Drip vs ActiveCampaign: Which Platform is Best for You?
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If you’re in the process of exploring a comprehensive comparison of Drip vs ActiveCampaign, you have come to the right place. In this post, I’ll take an in-depth look at the two platforms to help you select the best fit for your business.
When it comes to email marketing, there are a lot of moving parts. You have to consider your target audience, what kind of content you want to send them, when you want to send it, and how you’ll track results.
It can be a lot to keep track of, which is why many businesses rely on email marketing services to help them manage their campaigns. There are a lot of different email marketing platforms out there, but two of the most popular are Drip (full review here) and ActiveCampaign.
Both platforms offer various features and tools to help businesses with their email marketing efforts, but they have some key differences. Let’s take a closer look at Drip vs. ActiveCampaign to see which one is the best fit for your business.
What Is Drip?
Drip is an email marketing tool that helps businesses automate their email marketing campaigns. The Drip software design-build works for eCommerce businesses, so it has many features specifically geared toward those businesses.
Rob Walling founded Drip in 2013, and the company headquarters sits in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Drip software aims to enhance marketing automation by sending emails based on user-specific behavior. For example, Drip can send an email to a customer after they have been inactive for a certain period of time or when they have abandoned their shopping cart.
It keeps track of user behavior and interactions with your website to help you create more targeted and personalized email marketing automation campaigns.
What Is ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing software that helps businesses automate and personalize their email marketing. ActiveCampaign offers many features similar to Drip, but it also has some key differences.
ActiveCampaign started in 2003. Jason Vandeboom serves the company as its founder and CEO. ActiveCampaign aims to create ideal customer experiences by providing businesses with the tools they need to automate and personalize their marketing campaigns. It works for B2B, B2C, and eCommerce businesses.
Let’s do a more detailed evaluation of all the features offered by Drip and ActiveCampaign.
Forms and Pop-ups
Forms and pop-ups help you collect information from your website visitors so that you can add them to your email list.
Drip offers simple forms you can add to your website to collect information from your visitors.
The opt-in form allows you to collect information from your website visitors, so you can add them to your email list. It works for getting new customers subscribed to a newsletter or even for getting people to sign up for a free trial of your product.
For example, you could advertise a discount on a product using the opt-in form on the drip software and then include the discount code in the confirmation email that gets sent to the customer. There are many uses for the opt-in form, and it can work on almost any page in your eCommerce store.
The opt-in form can also create a two-step opt-in process. It allows you to collect information from your website visitors and then send them to a second page where they can confirm their subscription. The form is a great way to ensure that people who sign up for your email list are actually interested in receiving emails from you.
The announcement form is a superb way to collect emails from your website visitors that have an interest in an upcoming product launch or event without interrupting their experience. It allows you to create a bar that appears at the top or bottom of your website and includes a call to action and an opt-in form.
You can use the announcement bar to promote a sale, a new product, or anything else you want your website visitors to know about. The best part is that it doesn’t interfere with their experience on your website. They can opt-in to your email list if they want to without having to deal with pop-up forms that block them from reading content.
The embedded HTML form allows you to collect information from your website visitors from a static embedded form on your website. Basically, the form is part of your website’s code and doesn’t move or change. It sits on the page as a constant reminder for website visitors to sign up for your email list.
After Purchase Form
Once a customer purchases on your website, you can use the after-purchase form to collect their email address. It can create a positive rapport with your customers and keep them updated on new products, sales, or anything else you want them to know about.
Keep in mind that you can customize all the forms to match your brand. You can also add custom fields to any forms to collect additional information from your website visitors.
Now let’s look at the forms ActiveCampaign offers.
The inline form works the same as the embedded HTML form in Drip. It’s part of your website’s code and doesn’t move or change.
The inline form can work for B2B or B2C business situations.
Floating Bar Form
The floating bar form is similar to the announcement bar in Drip. It’s a bar that appears at the top or bottom of your website and includes a call to action and an opt-in form. You can use the floating bar to promote products.
Another great idea for the floating bar is capturing emails from first-time website visitors. While this success depends on how great the content is, it has a high chance of success.
Floating Box Form
The floating box form is similar to the opt-in form in Drip. It allows you to collect information from your website visitors so you can add them to your email list. It works for getting new customers subscribed to a newsletter or even for getting people to sign up for a free trial of your product.
The modal form is similar to the two-step opt-in process in Drip. It allows you to collect information from your website visitors and then send them to a second page where they can confirm their subscription. It is a great way to ensure that people who sign up for your email list are actually interested in receiving emails from you.
Both ActiveCampaign and Drip focus on delivering a great experience to the people who visit your website. They both offer a variety of forms that you can use to collect information from your website visitors. Regarding forms, it depends on which you prefer and what works best for your website.
