Drip Review: Increase Your Sales With Lightweight Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is all the rage these days and as a result, most of the popular email service providers have added this capability to their products.

At its core, marketing automation is all about sending out smarter emails. This means sending emails to your subscribers that they are interested in, and greatly increasing the chance that they take the action you want.

Drip Review

Last updated: Sep 17, 2017
First Published on: Jun 23, 2016

tl;dr Summary
Drip is an email service provider that lets you easily create sophisticated marketing automations that will increase your conversions and generate more sales for your business.

Done properly, it’s a great way for any small businesses to automate their email marketing process.

But that’s not even the best part.

Your customers are much more engaged because they are receiving emails that they want to read. And it helps your brand stand out from the daily clutter of their inbox.

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.

The 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 this service delivers much of the same features and benefits of those more expensive solutions at a more reasonable price.

What is Drip?

Drip was started in 2013 by entrepreneur Rob Walling. From the start, Drip had marketing automation built in and it was one of the first ESPs to offer it as an affordable service. They were purchased by Leadpages in 2016 and they continue to be one of the market leaders in email marketing automation to this very day.

Unlike ESPs like MailChimp, Drip is not list based. Instead, it gives you a single database of subscribers for each website in your account. This makes Drip much more flexible because it allows you to segment your contacts based on tags and events.

Drip provides you a very detailed look at every subscriber you have. There’s the activity view that shows a chronological timeline that shows any actions they’ve taken.

You can also see which specific emails they’ve received, update their tags, and even see their Lifetime value if you are selling to them.

Although I personally don’t use it, Drip includes a form builder which you can use to collect subscribers. It’s not especially customizable, which is why I prefer using Thrive Leads for this purpose.

You can also send your standard one-off email broadcasts with Drip. When sending broadcasts, you can take advantage of Drip’s advanced segmentation features to create the most targeted audience possible.

Drip is best known for its powerful visual workflow builder which allows you to build simple or complex email marketing workflows. It offers 18 different triggers and 16 actions which give you enormous flexibility to automate what you need.

You’re presented with a canvas and you can point and click on certain sections to add things to your workflow. It’s pretty intuitive, and there’s even a checklist that makes sure you’ve taken care of everything you need to.

Drip also has the concept of rules. Rules allow you to perform actions on your whole Drip account, not just a specific workflow. So for example, you could create a rule that tags all subscribers who visit a certain page on your site.

So for example, you could create a rule that tags all subscribers who visit a certain page on your site.

How I Use Drip – A Mini Case Study

If you have been following this blog, then you know that I have an Amazon FBA business that sells fitness products. We also operate a separate website under our brand name as well where we sell our products as well.

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t allow us to collect emails from our customers directly, so we have to be creative and collect opt-in subscribers using our website. To do this we use Thrive Leads to collect opt-ins, and then have the leads directly sent to Drip.

Here is how I am currently using Drip for this business.

The first is to collect the emails of the customers who buy our products directly from our website. We use Stripe to collect credit card payments and fortunately, Drip integrates directly with it with just a minimal bit of setup.

This means that anyone that buys our product gets automatically added to subscribers database. And we can tag them as a customer as well. From there, they go into our standard email sequence.

I’ve also implemented my own Cart Abandonment workflow with Drip.

This is a very effective strategy to get more sales.

Periodically, I send out emails that have coupon codes for my products.

If anyone that receives this email visits my checkout page and doesn’t buy, they get put into this workflow.

I do this by using my checkout page URL as a trigger. If a subscriber hasn’t bought within one hour of visiting the page, I then send them an email asking them if they had any questions.

Not only is it a subtle reminder for them to buy, but it gives me a chance to answer any concerns they may have had about my product.

Then I add another wait, and if they still haven’t purchased then I’ll send them a final email offering an additional discount.

Here’s how it all looks in Drip’s visual editor.

This workflow has worked very well for me, and it’s improved my conversions by more than 30%.

What are some of the best features of Drip?

Drip is a super powerful platform, and there are a ton of cool things you can do with it once you get to know it better. While the learning curve is high, it’s well worth familiarizing yourself with them to great a better business workflow.

Nice Feature #1: Better segmentation with events

Not only does Drip have tags, but it supports events as well. Events are like tags, with the main difference being that they also record the date and keep track of how many times they’ve occurred.

Drip has built-in events like “clicked a link”, or they can be part of the different integrations you can use.

For example, since I’m using the Stripe integration I mentioned above, I can easily create a segment of subscribers who purchased something within the last 30 days. Or I could tag my VIP customers, as those who have purchased my products more than 2 times.

Nice Feature #2: Using lead scoring to increase engagement and conversions

Drip offers lead scoring across all of its plans and it’s one of the best ways to increase your conversions.

What it does is it allows you to assign points to each subscriber based on specific actions they take. This gives you a better gauge of who is more likely to buy and it helps you identify who your most loyal fans are.

On the Lead Scoring page, Drip allows you to assign points based pages visited or actions taken like this:

You’ll also want to define your lead threshold, which is when your contact officially becomes a ‘lead’.

What makes lead scoring so powerful is that it allows you to create smarter email marketing campaigns. You will be able to quickly identify your best subscribers and target them appropriately.

For my business, I tag all my highest lead scoring contacts as ‘VIP’.

These are my customers I’ll send my product launch emails to first, because I know they are more likely to buy, and leave positive reviews.

I’ll also send them exclusive coupons and content to reward them for their loyalty.

