[NOTE: A slightly updated version of this post has been published on my Marketing Automation Focus website (https://www.MarketingAutomationFocus.com/). All my blog posts related to Marketing Automation will be on that website. That updated post is here.]
Normally, I don't write a review or comparison of a product or service. As you know, my main focus is on Productivity and Leadership. But, then again, my passion truly is to help people being more productive and be a great leader. In whatever they do. With that spirit, I figured I write about my experience with email service providers (ESPs) when I started my online business.
This post is really not a complete review and/or comparison of MailChimp versus Drip by any means. It simply discusses a few reasons why I switched from MailChimp to Drip. I will describe how things transpired for me. “Your Mileage May Vary”!
Launching My Website/Business
When I was about to launch my website for the first time ever, I was so anxious about my email list building. I had no idea except I had heard about a few ESPs including MailChimp. I had never heard of Drip. I was advised to just go with MailChimp ‘for now' and somebody created a form for my lead magnet (Opt-in) within MailChimp and the whole setup for me to get me off the ground.
I figured it wouldn't be so bad. At least I got my website launched and I am all set!
Then came the time for me to send out my first newsletter, and then an email broadcast, and then “lead nurturing” emails, and so on. Man! It took me a while to figure things out. And, it was quite painful – for a while.
Why Did I Go With MailChimp at Website Launch?
Briefly, here are some of the reasons I went with MailChimp:
- I didn't know any better
- Didn't have time to do research
- Was anxious to launch my website and get it going
- It was FREE for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/month. I figured it would be a while before I would cross those limits.
- Somebody set it all up for me 😉
The “Pleasure of Email Templates” & “Pain of Automation”
I started writing my first email broadcast. I was so confused with the terminology “campaign” for a broadcast email that MailChimp uses. Ok, I got over it.
Then, I wanted to create emails. I swear I couldn't figure out how to go to the next step after I started with the first step. Ah, the menus are all down at the bottom of the web page during email creation. I will be honest, I cursed a lot! And, felt stupid at the same time! 😳 Ok, got over it a bit. Just a bit because the second time, I was lost again. Because I wasn't looking down at the bottom of the page.
Once I got the hang of the email creation steps, menus, and templates, I LOVED my formatted MailChimp emails. Supercool!
Later on, I signed up for Leadpages®. The game changed or at least started to change rapidly for me. I started creating beautiful landing pages for my lead magnet and consulting services, and blog post ‘content upgrades' etc. Late 2015, Leadpages announced a new software/service called Center. I jumped on that one and became Leadpages Conversion Marketing Certified. Click here to check out my profile 🙂
Then, I realized that every time someone opted in, I would have to send them a welcome email manually. I wasn't happy at all. I also would have to send broadcast emails about my existing blog posts to all the new subscribers who haven't seen them. How the heck I am going to track all of this? To make matter worse (or better in the sense of me learning “tricks of the trade” so to speak), I didn't know how to setup ‘lead nurturing'.
I ended up signing up as a paid customer for $10 per month for up to 500 subscribers. I figured I am way far from 500 and at least I can now send autoresponder emails. I was happy once again! But, keep reading…
I spent umpteen hours over the course of days and weeks to try to setup automation the way I wanted. MailChimp support was really good but I was really getting annoyed simply due to some limitations and me having to spend a lot of time. The biggest thing was my time and I was still not getting what I wanted to get done.
Why Did I Switch To Drip?
Around the middle of this year (2016), Leadpages acquired Drip. I got the news since I was on Leadpages email list as their customer. Wow! I said. What is Drip? Never heard of it! Long story short, quite frankly, even though I had much less than 100 subscribers on my list, I was a bit edgy to see their pricing jumped to $49 per month for 101 to 2,500 subscribers.
It was $1 per month for up to 100 subscribers, which is FREE, now! It also came with 21 days of free trial which I believe it still does.
Well, after much deliberations I signed up. You see, I didn't see all the value Drip provided and so many “golden nuggets”!
I was scared to switch from MailChimp to Drip.
I was scared of “what if I cross more than 100 subscribers and would have to pay $49 per month”? Ouch! The annual plan gets a bit cheaper, though.
Drip does not have MailChimp like email templates, but images and links can be embedded.
Well, I thought these are “growing pains” and more so “fears” of an entrepreneur who is just starting out. If I can't make any money in my business with 100+ subscribers, then something is really wrong with my marketing and/or business model. Honestly, I am still learning how to achieve that.
I was willing to try it out. I am so glad I did!
Like any new tool, Drip requires a bit of a learning curve. But, help is there (see below for that).
Briefly, here are some of the reasons I switched to Drip:
- FREE for up to 100 subscribers with all the automation I needed
- AMAZING Visual Workflows! This is HUGE, folks. Can you tell I am still so excited?
- Custom tagging, Rules, and “Trigger Links”. Subscribers can be tagged based on their actions and Workflows can be triggered accordingly!
- Email Campaigns easily setup. Now, we're talking!
- Subscriber pruning. “Weed out” subscribers who are inactive and/or based on whatever criteria you set
- Subscriber “lead score”. Visually see subscriber actions history and assign them “lead score” (automatically or manually)
- Awesome Support & Excellent Facebook Group Community
- Got 1-on-1 30-minute demo from Drip's top-notch expert. Super helpful. No kidding!
If you are making millions in your business and you can hire someone to handle more complex tools like Infusionsoft etc. you probably don't care. BTW, as far as I know, Leadpages is now using Drip themselves.
If you are starting out and have just above 100 subscribers and much less than 2,500, it's probably worth signing up for Drip unless your budget and/or cash flow is so tight that you just can't afford it. In the latter case, go with MailChimp's lowest paid account. You can also do “subscriber pruning” in Drip to possibly bring the number at or below 100.
If you have less than 100 subscribers, Drip is a “no brainer” with a Free account.
Overall, Drip is a winner all around so far, in my experience!