Email marketing strategies create the backbone for any drip or lead nurturing program. As you might expect, ActiveCampaign and Drip are both excellent at email marketing. They both offer various email templates you can use to create beautiful emails.
ActiveCampaign offers more than 250 fully designed email templates. You can also use the drag-and-drop email builder to create custom emails.
While Drip offers templates that you can import your own HTML, they don’t provide the variety of templates that ActiveCampaign does. Not to mention, their email templates come fully responsive, so they look great on mobile devices.
Another difference between ActiveCampaign and Drip is the ease of use. Many individuals who use these platforms are either not tech-savvy or new to creating automated workflows. ActiveCampaign, unfortunately, doesn’t readily offer tutorials and guides for each task. You’d have to search their database for it.
Even though creating an email is a straightforward process, without any guidance, a learning curve will exist. Some even have to use Google to look up information to facilitate the building of their campaign.
Drip falls in a similar boat in this case because its default setting is HTML. You don’t have a drag-and-drop builder in this setting. If you are a newbie to email marketing tools, you might find this difficult and time-consuming to learn.
Drip does have an accompanying instructional video that can help you get started, but it might take some time for you to get comfortable with the platform.
So if you prefer educational material to make the learning process easier, Drip is a better choice. If you don’t mind dealing with a bit of a learning curve and are confident in your ability to learn a new platform quickly, ActiveCampaign is a fantastic choice.
Automation workflows are one of the main reasons people use platforms like Drip and ActiveCampaign. These platforms allow you to send emails based on specific criteria that you set automatically.
For example, you can send an email to someone when they subscribe to your email list, when they abandon their shopping cart, or when they purchase a product from your online store. What if they bought your ebook and didn’t leave a review? There’s an automation workflow for that too!
Drip is transparent and fun to use. With a variety of automation triggers (link clicks, page views, etc.), you can add workflow steps like sending campaigns or moving contacts into other parts of the campaign process. Using Drip’s workflow editor is straightforward and helps you build any type of automation you want.
On top of this, you can create your own automation rules, which are universal actions applied whenever a contact performs a specific action, regardless of campaign type.
If, for example, somebody views a particular webpage on your eCommerce site, you can set up a rule that will send them an automatically-generated campaign rather than having to create a whole workflow in the automation editor.
ActiveCampaign offers a visual editor for building automation with pre-built templates. You can create automated processes like abandoned cart reminders, post-purchase upsells, tagging contacts who visit certain pages on your website, and more.
The main difference between the two platforms comes down to aesthetics. Drips campaigns are more aesthetically pleasing and easier to understand. ActiveCampaign’s automation builder is more cluttered but offers more flexibility.
If you don’t care about the aesthetics and just want a platform that is straightforward to use and has a lot of features, ActiveCampaign is a great choice. ActiveCampaign may be better suited for more complex sales processes as well.
CRM and Sales Automation
A robust email marketing service with CRM makes any platform more alluring. The thought of having all of your email and sales activity in one place is very appealing.
Drip’s CRM features are basic but get the job done. With Drip, you can log emails, calls, and meeting notes. You can also create a basic contact profile with social media networks, which is helpful. Drip’s CRM is adequate for most basic needs, but if you need more features, you may want to consider ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign’s CRM is more comprehensive and offers features like contact scoring and tagging, advanced segmentation, and a deals pipeline. ActiveCampaign’s CRM is an excellent choice for sales teams that need more than just basic contact management.
Remember that Drip focuses solely on helping eCommerce businesses. Whereas ActiveCampaign caters to a variety of businesses, including eCommerce. This fact makes a significant difference in what each platform’s CRM features are like.
One way to help you decide between Drip and ActiveCampaign is to look at the integrations that each platform offers.
Drip offers deep data integrations with various eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and more. Drip also integrates with ClickFunnels and Hubspot. If you are using any of these platforms in your business, then Drip may be an excellent choice for you.
ActiveCampaign integrates with Shopify, Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Zapier, to name a few. Zapier is a particularly important integration because it allows ActiveCampaign to integrate with over 1,000 other apps.
If you are using platforms not natively supported by ActiveCampaign, Zapier may be the solution. Salesforce integration is also crucial for companies using ActiveCampaign’s CRM. Then Google Analytics can help you track your ActiveCampaign campaigns.
While ActiveCampaign has more robust integrations than Drip, the best platform for your brand will still depend on your business type. If you have a small eCommerce store on Shopify, then Drip may be your best choice. If you have a more complex sales process that relies on multiple platforms, ActiveCampaign is likely a better choice.
Customer Service and Support
No matter what platform you choose, it’s critical to ensure you have access to customer support when you need it.
