Tools of the Trade: Drip Email Marketing Review

Welcome to the tools of the trade series. This is part of the 90 Day Challenge, where we talk about the tools we use in running our business. This week we are going to talk about Drip email marketing.

We’ve just made the switch to Drip as our email marketing provider. And I think it’s been pretty great for us. So I want to go inside Drip and show you exactly why we like this tool, what we enjoy about it, why we switched over from ActiveCampaign.

This will give you some insights into the thought process behind our decision.

I’ve tried many email marketing software suites – they all have flaws

Some of the tools are just too basic.

Others are too advanced.

And then there’s Drip, which feels just right. It’s like Goldilocks.

So we decided to switch over to drip in mid-2017 and we’re finally done with that switch. It only took us six months to get there.

But really, it wasn’t Drip’s fault. Next week I’ll show you what our old system looked like, and you can see why it took so long.

Here are 7 things we like about Drip, and 3 things that we find annoying about it.

The things we like about Drip Email Marketing

1. Clean, inviting and well organized interface

Drip has a well organized and inviting interface. Most email marketing tools are ugly and uninviting. But Drip has made it pretty cool with how things are organized. It actually makes me want to spend time doing email marketing on it.

Drip has the right amount of information available in the right places. Right next to each broadcast or campaign, there are a few key metrics that show how they performed. These metrics are usually the ones we care about the most.

There’s no need to show the user what they don’t need, which is what many systems do. By overloading us with too much information, we tend to lose sight of the ones that actually matters.

Case in point – ActiveCampaign. The display on this system is clunky and had just too many things.

2. Loading speed

The loading speed of Drip is great. The system handles commands and tasks swiftly, with practically no wait time.

We’ve outgrown ActiveCampaign after using it for the past 2 years. We’ve sent too many email campaigns that we can’t find anything. We’re at the point where searching for emails campaigns has become a pain. And it doesn’t help that ActiveCampaign has always been sluggish.

3. Google Analytics integration

Drip has Google Analytics integrated right inside the email editor. Each time we add a link, we can choose to turn on Google Analytics campaign variables for that link. The campaign variables are populated automatically, but you can also edit them right in line.

This is awesome because most people don’t want to learn how to use UTM variables or they’re not too sure about it. This feature just does it for you, automatically.

You can also set UTM defaults are the account level. This time saving feature also saved us from many tracking errors.

4. Conversion tracking

Conversion tracking tells you how people have converted on one of your campaigns. How they got to that offer, the conversion rate, and the conversion value that you’re bringing in.

Drip has one of the best looking conversion metrics I’ve seen in any email marketing suite.

You’ll need to set up conversion tracking on your website and feed that information into Drip. In Drip, you can use the data collected to create some really cool reports.

5. Email editor and preview

Drip doesn’t have any pre-built templates to choose from, so you need to upload them into the system.

We like having control over how the templates look. But importing and setting up templates do take time. Once they’re set up, it’s very simple to use.

There’s a preview tab in the email editor that shows exactly what the email will look like to the users. With this function, you don’t need to send yourself too many test emails to see exactly what the email looks like.

6. Workflow for automation

The workflow for automations visualizes the entire journey you’re sending people onto. The interface is clean and even has a nifty function to show the analytics of every step of the journey.

7. Source code

Drip allows you to edit the email source code right in the email editor. You can work with HTML to create well designed and perfectly coded emails right within the system.

The ability to edit source code should be a given, in every system nowadays. But our previous system did not have this function. It was frustrating because we often end up with emails with weird formatting.

Drip is not without its flaws

Drip email marketing solved some of our biggest frustrations with our previous system, ActiveCampaign, but it is not without flaws.

Here are 3 things that are annoying about Drip. We hope they would eventually improve on these things.

1. Multiple accounts are good and bad

Drip allows you to have multiple accounts under one master account. We use this to separate the different courses into their own accounts. This is great for us as we send out a lot of emails for all the different courses.

But if someone buys the PPC Mastery Course and the Analytics Course, the person will be counted twice! If your email address appears on both the PPC Mastery Course account and Analytics Course account, they are counted twice. A third time if you include Jeffalytics.

And so, our email lists size almost doubled as a result of this. This is a pain and is costing us a lot of money. Drip has not been willing to negotiate the cost down or understand our plight.

2. First and last name as custom fields

Drip doesn’t have a field for first and last name, by default. We need to create them as custom fields. We’re both annoyed and dumbfounded since every system has them by default, and we need to go and create these manually in Drip.

It’s hard to imagine anyone using any email marketing tool not wanting to have at least their subscriber’s first name on record.

It’s 2018, let’s just get over that part. Just give us the first and last name as standard fields, Drip.

3. No deep integration of migrated data

When we migrated from ActiveCampaign to Drip, some information was lost, as Drip only receives subscriber details as custom fields.

Subscriber details like IP address and subscribe date are somewhat ‘lost’.

Here’s what we mean by ‘lost’.

Custom fields are not ideal for geo-tracking, for example. So although we have the IP address on file, there’s no deep integration in Drip to translate that information into something we can track.

The date we imported the CSV file becomes the subscribe date, and not the actual date they subscribe to our list.

Cutting edge with some disappointment

So there you have it.

The 7 things that we like about Drip, that won us over. And the 3 frustrating things that we think they can still work on.

Drip is very feature rich and implements a lot of cutting edge features, but at the same time they are the only system that doesn’t do some of the most standard features.

Hopefully they’ll make these changes, and make us fall in love, again.

If you’re looking for an email marketing software, then why not give Drip a try. It’s the best system I’ve used and I’ve used a lot of them.

Give Drip a whirl, and we hope you’ll love it as much as we do.

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About the Author

Jeff Sauer is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Teacher based out of a suitcase somewhere in the world. Formerly of Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA.