Marketing automation tools are a hot topic in the field of digital marketing. For now, an estimated 50% of companies say they use some kind of automated tool to facilitate cross-platform marketing efforts and enhance their CX (Customer Experience) strategy.
Although there are countless automation tools out there having great automation workflow, these options are popular in smaller-scale operations ranging from e-commerce stores to independent businesses like solo-preneurs.
If you have been looking for the best email marketing automation tool and CRM software, then there is no doubt that you will stumble on these two major players in the field of email marketing automation.
The most obvious difference between ActiveCampaign and Drip software is the price. Obviously, Drip has many advanced features, but smaller companies will find it difficult to adjust it in the budget. Although ActiveCampaign is simpler and more restricted in functionality, it is still worth the money.
The lack of pre-designed templates for emails and a slightly slower interface are two areas that ActiveCampaign needs to improve. In addition, Drip has an advantage over ActiveCampaign in e-commerce automation.
- ActiveCampaign is suitable for Bloggers, e-commerce, different agencies, SaaS, and higher education institutions, while Drip is designed for e-commerce companies to communicate with customers.
- ActiveCampaign’s “lite” plan is very limited, where Drip has access to all features even under its most basic plan.
- ActiveCampaign includes SMS messaging, but Drip requires you to integrate with third-party software to use SMS
- ActiveCampaign provides lead ratings, so you can see which leads are the most popular, while Drip does not.
ActiveCampaign has been around for a long time, but Drip is a newer tool to the game, and because of its e-commerce CRM and marketing automation features, Drip quickly gained a good reputation, especially in the e-commerce field. Since these two tools are popular and provide similar features, I will compare ActiveCampaign and Drip to see if they are really better than the other.
Email marketing is an important part of doing business, but some companies still ignore the importance of having an email list. Anyone who does not use email marketing will leave money on the table.
This is where marketing automation platforms such as ActiveCampaign and Drip come into play. Drip or ActiveCampaign, both require the investment of time and money to set up, so I want to be honest about each system so that you can make the right decision based on yourself and your needs.
In regards of Activecampaign vs Drip, both platforms provide some automated features that can certainly simplify your email marketing and website management. However, the price of advanced features is higher than some of the free email marketing systems accepted by those with low budgets.
Active Campaign Overview
ActiveCampaign automation tool is an email marketing tool dedicated to providing detailed customizability and functionality. It provides a series of different email campaigns. This includes email broadcasting, which allows you to send a one-time email to everyone on your contact list. You can also send emails based on triggers and automatic messages.
The Active Campaign is designed to help companies and businesses send meaningful messages across multiple touchpoints so you can get started and create everything from custom emails to unique SMS messages, social media events, and more.
Sales and ActiveCampaign CRM features and marketing automation features make ActiveCampaign an ideal choice for e-commerce companies, whether you only sell one or multiple products because you can follow up with customers and create email sales funnels to promote business development.
Its advanced segmentation feature allows you to divide your customers into categories so you can send them marketing materials that directly appeal to them. Compared with non-targeted campaigns, it is proven to increase conversion rates.
The email personalization feature provided by ActiveCampaign allows you to send emails to each customer by name, and you can further personalize their emails by mentioning their city or recent purchases from you. This provides customers with a highly unique and personalized experience, making them more familiar with your brand and increasing trust.
You have full control over the different types of emails that can be sent to customers via ActiveCampaign. Options include:
- Broadcast emails – You will be able to reach lots of people at once
- Triggered emails – Automatically sent based on purchases or interactions with the website
- Target email – Different parts of segmentations the target audience
- ActiveCampaign email autoresponder – Automatically deliver lead magnets, or send welcome email or sequence you have set to be sent based on customer actions.
- E-mail funnels – Through a series of e-mail funnels, convert interested potential customers into paying customers
- Scheduled emails using ActiveCampaign – Pre-scheduled e-mail such as specific dates like birthdays and holidays.
ActiveCampaign offers automation features as:
- A/B testing
- Analysis and ROI tracking
- Drip emails
- Dynamic content
- Integration’s landing pages
- Lead scoring
- Segmentation (very similar to Drip’s tag tagging system)
- Social media marketing
- Text and SMS marketing
- Live chat
- Website visitor tracking
What is Drip Overview
Drip is a powerful e-commerce CRM (Customer Relationship Management), most suitable for small businesses selling physical or digital products online.
