Do you suffer from headaches because you spend a ridiculous amount of time comparing ecommerce marketing platforms? Does your morning routine involve eye drops to refresh excessively red eyes from lack of sleep? Do you oftentimes wish your office desk chair was equipped with an “eject” button so that you could blast into a different galaxy that didn’t offer as many ecommerce marketing platform choices as the Milky Way?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it sounds like you’re suffering from a case of EMPB (Ecommerce Marketing Platform Blues). [Distant de-escalating trombone: wah-wah-WAAAAH …].
Well friend, if you’re looking to cure your EMPB you’ve come to the right place. We did our nitty-gritty research to compare the differences between HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Drip so that you can get more sleep at night. From the pros and cons of each platform, to which is best for your business’s ecommerce marketing, this blog has all the answers in one spot.
Pros and Cons of HubSpot All-in-One Marketing Software
HubSpot is a marketing automation and business growth platform that also caters to sales and customer service teams. Its three platforms—Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub—are loaded with tools that are designed to help small businesses save time through automation capabilities.
Pros of HubSpot:
Facebook to the max. HubSpot is a badged Facebook marketing partner, so it works with the social media giant on a pretty stellar level. The Facebook Ads integration lets you see how your ads are performing for guess-free marketing campaigns, and HubSpot also lets you connect your business’s Facebook page to its platform so that scheduling posts is hassle-free.
And, there’s an additional perk: a Facebook Messenger integration that lets you do cool things like create a customer service bot and set automatic message replies. Fold this into your sales process, and it could pay off big for lead generation.
Automation made easy. Automated workflows are a cinch to set up inside of HubSpot. The platform offers a variety of conditions, actions, and triggers to choose from so that automatic email campaigns can target the right person with the right message at the right time.
Hefty stack of integrations: HubSpot comes loaded with more than 200 integrations. From Salesforce and Shopify to Instagram and Twitter, you’ll likely find whatever integration you’re looking for.
Cons of HubSpot:
A/B testing will cost you. A/B testing, a simpler version of multivariate split testing, lets you test different versions of a campaign to see which is most effective. It’s a great tool that helps to pinpoint customer engagement so that you can create the best emails that lead to the best results. In HubSpot, A/B testing is not available in its free or starter packages, so you’ll have to dish out money for either the Professional or Enterprise package.
Visa or Mastercard? While HubSpot offers a hefty amount of features and platforms, it also offers a hefty amount of expensive payment plans. Sure, there are free versions—like some free lightweight sales tools and free digital marketing tools—but you’ll lose out on some of the better tools like marketing automation, goal-based nurturing, and custom reporting.
Segmentation that falls short. Knowing your customers is important, so having the right segmentation capabilities can make or break the personalized experience your business is looking to create. HubSpot uses list-based segmentation (referred to as “filters” inside the platform) to create email marketing campaigns for different groups of leads and customers.
While list-based segmentation is okay, the real personalized experience lies in tag-based segmentation, which ensures your customers won’t be bombarded with an overabundance of emails if they’re on more than one of your lists.
Pros and Cons of Mailchimp Email Marketing
Ah, yes … the email marketing software with the fuzzy chimp. User-friendly and highly talked about, Mailchimp prides itself on being a platform that’s great for any small business looking to maintain its current customer base.
Pros of Mailchimp:
Affordable. If you’re looking to save dough, Mailchimp is happy to help. The platform is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and sending 12,000 emails per month. With the free stuff, you’ll have access to important features like lightweight automations, must-have analytics, email campaigns, and even A/B testing. And, if you’re ever looking to unlock additional tools in the platform, Mailchimp offers pay-as-you-go options.
Integrations galore. Mailchimp has been in business since 2001, so it integrates with a pretty diverse stack of apps and web services. From Facebook and Google Analytics to Salesforce and Zapier, there’s a darn good chance you’ll find the integration you’re searching for.
Easy like Sunday morning. With its fun colors, peppy language, and friendly fuzzy chimp, Mailchimp’s platform is down-to-earth and easy to use. Steps are clear and concise, it comes fully loaded with a drag-and-drop email builder, and pre-made email templates are ready to use with the click of a mouse.
Cons of Mailchimp:
Limited automation. If your business is looking for some powerful marketing automation platforms, Mailchimp won’t float your boat. Actions that trigger automations are limited inside the platform, and, unless you’re satisfied with highly simplified versions of cart abandonment emails and multi-day email sequences, Mailchimp won’t fit the bill.
Shopify breakup. The platform no longer integrates directly with Shopify, which is a big slap in the face. If you want to connect the two accounts, you’ll now have to go through a third-party app. Shopify is one of the biggest ecommerce platforms today, and cutting off any powerful automations between the two platforms could put a damper on any truly effective ecommerce marketing automations.
Segmentation woes. Similar to HubSpot, Mailchimp also bases its segmentation on lists (now being called “audiences”). Audience-based platforms are fine if segmentation isn’t high on your … ahem … list. But if you’re really looking to speak to your customers on a more personal level, tag-based segmentation is the secret sauce.
Pros and Cons of Drip ECRM
Drip is an ecommerce CRM platform that helps businesses understand their customers on a deeper, more personal level. It uses all your ecommerce data to drive incredibly personalized marketing strategies at scale, whether you want to send emails or create full-bodied multi-channel campaigns.
Thousands of brands count on Drip to help make better experiences and relationships with their customers, which drives long-term loyalty and differentiation in an increasingly competitive market.
