[Cofounder Update] For the First Time in History, World-Class Marketing Automation Has a Free Plan

marketing automation platform image

Check out Drip’s no strings attached, forever-free plan

With my team at Drip, and more recently alongside the team at Leadpages, I’ve dedicated the past 4 years of my career to building one of the most powerful email marketing and automation tools in the world.

About a year into this journey I realized that marketing automation was the future of email marketing. This may sound obvious today, but at the time, very few businesses were investing the time or money into email marketing automation.

After that realization, my team’s focus shifted from “building a great tool” to something bigger: to make a marketing automation tool so simple and inexpensive that every small business could use it.

In essence, we wanted to bring marketing automation to the masses.

From that initial prediction to our launch of the easiest-to-use (and often copied) basic automation rules …

… to our launch of Workflows earlier this year …

… to our $1 plan just a few months ago …

… every ounce of effort we’ve invested in building, growing, and supporting Drip has been with that goal in mind: to bring marketing automation to the masses.

And today, I’m proud to announce one more step towards that end:

Drip is now the first—and only—major email marketing & automation platform to offer a 100% free plan.

Check out Drip’s no strings attached, forever-free plan

A Bit of Background

In 2009, MailChimp rocked the email marketing world when they launched the first free plan from a major ESP.

The result?

Email marketing became accessible to tens of thousands of small businesses that had previously balked at the price, the barrier to entry, or the headache of getting set up.

And by doing this, MailChimp became the de facto standard for small businesses looking to get started with email marketing. It also became easy to recommend to friends and colleagues because the barrier to entry had disappeared.

Marketing automation, on the other hand, has been astronomically expensive since its inception. 10 years ago your only option for marketing automation with a visual campaign builder was clunky, hard-to-use, talk-to-a-salesperson enterprise software that started around $800/month.

Then a few years ago Infusionsoft upped their game by rolling out a visual builder and lowered the marketing automation barrier to entry into the $200–$300/month range.

And we took it a step further when we Drip launched Workflows in early 2016, and lowered the barrier to $49/month.

Followed by our $1 plan, launched just a few months ago.

Which, to be honest, felt pretty amazing.

What Have We Seen Since Then?

By lowering the barrier to entry, Drip is rapidly becoming the de facto email marketing automation choice for digital marketers, professional bloggers, e-commerce operators, consultants, and startups.

These are companies and individuals who want to get up and running, make an upward move from old-style email marketing, or transition away from clunky, overpriced enterprise tools.

And while the difference between a $1 plan and a free plan doesn’t sound like a lot, the psychological difference between free and any price is a big deal.

It’s enough that some businesses—typically the ones that need it most—still see it as a barrier to entry.

And now, with the launch of our free plan … we’ve obliterated that barrier.

When you visit the pricing page today, you’ll find our Starter plan listed at $0 a month. That includes all our built-in features and lets you get started with up to 100 contacts. It’s a great choice if you’re just starting to build your email list, or if you already have a larger list but want to really dig into Drip and make sure you understand all it has to offer before moving all your contacts over.

That plan will stay free forever (with an option to upgrade if you pass the 100-contact mark).

As of today, there are no excuses for not trying Drip.

World-class email marketing automation has never been so accessible.

Check out Drip’s no strings attached, forever-free plan

  • Stormy Knight

    I chose Drip because Leadpages is awesome and I knew Clay wouldn’t want to integrate a less-than-stellar email solution. Now I can recommend it to my smaller clients that MailChimp doesn’t seem to care about much anymore. Also, kudos on the integrations. It’s making setup a ton easier. Thanks!

    • Daphne Sidor

      Totally makes our day to hear feedback like this. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • Cam Langsford

    I’ve been following drip and their progress from the beginning. Rob is great and I’m an avid listener of his Podcast along with Mike http://startupsfortherestofus.com. As a solo founder of my own software platform https://trainingtilt.com their insight has been invaluable. I’ve been using Drip successfully for the last few months to turn my leads into paying customers and I’ve even been recommending the software to my own clients to use. In short, it’s awesome, affordable and now there is a free plan to get started I’d strongly advice anyone that needs any sort of online marketing presence to try it out.