- Free up to 100 contacts
- Unlimited emails
- Unlimited users
- Support automated workflow
- Multi-channel marketing
- Pre-built campaign with drag and drop options
- All-in-one marketing automation tool
- No installation fee
- Free demo
- List element
By focusing on becoming a dedicated e-commerce CRM (ECRM), Drip provided B2C companies with B2B level automation and insight, and quickly gained a reputation for itself. It focuses on the “human side of e-commerce”. The purpose is to make every customer feel that he is a valued friend like a person who is actually writing you the email and sending it to you.
When it comes to customer data, Drip has control in that area. You can view check customer data for each channel in one place. Let’s take a look at the marking function first. Tags allow you to quickly see how your customers behave and their unique preferences.
You can use custom fields to personalize any automated email sent to customers. Using personalized settings in emails can keep your brand ahead of your competitors, and you can personalize as many fields as you need, including name, location, recently purchased items, and almost everything else you can think of.
Events and customer behavior can be easily tracked, so you can gain insight into what customers are doing when they visit your website. You can see when customers view certain products, even when they check out or abandon their shopping cart, so you know when to send follow-up emails.
You can use Drip to easily create personalized email campaigns, and you can use its visual email builder without using any coding or development knowledge. You can add content blocks to your email for regular and dynamic content, allowing you to show customers the items in their shopping carts, unique discount codes, price dropdowns, best-selling products, and more.
It is fully integrated with Shopify and Facebook. All you have to do is click on the “Install Workflow”, adjust it as needed, and then you are all set up to increase sales by sending targeted emails to the people who abandon their shopping cart.
Pre-built campaigns are another powerful feature that allows any e-commerce store to install email marketing campaigns with a single click. These pre-built campaigns and workflows will save you a lot of time.
Content customization can help you take personalization to a whole new level. You can add dynamic subscriber data to your email campaigns to increase engagement.
Ease Of Use
It’s easy to be attracted by all the great features of email marketing tools, and forget that if you want to take full advantage of these features, you need an easy-to-use UI.
With ActiveCampaign, you can import lists, contacts, custom fields, and labels. Its Expert Migration service is free for new customers, but the only requirement is that the contact limit of your paid account must be sufficient to import an existing contact list. It also provides do-it-yourself options and migration guides in its education center.
You can construct as many automation functions as you want when choosing the action functions and their order in each sequence. After you set up automation, it will run automatically without you having to enter any information. The automation department can collect data to develop your contact profile, respond to contact habits in real-time and create automatic email tracking.
The biggest advantage of Drip is that it packs a large number of complex functions into a simple toolset. It does a lot of great things you need and all that without any hassle.
Drip was built with busy online marketers in mind. Our navigation is divided into the following core purposes: sending broadcast emails, setting up email campaigns, managing staff, creating opt-in forms, creating automated workflows, and checking out any reports that interest you.
Even if Drip doesn’t use lists, it is intuitive and in a way when using it, it makes sense. This is especially true if you have a background as a relationship marketer. If you are not used to relationship marketing, then you may encounter some learning difficulties. However, if you have several years of marketing experience, you can take full advantage of what Drip offers.
Active Campaign’s user-friendly drag-and-drop email designer allows you to control the layout of your campaign. Formatting options allow you to develop the feel and the look of the email you want, and the advanced split test function can flexibly test all variables (sender information, subject line, and body content), and immediately choose to win based on click-through rate or vacancy The version specifies the rate after the time period.
With ActiveCampaign, you can send broadcast emails in the “Campaigns” section. Before sending any campaigns, ActiveCampaign allows you to select recipients or segments to target. After selecting who to send the campaign to, you need to select an email template.
You can choose various templates. Alternatively, you can build emails from scratch.
The “Past campaign” option under the template is one of my favorites. Because this feature allows me to use templates created for previous campaigns and saves a lot of time to recreate templates.
For drip irrigation, you have two options:
- Campaigns – This is a set of emails that can be triggered to be sent over some period of time. This is like an automatic response sequence but without a visual builder.
- Broadcast – These are one-time emails, press releases (newsletters), and updates, which you can send to contacts.
When creating an email, you have several pre-built emails and layouts you can use.
Inside Drip, you will have a nice feature called “Global Styles” that can be used to adjust email settings, text formatting, and buttons to match your brand.
