Platonik

Drip Email Marketing Automation Review

This is my review of the Drip email marketing automation platform including 10 reasons to consider the system.

A more direct comparison would be Drip and Active Campaign; sadly I’ve not used the latter.

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Forms – capture leads, customers and transactions with forms

After you have dropped a snippet of code into your website templates, you can start creating and adding web forms to start building your email list.

With Drip you have a variety of options available that you can customise.

Here’s what I generally do when setting up forms.

How to set up a Drip Form

Select Forms from the top menu then New Opt-in Form and name it.

You’ll see 3 sub menu items – Form, Post-SignUp and Confirmation Settings

The title of the form will be added to the headline field – edit this to suit your needs.

Add a description.

Button text.

I generally avoid adding an image.

Fields – by default only the email field is added.

I have custom fields for the users field name and a job type custom field

Identifier for FirstName = firstname

Identifier for What you do = what_you_do

To see pre-existing custom fields – go to Subscribers – Custom Fields.

So I added FirstName as the field label and “firstname” was generated as the field identifier.

Click Add field

Now I move the firstname field above the email field and save settings.

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Post-Sign Up

I have a post submission page I use for every form.

Enter your thank you text in this box or if you leave blank.

Users will receive the headline and message box information; without going to your post submission page.

I unticked all 3 boxes; don’t know why; I’m not an advanced user yet !

Save Settings.

Confirmation Settings

This is the email users will receive to confirm their email address upon completing the form.

There are 3 form submission options; send this email after every submission, send only to new subscribers or never send.

You can alter the email subject line and body copy and add a custom post confirmation page.

Then save settings.

Form Rules

The first thing I do is set up a rule to send me a notification email that a subscriber has submitted this form.

Next, I’ll add another rule.

Apply a tag to the person who subscribes; I give this a name similar to the name of the form.

Now I’ll go back to the design tab and customise the pop up widget settings.

Now the Pop Up Widget settings

I can enable or disable; I’ll enable it.

Orientation

I want my form to pop up with the lower right tab.

Appearance

I happy with the simple design option but I want to change my colours and font size.

Select the tab color and headline color boxes to change your text colours.

Behaviour tab

I set the pop up to appear 90 seconds after user has been on the page and when they scroll down 50% of the page.

(use the pop up functionality wisely; give the user time to read your article or page before interrupting them with a pop up.)

Other settings you can choose yourself.

Save settings.

Now the visibility tab

In this instance I only want the form appearing and popping up on one page.

So I enter the blog post url into the “only show on specific page option” and save settings.

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How to add the form to your website

From the Design – Embedded tab grab the form code – put your mouse in the box, select all then copy all.

Create a page or blog post and put it in draft mode.

Paste the form code into the html view of a page or post.

Add web form to WordPress

There is a WordPress for Drip that makes adding form easy.

Here’s the link to plugin.

Now test your web form and see that everything works.

  • Custom Post-Submission Page – did you land on this page ?
  • Did you receive an email confirmation?
  • Custom Post Confirmation Page – did you land on this page ?
  • Now Go to Reports – Recent activity
  • Was the Blog Post Conversion achieved?
  • Were you tagged correctly ?

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Email Marketing – send one off emails to subscribers

Drip isn’t dissimilar to many other email broadcasting systems but they do have a number of features and benefits that I like.

Re-send to those who didn’t open the first email

This feature I love.

When you create an email broadcast you are asked before you send your campaign if you would like to send an email to those who did not open your first email.

You can determine the date, time and change the headline of the resend email.

And with reporting, you can compare and contrast the open and click through rates.

Selecting recipients and advanced filtering

If you send one single email to your entire email list, you are doing your business and subscribers a disservice.

When I send email campaigns I generally choose to filter subscribers by related tags.

For example, anyone who is tagged with “SEO” shows they were interested in seo related pages they visited on my website.

Then I can filter subscribers with a high lead score with more sales driven emails messages.

I can also send an email campaign to those who haven’t opened the last 4 or 5 emails I’ve sent.

When you know subscribers haven’t opened an email of yours in 2 months that changes your communication perspective.

You will rethink and even change the headline and the body copy you compose when you know 50% of subscribers haven’t opened your emails.

You can save and store subscriber segments, for example, I have a segment saved for all my web design customers.

This makes it very quick to compose and send a targeted email campaign.

As I write this I just filtered subscribers by time zone; perhaps I’ll send subscribers in the USA emails at a different time of the day in the future to boost open rates.

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Marketing Automation Campaigns (Autoresponders)

There’s a lot of confusion about marketing automation; I’d say most is misleading.

Drip campaigns let you send subscribers a series of emails with a delay between each email.

For example, I have a link building course of 9 emails delivered once a day for 9 days.

This is a fantastic feature for educating prospects and customers.

However, this feature is available in most email marketing systems.

Aweber, Business Catalyst, MailChimp and Constant Contact all have this feature; typically known as an autoresponder series.

However, this is where Drip excels.

What happens after you have sent a series of emails to subscribers ?

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Drip Workflows

Drip’s main concept is a workflow.

A workflow lets you build a sales pipeline visually; for your prospects or for existing customers.

So if a subscriber has just completed a campaign, a series of educational emails, I can set up a workflow based on their actions and keep nurturing or selling to them.

An example of a workflow

A user submits a form and they enter a workflow. (this is a Trigger)

They are tagged (this is an Action)

Added to an email campaign (this is an Action)

Then they exit the workflow when every email has been sent.

However, let’s say the user buys a product in the 5th email of that 10 email campaign.

  • The customer enters a purchase workflow (this is a Trigger)
  • They are tagged “Bought Product A” (this is an Action)
  • Customer is removed from the previous workflow (this is an Action)
  • They may receive an email campaign specifically for people who purchased Product A (this is an Action)
  • Customers will exit the workflow when every email is sent.

Workflows have different components

  • Actions
  • Decisions
  • Forks
  • Goals
  • Delays
  • Exits

Drip have created a number of pre built workflows that you simply copy and apply to your Drip account.

For example, there is a workflow called Facebook Custom Audiences + Visited a Page.

Workflows can become very complex if you are a non web developer like me; don’t worry there are easier workflows.

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Rules – mini workflows do heavy work for you

Drip has simple automation rules that don’t require you to build more advanced workflows.

For example; I have a rule set up for every page that a subscriber visits.

So if a subscriber visits my blog post about Call to Action buttons then I tag they visited that page.

I have around 40 pages on my website, so when I look at the “CRM profile” of a user within Drip I can see the pages they viewed.

This is useful information to have about what people are looking at on my website.

Then I can filter people who viewed certain types of pages.

I can even tag sections or anchor text links on long form pages to see if a person click on a section about keyword research, content or backlinks.

So with rules, I can build up a greater understanding of subscribers and potential customers.

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Tag Manager and Trigger Links – tag pages customers visit

When a subscriber visits any page on my website or clicks a page link in emails that I send, then a tag is applied in their CRM profile.

This is an easy exercise to set up.

Go to Automation, select Rules and select New Basic Rules.

You want to choose Visited a Page as the event trigger.

Copy and paste your page url into the box below.

From “What Actions should we perform” select Apply a Tag.

I wrote in “Page Visit – Get Drip BC Post”.

Then I copied and pasted the tag into the rule name box – then save.

Press Save Rule at the foot of the page.

Choose activate from the drop name next to the rule name.

To set up page triggers, select add another trigger.

Copy and paste in the url in the destination url field.

A field called auto-generated trigger link will populated a url.

Save the rule.

Now when you come to run an email campaign or use an email in any workflow, you can apply a trigger link.

Highlight some text and select the hyperlink button.

This time select trigger link from the editor window.

From the Which automation should be triggered? dropdown select your trigger rule.

Under which trigger rule? Choose the url and insert and save the draft email.

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Integration – hook up 3rd party systems with Drip

One of the main reasons I moved from Adobe to Drip’s CRM was the lack of Adobe integrations with 3rd parties.

I had to pay a developer for API integrations or pay monthly for a Zapier app on top of Zapier fees and BC hosting fees.

I will use the Drip integrations I’ve set up to explain the business use cases.

Paypal and GetDrip integration

When you have a Paypal account, you can create a payment button and then add the button code to your website.

When the user clicks the buy now button and makes their payment, data received from PayPal is send to GetDrip.

The customer is added or updated as a subscriber and an event is recorded against the subscriber’s account.

Get Drip and Google Forms integration

Thanks to Zapier, when a user submits a form you created in Google Forms this triggers an event in Drip.

A subscriber is created or updated and an action and the properties of the form are passed into the subscriber’s account.