    • Zach Grove

      Thanks for the kind words, Cam!

  • Wow! Great offering based on a great vision! You guys rock! And yes, it’s not the $1 that kept me from starting with drip but the hassle with payment and especially the bookkeeping every month of $1. Sure you Drip will be come the standard in marketing automation.

    • Zach Grove

      Awesome, Robert. Let us know how it goes.

  • Roger

    Hey guys how about an in-between plan for around a 1000 contacts? Free plan is good but need more contacts, can you do something custom?

    • Stephen Leung

      Absolutely agree there! I’m a blogger just starting out, and Drip is just so awesome with its automation and such, that I just don’t want headache of switching later on, I want to start using now! (I already joined the $1/free plan)

      But minimum at $50/mo is a bit steep for a bootstrapped blogger / entrepreneur … I’ll probably be at 100 subscribers at no time, but I’m going to be stuck within the 100-1000 subs for a long time, and no income during that time nonetheless. (pretty hard to monetize few hundred subscribers) Fortunately I have some savings to invest and can afford it, so it’d be okay for myself in this particular case.

      Nevertheless, an in-between plan would be an absolute life-saver for many like myself I think … although from a business standpoint I can see how that might be hard on LP’s part to justify, potentially losing quite a bit of income from the current bracket.

      However with the current switch to a freemium model, I feel like the free to paid conversion could lift quite a bit if there was an in-between plan, and could quite potentially justify the immediate loss … haha anyways the LP team would know much better than myself anyways LOL … just my 2cents long version

      • Hi Stephen – thanks for your feedback on this and definitely appreciate your 2 cents. I’d love to shift your focus from “how much will it cost me,” to “how much more ROI can I get from the platform.” Why is it that you feel like it’s “pretty hard to monetize a few hundred subscribers?” With the workfows in Drip, and our education, I’d love for you to aim for earning at least $1/month per subscriber on your list. In other words, what’s holding you back from generating more revenue, and doing so faster? There’s no reason that a blogger starting out can’t generate 5x ROI from using Drip smartly, selling your own product or those you recommend as an affiliate.

        • Stephen Leung

          Hmm Bob you’ve got a good point. And I do totally agree on the ROI mindset, which is why I AM using Drip, and will continue with the paid plan despite an early steep cost.

          However, even in the ROI mindset, I still think the $50/100+sub makes it hard on people like myself. Hope you don’t mind expressing a bit more feedback.

          Monetizing early has its cost. At this point, I’m not in tune with my audience and their needs strong enough yet, and taking effort away from ‘creating great content’, ‘finding audience’, ‘building audience’ to ‘making a product’ I think is a bad tradeoff at this stage. Resource is limited so I think productization is out of question for me before 1k sub. Of course others might disagree here, but that’s my strategy anyways.

          Affiliate is GREAT, and I am already doing it, even before 100 subs. Affiliate is not easy though, and I think 95-99% of beginner bloggers will not be able to monetize $1/sub.

          Of course I agree Drip will boost the earnings per sub via the workflow, automation, etc, or else I wouldn’t use it. I am DEFINITELY aiming $1/sub eventually, perhaps even higher. But Drip still wouldn’t make it so easy that I can monetize $1/sub at 300 subs and get $300/mo, I just don’t have the experience, deep audience knowledge, automation tactics and skills, etc yet.

          To be honest I seriously considered using mailchimp until 2k subs, before I switched over to Drip. But my thought process is, I think I can reach 2k subs in maybe 6-9 months time, and if I have to pay 4-8 months Drip at $50/mo, that’s like $200-$400. I probably rather pay that than to have to switch later on, and also losing a lot of data I could be collecting meanwhile on those 2k subs.

          Haha anyways hope you didn’t mind the looong feedback 🙂

        • Stephen Leung

          Hey Bob, on that note as well, I’d love to get more training on Drip and automation! I think $1/sub and when get 30-50k subs, that’d be a dream for me!

          I’ve watched the free guide with 11 videos, where should I go next?

    • Zach Grove

      Hey Roger, thanks for your suggestion. We’ll take this into consideration.

