Both small business owners and big companies are in a race to find out the perfect tool to grow their business.
It’s true! Email marketing platforms let you sit in the driver’s seat and handle your marketing and lead nurturing campaigns like a pro.
Both platforms are newbies in the market as they came in 2013.
ConvertKit is an email marketing platform geared towards content marketers and bloggers. It has all the bells and whistles to sell your ebooks, courses, and run your blog like a champ.
Any person outside this realm would probably think it lacks a lot of functionalities.
Drip, on the other hand, is a serious automation-focused tool for eCommerce. Ever heard of the LeadPages guys? They acquired this 2013 baby. It is a well-designed solution to handle any online store marketing challenges and subdue the challenge.
Time to engage them in a fiery battle to see which one keeps standing to the end! And to see where they both shine or they’re just overrated.
- Simple and easy to use interface.
- A complete CRM for bloggers and content writers.
- It has an awesome automation visual builder that’s pretty easy to work on.
- Smart landing page editor that helps you create responsive pages.
- Allows you to create all types of form.
- Reliable customer support.
- Extensive library of helpful articles and documentation.
- Comes with a free forever plan.
- The modern and sleek user interface that loads fast.
- Advanced reporting and analytical features keeping track of your performance.
- Integrations with leading industry giants including Facebook Custom Audience and Facebook Leads to track the customer journey.
- Advanced automation visual workflow builder to send hyper-targeted emails.
- Robust platform eCommerce CRM.
- Flexible tagging and segmentation feature allowing you to send personalized emails.
- Price is affordable for the number of features it offers.
The interface of the email marketing platform should feel like you have been welcomed into a new family with a big hug!
The homepage is organized into five tabs, subscribers, automation, landing pages and forms, sequences, and broadcasts.
The main screen gives you an overview of your subscribers, clicks, growth graph, and total emails sent.
The rest of the options can be found by hovering over one of the five tabs. The UI looks refined and easy to navigate for building your campaigns.
On the other hand, Drip’s interface is also considerably easy. It is super intuitive, modern, and loads like a flash.
You can navigate to the top bar containing campaigns, broadcasts, people, forms, automation, and analytics.
While the dashboard shows you the basic information like the number of subscribers and growth rate just like any other tool, Drip displays additional stats like first-time visitors and cohort conversion rates.
Cohort conversion rate is defined as the percentage of new visitors who subscribed in a particular time frame.
Winner: Convertkit. It comes out as the winner in terms of simplicity. No learning curve needed so you can hit the ground running.
Importing your contacts is easy peasy. You can use CSV or add subscribers one by one. Also, I love that they allow you to import contacts from another email provider.
And unlike Mailchimp, ConvertKit counts one subscriber in different segments as one contact and you can also add many tags for one single subscriber.
ConvertKit relies on segments and tags to keep your audience list organized. You can select conditions for your tags and tweak the parameters any time you want.
The tags can be based on location, purchase behavior, or subscription date. This is the key as it allows you to deliver personalized content to your audience.
Plus they have this cool feature called ‘merge tags’ that lets you send dynamic emails to your contacts. And that’s not all, they have the ConvertKit WordPress Plugin. It allows you to track your visitors and tag them based on their interaction with your website.
Pretty cool, right?
With Drip, you can create powerful segments based on tags and events. (Let’s deal with the tags first then talk of events later)
If you need granular behavior-based tags, Drip has your back. You can tag people manually or set a certain condition when creating an automated workflow.
For example, upon making a successful purchase, you can add them to a tag where you’ll send them follow-up emails and newsletters.
Now let’s get to the best thing ever, Drip tracking codes. They can be added to your pages and they’ll let you tag and track subscribers based on their behavior on your site. And this is just the tip of an iceberg of what ‘Events’ can do.
Drip also has list cleanup features that automatically unsubscribes your people based on certain triggers.
Winner: Drip. It’s detailed segmentation features make it a list management machine. We can go head to head with Klaviyo here.
Aesthetically pleasing email designs create a consistent brand experience in the minds of your subscribers.
ConvertKit is a reputed email marketing tool made specifically for bloggers and writers. They want to engage users through their words rather than fancy templates.
For this purpose, ConvertKit only has three templates, text, classic, and modern. So we have basically nothing to talk about when it comes to email templates.
Good thing is, they are all responsive! But, come on! Even bloggers need more than 3 templates that look alike. As if that wasn’t bad, the customization of the templates is an uphill task.
Cheaper options like MailerLite and Moosend have plenty of options.
On the brighter side, you can create your own custom templates using HTML.
