Active Campaign began as a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to keep in touch with their clients. Turns out that offering a large number of services is not always the best way to go, so they have since focused on becoming an automatic marketing solution that takes the burden out of managing your client’s contact information and helps you build effective marketing campaigns that translate into impressive results in no time.
This is not just an automatic e-mail sending platform; it also works as a CRM where your client’s information is stored. This way, you can use that data to personalize the information you send to each of your visitors. Sending targeted, personalized information will turn those casual visitors into paying customers.
The way it does this is through smart tagging, which is a common feature for all marketing automation tools and Active Campaign is no different. How does it work? Well lets say one of your subscribers visits your website and looks at information about a product in your store but doesn’t add it to cart. Active campaign can tag that person as interested in the product and send a message automatically for follow up.
Instead of letting people browse through your site and leave without buying any of your products or signing up to your services, with Active Campaign you can also add pop-ups to your site that will appear at the desired time. You’ll get their attention and guide them to take the actions you want.
With the built-in campaign builder it is really easy to produce beautifully designed campaigns that will turn your prospective clients into customers. You’ll also increase the conversation rate of your site by creating engaging elements with the Form Builder. Get your visitors to sign up and see how your email list grows.
Although you will have to pay for a subscription, Active Campaign’s costs are the lowest of the three tools being compared here. Costs naturally vary depending on the number of users that you have but Active Campaign works out more affordable. Also, to reduce costs even more there are monthly and yearly plans to choose from.
Active Campaign Pros
- There are many ways to reach your customers and make sure you get your message across. You can reach them at any time through specially designed SMS messages sent directly to their mobile phones.
- Lowest cost of all tools being compared here
- Set goals for your campaigns. You’ll see how on point your estimations where and if you have to take any corrective actions to achieve them.
- Build custom reports to visualize how your campaigns are doing. You can use the data collected using Active Campaign or any information you have imported from a 3rd party platform. There are integrations with many of the leading names in the market.
- It works well with popular apps like Shopify, Zoom and Ubounce.
- The user interface is very easy to use and well designed.
- They offer user support that goes above and beyond. Do you already have your campaign data stored in another platform? Don’t worry; Active Campaign has a team of experts that can help you out with the migration.
- There is a 14-day free trial period to check out the platform and see if it really is the best fit for your needs.
Active Campaign Cons
- Mobile users complain about not having an iOS app available so they can access from their phones.
- Since it has a lot of features (and some of them are quite advanced), it takes a little time for new users to become power users. This is especially true if you have never used a similar tool before.
Drip Email Marketing
Drip started out as a simple email opt-in widget and evolved into a full scale ecommerce CRM – or ECRM, as they refer to themselves – in just a few years. They have become such a force in the space that LeadPages took notice and acquired them in 2016, adding another tool to their already excellent landing page software.
Drip is not just an email platform, instead you get a marketing tool to personalize your messages to your users and increase the chances of turning a browsing visit into money in the bank. This is true not only for emails; you can also set up campaigns for Facebook. All the data and insights that you’ll get from your customers’ behavior will translate into more personalized and profitable campaigns.
Even better, your clients won’t feel as if they were getting a one-size-fits-all kind of email. Instead, Drip lets you personalize almost every aspect of your messages so every one of your customers feels as if it was intended just from them. You can also customize Facebook ads depending on your user’s actions.
It comes with a workflow builder that makes it really easy for you to set up your campaigns. Set up a path that prompts an action depending on your clients’ behavior. The tracking feature helps you out with this since it gives you an insight into what your users do so you offer relevant content to each one of them. Making them feel as if a human being is looking after them – instead of being part of a massive campaign – will most likely prompt them to buy from you instead of the competition.
Drip takes a different approach than other similar services. They’ve done research and found that simpler looking emails are better received by customers. So, they don’t offer a custom template builder but instead they have a plain text HTML template that promises to get you more clicks and sales. Also, it keeps your messages out of the spam tray.
