Matt Gartner
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Active Campaign vs Drip

Okay folks the results of my ActiveCampaign vs Drip test are in. A/C is currently averaging 53.74% opens and 45.15% CTR – the same exact email and subject line in Drip: 49.2% open and 41.5% CTR. So A/C is the winner. But there is a wild card here that must be considered… I had already had A/C for a little while and sent email from it. The email providers had already seen my domain/emails coming from A/C servers and began trusting me. This will slightly affect your deliverability.
 
As for the CTR… well the emails are both identical plain text so it’s anyone’s guess why A/C is winning there.
 

Let’s dig into some pros/cons…

 

A/C Pros:

 
1. The automations are powerful and easily created.
2. A/C integrates with pretty much every platform out there
3. I like the feel of the interface
4. So far deliverability has been great for me
6. Very easy to setup cart abandonment
7. Very easy to segment buyers by product to increase the power of your email campaigns
 

A/C Cons:

 
1. Can get expensive fast – in one week I needed to bump my plan up from $9 to $73 per month and I anticipate needing to increase that to the $113 plan before the month is over. (Disclaimer: I’m adding new leads very quickly)
2. The email builder is unbelievably slow – seriously I spend more time waiting for it to load and save then I do actually writing emails or creating automations. It’s awful.
3. As much as I like the interface it is a bit bloated with many menus and options that many of us have no need for.
and for 5k:
 

Drip Pros:

 
2. The email campaign builder was super snappy. I was able to create a 5 email sequence in less than 1/4 the time it took in A/C
3. Deliverability for a brand new account is better than most services. Remember my A/C account and sender reputation are more “aged”. Consider it like seasoning your pixel.
4. Drips pricing is much better than A/C – the 5,000 contact plan is only $99 compared to A/C’s $113
5. Drips automation builder is also nice, very similar to A/C’s visual workflow builder but faster.
6. Easy to setup abandon carts
7. Easy to segment buyers by product
8. Many integrations
 

Drip Cons:

 
1. Their system is not as easy to use as A/C. Automations in A/C can all be built in one place, the automation builder. In Drip you need to create automations in their workflow builder, your email campaigns in the separate email campaign builder, and also for some higher level automations you need to use their ‘rules’ settings to create rules in order to make the automations work properly.
2. For #2 I want to repeat #1 LOL seriously, it’s a pain and can get confusing.
3. Confusing (more!) – when first setting up my follow ups in Drip there were 3 places I needed to kill the stupid “opt-in” confirmation email in order to let people single opt-in to my list. This one was highly annoying.
 
 

In summary:

Both platforms are great and have their own strengths and weaknesses. I’m honestly on the fence on which I prefer. I wanted to use ActiveMember360 to build a membership area for the upcoming eCom Lab overhaul (since it’s turning into a full blown group coaching program!)
And as it’s name implies that plugin is only for Active Campaign, again not a big deal or a strike against Drip in any way.
Both platforms have amazing integration with Shopify and decent integration with Clickfunnels (not their fault here, admittedly CF does a poor job of allowing you to connect many features of 3rd party integrations). Each one of these has a native app for Shopify that will allow you to segment your lists by product, product category, and many other features. Also allowing for easy cart abandonment automation so you won’t need an extra app to handle that.
In my own opinion if Drip cleaned up their UI and made it a bit easier to use it would win hands down over ActiveCampaign. As for who I would recommend to you, I think you would have to ask yourself two questions:
1. Do you need advanced automations for your business?
2. How is your budget?
What am I personally going with? Well… I’m sticking with A/C for now. My deliverability is slightly higher, the automations are amazing, and frankly I don’t have the time to wrap my head around Drip’s workflow builder right now. But I will tell you this, if Drip can get their automation builder a little more streamlined I’ll be giving them another shot.
For most eCommerce Entrepreneurs I feel like you’d be better served with Drip .

About the Author Matt

Matt Gartner is the owner of 3 very successful e-commerce stores that focus heavily on dropshipping, automation, and profit ;)

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