can recommend are Chanty, Fleep and Microsoft Teams.
All of them have great products, but only in terms of team communication.
If you’re looking for just team communication tool and you don’t mind using more apps for more processes and not automating your workflows, then you can always go with some cheaper alternative like Chanty.
In terms of the product itself, all Slack alternatives including the Slack as well are doing the pretty much same job.
But, what’s the main difference between them?
It’s in the infrastructure.
None of them has the infrastructure, resources and integrations as Slack has.
Thus, by mine and other’s opinions, Slack is the best solution for team collaboration and communication.
Is it worth paying for Slack?
The first question is, who should and who shouldn't pay for Slack.
If you're planning to have an open community on Slack, then you probably shouldn't pay. Because if you reach 1000 members at some point, you may end up paying $6600+ each month.
But if you're planning to have membership-only community, then you can use the benefits of Slack's premium plans.
For the company purposes and team collaboration, I think that everyone should pay for Slack. Because eventually, it's the most important tool for your business.
Let me explain:
Like I already mentioned, if you’re looking for just team communication tool, then you can pay less for some other tool. But in that case, you will miss a lot of different things.
The real power of Slack lies in its apps and integrations.
For example, lemtalk is the live chat and customer support app built for Slack. With it, you can answer all of your customer support messages from your Slack channel.
This saves your time and boosts your productivity.
With Slack, you can do more in less time.
And that’s the truth.
So, as the conclusion:
If you’re looking to improve your productivity and run your workflows on autopilot, Slack is worth every penny. Don’t try to find some other alternative. Perhaps you will pay less money, but you will pay more in time and results.
At the end of the day, in business, time and money are equally important resources.