Heartbeat.chatStarts from $69 for Lifetime
Features & Functionality7.5/10
User Interface & Ease of use8.0/10
Value for Money8.5/10
- Neat and intuitive user interface
- Single tool to host your threads, events, and documents
- Mobile apps for both iOS & Android to manage your community on the go
- Good level of customization
- Limited if you want to build a membership program or course
- Stripe is the only payment gateway integration available
With the tremendous growth of online businesses in recent years, it is imperative that you build an audience that you can provide value on a consistent basis to whom you can sell your products or service.
However, it is not an easy task to just build a community but to keep them active and engaged. You need to consistently come up with good quality content that will be interesting.
You can build the community on platforms like Facebook, but if you need complete control and offer maximum flexibility with minimal distraction, it is very much recommended to use a software tool to do the same.
Above all, it is extremely important to use the right tool to build your community of users. It has to be intuitive to use but at the same time not light on features, affordably priced, and offer excellent customer support.
Mighty Networks and Circle are some of the market leaders in this segment. Heartbeat is a tool that promises to be as good as them if not better. Does it live up to the promise? Let us find out in this review.
Dashboard & User Interface
The first part of the sign-up process is to provide a name for your community and a matching URL. Make sure to keep the URL as short as possible so that it will be easy for your members to remember if needed.
You can add your business logo and custom colors so that your community website matches your brand colors.
Next up in the onboarding process, you can upload a profile picture which is particularly useful if you are building a personal brand, and give a brief summary of yourself and your specialization.
This will be helpful for the users to know about you at the first glance and get to know what they are going to achieve by joining the community.
Once you are inside the main dashboard, there are options to connect to other tools like Notion, Zoom, etc., or import the details of your existing community members from other platforms like Slack, Discord, etc., if you already have one.
Inside of Heartbeat, you can host chats and threads, documents, and also host live events. We will have a look at each of them now.
Threads of very simple to start and use with your community members. It enables you to start and continue discussions on different topics that can be labeled separately.
You can come up with polls in any thread or attach files to add a bit of context or to share any vital information.
Similar to Slack, in addition to the public community threads, you can also direct message your community members if personal one-to-one support or communication is needed.
When it comes to Documents, you have first name a Section, and within the Section, you can add each document where you can add text, attach files and members can comment.
For Events, you can give a title and a brief description with the time and event location. You can link up your Zoom account and provide the Zoom link if you host the event there.
If the event is of a recurring type, it is possible to connect to an external calendar including Google and Outlook calendar.
If you want to monetize any of the events or courses, you can connect to your Stripe account and charge for access. However, it would have been better to see more payment integrations available.
You can view the general Analytics of how many users sent a direct message, how many joined on a call, how many read a document or viewed a thread, etc. This will give you a fair idea of how engaged your community is and how well it is growing month over month.
Apart from the native integrations, Zapier integration is available as well that allowing you to connect with hundreds of other apps.
There are three plans in total namely Strater, Growth, and Business. The Starter plan costs $29 per month and the Growth plan costs $99 per month. The business plan is custom based on your specific requirements.
The main difference between the plans is the number of members that can join the community. The limit is 1,000 members in the Starter plan, but an unlimited number of members can join in the Growth plan and above.
Live chat support is available on the main website, but not inside the app dashboard.
There is a good text-based user guide covering all the features, but it would be nice to see more video tutorials which will make things much easier to follow and implement.
To wrap up, Heartbeat is quite a feature-rich tool in its segment at an affordable price point.
Yes, it is not the most powerful if you want to build full-blown courses or membership sites, but for starting and growing out an online community that is kept engaged, it provides you with all the essential features and deserves a try.