Pros of Drip:
Awesome automation. If you’re looking for a grand buffet of automation capabilities, Drip won’t disappoint. The platform lets you create if-this-then-that rules, as well as campaigns and workflows that automatically move customers along their journeys. Plus, with all the great apps that integrate with Drip, your customers can trigger automations with basically any action they take online.
Tag-based segmentation. Personalization is at the very core of Drip’s existence, so the platform uses tag-based segmentation. Tag customers based on dates, custom fields, names, actions—heck, pretty much anything you want. Tags let you identify unique actions and journeys tailored to each customer so segments can be as niche or broad as you want for broadcast emails, workflows, and campaigns.
Split testing in workflows. If you think split testing in emails is awesome, Drip’s newest feature is going to make your eyes pop: workflow split testing. If your ecommerce business is dying to see which customer experience earns the highest order conversion, the highest revenue, or the most site visits, split testing in Drip has your back. Test an entire workflow or just bits and pieces to uncover a boatload of undiscovered information about your customers.
Cons of Drip:
The learning curve. With more opportunities at your feet comes a slightly longer learning curve than, say, Mailchimp. You’ll have more capabilities with advanced workflows, rules, and segmentation filters, however, there’s no shortage of support to help you get in and get started, including the learning hub MyDrip.
Stress-free. If tension headaches, red eyes, and overwhelming anxiety are what you live for, you probably won’t like Drip. The platform takes away daily online business stressors, works 24/7 shifts, and will put more time back into your day.
Onboarding is too easy. Drip makes onboarding a piece of cake. With free resources like a Knowledge Base and how-to videos, to a great customer support team that’s ready to help in the blink of an eye, the onboarding process is way too simple—you’ll definitely be bored.
The Full Story: The Big Battle of HubSpot vs. Mailchimp vs. Drip
What are the main differences between HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Drip?
The main differences between the three platforms boil down to automation and personalization capabilities and costs.
Automation power. If your online business is looking for some seriously powerful automation capabilities, you’ll want to steer clear of Mailchimp and head toward Drip or HubSpot. Both are comparable when it comes to smart automated rules and workflows, and each platform offers flexible and versatile automation options that will put more time back into your busy day.
Going one step further though, HubSpot sneaks out just ahead of Drip along the lines of automation power because it also offers the ability to add sales teams and customer service to automations.
Costs. While HubSpot is a giant all-in-one marketing/sales / customer service platform, its one main downfall is its mammoth price tag. Its free plan and basic plan both lack important and standard ecommerce marketing tools like split testing and marketing automation. Basically, to get access to some pretty standard ecommerce marketing tools that come free with other platforms like Drip and Mailchimp, you’re going to have to pay HubSpot big bucks.
Is HubSpot, Mailchimp, or Drip Best for Ecommerce Marketing?
So you’ve read through this comparison blog—high five!—but you’re still torn between which ecommerce marketing platform is best for your business. All three platforms—HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Drip—are loaded with pretty stellar ecommerce marketing tools that can definitely help you increase conversions, make more money, and take care of the basic marketing tasks your online business is looking to accomplish.
But which is The Ultimate Ecommerce Marketing Platform? Here are two questions to ask yourself:
1. Is your business looking to grow?
If your answer is yes, then go ahead and scratch Mailchimp off of your prospects list. Mailchimp is great if you’re looking to maintain your current list of customers and keep your marketing automations basic.
But if you’re looking to set sail into the seas of online business growth—and you’re searching for a platform that will help you navigate unfamiliar waters—HubSpot and Drip are the ships you’re looking for.
HubSpot’s Marketing Hub platform comes with automation capabilities that can tailor personalized emails to leads, dashboards that report on marketing and productivity, and the platform works with an impressive number of integrations. Plus, HubSpot also offers platforms for sales and customer service teams.
However, the main setback to HubSpot is the cost. The free marketing tools that it offers aren’t very extensive, so it’s likely that your business will have to choose between a Starter, Professional, or Enterprise plan that ranges between $50/month to $3,200+/month. Woof.
Drip’s ecommerce CRM platform offers a huge variety of flexible ecommerce marketing tools designed for businesses looking to grow. From automation capabilities that go beyond email, to an ever-growing fat stack of integrations, to Lead Scoring, workflows with goals, dashboards that let you see exactly how your marketing efforts are performing … we could easily keep going. And, to top it off, you can try every single feature in Drip free for 14 days. After that, pricing starts at just $49/month. Hello, happy bank account.
2. On a scale of 1 to 11 (1 being low, 11 being “This is Spinal Tap” high), how important is personalization for your business?
1-5 scale: It sounds like your business is mostly content and personalized communication isn’t high on your priority list. If this is the case, you’ll like Mailchimp.
6-10 scale: Connecting with your customers is a big must for your business, right? In this case, HubSpot or Drip are the platforms you’re looking for. Both let you segment customers for more meaningful conversations, and both offer dynamic marketing that changes for every customer.
Big, fat 11: For that extra push-over-the-cliff ecommerce marketing personalization you’re looking for, it’s time to crank up the volume to 11 with Drip. With its Facebook Custom Audience automation (for high-value audiences!), to its tag-based segmentation capabilities (you’ll never send an overabundance of emails to the same customer!), to its workflows you can set multiple goals in (you won’t have to build an entirely new workflow for each goal!), you can take personalization to the max with Drip.
Declaring the Winner: Which Is The Ultimate Ecommerce Marketing Platform?
When it comes to deciding which ecommerce email marketing platform is best for your online business, the choice is yours. Okay, we realize this answer isn’t great for helping to cure your case of EMPB, so here’s your recommended treatment plan: try Drip free for 14 days with a free trial, and let Drip help you see your customers in full color.