Drip also supports Liquid templating. It enables the content of your emails to be dynamically changed based on user data and allows you to send them targeted campaigns.
This is one of the features that ActiveCampaign does not have.
If you have access to the CRM functions through the ActiveCampaign plan, you will also see the transaction report, which covers all aspects of funnel performance, how you are using marketing and sale leads opportunities.
ActiveCampaign has an integrated CRM system that can work seamlessly with email and marketing automation functions. Sales CRM keeps your business running smoothly and ensures that you will not lose any contact. If you have a sales team, CRM can notify the sales team at certain points in the customer journey, such as when a customer first signs up or engages with a specific email, so that the sales team can follow up in person when needed.
Once a contact reaches a certain lead score, email automation can also be triggered, allowing you to automatically send the right email to make them convert to a paying customer.
In addition to the email marketing platform and automation features and CRM, Active Campaign also provides customer messaging features, including site messaging, SMS, Facebook custom audiences, and conversations.
The self-proclaimed “world’s first eCRM” (e-commerce customer relationship manager), I have to say, Drip is really ranked first here. It provides direct integration with the same platforms as ActiveCampaign (Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, etc.), as well as third-party integration with BigCommerce and SamCart. If you don’t mind setting it yourself, you can also use the Shopper Activity API.
But it goes further in several different areas. First, Drip allows you to trigger automation in the shortest amount of time for customer behavior-for example if a customer views a product page or creates a checkout (not necessarily complete). By default, these functions are available in Drip’s automation editor, so there is no need to create special events or API callbacks to set them up. (Please note that ActiveCampaign can also perform web tracking, although it requires you to insert some tracking code in your Shopify store. This process is actually straightforward with Drip, and Drip will automatically perform this operation when integrating these two tools).
Both ActiveCampaign and Drip provide you with an intuitive environment for building and sending automated email campaigns. More importantly, these campaigns are designed to be tailored to the needs of your target audience.
ActiveCampaign provides one of the best automation workflow pipelines I have seen. Thanks to the drag-and-drop workflow builder, it might be the most in-depth product I have ever worked on, and it still happens to be easy to use.
Using ActiveCampaign automation tools, you can even automatically set contacts to move to a new segment when they do certain actions (such as clicking a link or making a purchase).
With integrated CRM, you can also automate many sales processes. For example, you can set it up so that potential customers generated by marketing activities can join your channel as a follow-up transaction.
Now, to be fair, at some point, the ActiveCampaign experience seems to be a bit lagging for me.
For example, adding a new email to your workflow means exiting the builder and using the email template tool instead.
Drip’s automated editor pleasantly surprised me. It is very easy to use, it is well designed, flexible, and stacked with features. The colorful design even makes your entire experience when creating a digital masterpiece full of fun.
You have many automated triggers to choose from, including page views, tags, link clicks, and even actions in integrated tools. For example, you can use your Shopify store’s contact action as a trigger.
As you go, you can add other workflow steps, including moving contacts to other campaigns, splitting the list into multiple paths, and more. The workflow editor enables companies to build almost any kind of automation of their choice in a highly immersive and intuitive way.
You can even choose to set your own unique automation rules or actions that will be applied when the contacts in the list perform specific actions.
For example, if someone views a specific page on your website, you can set up a rule that automatically sends them emails without having to establish a complete campaign for this action.
Lead scoring is the process of assigning points to potential customers based on their profile and behavioral data, in order to give priority to potential customers (leads), improve the closing rate, and reduce purchase cycles.
Lead Scoring is another area where Drip gets things right. Lead Scoring is based on literal points, which increase or decrease based on behavior.
For example, if a prospect reviews a pricing page or opens an email, Drip adds points to their record. You might also set up your account to subtract points if someone abandons a cart or misses a scheduled call.
The ActiveCampaign system has a built-in spam monitoring function, which means you are unlikely to jump out of the consumer’s inbox because ActiveCampaign can tell you whether your email is going to be classified as spam.
In addition, if you open the “Reports” tab on the toolbar, you can get started and have a deeper understanding of campaign dynamics and what is happening with your emails.
The “Reports” section is useful for identifying issues in certain areas of your campaign. For example, you can see if someone is constantly opening your email, or if you are losing interest from subscribers.