Got to say, coming from ConvertKit, you might wish you stopped there.
But in all honesty, they run along the same lines. Unless you’re willing to buy their boxed collection of templates, you have only one plain free template.
But you have the HTML option to code your template away.
Winner: None. They are both plain bad (Yes, pun intended). What more do you want me to say? If templates are a big deal, stick to good old Mailchimp.
ConvertKit makes the process of automation fluid and seamless.
I have to admit that using their visual workflow builder made me feel like I hit the JACKPOT. ConvertKit does not make the process unnecessarily complex. I believe they are on the map for being stupidly easy to use. No need to fret, you won’t rip your hair out!
If you’ve used ActiveCampaign visual builder, then you’ll be home and dandy on ConvertKit. Basically, it’s like the ActiveCampaign workflow builder minus the glitches and raw flexibility power.
You can modify or add new tags and triggers and you can view your list of rules in a subsection of Automation called ‘Automation Rules’.
And it allows for inline campaign building and editing. Putting ActiveCampaign to shame on this front.
There is no advanced functionality available for handling a complex automation sequence. But for the average blogger, it’s a haven.
It also has some pre-built automation templates that are also available for you to use, for example, launching a product, hosting a webinar, and follow-up emails.
Drip is known to be an automation focused tool. Got to confess, I was so psyched up to dive into this one.
Drip has smart automation capabilities, I must say. It takes care of two distinct features in automation: workflows and rules.
With workflow, you can set an automated path based on triggers such as cart abandonment and then send them emails. You can add as many triggers as you want.
Drip has lots of tags for you to choose from. Otherwise, Drip integrations also allow you to choose more triggers as well.
With rules, you set up certain actions in reaction to your customer. Very similar to ConvertKit in this regard.
So for the lovers of one-off automation rules, the Rules interface will give you the barebones you need. But for automation Ninjas, the visual workflow builder got you covered.
And I can’t overlook the fact that I found it to be faster than ActiveCampaign, Also, they don’t overlook small things like automatically resending emails to those who didn’t open.
Okay, you can do it on ActiveCampaign later but Drip lets you do this by simply checking a box in the beginning.
Winner: Drip. They have kept their promise of being an automation-focused ESP. It works for both novice and high-level email marketers.
A/B testing is a great way to see what truly catches the attention of your people.
After such powerful automation features, ConvertKit A/B testing is a big-time disappointment.
You only have the option to test the subject line. And only on one-off broadcasts.
There’s a 4-hour waiting period to determine the winner and so you need to keep this in mind when sending time-zone based emails.
That’s all I have to say on ConvertKit split testing capabilities. Forget about testing your landing pages or automation workflows. Good old Mailchimp does much better here.
You can A/B test three things in Drip: subject line, from, and sending time.
Considering all the hype around Drip, split testing email content seems to be left to those who are ready for WWIV.
But it allows for workflow automation split tests. Looking for landing page split tests, no luck here.
ConvertKit is a CRM geared towards content marketers and it does its job well in that regard. It is not designed to meet your eCommerce CRM needs.
So, let’s not beat around the bush. ConvertKit has no eCommerce tools or CRM framework.
But their integrations with several third-party apps like Shopify and WooCommerce helps you achieve your purpose.
Drip, on the other hand, will fulfill your eCommerce needs as it is designed specifically for that purpose. You can call it the ‘specialist’ in eCommerce CRM!
It comes with pre-built automation to make your work easier, for example, cart abandonment, Black Friday deals, etc.
It allows you to integrate your sales/marketing strategy with your social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Also, it integrates smoothly with apps like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, etc.
ConvertKit’s forms and landing page functionality is reasonably good.
It gives you access to a few designed and easily customizable templates. But I have to warn you, customization options are lackluster (for lack of a better word).
But you can customize them or even create your own layout. I really do appreciate this as most of their default layouts are plain.
You can also host a number of advanced features on your landing pages like automatically sending emails to new subscribers, taking actions when the customer fills in the form, etc.
As for the forms, ConvertKit has three types, inline, modal, and slide-in. They come with customization options and you can add various triggers to them like time-based pop-ups. But, the customization problem is the same on the landing page and form builder.
Luckily, forms and landing pages are available in their free plan as well. However, if forms and landing pages are a big deal, GetResponse is your connection.
Drip lacks a proper landing page functionality. I was shocked as well.
But the form builder is surprisingly good.
You’re in the driver seat of all the aspects of your form. You can play around the visibility, orientation, triggers, post-sign-up copy, behavior, you need it, they’ve got it.