- Its integration with many different tools let you control everything from one place.
- Its analytics capabilities will show you how your business is doing in real time. You’ll also be able to build custom reports that make it easier to get all the information you need with just a glimpse.
- Prices are competitive and there is a plan for every business size. You can try it out for free and then commit to a monthly or annual plan, whichever works best for you.
- You can keep track of clients through defined events and actions they take when visiting your site. Even more, you can set up a resend action for those clients who didn’t open your original message.
- You have to keep a close eye on the number of subscribers you have and the number of emails that you send through the platform. Drip will automatically upgrade you to a higher paying plan if you go beyond the limit of yours. You’ll find out when you get the next bill. To be fair, they also downgrade you if you go below the minimum limit for your current plan.
- A/B testing is limited. They will include more features in the future but for now you can only test email subjects, form names and delivery times.
- Although they do offer live support the availability is limited to working hours (which could probably work well for customers located on their same time zone) and response time is not all that great.
- Costs more than Active Campaign
It’s made for bloggers by bloggers. Like other similar platforms, ConvertKit not only focuses on helping you grow your mailing list but also on making sure that you get as much business as possible out of it. Unlike its competitors, ConvertKit doesn’t try to be a “swiss army knife” kind of platform. It focuses only on email automation and leaves everything else to specialized sites. It comes with plenty of integrations with big names in the business.
Automation is key if you want to devote your time to activities other than sending out emails. It’s easy to configure communications that reaches your customers when you want it. Instead of blasting emails to your whole list, messages are targeted depending on your customer’s actions.
Each one of them will feel as if you were reaching them personally. With ConvertKit you can use your user’s information to categorize them and send relevant information depending on where they live and what they like.
Since ConvertKit’s emails are text-based, you’ll see your conversion rate go up and your unopened email ratio go down. Your messages will never land on the spam tray again and they will be more likely be seen and read by your customers.
Also, you can program it so your posts are delivered to your subscribers as they’re published. You could also send periodic updates with highlights of your content; your audience will never miss any of your posts again.
- It has integrations with major providers. While ConvertKit focuses only on e-mail automation, you’ll get access to landing pages, e-commerce and much more through specialized platforms for each case.
- Their support team is there for you in case you have any questions, they even host live training sessions.
- You’ll get help migrating your contacts and content from other platforms.
- There is a large user community out there ready to support you and share their knowledge with you.
- It comes with an easy-to-use, uncluttered user interface where you can configure your automated email campaigns with just a few clicks.
- You can choose between monthly or yearly plans. Prices are not that high and are calculated based on the number of subscribers you have. If you are just starting out your costs will not break your bank.
- There’s no limit on the number of emails you can send regardless of your plan.
- There’s a 14-day trial period but you’ll have to give your credit card information to use it. You can cancel at any time, but sending out payment information can be a turn-down for many potential users.
The Bottom Line
Three ecommerce automation tools that can help you take the burden out of your email marketing and get the most out of your mailing list. ActiveCampaign and Drip are a bit more extensive when it comes to features, since ConvertKit focuses more on emailing.
They all come with analytics and reporting capabilities. You’ll not only be able to capture your clients’ data but you can see exactly how much sales have increased since you started using any of these tools. Custom reports come in handy when you want to communicate results or just see how everything is going with just a glimpse.
Price wise, Drip is more expensive than ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit. Also, you have to subscribe to Drip before you get access to the trial period. They all come with scalable plans and calculate fees on a number-of-subscribers basis. They have monthly and yearly plans, whichever works best for you.
Which one is best for you? It depends. If you are looking for an email automation tool and not much more, you can go for ConvertKit. On the other hand, if you need a platform with more to offer you might need something like ActiveCampaign or Drip. Although this last one has yet to fix some issues with its landing pages. They are not quite there yet after the LeadPages acquisition.
And if you do decide to proceed with any of the above after your trial make sure to claim our special offers below. Full instructions found at the below links will guarantee your claim.