Nice Feature #3: Ready to use Email sequence blueprints

If you are new to email marketing, then Drip has a handy Blueprint feature that you can use whenever you create a new campaign.

Blueprints are just a collection of proven email sequences that you can repurpose for your own needs. Each blueprint includes a short description and you can quickly scan all the emails in the sequence.

You can then import any blueprint as the starting point of your campaign by clicking the ‘Use This Blueprint’ button.

Drip currently includes 11 different blueprints including a couple different email mini-courses, a few follow-up campaigns, and a post-purchase order bump campaign.

I’d never recommend copying these blueprints word for word, but they are a great starting point and I’ve found them to be a good source of inspiration for my own email campaigns.

Nice Feature #4: Resend to Unopens

There will always be a certain percentage of people that won’t open your broadcast emails. Maybe they were too busy at the time, or your subject line didn’t catch their eye.

Drip makes it extremely simple to re-send your broadcast emails to people that didn’t open your original email.

Whenever you’re about to send a broadcast, just check the box “Resend this broadcast to subscribers who do not open it” and this dialog appears.

You can then specify a wait time before resending (I would recommend 3+ days), and an updated Subject Line if you wish.

This is a great way to maximize the open rates of every broadcast you send. And it allows you to split test subject lines as well.

Nice Feature #5: Conditional logic inside emails

While tags and events let you segment your contact list, Drip also allows you to do segmenting inside your emails itself.

Basically, Drip’s emails support a programming language called Liquid created by Shopify which allows you to put conditional logic inside of your emails.

This means you can show specific content to a certain segment of your list, and have the rest of your subscribers see something else.

Here’s how it works.

For someone not familiar with programming this weird syntax might be a little confusing.  But if you follow the examples you should be able to figure it out.  It’s definitely useful and will help you better personalize each email you send.

What are some of the not good parts of Drip?

Of course, Drip is not perfect, and there are parts of the service that I feel could be improved.

Bad Part #1: Wish it had more Integrations

Drip does include a lot of 3rd party integrations, including with several popular services that I use myself.

But I wish it had more.

As part of my Amazon FBA business, I use Feedback Genius to send follow-up emails to my customers. What makes Feedback Genius useful is that I can send emails based on the status of their shipments (delivered, shipped, etc).

So for my eCommerce store, I was hoping I could do something similar with Drip.

I’m currently using a service called AfterShip that allows me to add tracking information to orders on my site. It also gives me the ability to send out notifications via webhooks for the different shipping events.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to figure out if it’s possible to integrate between Drip and AfterShip since there is no native integration. It seems like it should be possible, but I haven’t been able to figure it out myself which is frustrating.

It would be super awesome if Drip could introduce some way to make it easier to integrate with a wider range of services.

Bad Part #2: High Learning Curve

Drip is not the simplest email service provider to learn, and could even be overwhelming to some.

This is because Drip introduces a lot of different terminologies that might not be immediately obvious how they should be used.

For example, what’s the difference between workflows, campaigns and rules?

Or when should you use tags, events and custom fields?

Drip gives you tremendous power to do some very cool things with your email marketing. But to get a handle on everything, you need to be prepared to spend some time with the documentation.

Fortunately, Drip does include an extensive knowledge base with lots of well-written articles that clearly explain everything. You just need to be willing to invest some time in it.

Drip Pricing

Unlike other email service providers, Drip offers a pretty simplified pricing scheme. All features are available with every plan, and the only difference in plans is the number of subscribers you have.

The Starter plan is completely FREE and it supports up to 100 subscribers month. The Basic plan is $49 a month for 2500 subscribers and the Pro plan is $99 a month for 5000 subscribers.

I have yet to find any Drip discounts or coupon codes. Although you can save about 2 months free if you opt to pay yearly.

This is more expensive than some other Drip alternatives like ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit.

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’s FREE starter plan is a great way to play around with Drip’s marketing automation capabilities.

Plus, Drip still offers a fully-functional 21-day free trial for those with bigger lists. You get access to everything that Drip has to offer and try it out for yourself before you decide to commit.

Final Thoughts

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 many types of businesses.

The Leadpages acquisition was also very exciting, and it shows me that Drip is there for the long haul.

I really like the FREE Starter package, which gives you access to Drip’s entire feature set. This allows you to play with it to see if it will work for you without the 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.

Start Automating Your Workflows with Drip

Drip Pros

  • Extensive selection of actions and triggers for automations.
  • Discover your most valuable leads with lead scoring.
  • Create more personalized emails using liquid templates.
  • Get started more quickly with email blueprints.
  • More powerful segmentation with both events and tags.
  • Automation workflows can be shared.

Drip Cons

  • Can’t send out automated emails at a specific date and time which is bad for webinars/live events.
  • Wish it had even more 3rd party integrations.
  • Relatively expensive compared to other email service providers.
  • High learning curve.

Drip Bonus

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Our partner JustRetweet will allow you to get more social shares to your great content

Interested in this bonus? Then follow these steps:

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Affiliate Disclaimer: I hope you enjoyed this Drip review. Please note that any links inside this article may be affiliate links to Drip. That means that if you click on one of the links and sign up, I may be compensated for it. Thanks for supporting the site!

Comments

  1. David Smethie says:

    Thanks for the review Brad. I came across Drip this morning from a LeadPages lead notification email for one of my clients. Since they only have a couple dozen opt-ins, they don’t want to bother using an auto-responder. However, at $1/month for up to 100 subscribers, with so many awesome features, it’s an absolute no-brainer.

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