You can see this integration in action on my YouTube video.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=duAvLRuP1EM%3Fstart%3D977

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Facebook Lead Ads and Get Drip integration

This means that Drip can pull the information from your Facebook lead campaign forms seamlessly.

This integration alone is worth the investment in Get Drip and here’s the information and resources how to set this up.

Stripe and Get Drip integration

Similar to PayPal, when information is received from Stripe, a new customer is added as a subscriber (if they’re not already in your account) and record an event for the subscriber in Drip.

Try Interact and Drip integration

Try Interact is a service as a software platform that enables you to add a quiz and a giveaway on your website and then pass user information into Drip.

Those who completed the quiz and what answers they give is stored in Drip.

You can encourage users to share their quiz scores on social networks and incorporate hashtags to target relevant conversations or groups.

You can try out my SEO Quiz on my website here.

This type of content encourage more involvement with prospects and customers and can be used a form of lead generation when done correctly.

Get Drip and Teachable integration

Teachable is platform that enables business owners to promote and sell online training courses.

Using Zapier, the information about new students who register or make a purchase on Teachable is passed through to GetDrip.

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Drip CRM – get a 360 degree view on customers

I switched to Drip’s CRM because I couldn’t get any useful subscriber data out of Adobe’s CRM.

Search for individual subscriber

When I search and view a subscribers profile in Drip I think I get a fairly good insight into that person.

  • I know their lead score.
  • I see every page they visited on my website.
  • I see the history of their activity- emails received, completed workflow, replied to email, page visited, products purchased, every email campaign sent, heck I can resend for the admin panel.
  • And the basics – name, email, lifetime value, source, time zone, notes, tags, campaigns subscribed to.

And in some cases, Drip pulls in a photograph of the subscriber.

Subscriber filters

This is where I can start looking at segments of customers by hundreds of options.

On the subscriber dashboard, I customised it to show 4 metrics.

I previously exported subscribers who had a website and did a batch analysis of their key web metrics in Ahrefs.

I can filter and look at my subscribers in a number of ways.

I tend to look at how many subscribers are above a certain lead score; since I do want to target and sell to them.

For example, I only have 162 out of 1360 subscribers who are “leads” right now.

Next, I tend to filter subscribers by tags; namely those who have visited similar pages.

For example, 700 out of 1360 subscribers look at seo related pages.

Then I will look at email inactivity; very worrying that 762 out of 1360 subscribers have not opened or clicked on any of the last 2 emails I have sent.

Save a segment

Then I like to create and save subscriber segments so I can quickly filter, view and use particular groups of subscribers.

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Lead Score – who is a potential customer or not

Setting up lead scoring helps you to determine if a subscriber is a prospect or potential customers.

Someone who is likely to spend money with you.

For me, someone does not become a lead until they have reached 15 points.

  • 1 point if they open or click an email I sent.
  • 5 points if they opt into one of email education campaigns.
  • 10 points if they visit my sales pages.

You can customise lead scoring to suit your own needs.

One thing I realise is that I need to do a better job of educating my subscribers.

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Expiring Links – great feature for running time sensitive offers

I cannot wait to start using expiring links for my forthcoming sales campaigns.

Drip lets you create a link that will disappear at a certain date in the future and replace the expired link with a new url.

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Pros and Cons of Drip

Here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of Drip; in my opinion.

Pros of Drip Cons of Drip
Use on any CMS or platform Long learn curve for non developers
Integrates with 3rd parties and Zapier Limited form options eg: drop downs
Re-send email to unopened No email design templates included
Tag pages subscribers visit Need more pre built workflows
Customer support is good Needs better split testing feature
CRM is good
Expiring links

I decided to compare Drip with MailChimp; probably one of the most popular email systems today.

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drip email marketing infographic

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Drip versus MailChimp

I’ve picked out some of the most important features that are comparable in Drip and MailChimp.

Pricing comparison : Drip v MailChimp

Both platforms have a free pricing option.

Drip

Free – 0-100 subscribers and unlimited emails per month.

MailChimp

Free – 0-2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.

Subscriber and email send limitations : Drip v MailChimp

Drip

$41 – 101 – 2500 subscribers and unlimited emails per month

$83 – 2501 – 5000 subscribers and unlimited emails per month

Mailchimp

$20 – 1001 – 1500 subscribers and unlimited emails per month

$25 – 1501 – 2000 subscribers and unlimited emails per month

$30 – 2001 – 2500 subscribers and unlimited emails per month

Email design templates : Drip v MailChimp

Mailchimp has around 90 email templates – different designs, different html themes and for different marketing purposes.

