A theoretical model based on common pump structure is proposed to analyze the output characteristics of a diode-pumped alkali vapor laser (DPAL) and XPAL (exciplex-pumped alkali laser). Cs-DPAL and Cs-Ar XPAL systems are used as examples. The model predicts that an optical-to-optical efficiency approaching 80% can be achieved for continuous-wave four- and five-level XPAL systems with broadband pumping, which is several times the pumped linewidth for DPAL. Operation parameters including pumped intensity, temperature, cell’s length, mixed gas concentration, pumped linewidth, and output coupler are analyzed for DPAL and XPAL systems based on the kinetic model. In addition, the predictions of selection principal of temperature and cell’s length are also presented. The concept of the equivalent “alkali areal density” is proposed. The result shows that the output characteristics with the same alkali areal density but different temperatures turn out to be equal for either the DPAL or the XPAL system. It is the areal density that reflects the potential of DPAL or XPAL systems directly. A more detailed analysis of similar influences of cavity parameters with the same areal density is also presented.