Drip provides a help center that offers many guides to help you get started with the platform. From understanding bulk operations to creating emails and custom fields, the help center has a ton of information.
Drip also offers email support and phone support for paid customers. The great thing about Drips support is that the system gets you to the right person quickly. So you won’t have to deal with getting passed around to different people to get the help you need.
ActiveCampaign’s customer support is similar to Drip’s in that they offer a customer support center. Their help center navigation is more streamlined. On the other hand, the Drip software offers one page with each guide listed. One would have to scroll through the entire list to find what they are looking for.
ActiveCampaign’s help center is broken down into categories. When you reach their help center, you have four choices: community, forum, university, and partner.
The ActiveCampaign community is a great place to get started if you have questions. The community is full of marketing experts who are always happy to help. You can also search the community for answers to specific questions.
The ActiveCampaign forum is another excellent resource for users. On the forum, you can find guides, ask questions, and access how-tos from other ActiveCampaign users.
ActiveCampaign University is an incredible resource for learning how to use the platform. The university offers video courses on topics like email marketing, segmentation, and automation. If you are new to ActiveCampaign, or marketing in general, the university is a great place to start.
ActiveCampaign also has a partner program. If you are a marketing agency, you can join the partner program to get access to exclusive resources. Partners also get discounts on ActiveCampaign products and services.
Pricing and Plans
Let’s look at the membership tiers offered by both platforms.
First, Drip offers its customers a 14-day free trial. The price of their plans depends on how many email subscribers you have. The more email subscribers, the more features you have access to.
100 to 2500 Contacts
The Drip email pricing for this tier is $39 per month. Customers can send as many emails as they need to. They also have access to email support.
2501 to 3000 Contacts
Customers get the exact features for $49 per month.
5001 to 6000 Contacts
The features remain the same until you reach 5001 contacts. Here you pay $99 per month and get chat and email support.
105,001 to 110,000 Contacts
You now have access to a dedicated customer success manager to give you an idea of how features change as you get more email contacts. However, the price is $1299 per month.
Drip supports its clients that have up to 10,000,000 email contacts. At this stage, one would need to talk to their sales team to see the available features and how much it would cost. Unfortunately, the features remain the same. The only thing that will get negotiated is the price.
ActiveCampaign offers its members four membership tiers. The price for each one differs based on the number of contacts you have.
The Lite Plan costs only $29 per month if you have 500 or fewer contacts. ActiveCampaign offers a wealth of features to those building their businesses. Whether you are a B2C, B2B, or eCommerce business, you get features from their marketing, sales, and service suites. Not to mention, you even get access to their support platform.
The plus plan costs $49 per month for 500 email contacts. Added features include:
Facebook custom audiences
You also get access to their sales CRM. The Plus plan is an excellent choice for small businesses or businesses just starting with marketing automation.
The Professional plan costs $149 per month and gives you access to all of ActiveCampaign’s features, including website personalization, split automation, and support for up to 50 users.
The Enterprise plan requires a consultation with a sales representative. The features and price will get customized to fit your business’s specific needs.
Here you can see where ActiveCampaign shines in features. But for some, features aren’t everything. Who wants to pay for features they don’t use? At the same time, Drip is $30 more for the same number of contacts.
ActiveCampaign Vs Drip: Pros & Cons
To compare ActiveCampaign vs Drip, let’s start with the pros and cons of the Drip software.
The pros are listed below.
Advanced Automation Builder
Drips marketing automation tool is very user-friendly. You can create complex workflows with ease.
Easy To Use Interface
The interface is much simpler and easier to use than ActiveCampaign. It is less overwhelming for users that are new to marketing automation.
Educational Content and Tutorials
Drip has a lot of helpful educational content on its website. They also have excellent tutorials showing step-by-step how to use their platform.
Affordable for Smaller Businesses
Drip is a fantastic choice for small businesses or businesses just starting with marketing automation. The price is $39 per month for up to 2500 contacts.
Here are some drawbacks of the service.
No Phone Support
Drip does not offer phone support. You can only get in touch with them via email or chat.
HTML Design Editor Doesn’t Offer Drag and Drop
The HTML design editor does not offer a drag-and-drop feature. It can make it challenging to create beautiful email designs.
Lack of Features for Landing Page Creation
Drip lacks features for landing page creation. It can pose a downside if you are looking for an all-in-one solution for your marketing needs.
Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of ActiveCampaign.
Here are the pros of ActiveCampaign.
Powerful Automation Builder
ActiveCampaign’s automation builder is very powerful. You can create complex workflows with ease.
Drag and Drop Interface
The interface offers a drag-and-drop feature that makes it easy to create beautiful email designs.