Drip has one plain html template and you have to purchase templates or hand code custom designs.

3rd party integrations : Drip v MailChimp compared

Drip has around 44 integrations with CRM’s, ecommerce, landing page, membership, payment processors, video hosts and webinar services.

Over at Zapier there are 70 Drip zaps.

MailChimp has 15 pre built integrations and there are 100 MailChimp zaps.

Web Forms : Drip v MailChimp comparison

Very little to separate the functionality between Drip and MailChimp web forms.

You can host the web form on both Drip and MailChimp’s server or embed the form on your website and have the form pop up with both systems.

Marketing Automation : Drip v MailChimp

Both Drip and MailChimp enable you to send a series of automated emails in a sequence to opted in subscribers.

Drip call this functionality a campaign whilst MailChimp call this automation.

Automation is not included in MailChimp’s free pricing option.

Automation within MailChimp is more geared toward e-commerce store owners.

You can automate the sending of :

  • Welcome new subscribers
  • Send birthday message
  • Share blog post updates
  • Recover abandoned orders
  • Enable order emails
  • Win back emails
  • Follow up or recommended products suggestions to customers.
  • Emails to customers who did not purchase.

E-commerce appears to be a market Drip are now targeting and I see why.

MailChimp outshines Drip with all their pre built templates for ecommerce automation.

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Sending Email Marketing campaigns : Drip v MailChimp

Both systems are very similar but with these main differences.

  • MailChimp has share email on Facebook and Twitter
  • You can drop and drag content blocks onto MailChimp designed templates
  • MailChimp has great out of the box designed email templates

But Drip make it easier to re-send the same email campaign to those who did not open the first email.

With MailChimp you have to manually duplicate the previous email and select those who did not open.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) : Drip v MailChimp

This really was the deal breaker for me when I was evaluated Drip and MailChimp.

I previously used the built in Adobe CRM system that’s part of their CMS and Drip is much closer to a CRM than MailChimp.

You will notice in Drip that you can select the subscriber tab and then search, find or filter for a subscriber or group of subscribers.

All your subscribers are in one place and you get a 360 degree view of all the activity they have taken.

MailChimp isn’t really a CRM system

With MailChimp you create a list, for example one for customers who purchased and one for capturing those on a mailing list.

But those 2 lists are separated.

So in reality you can have one person on 2 lists.

I’m sure there is automation to move a person from one list to another but I’ve not explored that in depth.

What I do know from a non developer perspective is this.

Importing, exporting and merging data is a recipe for mistakes.

Nevertheless, the issue with MailChimp is that you don’t see when a customer first subscribers and when they purchase at a later date.

When you expand your business and use MailChimp more often you could end up have 10 or 20 lists and no idea about your customer activity.

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Other Comparisons between Drip v MailChimp

There are a few other features that you should be aware of when comparing Drip and MailChimp.

MailChimp lets you create emails, adverts and landing pages

Creating adverts within MailChimp.

This feature is really great for shop owners to create to Facebook, Instagram and Google remarketing adverts within the MailChimp campaign area.

Again, bear in mind, that creating these types of adverts are geared towards shop owners.

In comparison, Drip has workflows and tutorials set up to run Facebook Custom Audience and Facebook Lead Ads.

Split testing : Drip versus MailChimp

Within Drip, split testing is limited to sending campaigns; that’s a series of emails scheduled over time.

You can test the subject line, the from name and the delivery time.

I’m surprised split testing isn’t applied to sending broadcast emails.

In all honesty, the Drip split testing capabilities are poor.

MailChimp, on the other hand, has more advanced split testing features.

You can test the subject line, from name, content and send time.

And you can test single broadcast email campaigns.

So, MailChimp wins hands down on split testing.

Quote

Drip is ideal for business to business, web professionals or SAAS services but has a long learning curve for non web developers” Fraser McCulloch, Platonik.

Summary

A direct comparison would be Drip versus Active Campaign; but I’m not qualified to assess the latter.

I used MailChimp for email marketing with Shopify stores and it’s brilliant.

Especially the recommended product block you can drop into an email campaign.

So MailChimp is your best bet if you run an ecommerce store like Shopify.

But, if you are run a service or professional services based business, then Drip is a better solution even if more expensive.

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