Drift Comprehensive Onboarding Guide

Updated 4 days ago by Jackie Bai

So you're super excited to finally start using Drift--but where to begin? Here's a comprehensive guide on everything you'll need to get set up.

Drift Settings [Video]

Our customer success team made this video to get you started with your Drift! Feel free to watch this, or scroll through the table of contents on this page to find what you need.

Here's what the video covers:

00:28 - Dashboard

02:20 - Team and Personal Settings

03:00 - Adding New Team Members

04:06 - Apps and Integrations

05:28 - Chat Widget, Hours & Targeting

10:43 - Chat Widget, Welcome Message

12:07 - Chat Widget, Design

12:55 - Installing Drift On Your Website

14:37 - Lead Routing

15:10 - Driftbot

Account Setup

There will be two ways you can sign up for Drift: creating a new account here, or getting invited via email to join your team's account.

Once you log in, you can demo our data enrichment and let Drift fill some information for you, or you can manually input it. If you want to start from scratch, then you can click "Skip this."

  1. First, you'll be asked to select an avatar picture. It's not necessary, but we highly recommend it for a more human experience for your site visitors.
  2. You can then fill in your name, job title, and a motto for your new Drift profile if you'd like.
  3. Set your Drift profile URL - the text that will be appended to your team's Drift directory to navigate to your personal profile.
  4. We also invite you to install the Drift Chrome extension! You can use this to receive browser notifications about conversations and to send tracked emails with Drift.
  5. Connect your Gmail or Office 365 calendar as well to allow visitors to book meetings with you directly through Drift!

Your Drift Profile

If you skipped the onboarding flow above, then you can also set up your account through My Settings > Public Profile

As of April 2018, Drift profiles have moved to drift.me links! If you had a team profile in style of team.drift.com/dgraap, you still get to keep it. That handle however, can no longer be changed, but your new drift.me link can! Everything else is the same as the old profiles, we just changed the link format.

The Basics

 Start filling out your basic information! Here’s a quick what’s what...

  • Your Drift Profile Link - a unique path for your very own personal page
  • Title - enter your role at your company here
  • Location - enter where you are located
  • Short Bio/Quote - write a short blurb or a couple of words to describe yourself
  • Profile Privacy - determines whether or not your profile is public to the world or not
We STRONGLY recommend setting your URLs once at the beginning of your profile setup and never touching them again. Your name and email is taken from your Account page

Click the green Save button to save your progress and continue on!


Click on the theme you would like to use and upload a photo if you select the two column theme.

Standard Two Column


Do not copy and paste the whole link, just add the usernames into the corresponding fields!

You can also link your calendar in this section by toggling on the Calendar CTA button in the red box above. Once you turn that on, click on the "Connect your calendar" link. You will be given an option to choose to connect either your Google calendar or an Office 365 Calendar.

You can also access this section by clicking your avatar on the lefthand sidebar, clicking "My Settings" and then "My Calendar" tab.

Welcome Message

Customize your online and offline messages! The Online Message will default to "How can we help you?" but it can be customized by entering text in the text field below Online Message. The same can be done for the Offline Message. 


Fill out additional details to make your profile more interesting!

Share Your Profile

Your profile will default to private, so when you are done editing all of your information, toggle the privacy on it to make it public!

If you add ?schedule to the end of the URL it will automatically open a new conversation with the bot prompting to book a meeting with you!

You can also share your profile through the Widget API– which can add a button to start a schedule flow. Make sure to use the api.scheduleMeeting(driftUserId); method! We can provide your User ID, no problem!


It's important to set up your notification settings as soon as possible, so that you're notified for all the messages you receive (or only notified for certain messages). 

The mobile apps are extremely useful for taking chats on the go. If you want to download them, the links are under the Mobile Push Preferences section in Notification

You will have the option to set up whether or not you want notifications in-browser, on your phone, or via email. You can also select whether or not you want a sound to play (and what kind of sound) when you receive a notification. 

Team Settings

If you would like to watch a video created by one of our CSMs on team settings, click here! If you know exactly what you want to look for, feel free to jump to it from the table of contents on your right.

Invite Your Team

Adding a team member to your account is easy! Head to your team settings to send an invite. 

Each plan only comes with a varied number of seats. To see more pricing options, click here.

Click on the green "Invite Team" button, and then enter their email address before hitting next. There is also an option to connect your Slack account and invite your team members directly from there.


Click into the "Apps" section of team settings to connect your drift account with any integrations.

Slack                               Help DocIn App
HubspotHelp DocIn App
SalesforceHelp DocIn App
KnowledgebaseHelp DocIn App
SegmentHelp DocIn App
DripHelp DocIn App
SendGridHelp DocIn App
ZapierHelp DocIn App
OtherHelp DocIn App


You can take a look at what plan you're on in the billing section of team settings. It will tell you the current features of the plan (seats and contacts), as well as an option to upgrade.

