Who is Drip for?
Drip is a powerful Ecommerce CRM that best suits small businesses that sell physical or digital products online.
Who is ActiveCampaign for?
ActiveCampaign is a great all-in-one email marketing automation tool for bloggers, small ecommerce stores, marketers, marketing agencies, SaaS, and all types of businesses.
I’m sure you’ve heard this saying: The money is in the list.
The way you segment, engage, and connect with your list is the key.
An inactive email list won’t pay you. You have to be smart to monetize your email list, and choosing the right email marketing software is the number one thing that smart marketers and businesses do.
Drip and ActiveCampaign are two E-commerce customer relationship management platforms (aka ECRM). An ECRM is more than a traditional email marketing software and comes with tools needed to put your entire marketing and customer management on autopilot (I’ll tell you how shortly).
These two tools are for bloggers, small businesses, marketers, and ecommerce stores who sell physical or digital products online.
So what’s the BEST tool for you?
Which one should you go for based on your current business model, vertical, industry, and marketing requirements?
This is what exactly you'll find in this article.
In this detailed Drip Vs ActiveCampaign guide, I'll compare these two tools side-by-side so that you can choose the tool that is not only perfect for your current needs, but that leaves room for growth.
So let’s get started.
Drip is an ecommerce CRM that lets you send highly personalized emails to your customers.
It offers full marketing automation that includes integrations with hundreds of apps and services, tracking, email personalization, and more.
ActiveCampaign is a powerful email marketing software and a complete sales, CRM, and SMS marketing platform. It takes email marketing to a new level and lets you segment your customers, create personalized workflows, manage your CRM, generate leads, and more.
Both these tools allow you to take your email marketing a step further by integrating CRM and ecommerce. Drip is more focused towards small businesses that sell online while ActiveCampaign caters to everyone’s needs irrespective of whether you sell or don’t.
At first glance they might look almost identical, but my detailed comparison of features below will uncover important differences between the two and lead you to the right one for your business needs.
Drip and ActiveCampaign are DIFFERENT tools but they're primarily email marketing automation tools that offer overlapping features. If you haven’t used an email marketing tool in the past and this is your first time, it is highly likely that you might end up purchasing an ineffective tool that you'll have to change at a later stage.
Shifting from one email marketing tool to another is messy and it is the last thing that you should do.
To avoid hiccups, you have to make sure you choose right automation tool for your email marketing needs that you won’t ever need to change.
Email Marketing Automation
- active campaign
Drip is a friendly and sales-focused email marketing automation tool that lets you send highly targeted emails that will boost open rates and click-through rates.
Needless to say, they have an easy-to-use automation tool that will make your life a lot easier.
What makes Drip email marketing superior to other tools is its pre-made workflows that are ready-to-use email automation workflows.
For instance, the shopping cart abandonment workflow looks something like this.
It is fully integrated with Shopify and Facebook. All you have to do is click Install Workflow, tweak it as per need, and you’re set to boost sales by sending targeted emails to people who abandoned a shopping cart.
Prebuilt campaigns is another powerful feature that allows any ecommerce store to install an email marketing campaign with a single click. These prebuilt campaigns and workflows will save you a TON of time.
Content customization helps you take personalization to a whole new level. You can add dynamic subscriber data in your email campaigns to boost engagement. You just have to create a single email template and insert tags, and the email will change based on subscriber data.
Here is a dynamic email template.
This tag will show a CTA to subscribers who haven’t purchased and will skip the CTA if the subscriber is already a customer. These tags make your emails laser-targeted and help boost engagement, CTR, and conversion rate.
Another exciting Drip email marketing automation feature is its purchase intent marketing that allocates a simple score to your subscribers based on their engagement. You can use this scoring system to improve marketing and send targeted emails to subscribers who are more likely to purchase.
Drip’s main focus is on sending highly personalized emails to subscribers that are opened and clicked.
This is a much-needed feature for any ecommerce store, blogger, or someone who sells digital products online.
This doesn’t mean if you don’t sell physical or digital products online you cannot use Drip.
Because it has all the features of an email marketing tool.
You can send one-off emails, you can use tags, custom fields, create multichannel marketing campaigns, segment subscribers based on several variables, and more.
Drip, however, is a perfect email marketing automation solution for anyone who is selling online and wants to better communicate with subscribers and customers and to make emails engaging and personalized.
If you just want to send broadcast emails to a list once a week, you are probably fine with a simpler solution like Mailchimp (see how it compares to Drip here). If you are a blogger, you should know that Convertkit is designed with you in mind and may be a better fit.
ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, is no less than Drip in terms of email marketing automation features, personalization, workflows, and more.
You can create workflows to send emails automatically to your subscribers based on engagement, activity level, and other variables. But there aren’t any pre-made workflows, meaning you’ll need to create them from scratch.
