This is a follow-up to our recent post on how to Save Money on Using Slack.

A number of teams decided to use what they call a “Slack+Slarck” combo, i.e. use Slack’s Free tier along with Slarck.com as a message archive.

Let’s compare features of Slack’s Free tier, Slack’s Standard tier, and Slack’s Free tier used together with Slarck.com.

  Free Standard Free + Slarck.com
Price per user per month $0 from $6.67 $0 (only one-time $35 fee)
Searchable recent messages in total across all channels and groups 10,000 unlimited unlimited
Service integrations 10 unlimited 10
Guest access no yes yes (read-only)
Simple statistics no yes yes (coming soon)
Priority support no yes yes
Custom retention policies no yes no
Google Authentication (OAuth) / Google Apps for Domains sign-on no yes no
Mandatory two-factor authentication no yes no

The most notable difference is obviously the price. Even for the team of just two people, you will start saving on your third month.1 If you got a bigger team, like 15 or 20 members, you will be able to cut your costs from day one.

That’s how a team of 15 people spends money on Slack’s Standard tier (blue), and with Slack+Slarck combo (orange):

Slack Standard vs. Slack-Slarck combo costs

Next comes the message limit. On a Free tier you can only access 10,000 recent messages. All older messages will be locked behind a “Your team has more than 10,000 messages in its archive, so although there are older messages than are shown below, you can’t see them” notice. However, you can periodically export your message history to Slarck.com, and retain access to all of your messages. We have a default cap of 500K messages just to avoid service abuse, but we are yet to see a team with that amount of message traffic. Still, if your team is actually so talkative, please contact us.

Service integrations and apps are indeed “killer features” of Slack, but they are more relevant for tech teams, IT professionals, etc. If you don’t need unlimited integration, or if you use service aggregators, then you just don’t have to pay for it.

Slack’s Guest access means you can invite someone to the team chat, allowing them to see a specific channel only. This feature is perfect for client support. If you use regular support channels though (like phone, email, Skype, CRM, etc.), or not doing direct support at all, then you don’t need to pay for this feature either. However, if you do support with Slack, you might want to create a dedicated Slack team for this, or one for each of your customers.

Alternatively, if what you want is just to allow non-team-members to read your conversations, like if you are engaged in some kind of social or non-profit activity, you can share your entire archive (or specific channels within it) with others on Slarck.com. In this case those “others” are not even required to sign up for some arbitrary service (i.e., Slack) just to read your conversations.

Simple statistics shows how many messages were posted by whom, when, where, etc. What Slack calls Organization-wide reporting, metrics & analytics will only be available in their upcoming high-end tier — Enterprise — for whopping $32/mo per user. We are planning to add some more features to our statistics later this year, and offer it to our customers for no additional price.

Priority support is something to expect for any paid service, so you will never be lost should something unexpected happen.

Remaining features like Custom retention policies, Google Authentication, Mandatory two-factor authentication are indeed nice to have, but they have real significance only for high-profile teams.

All in all, you can stay on (or switch to) Slack’s Free tier, and with the help of Slarck.com have almost the same feature set as on Slack’s Standard tier — with a huge cut on your messaging bills.

  1. The $6.67/mo price tag is effective if you pay in advance for the whole year, if you choose to be billed monthly you will pay $8/mo per user, i.e. $32 for the first two months).