There will also be an option to manage your payment method, as well as seeing you most recent invoices. If you have any questions or need to speak with support, feel free to click on the "Talk to us!" button.

Chat Widget

You will be able to adjust the various settings for the chat widget under this section.

Hours & Targeting

We know it's not easy to have somebody attentive to chat 24/7, so we built the ability for you to set which hours you're available.

  • When your widget is set to online, if somebody clicks to start chatting they will enter a live conversation
  • When you're offline, if somebody clicks to start a conversation they'll see an away message you can customize.
    • After they submit their message, they'll be asked for their email address and see a thank you message.
    • The messages your visitors submit will show up in Drift and you can still respond at any time.

We let you choose one time-span each day for when chat is in online mode!

You can also also adjust the audience that your widget targets below. You can refer to this doc to learn more about how targeting works.

Welcome Message

A welcome message will always display anywhere chat is shown, and you can edit this message at any time. The best part is that people can start talking to you right from that message.

This message will be predefined and show up on your site during your company's online hours. You can also set an offline message that will display when your company is offline. You can set your company's online and offline messages here.

You can change between the "online" and "offline" preview to see what your welcome message looks like depending on whether you're online or not. Additionally, if you want your chat widget to pop up with a message when people come onto your site, you will need to make sure that you turn on the welcome message

The welcome message defaults on "Randomly Chosen," but if you want a specific person's avatar to pop up then you will need to hand pick it (up to three).

It doesn't matter which avatars pop up on the welcome message--that doesn't determine who the conversation is being routed to!


When you're customizing your Drift branding you'll see an option to edit the colors. 

  • We do NOT recommend setting white (#FFFFFF) as your background color!
  • If you use a dark color for your background color, make suer you set a light chat text color (and vice versa)
  • We do not offer the option to change the color of the entire chat background when it expands currently.

You can also change what you want the chat widget to look like! We offer four preset options, and you can also choose to upload your own image to replace any of the options. Additionally, you can change the font of your widget as well as the language.


Using Drift's Advanced Chat Widget settings, you can now turn the ability for your users to send attachments through chat on or off, remove the flashing browser notifications your site visitor would see if they had messages waiting for them on your site, and remove the URL image unfurling to just have your URLs display without the metadata.

By turning these on, you can further customize your site visitors user experience with Drift on your website!

There will also be the option to change the text with your email capture, as well as sending a follow-up email to your visitors if they don't read your message for 15 minutes. 


At the bottom of the Chat Widget settings page you will be able to install Drift either through a JavaScript code, or connect your Drift account with Wordpress, Hubspot, Segment, or Shopify.


You're going to need to know a little bit of info around JavaScript for this--if this isn't your forte it might be helpful to grab a developer friend! 

  1. Grab the JavaScript code from the page (Install > JavaScript)
  2. Go to your website and insert it into the header
  3. Update your site code, and it should be live!
If you don't see the Drift widget on your website after this, please check to see if it's turned on here.


  1. Log in to your WordPress account, and in the Admin section select the "Add New" option under Plugins and search for Drift (e.g. http://yoursitehere/wp-admin/)
  2. Select the Drift WordPress plugin and click "Install"
  3. After installation find the Drift WordPress Plugin and click the "Activate" link
  4. Find the Drink link in your header
  5. Select "Enabled" and copy the JavaScript code from Drift, before pasting it into the text box
  6. Check "Drift Identify" if you want Drift to recognize your logged in users
  7. Click "Save Changes" and you're all set!

Keep in mind that if you’re using a caching plugin in WordPress, it may take a few hours for the Drift widget to show up on your site. If it isn’t showing up, try clearing your cache and that should get it live. Let us know if we can help out!

If you use the WordPress plugin, email addresses of people who are logging in to your WordPress site will automatically get passed to Drift. Sometimes the WordPress installation doesn't allow for plugins, which is explained here.


If you'd like to connect Drift to your HubSpot hosted page you can install easily by copying the Drift JavaScript snippet from your chat widget settings, under "Install" and then pasting it into a HubSpot page's header using their directions here.

There are options to install on either your entire domain or on specific pages.


If you're already using Segment, all you have to do is click on that option and log in with your Segment credentials. Drift will be in your app in a matter of seconds. Super easy!

The Drift <> Segment integration is one click and will automatically do two things when enabled:

  • Load up the Drift chat widget on your website
  • Send data from Segment into Drift

Learn more about Segment here.

Limit data syncing from Segment? – if you don’t want to send all of your Segment data into Drift, you can add filtering to choose which integrations your data is sent to via your Segment API calls.