A powerful customization feature that you'll find with ActiveCampaign is its tracking feature that logs every subscriber interaction on your website.
For instance, if you want to send an email to subscribers who watched a video on your website, you can easily do it. You just need to put a small code on your website that will track browser history, landing pages, referrers, and ads clicked.
ActiveCampaign’s CRM tool helps with integrating emails, marketing, lead generation and nurturing, sales, automation, and after sales service without any hassle. You can create custom sales processes that allow you to send targeted emails to subscribers’ right from day one.
You can use lead scoring to assign a score to your leads based on their interaction with your emails and website. This helps you increase revenue by sending right offers to the right customers at the right time.
A much-needed feature that you find with ActiveCampaign is its huge library of professionally designed email templates. It has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop email builder that allows you to create awesome emails that boost engagement and click-through rate.
ActiveCampaign also offers you with dynamic content feature like Drip. You can use conditional content powered by if-then logic to show different content to different subscribers.
ActiveCampaign can be used by both online sellers as well as non-sellers. It is a perfect solution for bloggers, ecommerce stores, SaaS, agencies, and all sizes of businesses.
Landing pages are an important part of email marketing.
Neither Drip or ActiveCampaign allow you to build landing pages. You can create simple email capture forms with both these platforms but if you’re looking for professional landing pages that will boost conversions, you have to use a third-party tool.
LeadPages, InstaPage, Kajabi, Unbounce, and KickoffLabs are some of the leading landing page building platforms.
The GOOD NEWS is that all these landing page builders can be integrated with both Drip and ActiveCampaign. This means you can use any leading landing page builder as per your choice and you can integrate it with your email marketing automation tool irrespective of which tool you go with.
PROS & CONS
Pros & Cons of Drip
Drip is a perfect email marketing automation tool for you if you sell online especially if you just started your online store. With its ready-to-use workflows and campaigns, you'll be able to get started immediately. Drip’s ease-of-use and pre-made campaigns make it a beginner’s best friend, but it’s great for advanced email marketers as well.
Let’s go over the major pros and cons of Drip.
Drip is a great email marketing solution for ecommerce, SaaS, small businesses, and anyone who sells online. It will help you build and nurture meaningful relationships with your subscribers that will eventually pay off.
Pros & Cons of ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign is a full-fledged and sophisticated all-in-one marketing solution for bloggers, ecommerce, SaaS, small and mid-sized businesses, and agencies. It doesn’t matter whether you sell online or don’t, ActiveCampaign’s email marketing automation solution will help you take your business to a whole new level.
Let’s explore its pros and cons…
ActiveCampaign is perfect marketing automation solution for bloggers, small businesses, ecommerce, SaaS, agencies, medium and large-sized businesses, and enterprises. It is more than a traditional email autoresponder and lets you put your entire business on autopilot.
Let’s talk about pricing so as to make decision simpler.
Drip comes with 4 different pricing plans: Starter, Basic, Pro, and Enterprise.
The Starter is for 0 to 100 subscribers and is absolutely FREE. This is a perfect plan for beginners. If you just started your business and have no customers, Drip Starter is your best bet. You can use it to grow your business gradually. You can send unlimited emails with the Starter plan.
The Basic is for 101 to 2500 subscribers and is priced at $49 per month.
The Pro is for 2501 to 5000 subscribers and comes at $99 per month.
The Enterprise is suitable for businesses with 5001+ subscribers and has custom pricing.
You get all the features with all the plans so you get to enjoy all the stuff irrespective of your plan. If you wish to move from another email marketing automation service, you can migrate your subscribers with Drip’s FREE migration service and choose an appropriate plan based on the number of subscribers.
All plans come with two weeks FREE trial so it’d be best to opt for a free trial for Basic and Pro plans.
Once you’re satisfied with Drip, it is recommended to switch to Annual Billing as it will make Basic plan $41 per month and Pro will be reduced to $83 per month.
But only do this after using Drip for a couple months and once you’re fully satisfied with it.
ActiveCampaign also offers 4 pricing plans: Lite, Plus, Professional, and Enterprise. There isn’t any free plan, unfortunately, but all plans come with 14 days FREE trial.
The price of the plan depends on the number of contacts you have.
If you have up to 1000 contacts, Lite is the right plan for you that is priced at $29 per month if billed monthly and $17 per month if billed annually. You can send unlimited emails, you get email marketing solution, marketing automation, and up to 3 users.
If you need access to all the features, you have to move to Plus plan that is priced at $70 for 1000 contacts for monthly billing and $49 a month for annual billing. This is the best plan where you get access to all the ActiveCampaign’s features except site messaging and attribution.
Plus comes with up to 25 users, meaning you can grant access to your team members as needed.
If you need access to site messaging, attribution, and need up to 50 users, you have to switch to Professional plan that starts at $159/month (monthly billing) and $129/month (annual billing).