Fantastic Customer Support
ActiveCampaign has excellent customer support. You can contact them over the phone, email, or chat.
Much More Affordable for Large Lists
ActiveCampaign is much more affordable for large lists.
More Advanced Features
ActiveCampaign offers more advanced features than Drip. Some of these features include:
Support for up to 50 users
ActiveCampaign offers various features for marketing, sales, and service. They have everything you need to run your business on one platform.
Below are the cons for ActiveCampaign.
Interface Can Be Overwhelming
The ActiveCampaign interface can be overwhelming for users new to marketing automation. It has a lot of features and can be difficult to navigate.
No Educational Content or Tutorials On Each Task Page
ActiveCampaign does not have any educational content or tutorials on each page. Instead, you must visit their support page to find the answers you are looking for. The process can make it difficult for users new to marketing automation to learn how to use the platform.
Although we’ve looked at Active Campaign vs. Drip, here are the top five alternatives.
GetResponse (Getresponse vs ActiveCampaign comparison) is an all-in-one marketing platform that includes everything you need to grow your business. It offers a drag-and-drop interface, a powerful automation builder, a landing page creator, and much more. GetResponse starts at $13.30 per month for up to 1000 contacts.
They even offer a free plan that lets you send unlimited newsletters and create one landing page. You also have access to signup forms, pop-ups, and chat support. The platform provides a user-friendly dashboard that makes it easy to find what you are looking for. You can also take advantage of their wide variety of integrations.
HubSpot is a powerful marketing and sales platform that offers various features. It has a fantastic reputation for being one of the best CRMs on the market.
HubSpot offers a free CRM that includes features like contact management, email tracking, and deal management. The free version also gives you access to live chat and email support.
HubSpot Sales starts at $45 per month and gives you access to features like live chat, email sequences, meeting scheduling, and integrations. It includes a drag-and-drop interface and a powerful automation builder. It is pricier than some other alternatives, but it offers a lot of features.
SendinBlue is an affordable marketing platform that includes everything you need to grow your business. It offers a drag-and-drop interface, powerful automation builder, landing page creator, and more. SendinBlue offers a free plan that allows you to send up to 300 emails per day. Three hundred may seem like a large number of emails to send per day.
But let’s say, for instance, that you have three different campaigns running and some of your subscribers are on all three lists. Each person receives three emails. It can add up to 300 fast. Paid plans start at $25 per month for up to 20,000 contacts.
If Facebook Ads are important to you, SendinBlue is a great choice as it offers a free Facebook Ads credit. SendinBlue also offers excellent customer support. You can contact them for assistance via chat, phone, or email.
Constant Contact is another well-known email marketing platform that includes everything you need to grow your business. The platform helps you create beautiful email designs, powerful automation, and more. Constant Contact offers real-time reporting and award-winning live phone and chat support.
Phone support is something that many of the other platforms don’t provide. Talking to someone on the phone can be very helpful, especially if you are new to marketing automation.
Not to mention, one of the niftiest features includes birthday and anniversary greetings, which will surely put a smile on your contacts’ faces. Constant Contact starts at $20 per month for up to 500 contacts. They charge $9.99 per month for 500 or fewer contacts.
iContact is an email marketing platform that includes everything you need to grow your small business. It has a reputation for being the most accessible platform to use. iContact offers a wide variety of features, including a drag-and-drop interface, scheduled emails, bulk email campaigns, re-engagement emails, and triggered emails.
While the platform is newer, it already has over 25,000 happy customers. It features a blog that tips and advice on how to use the platform. iContact offers free membership for up to 500 contacts.
You can send up to 2000 emails monthly and use a single hosted landing page. You’ll also appreciate that it comes with email support. Paid plans start at $23 per month for 1500 contacts.
As you can see, there are a significant number of fantastic marketing automation platforms out there. Each one offers its own differentiating set of features. Finding the one that is right for you and your business is crucial. With so many options, it can be a stretch to decide.
The great thing about Drip and ActiveCampaign is that they offer a 14-day free trial, so you can try it before you commit. When comparing Drip vs. ActiveCampaign, it’s evident that both platforms are fantastic choices. For those who need to monitor their budget, ActiveCampaign may work. Not to mention for the price, you get a lot more features.
If you only want to streamline your eCommerce business, then Drip is a great solution. No matter which platform you choose, you can’t go wrong.
If you have any questions or have experience with either Drip or ActiveCampaign, let us know below in the comments!
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase a paid plan or program by using the links provided on this page, I may receive a commission for that purchase at no additional cost to you.
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase a paid plan or program by using the links provided on this page, I may receive a commission for that purchase at no additional cost to you.
Walter Voronovic shares accurate, honest & pragmatic information on how to use the internet to build profitable digital business assets.
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