There’s even an option of whether you want your form as a hosted, embedded, or widget version.
And even with all these options, the process doesn’t feel overwhelming or messy.
But the problems started kicking in when I got to the design customizer. It’s basic. No other word can be used. Considering all you can do with the form builder, this is such a bummer.
I know this can be a deal-breaker but I almost forgive the limitations in exchange for the functionalities.
ConvertKit’s analytics is as basic as it can get. But hey, Nathan Barry had simplicity in mind while creating this email marketing tool.
The reporting dashboard shows you the metrics like visitors, conversion rates, click rates, open rates, and recipients.
ConvertKit is not integrated with Google Analytics (GA) either and there is no bounce rate displayed.
And that’s just it.
With Drip, the dashboard displays it all. From subscriber growth, page visits, opens, clicks to bounce rates, and email stats, Drip has got you covered.
And from there you can swiftly move over to your broadcasts to see individual email reports. It’s much better as you can see the performance of each email. You can also see the same for your automation.
The number geeks will have fun with Drip as you can select the metrics you want to view. Whether it’s hard bounces or opens by the hour.
It displays beautiful graphs for you to analyze and lead generation is another bonus tool where you can view which one of your customers are interacting well with your business.
Winner: Drip. Though it’s reporting is not advanced, it’s certainly better compared to ConvertKit. It definitely goes beyond the basics.
Both ConvertKit and Drip are pretty much new in the market so I don’t expect tons of integrations.
As expected, on ConvertKit, you won’t find loads of integrations like on Mailchimp. But you’ll get pretty much every tool you need for any specific email marketing function. It natively integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, Zapier, ThriveLeads, SalesForce, Stripe, etc.
Overall, ConvertKit gives you enough third-party apps to carry out your email marketing efforts as bloggers and small business owners.
However, it does not provide any integrations in their free version.
Drip has a bit more integrations and add-ons than ConvertKit. You’ll get Shopify, Magento, Facebook Custom Audiences, Paypal, etc. But I was surprised they haven’t hooked up with Zapier yet. They have their own ‘Zap’ system but it’s not the same.
Drip has got your back for all your eCommerce business needs. Its Facebook Custom Leads is one awesome way for hyper-targeted ads.
ConvertKit has live chat and email support. Moreover, they have an extensive knowledge base, FAQs, articles, and video tutorials to guide you through all the stages.
They don’t offer any kind of support in their freemium plan.
But I was super impressed by the welcome video I received with my name in it. It’s almost like voodoo coz you get it immediately you get on board. I learned it’s a tool called Bonjoro that helps create personalized welcome videos.
Plus their community support is big. They have got 2 Facebook groups and a Slack channel. All this makes it pretty clear that you don’t have to sort out your technical issues on your own.
Drip also has guides, user manuals, and API documentation to explore all its features. The customer support team is quite friendly and responds to the problem quickly.
They have a big Facebook community with over 16K people. Only problem is that it’s a Leadpages group; they talk about a broader scope of things, not only Drip.
They also have the ‘Drip live coaching’ it gets you to sign up for live webinar training.
The dashboard also has support buttons to help you navigate the whole platform. For those that pay up, you get live-chat support. But they do not provide phone support for now.
This is a big limitation as Drip has advanced features and customers may prefer phone support.
Winner: ConvertKit. They have pretty awesome support and you have a wide range of options to choose from.
ConvertKit has a free forever plan if you have only a thousand contacts to manage.
This plan offers you landing pages, email broadcasts, and tagging features.
They have two other plans, Creator and Creator Pro. Both of these tiers let you have a 14-days free trial as well.
On the other hand, Drip also gives you a 14-days free trial but has no free forever plan.
I know at this point, businesses on a budget would be saying ‘yay’ towards ConvertKit but the idea is to reach for a service with good value for money.
Drip’s plan starts with $19 with 500 contacts and their prices increase with the number of contacts. It has just one plan and gives you everything it has to offer in this one single tier.
But in this plan, Drip offers you all the necessary eCommerce features for your store, from basic to advanced.
Now that you have full-fledged knowledge of their features and drawbacks, you can make a decision for your business.
ConvertKit is a great option for:
- Content creators and bloggers
- An email marketing beginner
- Anyone looking for a simple tool to use to begin getting some traction in their business
- A person that values customer support
Drip is a great option for:
- Anyone in need of an automation focused email marketing platform
- Anyone looking for a data-driven approach in email marketing
- High-level marketers who need to go full ham on email marketing
- Those running eCommerce stores
Both are powerful tools within their realms. It’s on you to decide which one would go with your business requirements.