You get all the features from Plus plan and it is the best plan for large businesses.
The Enterprise plan includes everything from Professional plan and offers some exclusive features like dedicated account manager, onboarding, free design service, custom mailserver domain, and more. It starts at $279/month (monthly) and $229/month (annually).
Drip and ActiveCampaign are two different tools that offer you similar features. In terms of features and automation, ActiveCampaign offers more. Drip, on the other hand, is best for beginners and small businesses who have just started.
Go for Drip if you run an ecommerce store, SaaS company, or you’re a blogger who sells digital products (bloggers should check out Convertkit as well). Drip offers you with all the automation features you’d need at the most affordable price.
ActiveCampaign is best for established businesses, bloggers, ecommerce, SaaS, small, medium, and large-sized businesses. It is a professional-level marketing automation tool that comes at a price.
If you cannot compromise on features, Drip is your best bet because you'll get access to all the features irrespective of your plan. ActiveCampaign won’t give you full access to their system if you’re on a small plan.
Do you have experience with Drip or ActiveCampaign? What kind of business do you run, and which software works best for you? Let me know in the comments!
|Designed For||Bloggers, business owners and email marketers in need of a user-friendly email marketing and marketing automation system.||Bloggers and SaaS/product owners seeking a user-friendly, lightweight marketing automation system.|
|Email Marketing Automation||View Product||View Product|
|Contacts||Plans start from 500 contacts, with pricing available on request for users with lists of 100,000+ contacts.||Plans starting from 100 contacts.|
|Email Volume||Unlimited emails on all plans.||Unlimited emails on all plans.|
|Users||Up to three users on Lite plan, 25 users on Small Business and unlimited users on Enterprise plan.||Not provided on Drip website|
|Email Courses||Unlimited autoresponder series on all plans.||Unlimited autoresponders on all plans.|
|Automation Rules||Unlimited automation funnels on all plans.||Unlimited automation rules on all plans.|
|Responsive Email Templates||A huge selection of responsive email templates are included, with a free design customization service for Plus and Enterprise level customers.||Liquid templating system with custom email templates.|
|Email Split Testing||A/B email split testing is possible.||A/B split testing for subject lines, send times and sender names.|
|Lead Scoring||Dynamic, customized lead scoring.||Lead scoring based on website/email engagement.|
|SMS Marketing Automation||Automated SMS and subscription via SMS are available.||Drip does not support SMS marketing automation. However, subscription via SMS is available using the Textiful integration.|
|Direct Mail Automation||ActiveCampaign does not support direct mail automation, although integration with direct mail tools is possible using Zapier.||Drip does not support direct mail automation.|
|UI and Usability||Designed for non-technical users, with a clean UI and simple email/automation interface.||Designed for bloggers and SaaS/product owners, with an extremely lightweight and user-friendly interface.|
|Automation Workflow Builder||Automation workflow builder uses simple yes/no conditions and rules that users with no programmming experience can understand.||User-friendly visual workflow builder with easily understandable yes/no logic and six different automation flow steps.|
|Email Course Builder||Drag-and-drop email builder with data-driven segmentation and useful campaign insights.||Three ways to send targeted emails: in a drip campaign, as a broadcast, or as a one-off event-based email.|
|Forms & Landing Pages||View Product||View Product|
|Form Builder||Form builder with inline, floating box, modal pop-up and floating bar display modes.||Built-in form editor with four different opt-in form styles: widget, embedded, exit triggered and hosted.|
|Landing Page Builder||No landing page builder, although integrations are available for software like Instapage and LeadPages.||No landing page builder, although integrations are available for LeadPages and Instapage.|
|Landing Page Templates||No landing page templates, although templates are available for third-party software.||No landing page templates included.|
|WordPress Plugin||ActiveCampaign WordPress plugin lets you add contact forms to pages, posts and sidebars and add tracking to your WordPress website.||Email Marketing by Drip WordPress plugin makes adding opt-in forms to your WordPress website a one-click process.|
|Integrations||More than 150 apps and integrations, ranging from scheduling tools to landing page software.||Dozens of integrations for software such as Instapage, LeadPages, Stripe, Zapier, PayPal, Shopify, Wistia and more.|
|Pricing||Monthly fee, starting from $9 per month for up to 500 contacts. Pricing available on request for high-volume email marketers. Free 14 day trial available.||Monthly fee, starting from $1 per month for up to 100 subscribers. Three week free trial available.|
|Minimum Contract Term||No minimum contract. Plans start from one month.||No minimum contract. Plans start from one month.|
|Joining/Training Fee||No joining fee.||No joining fee.|
|Refund/Guarantee||No full or partial refunds.||Drip guarantees that its software will help you grow your list and improve conversions. If not, you can request a refund for your most recent payment.|
|Support||Personalized support via phone, email and chat, as well as video walkthroughs, user community and one-on-one training.||Personalized support via email.|
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