Marketing automation is all the rage these days. Every email service provider seems to be adding marketing automation capabilities to their products.
At it’s core, marketing automation involves setting up a sequence of email campaigns to go out to a targeted segment of your list, with a targeted message, at the right time.
First Published on: Jun 23, 2016
Last updated: Aug 6, 2016
It’s an incredible set-and-forget tactic for small businesses because you can do the work once up-front, and then monitor and tweak as you collect more data.
But that’s not even the best part.
It’s also MUCH more effective for reaching customers too, capitalizing on personalization and timing to cut through the noise.
Marketing automation delivers up to a 451% increase in leads while also increasing average sales by 34%, according to HubSpot’s statistics. It can also result in 20% more sales opportunities for B2B companies too.
Problem is, big software solutions like HubSpot and InfusionSoft require a big budget, costing around $10,000 annually at the minimum.
Today though, we’re going to look at a marketing automation solution called Drip. And in this Drip review I’m going to show you how Drip delivers much of the same features and benefits of those other solutions while only costing a fraction of the price.
Here’s how Drip works in three easy steps.
Step 1. Setup Your Forms to Capture the Right People
The first step is to setup forms that will capture leads on your website.
Drip offers a few different options, including the standard embed or hosted options that appear inline with the rest of your site’s content. However, they also provide a few more advanced options, including a corner widget that can appear in one of the corners of your visitor’s screen to grab their attention. There is also an ‘exit-triggered’ pop-up that can capture people before they leave your site.
Drip’s web forms can be easily customized, including placement or orientation on the screen, fonts or colors, and even behavior so you can restrict how many times it’s shown (and to whom).
Drip has a WYSIWYG content editor for the headline, description, and button text areas. You can select an image to help show what people are going to get when they enter their email address. And you can also customize the form fields required of each person.
It also works with popular payment processors like Paypal and Stripe. And its integration capabilities with Zapier give you the flexibility to make sure leads are passed through all of your internal systems. (Hooray! no more copying and pasting from Excel!)
Once you’ve created a form or two and have it properly setup on your site, the next step is to begin creating new emails that you’ll eventually send to your subscribers.
Step 2. Sending One-Off Emails or Campaign Sequences
Drip can send one-off, ‘broadcast’ style emails to subscribers like most other email sever providers. You can create a new one ad-hoc, and use Drip’s extensive segmenting options to carve out a specific group of people to target for a limited time promotion or update.
However, the real power of Drip comes in creating automated sequences of emails, which they call Campaigns.
You can create your own series of emails from scratch, choose from one of Drip’s pre-built blueprint examples, or even have them do the work for you (for an additional fee).
The blueprint option is a fantastic way to get up-and-running in no time, simply selecting from one of the common use cases available (like a Free Demo).
Clicking on one of these templated options also reveals that most of the email work is done for you as well, highlighting areas to customize based on your subscriber’s data or information (while the rest of the template content is already largely completed).
Once you’ve setup your first ‘Campaign’, it’s time to begin setting up ‘Workflows’ that will customize a series of events for each and every subscriber.
Step 3. Automate Your Email Marketing with Workflows
A single ‘Campaign’ might be a series of five emails that go out to your subscribers. But a ‘Workflow’ allows you to string together multiple ‘Campaigns’ based on different events or activities.
For example, you can add or remove subscribers to certain automated ‘Workflows’ if they submit a new form, unsubscribe, visit a certain page or click a specific link.
Another example would be if a new subscriber receives a promotional ‘Campaign’ because there’s a new product on sale.
They’ll either purchase (or they won’t), and with a single ‘Workflow’, you can create two different branches based on those possibilities. Somebody who DOES purchase can automatically be removed from the first ‘Workflow’ so that they won’t receive any more sales offers, while the person who DOESN’T purchase might get re-entered at a later time.
This sounds complex and daunting. Fortunately, Drip’s visual editor makes it easy and intuitive to follow.
You can see how different branches break off when certain events do (or don’t) occur. And you can visually build out your ‘Workflow’ by selecting from their pre-set options.
These visual ‘Workflows’ allow you to automate an entire customer journey, from the time a stranger becomes an initial subscriber, through after they give you money in exchange for products and services. At each step of the way, they receive pre-crafted emails designed specifically for them.
That gives you the peace of mind knowing that new subscribers are being welcomed consistently, while potential leads are followed up immediately without your personal involvement (allowing you to get back to your business).
Unlike other email service providers, Drip offers a pretty simplified pricing scheme with only 3 pricing plans.
The Starter plan is $1 a month, and it supports 100 subscribers month. The Basic plan is $49 a month for 2500 subscribers and the Pro plan is $99 a month for 5000 subscribers.
ActiveCampaign is a bit cheaper, at $29 a month for 2500 subscribers and $45 a month for 5000 subscribers. I would say it is the best direct competitor to Drip in terms of features.
ConvertKit is also a little bit cheaper at $49 a month for 3000 subscribers and $79 a month for 5000 subscribers. However, ConvertKit is more targeted to bloggers rather than more serious marketers which Drip is better suited for.
Drip was recently purchased by Leadpages, and one of the exciting new changes introduced was Starter plan. $1 for 100 subscribers and full access to the features makes it a great way to play around with Drip’s marketing automation capabilities.
Plus, Drip still offers a fully-functional 3 week free trial for those with existing lists. You get access to everything that Drip has to offer and try it out for yourself before you decide to commit.
If you want to take your marketing to the next level, then you should seriously consider trying Drip. It’s perfect for anyone trying to sell their own services, products and courses.
Drip’s visual automation builder is intuitive and easy to use, and it makes creating marketing automations drop dead simple.
All this makes Drip extremely flexible and will make it an ideal fit for every type of marketer.
The Leadpages acquisition is also very exciting, and it shows me that Drip is there for the long haul.
I really like the new $1 a month Starter package, which gives you access to Drip’s entire feature set. This allows you to play with it to to see if it will work for you with minimal impact to your wallet.
I would highly recommend giving Drip a shot if you are looking to add a little marketing automation to your business. If you do it right, you will definitely see a boost in your sales and conversions.