Drip is the unmistakable CRM designed specifically for e-commerce brands, promising to help online retailers turn leads into paying customers.
The self-titled ECRM aims to help you guide prospective customers along the buying process and personalise the entire experience to maximise sales, repeat purchases and customer value.
There’s a lot to like about Drip, too, but there are a few areas where it doesn’t quite live up to the hype. So here’s our no-nonsense Drip review to tell you where the platform shines and where it doesn’t.
Drip pros & cons
Before we get into the specifics, let’s give you a quick idea of what to expect in this review by looking at the pros and cons we’ve experienced while using Drip.
- Specialist e-commerce CRM
- Strong automation features
- Solid integrations
- Kind of pricey
- Email templates could be better
- Platform can be buggy
- Lacks CRO features
- Form builder is limited
The key selling point of Drip is that it’s designed from the bottom up for e-commerce brands selling physical products online. The software integrates excellently with a number of e-commerce, including Shopify and you also get a bunch of pre-built automations that you can use right out of the box.
How much does Drip cost?
As you can see, Drip kicks off its pricing at $49/monthfor the Basic version of its platform. This comes with a limit of 2,500 contacts, which is about right at this price range although it’s a touch lower than you get with some alternatives (such as ActiveCampaign, which gives you 2,500 contacts for $39/mo).
This is part of Drip’s revised pricing policy so keep this in mind when reading other reviews, which might be out of date. You used to only get 1,000 contacts for $49/monthon the basic version and this was a common complaint – so this is one area where Drip has improved in recent years.
The problem with Drip pricing (aside from being a touch more expensive than similar platforms to begin with) is prices increase steeply when your contact list grows. Keep this mind when you’re comparing Drip with alternative platforms and consider how you expect your online store to grow.
Drip will argue its specialist e-commerce features are worth the expense but only you can decide whether these features add enough value to your brand to justify the price tag.
What can you do with Drip?
When it comes down to it, Drip is a CRM platform and the feature list is going to look pretty familiar if you’ve already checked out alternative options. The difference is these features are designed specifically for e-commerce campaigns and this can make it easier to get your head around them if you’re new to using tools like this.
First off, we’ve got marketing automation and Drip is a solid choice in this department. There’s a heavy emphasis on email marketing automation, which is normally where the focus should be for e-commerce brands.
Drip’s email builder will help you create designs quickly although it would be nice if the platform had a better range of templates on offer to speed the process up even further.
It’s a small gripe but one I have to mention.
It’s easy to forgive Drip, too, because it has plenty to offer when it comes to automation workflows. It comes with a bunch of pre-built automation workflows for you to use – all designed for real-world e-commerce functions like cart abandonment, customer win-back, Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals and so much more.
You can also build your own workflows using Drip’s builder and the platform’s excellent integration support gives you a huge amount of freedom to automate your own processes.
You can do all of this with most CRM platforms but the heavy e-commerce focus of Drip and its integrations make this an incredibly easy and powerful platform to pick up and use for e-commerce business owners who don’t have a great deal of experience with CRMs.
Another key function Drip aims to fill is personalisation, allowing you to create unique customer journeys. This is a crucial strategy for e-commerce brands to maximise sales and repeat purchases after the initial conversion.
To make this happen, you need a CRM platform that allows you to track contacts as they interact with your website in different ways. Drip makes this straightforward with its e-commerce-focused tracking system.
Again, you can do with most CRM platforms but Drip’s e-commerce focus makes it easier to get to grips with setting these processes up if you’re new to it all.
Email and on-site interactions are two of the most important processes for e-commerce brands to manage but there are other channels you need to integrate into your sales/marketing strategy.
Social media is becoming increasingly important for retail brands as the likes of Facebook and Instagram make it easier for users to buy directly from retailers.
While Drip does offer social integrations and some Facebook advertising features, this isn’t one of the platform’s strongest areas.
Your paid search efforts will be helped by Drip’s website and landing page personalisation features, though. This helps you to create more relevant messages to user needs – something you can continue as they progress through the consumer journey on your site.
Finally, you also get text message functionality and the ability to send postcards to your contacts through the actual mail.
Analytics & reporting
To prove your CRM is having a positive impact on your marketing strategies and profit margins, you need reliable data. Drip’s analytics and reporting features aren’t the most extensive but they don’t need to be as comprehensive as platform’s like HubSpot because they’re laser-focused on e-commerce performance.
You get custom conversion tracking, detailed email reports, customer journey overviews, lead scores, customisable dashboards and plenty more – all built into the platform so you don’t need to set them up.
How does Drip compare to the competition?
Now that you have a good idea of what Drip can do, let’s see how it compares to some of its closest competitors. In this section, we’re going to weigh it in against ConvertKit and the CRM we ultimately ended up using, ActiveCampaign.
Drip vs ConvertKit
ConvertKit is one of the first CRM’s that comes up as a Drip rival but the two platforms are very different. ConvertKit isn’t designed for e-commerce brands (Drip is the only CRM that really pinpoints this niche) while ConvertKit is more geared towards businesses using content marketing as a lead generation strategy.
So, if your online store puts a heavy emphasis on blogging, buying guides, product reviews and other pieces of content people can engage with, ConvertKit could be worth looking at. However, you’ll have to sacrifice the e-commerce focus of Drip in exchange for ConvertKit’s content capabilities.
ConvertKit can match Drip when it comes to automation and tracking but you’ll need to set up the e-commerce workflows yourself.
The main benefit ConvertKit has over Drip is how its interface operates. It’s smooth, responsive and pretty much bug-free whereas Drip regularly runs into speed problems and bugs that get in the way of using it.
Drip vs ActiveCampaign
While Drip and ConvertKit carve specific niches for themselves (e-commerce and content marketing), ActiveCampaign aims to be the CRM for every kind of business. If anything, it’s slightly geared more towards B2B brands than B2C businesses but flexible enough to tailor for your needs.
As far as a CRM platform, ActiveCampaign covers more bases than Drip with extensive features for email marketing, sales automation, marketing automation and reporting.
This is partly due to the fact that it caters for a wider range of businesses than Drip but a lot of these features are important for e-commerce brands, too – for example, the significantly better range of email templates and built-in CRO features.
ActiveCampaign is notably cheaper than Drip, too, and the price difference only increases for larger contact lists. This was a key reason we decided to stick with ActiveCampaign as we knew we’d be able to scale our business without being held ransom to higher CRM fees.
Essentially, you can do more for less with ActiveCampaign but it might take longer to set everything up and get used to the platform if you’ve never used a CRM before. Once again, ActiveCampaign’s interface is far more responsive and bug-free than Drip’s
Drip is a highly-capable CRM and a great platform for e-commerce brands who are using this kind of platform for the first time. Everything is geared towards online retailers and this makes the features so much easier to get to grips with if you’ve never used a CRM before.
Sadly, this convenience can only last so long and the frustration of a sometimes-sluggish and often-buggy interface will last until Drip decides to address these issues (assuming it will).
The only other gripe I’ve got with Drip is the steep price increases for larger contact lists. This is a common problem with CRM platforms but I hope we’re going to see more providers like ActiveCampaign come in with more reasonably-priced options to drive down costs across the industry.
To sum up, Drip is a great option for e-commerce businesses looking to get their first CRM platform but I don’t think it quite does enough to establish itself a the CRM you’ll keep using for years to come.