    • Alycia Huston

      Great suggestion; I completely agree! I would love to kick Mail Chimp to the curb (I already have more than 100 subscribers), but a $50 monthly fee is a bit steep for someone who’s newly beginning. I love that suggestion for a price point for the 1k subscriber mark!

  • John

    Sendgrid is free for 12,000 emails… you are free for 100 leads. WTF? Are you trying to set us up for failure???

    • Daphne Sidor

      Hey, John—to be clear, looks like that SendGrid plan is for 2,000 contacts (and 12,000 emails sent). You get unlimited email sends with Drip’s free, 100-contact plan. But more importantly, these are two pretty different products—SendGrid isn’t an automation platform and doesn’t offer the automation and lead scoring capabilities Drip does, to name a couple of points of difference.

  • John Hardy

    Love that this is a now free plan, however, I can’t take advantage of it because of the credit card option. If you could have another option, such as PayPal ( or even a debit card ), I would jump on it right away.

  • I’m confused….is the free plan continuously free for under 100 subscribers or is it a 21 day free trial? I was about to sign up, then got the 21 day free trial messaging and stopped. Is it truly free for a tiny list, ad infinitum, or is it free for 21 days (and under 100 subscribers)? Thanks!

    • Daphne Sidor

      Hey there, so sorry for the confusion. We actually realized that was throwing people off and have already adjusted the language on that page accordingly. Drip is free—forever—for up to 100 subscribers; all other plans get a 21-day free trial before switching to the listed price.

      • Sweet, thanks so much for the clarification! I’m in, and looking forward to trying it out.

  • Guys, while it all sounds great… if you do the maths, for a newbie – it doesn’t really make much sense to jump from $0 to $50 without an inbetween layer. For example, let’s say the click through rate is 3% on average for an email list… and the conversion is a generous 10%. If you have a list of 1,000 subscribers, that’s 30 emails being opened AND clicked through. Of the 30, say you have a 10% conversion for a $20 ebook or video… that’s like $60. That would be a start to cover someone who is bootstrapping… but 100, are you making fun of people?

    • Exactly my point. The base plan should be designed to give us users a feel, that we will make that much money back. Sure, it depends on a lot of things, but there are very limited resources for a beginner to get started with Marketing Automation with plans like these.

    • Michaele Harrington

      I couldn’t agree more! I’m only just familiarising myself with Drip & the first thing I noticed was the jump from 100 to 2500 with nothing inbetween. I’m currently using Aweber, which also allows you to tag campaigns. It would have been awesome to use Drip & Leadpages together.

    • Hi Jose, I love that you’re doing the math to see if the ROI makes sense to you. As part of your equation, I’d love for you to consider in your example, that you generated $60 from 1 email, at a cost of $49 for the month. That’s an $11 profit. I hope you would send more emails throughout the month, and have smart ongoing workflows to generate over $1/lead per month. Plus, remember that you’re pricing with Drip is based on total contacts, not emails/list like many other platforms.

      • Bob, I think you missed the point… to generate that $60, I would need a 1,000 contact tier in drip, which you don’t provide yet. When Mailchimp started… they offered 2,000 emails for beginners, and btw never asked for your credit card. Even ActiveCampaign has lite plan… and I’m sure many people who are starting out won’t mind paying for it, after a 30 day trial to set things up – but provide a reasonable price for starters. (Just checked active campaign’s lite plan starts at $9 per month for 500 and $17 for 1000 – that’s still a huge step from $49! imho)

        • Lea Longo

          yep . i am digging leadpages alot but noticed the 100 subscribers for drip a little low . 2000 would have been a deal for me. I am STICKING with mailchimp . I have more than 100 subcribers already and just under 2000 subscribers so it works … plus they have beautiful templates and easy to use … sorry DRIP. it ain’t sticking …

          • Daphne Sidor

            Glad Leadpages and MailChimp are working well for you, Lea. 🙂 Thanks for the feedback!

          • Chynell EM

            Even free for the first 1,000 Would be a hook, line, and sinker for me. my current roadblock is how do I transfer my list and still test the waters?