With Drift on your Shopify site, you’ll always be there for people who might have questions—whether they need help making a purchase or just have a quick question about pricing or something in your store. Just like you would if they were in your store in-person.

To install Drift into your Shopify store, connect your account here under Install > Shopify, and follow the steps provided. This is only for Pro Plans and up.

In addition to just installing Drift in your Shopify store, the following events from Shopify will be sent to Drift automatically for contacts:

  • When a new customer is created
  • When an order is cancelled
  • When an order is updated
  • When a checkout process is started
  • When a checkout process is completed 

React App

If you're building a React single page application, you may run into some issues with Drift. For example, your playbooks may not trigger on targeted URL's. Here's how you can fix that!

We would recommend taking a look at our Widget API and Javascript SDK documentation to customize when the sidebar or chat widget shows and hides.

If you're using a React Router, you can add the following snippet to your root application component and it should fix things up!

componentWillMount() {
          componentWillReceiveProps(nextProps) {
            if (nextProps.location.pathname !== this.props.location.pathname) {


Here you can organize the settings for your chats. You can add quick saved replies with answers to commonly asked questions from your site visitors, or organize how you tag your inboxes, creating multiple inboxes, or export conversation data from the various inboxes you have.

Saved Replies

You can create various saved replies here, and to use them you would just go into your chat inbox, and click on. the + button above the text box to open up your list of saved replies. Click on any of them, and it'll drop into the chat! This is extremely useful for any complicated responses you have to common questions.


Tagging is just another way of organizing conversations. We use it for a variety of different reasons, including marking new leads, feature requests, bug reports, follow-up required, etc. It's really up to you to create a system that works best for the team.

Here's what it looks like when you choose a conversation tag:

The beauty of tagging is that you can filter based on them. For example, if I wanted to view all conversations with a "follow-up required" tag, I can filter and then work through the list on its own.

Here's what it looks like to select a custom filter with tags:


This feature is only available via one of our paid plans.

Separate inboxes can be useful for managing any inbound emails or live chat conversations. 

Set the Inbox Name and Public email address. These are what customers will see as the From Name and Email when they receive an email fallback message or you respond to an email from Drift. You can change the inbox name at any time by returning to this page.

Once created there are two things you'll want to do:  

  1. First, set up email forwarding from your current email provider to this forwarding address so that those emails to the "friends@drift" address get to the right place.
    1. Here are some useful guides for setting up forwarding with different email providers:
      1. Gmail
      2. GoDaddy
      3. Office 365
  2. Second, if you want us to send email on your behalf so it looks like it's coming from your servers and not ours, we recommend setting up DKIM. 

The necessary CNAME records to configure will be listed. If you're already using the CNAME domainkeys for another tool, you can either pass on using DKIM or generate a SendGrid API Key (which you can do from this page) with mail sending capabilities and put that key in our SendGrid integration. If you do that, all mail sent by us will be send through your business SendGrid account. The only downside is that we won't be able to report on open/click/bounced rates for your campaigns.

Here are some links that you might find useful: 


You will be able to turn on/off the unfurl option for your Drift account here. This determines whether or not there will be a preview of the links sent in conversation view.

Lead Routing

One of the most important things when talking to your leads or customers is making sure that people get connected to the right person at your company. Especially in sales teams, different sales reps have different territories and ownership across different things such as location, company size, and more. You can create these rules here.

This feature is only available on the Pro plan and above.

Some things to know about creating rules:

  • Rules add participants to a conversation. You can have a rule specific to each person on your team or  you can choose multiple people for a single rule and decide whether or not they all get added to each new conversation or if it rotates between all of the chosen people and adds one person to any new conversation
  • You can edit rules at any time
  • We have some pre-built geographic territories for you (Europe, Northeast, etc) and you can also create your own custom territories.

Once you select what kind of rule you want to use, you will create the conditions for which this rule applies. You will then be able to choose who you want to participate in each of the rules, when you're all set you can name your rule.We no

We now allow you to add more than one filter to your Lead Routing rules. You can check for all Drift product updates here.

You can prioritize your Lead Routing rules by hovering over the left side of the rule and dragging it once the six dots come up.


This feature is only available on the Pro plan and above.

Your Driftbot can schedule meetings for you while you're away. It will jump in and prompt the end user to leave a message or schedule a time with the person they were hoping to chat with. You can customize it with whatever name you want, as well as update the icon. 

The bot will jump in when the conversation was started from your Drift Profile or from the conversations started using the Drift Email Extension. It will also jump in for you in the playbook 'Greet Outbound Prospects You Emailed'.

If you don't have a calendar connected to your Profile, users will only be offered to leave a message.

Not using Drift yet? Get your free account here.

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