Drip is the world’s first ECRM – an Ecommerce CRM designed for building personal and profitable relationships with your customers at scale. From segmentation, to real-time messaging, pushing new products on-site or to email, Drip strives to not only make it easy but to make it essential. Try it today and see how fun & powerful ecommerce marketing can be.
Email marketing help sales grow. From cart abandonment to nurturing new subscribers, you can automate your marketing communication based on behavior to guide customers to a sale—with minimal effort on your end. There’s a reason why the most valuable relationships are often the longest-lasting ones: consistency breeds trust.
What is a drip campaign?
An email drip campaign is a series of automated emails that sends out to your email list subscribers, based on a specific set of predetermined parameters. These automations can be as simple or complex as you need them to be.
An example of a simpler drip email sequence is a free email course: someone signs up for the course on your website and receives daily emails with the course content written inside.
Other drip automations, like an abandoned email cart sequence that reminds people to come back and complete their purchase, are more complex since they require a few more considerations to run properly. Not only do you have to consider what might incentivize people to return and finish shopping (a picture of the item in the cart? a limited time coupon code?), but you’ll also have to include exit goals that will ensure the emails don’t continue to send once the order has been placed.
Note: We’re partial to the term “drip campaign,” but this marketing tactic goes by many names, including automated email campaigns, lifecycle emails, autoresponders, and marketing automation.
How to pick an email marketing app to send drip emails
How we evaluate and test apps
All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who’ve spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it’s intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We’re never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.
I’ve been using email marketing apps for the past eight years, and it continues to impress me when I see how many great options are available—and accessible—for every type of email marketing need. If you want to use drip marketing automation to optimize your funnels, you’ll need to choose between a number of really strong options, from tools that “just” send emails to full-featured CRMs with marketing automation that happen to include drip email features.
To give you a head start in finding the best solution to fit your email marketing needs, I spent several days testing a few of the best drip email marketing apps, many of which I use in my day-to-day work as a content marketer.
I signed up for each drip app, configured an opt-in form, integrated with my website, and started building a test list of subscribers. Then, I created a welcome drip automation that would send out whenever the opt-in form was submitted, which allowed me to not only test the setup features, but also get to see what kind of data and tracking analytics were available.
This research took me down a few rabbit holes and allowed me to identify the strongest standout features of each tool. In addition to those unique aspects, all the apps on this list offer at least the following features:
- Email personalization, so you can create a more intimate experience for your list subscribers. (“Hey you” might be a… fine way to begin an email, but using the subscriber’s first name is really powerful.)
- Segmentation, so the emails are only sent to relevant subscribers. At the most basic level, this might look like a four-email welcome series to new subscribers. More advanced segmentation techniques use tags to identify subsets of subscribers who’ve purchased a specific product, clicked a link in an email, and so on.
- Analytics, so you know what’s working and where you can improve. Most of the tools on this list include basic analytics like open rates. Some offer more advanced options, like A/B testing capabilities, email list health, and more.
- Affordability, because you don’t need to break the bank to get results. All the apps on this list have a reasonable starting price point, and most charge by the number of subscribers. This is where you’ll have to do your own research to see if your #1 pick will still make sense financially as you increase your email list size.
- Integrations that allow you to link your email drip campaign software with the other tech tools in your stack. This allows you to fine-tune your email sending strategy and reduces the manual work involved.
Customer.io provides a visual workflow builder to create your drip sequence logic. It’s easy to drag-and-drop different blocks. You can also combine different ways of sending messages (emails, SMS, and push notifications) to your users.
To create your emails you can choose from existing templates or start from scratch. If you start from scratch, you can use a drag-and-drop editor, rich text editor or HTML code.
They have a visual workflow builder that allows you to drag and drop components like emails, delays, conditional branching, segments etc., into the canvas to build your journey.
If you just want to send & track drip campaigns and don’t care about all other email marketing features, then you can choose from these selected platforms:
You can see the metric related to each step of the workflow in the sequence builder itself
To see how people are moving through the campaign, which emails are working, and which ones need optimization, you can go through the journeys metric.
You can export these reports as CSV and store them in your database.
They have a base price starting from $150 and you can send emails to up to 12K customers.
If you want to try before committing, they offer a 30-day free trial. You get access to automation and drip campaigns during the trial too.
Many email marketing apps offer a free option for small lists, to give you the opportunity to onboard and start building your lists before having to pay. But these free tiers are typically very limited in the number of subscribers you’re allowed to have or the number of emails you’re allowed to send, as well as the features that you have access to without paying.
This is where Mailchimp stands out, with a free plan that allows up to 2,000 subscribers, with up to 10,000 monthly emails. The number of monthly emails is especially important when you’re sending out welcome emails to new subscribers along with frequent newsletters.
Mailchimp has been a big name in the email marketing industry for a while, and it continues to deliver well on its features. You’ll find everything from the basic email sending and automations to more unique options like sending out postcards, and the Creative Assistant, which auto-creates branded marketing graphics based on your website’s imagery. All these features are starting to cramp Mailchimp’s “for beginners” style, but the navigation is still pretty straightforward, so you can quickly jump from reviewing your audience to creating new opt-in forms or landing pages and setting up your drip campaigns.
Keep in mind that the free version of Mailchimp limits you to a one-step automation. That’s great for automating your welcome email and other similar drips, but you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan if you want to take advantage of their full automation builder with multi-step drip campaigns that include time delays, conditionals, and more. When you do decide to upgrade, the cost increases based on the number of subscribers you have. But the other apps on this list that offer a free plan only allow 500 emails/month (Omnisend and Klaviyo) or don’t offer drip at all on the free plan (ConvertKit). So while the limitation of one-step automations isn’t ideal, it’s still much more generous than any other free plan for drip functionality.
Since Mailchimp integrates with Zapier, you can shave off the manual work hours by automating tasks like adding new form submissions or leads to your email list.
HubSpot Email Marketing
HubSpot’s email marketing software is part of a CRM platform. The idea is for you to have all the tools you need, not only to run a smooth email marketing campaign, but for your entire marketing and business operations.
The email marketing software is highly intuitive and the native CRM integration allows you to easily personalize your emails so you can get better conversions. In tandem with that, you also have access to a free form and popup builder to capture new contacts, you can create high-converting landing pages, add a live chat or chat bot to your website, and more. The platform is truly designed to help you scale and grow.
Advanced Email Marketing Automation:
HubSpot’s software lets you create custom autoresponders and drip sequences, which you can then add to more complex workflows. Many triggers are available, such as when someone views your product page or fills out a Facebook lead ad form. You can essentially trigger any action based on any of the information you have on your contacts in the HubSpot CRM, making for even more intricate sequences and targeting.
In addition to email, you can automate internal processes to make sure contact and lead management runs smoothly within your team. You no longer have to worry about manually updating a contact’s lifestyle stage or changing information after a certain action happens. Let your entire marketing system run on auto-pilot.
HubSpot’s free plan allows you to send up to 2,000 emails per month and store unlimited subscribers. This free plan also comes with a CRM (all the CRM features are 100% free), customizable signup forms and popups, landing pages, ad management, live chat and bots, and more. It’s a great way to set you up for success as you’re getting started.
If you wish to send more emails and benefit from the more advanced features like automation and a/b testing as well as more thorough reporting, you can upgrade to one of the paid plans. Pricing will vary, depending on the number of contacts you wish to have. Premium plans also include additional software tools such as a blogging tool and social media scheduling.
A marketing platform that supercharges your email marketing efforts. Create beautiful content, dynamic personalized automation workflows, and boost the performance of your email marketing so you can grow your business.