        • if you can promise to make money, why not charge me later………

  • I would also like an in-between plan above 100 contacts so I can drop MailChimp.

    • Zach Grove

      Thank you for your feedback. We’ll take this into consideration.

  • I’ve just reached 1300 (and growing) subscribers with AWeber, but if I was starting over, I’d be all over it!

    • Zach Grove

      Thanks for commenting, Amy. We’ll be here if you change your mind. 🙂

  • Michael

    $1200/yr and I’m still advertising your platform? I go to great lengths to remove ALL distractions from my marketing. That means sales pages with nothing to click but a buy button. If I put a Drip form on my page and it has a branded logo on it, I’m sorry… That’s an unacceptable distraction.

    I want emails with MY clicks only. Again – no distractions. You’re a marketer, I don’t have to explain why.

    It just feels a little obnoxious to be paying a company to advertise for them.

    Please reconsider removing branding from all paid options.

    • Zach Grove

      Hey Michael, thanks for your feedback.

      FWIW, the “Powered by Drip” link is pretty subtle. It also includes your unique affiliate link, which pays a 30% recurring revenue share for accounts that click and sign up through your link (regardless of your payment plan).

  • You guys are onto it! I’m a new Drip customer and absolutely loving it!

    • Zach Grove

      Welcome aboard, Danielle! We’re stoked to have you. 🙂

  • Interesting. Could this be a replacement for Infusionsoft? someone got a unbiased comparison of the too?

    • Daphne Sidor

      Some people are definitely using Drip as an Infusionsoft replacement—maybe one of them can chime in here. 🙂 (Also, re: moving from one of the all-in-one platforms to Drip more generally, the Leadpages marketing team has just moved from HubSpot to Drip; expect to see more about that kind of migration process in the weeks ahead.)

      • Hey, Daphne! I’d love to hear more about the move from HubSpot to Drip! I’m a HubSpot user and Partner Agency, but realize that the price of it is a hurdle for a lot of people. I’d love to have a budget-friendly option for my clients and help them compare/contrast large all-in-one platforms and an integration-friendly platform. Thank you!

        • Daphne Sidor

          Nice! We’re actually putting together a webinar about this very topic right now (shooting for the end of the month), and I’m sure we’ll do at least one deep-dive blog post about the move, too.

          • I’d love to join the webinar. How can I be notified when registration is open for it? Thank you!

          • Daphne Sidor

            If you’re subscribed to this blog (which you can do at the top of the page), you’ll be sure to get an invite. But I’ll make a note to drop back in here and reply when it’s ready, too, just in case. 🙂

          • Daphne Sidor

            Hey, Kenny—just dropping back in to say registration is open for this webinar. http://exploring.drip.co/drip-rapid-automation-migration/ Hope we’ll see you there! I’d recommend registering even if you can’t make the time, so that way you stay in the loop about any replays or follow-up sessions.

          • Hey, Daphne! Just registered! Can’t wait!

            Thank you and Keep Rising!

    • Zach Grove
  • Lea Longo

    lovin the leadpages ….. sorry not the drip deal ….

  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    My blogging clients will love this!

    • Daphne Sidor

      Nice! Depending on your niche, there is really a lot you can accomplish while getting to your first 100 leads. I think blogging can definitely be one of those areas.

  • Cameron

    Wow! That’s a great story you guys have there! It’s interesting how the email marketing/marketing automation landscape is shifting. Lowering the price barier for marketing automation is a great opportunity, especially if the tools is easy to manage. Many people have the problem with learning how to use the tools and get annoyed far too soon. GetResponse also has marketing automation and it seems that the big players will soon have to acknowledge that in order to get more people into this tech they need a whole new approach. Small businesses are a really dynamic environment and it’s important to think about them too.

    • Daphne Sidor

      Good observations, Cameron—yeah, you really do get a sense with some of the big all-in-one platforms that they’re designed for companies that have staff dedicated entirely to understanding and maintaining that automation platform. That’s not most small businesses. Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

  • Brittney Rose

    I did the trial for the basic and still don’t have 100 subs yet. Can I downgrade before the month is over? There doesn’t seem to be a way to do it in my account…