By People for People, and Why It's Time to Say Bye to "Subscribers"

Maybe you’re a business owner. An innovator. An entrepreneur. Maybe you’re a mother. Or a father. Or a brother, or a sister. A best friend or compadre. A curious learner. An animal lover. Eater of tacos. A kind soul and a compassionate heart.

Whatever you are, you’re a living, breathing, feeling person.

Odds are slim that you—yes, any of you people out there—would ever slip “subscriber” into the never-ending list of adjectives you’d use to describe yourself.

So, why do so many tech companies do it?

We don’t think you should lose your personhood just because you’re online, which is why Drip is ditching the label. We’re crumpling it up and tossing it in the bin where it can R.I.P. with floppy disks and AskJeeves.

Why are we moving away from labeling humans as “subscribers”? Read on, friends.

“Subscriber” Is Cold. People Are Not.

If you’ve ever opted into an email newsletter, signed on to get some coupons, or done anything else where you had to give away your email address in an exchange on the web, you became a subscriber. A number. Another email piled on the stack.

One second, you’re an individual person cruising the web. The next, you’re part of a faceless glob of subscribers, grouped with a bunch of nameless others who might not be anything like you.

It’s not uncommon for companies to place a lot of value in the sheer number of subscribers they collect. After all, more subscribers means a bigger batch-and-blast email campaign, all with the hopes that more emails sent will translate to more sales.

But the reality is that companies should be placing more value in who their subscribers actually are, not just in their accumulation. We believe that behind every email address, every subscription, there is a living, breathing human craving real relationships.

The Evolution of Drip Means We Aren’t Just Dealing in Subscribers

When Drip ECRM started life as an email opt-in widget that could be propped up on any website to collect email addresses, getting subscribers was the goal. The idea was that if you could capture an email address, you could send an email campaign that would eventually get the subscriber to convert.

Just like that. An easy peasy formula of “subscriber + marketing email = conversion.”

But now it’s 2019, and “marketing email” is no longer all Drip can do (and that formula has gotten a bit more complex). Today, we power multichannel marketing, fuel smart data learning about your customers, create intelligent and timely social ad campaigns, automate your most intricate processes, and beyond.

The fact is that someone might not technically be a subscriber at all, but you can still connect with them at different times, in different places, for meaningful and personal marketing thanks to Drip.

For example, if someone unsubscribes from your marketing emails because they’re already a pretty loyal customer, they’re no longer a subscriber. So, do you just abandon them? Stop marketing to them? Forget them and move on?

When someone in your Drip account isn’t a subscriber, we believe that person is still valuable in your account because of what you can learn about them. That full-color insight goes way beyond whether they gave you their email for a coupon a few years ago and whether or not they want your newsletter.

This reason alone is enough to back up the argument that people aren’t just subscribers.

Drip’s Move to “People” Reflects the Road We’re Traveling

Today, our No. 1 goal at Drip is to help online stores see their customers for who they are as people. We aren’t in the business of just adding to your stacked subscriber collection. Instead, we’re here to help you build genuine human-to-human relationships. Plain and simple.

Online shops should have the capabilities to see that Betsy is a 26-year-old graphic designer who likes to shop for warm sweaters and new coffee roasts. Or that Marc is the type of person who likes a good deal on climbing equipment just in time for their yearly expedition with friends.

When companies pay attention to each unique person cruising their digital aisles, everyone wins. People are given more personalized experiences that speak to their unique wants and interests, while online stores suddenly have a loyal following because they showed compassion and care.

And the truth is that people want personal. They would even pay more for it (not that you should charge more, but that just goes to show how badly people want a human touch). The companies that start getting personal are going to be the brands that make their mark and will have staying power.

As for the ones that stick to robotic tech-speak? Well, good luck.

Let’s Talk About People

Because of the way you use Drip, why you use the app, and how the brand has evolved, it became clear that “subscriber” just doesn’t fit in any more.

You’re here because you want to understand people. Talk to people. And be spoken to like people. So, from now on, the content we create and the tools we continue to craft will be for you. All you people out there, and the people who are your customers—who are so much more than just a “subscriber.”

At a glance, we’re just swapping one word for another, both inside and outside of Drip. But it’s a simple exchange that we think makes a big difference.

In a perfect world, this little switch in how we think about people online will lead to a surge in better experiences for all across the web. Instead of thinking about a faceless subscriber when designing a shopping experience, more thought will be put into how people will respond, react, and remember their time with online companies.

And that’s why we aren’t talking about subscribers anymore. We’re talkin’ about people.