The built-in CRM with ActiveCampaign also makes it easy to track marketing revenue. You will be able to view the results of interactions in the e-commerce store and determine how many conversions your email actually making.
Even A/B testing on ActiveCampaign is super immersive. You can test basic information, such as form information and subject lines, or you can test the whole bit of activity at once.
All you need to do to split test your entire campaign is to drag and drop the “split” option into your workflow, then you can start tracking the results of each option right away.
If you access the CRM function through the ActiveCampaign program, you will also see the transaction report, which covers all aspects of funnel performance, and have access to marketing and sales opportunities.
Drip also provides a series of different report types for you to choose from.
You can find some basic reports in the Analytics section, including unsubscribe, subscriber growth reports, and also bounce reports. However, if you need more in-depth information, Drip can also provide event-based analysis, which can be shown when a contact becomes a potential customer, automatically gets a specific tag or completes a campaign.
There are many “events” available to choose from.
In order to make everything as easy to understand as possible, you will get a diagram and a list of contacts to perform specific actions. You can also set up custom conversion tracking for demo requests and e-book downloads.
You will be able to accurately track the income earned with each marketing campaign. In addition, you can choose to view the income of each subscriber.
For individual emails you send in campaigns, broadcast, or automated funnels, you will also see information such as unsubscribes, number of clicks, and opens.
Drip recently upgraded its split testing features to include A/B testing for workflows. With workflow split testing, you can check the performance of custom audiences, email copies, and discounts on converting leads.
There are some analytics options that are missing. For example, you won’t get any geographic location reports or heat maps.
ActiveCampaign is indeed leading the way here because you can find information such as geographic location, social mentions and shares, and email campaigns customers are using.
ActiveCampaign provides the following support:
- Email support
- Ticketing system
- Knowledgebase. Over 700 support pages indexed on Google
Drip irrigation provides:
- Email support
- Ticketing system
- Official Facebook group
- Knowledge Base: More than 700 support-related web pages indexed on Google
Surprisingly, both tools have the same number of knowledge base pages.
Unlike other email marketing apps, both support staff is knowledgeable.
ActiveCampaign vs Drip: Pricing
As you probably did research on the pricing of the tools, the price usually varies. There is actually isn’t “one size that fits all” automation solutions. This makes sense: they can provide something for a range of budgets in this way.
ActiveCampaign has four levels, which can meet the needs of small and companies for small business operations. You can instantly see the cost of the tool, which can be adjusted to the number of contacts you have or wish to have.
Compared with the rest, ActiveCampaign is very powerful in terms of cost.
If you want more advanced features, such as CRM with sales automation, deep data integration, lead scoring and more, you may need to get its Plus plan.
With Drip, you only have one plan, and the pricing is based on the number of subscribers you have.
If you take 2,500 subscribers as an example, the ActiveCampaign Lite plan and Plus plan cost $39/month and $99 per month. With Drip, it only costs $49 per month, which is a great price as per what you get.
In ActiveCampaign’s lite plan, you cannot remove their branding logo and lacks various CRM and automation features.
The cost will be adjusted according to the number of features you think you need. I think that for those who are developing email marketing practices, strictly for email services (email marketing software) to actually determine the layers they need can be tricky.
The cost will be adjusted according to the number of features you think you need. I think it can be tricky to decide what features you will need.
Something like that is the sales copy, intended to make you want it. I suggest you go to the lowest level, see where are you at, and then expand the functionality if you have the ability.
Although they differ in functionality, price, and features, the ratings of the Drip vs Activecampaign, these two software tools are almost equal and easy to use. In this case, it is difficult to select one or the other, because both of them have their own unique feature sets so it’s good idea to choose the one that suits your business needs.
Places where ActiveCampaign wins: ActiveCampaign can be used with more than 150 different applications and integrations. You may need a paid Zapier, a third-party subscription to access some of these integrations, but a large number of available integration options are impressive. It will definitely suit you now and in the future.
Places where Drip wins: If you want to complete more tasks with fewer clicks, Drip should be your preferred software. The platform is clutter-free, uses solid language, and provides smooth navigation options. The option of building automated workflows is great, and you can keep in touch with customers no matter they are in the process of going from lead to conversion.
Choose Drip if you run a large business (such as a chain restaurant) and mainly rely on social media marketing.
If you own an e-commerce store with thousands of visitors every month and focus primarily on email marketing, choose ActiveCampaign.