Weighing the pros and cons between using AWeber or Drip as your email marketing automation platform of record? Here we have a no-holds-barred comparison of these two tools that will help you pick which one fits exactly what your online store needs to sell more stuff.
We’re going to cut the fluff in this comparison. We won’t plug in weird labels that don’t mean anything to you, fill the page with clunky jargon, or stack the deck in our favor. We also won’t let this review sit stagnant when either of us reveals new features and functionality.
After all, we want the same thing you do; success for your online shop so you can live the life you’ve always wanted. This means helping you pick the ecommerce tools that will help you the most, even if that’s not us right now.
This comparison features nine ecommerce marketing automation software essentials that should be considered when choosing your next platform to take ecommerce to the next level. See how Drip and AWeber meet each must-have, then make the best decision for you, your goals, and your stage of business.
1. Plays Nice with Facebook
Us: Facebook and Drip is a solid combination, and is an easy integration duo to set up even if you’re new to marketing automation entirely. Drip has a few ways to dovetail with Facebook and its impressive targeting capabilities.
First, you can integrate your Facebook Lead Ads with Drip. After you pick which audiences to target with your Lead Ads, any information that’s entered can get funneled right into your Drip account. Use any or all of this info for further segmentation and personalization later on. Plus, you can choose to have the submission of a Lead Ad trigger countless reactions, like adding a tag, sending a lead magnet, starting a workflow, and more.
Use any or all of this info for further segmentation and personalization in your marketing messaging later on. Plus, you can choose to have the submission of a Lead Ad trigger countless reactions, like adding a tag, sending a lead magnet, starting a workflow, and more.
Our coolest Facebook-centric integration is with Custom Audiences. With Drip, it’s possible to automatically add or remove people from your Facebook Custom Audiences based on things like what pages they visit on your site, which emails they open, which products they just bought, and more. This makes for incredibly timely ad retargeting on prime social media space.
AWeber: With Aweber, you can collect lead information right on your Facebook business page using its integrated Facebook forms application. This is an easy way to enable all of your followers to sign up on your email list.
If you want to go beyond on-page signup forms—and start reaching people beyond your business page with precise targeting—with tools like Facebook Lead Ads or Facebook Custom Audiences, you’ll have to turn to third-party connection apps, like Zapier, Automate, or LeadsBridge.
Winner: Drip takes it here. Its direct integrations with both Facebook Lead Ads and Facebook Custom Audiences makes it easy to generate leads then turn them into customers with smart, segmented ads. It’s a total Facebook marketing experience that can really get ecommerce shops ahead of the competition.
2. Automation Capabilities
Us: There are several ways to automate your marketing inside of Drip, which helps take time-consuming and tedious tasks off your plate every day. You can automate if-this-then-that-style rules and workflows. Plus, email campaigns have the power to automatically send a sequence of emails at times you determine.
Set rules to do things like apply and remove tags, add people to Facebook Custom Audiences, change campaigns and workflows someone is in, and more. Workflows are usually longer marketing maps, if you will, that guide leads and customers down unique paths that drive them toward conversion.
The best part? Rules and workflows can be triggered by any of your Drip-integrated tools—not just actions inside of Drip like the same-old “email clicked” or “email opened.” It’s like opening up a conversation between all of your marketing platforms instead of having to be the middleman relaying messages between all of them.
AWeber: There are several tasks you can automate with AWeber. One is the adding or removing someone from one list if they subscribe/unsubscribe from another list.
For example, you can create an automated rule that will remove someone from your “Leads” list when they’re added to your “Customers” list. That will definitely save you time. Beyond that, AWeber lets you automate Campaign triggers—when someone signs up or when a specific tag is applied to them—and autoresponder follow-up emails for folks new to your list.
If you’re just getting started and looking for simply essential automations, AWeber could be right up your alley. However, once you want to stretch your legs and create automations triggered by more customer actions across your marketing stack, you might start to feel a bit boxed in.
Winner: Because of the seemingly endless number of triggers and ecommerce marketing automation possibilities inside, Drip is the top dog here. If you’re looking to scale in the very near future, you’re gonna be thankful for the flexibility (and sheer number) of triggers and automations.
3. Visual Builder
Us: Drip is a very visually driven brand. Your campaigns or workflows can get complex when you start throwing in behavior-based decisions, goals, and more. This is exactly why we built Drip to use intuitive visuals like easy-to-follow workflow mapping and color coding.
To start, when putting together a series of emails in an email campaign, you can see a vertical timeline of when your emails will send.
When inside of workflows, you will be met with a more detailed builder. Easily see how people are entering workflows, then follow which actions are taking place and which branches they’re following on each customer journey based on the actions they take with Drip or your integrated apps.
And in total alignment with a visual experience, Drip’s visual point-and-click email builder is an easy way for you to create and preview image-driven emails without messing with a lick of code.
AWeber: The Campaign Builder inside AWeber is characterized by its simplicity. With any new campaign you create in the app, you’re first prompted to pick between two ways a person can enter that particular campaign. The rest of the campaign is easy to build with AWeber’s drag-and-drop builder that lays everything out in a basic linear timeline view.
Actions inside of a campaign are limited to sending a message, adding a time delay, or applying a tag, but the options are all right there and easy to apply. You’ll always know what you’re working with, and rearranging steps in your campaign can be done with a quick drag.
Winner: It’s a tie here, folks. AWeber’s campaign builder is pretty slick. The ability to rearrange steps in the builder on the fly is convenient, especially if you’re just playing with some new ideas at the moment. However, Drip’s visual workflow builder makes even complex funnels understandable to anyone looking at it.
4. Individual Customer Journeys
Us: You have all kinds of customers, and Drip was built to help you identify which kind. When you click on any of your customer’s profiles, you enter a totally visual customer timeline highlighting all of their milestones since first getting on your list.
See how long it takes customers to get from signing up to making a purchase. Or see which emails were opened or ads were clicked that lead them to convert. Examine the differences between your most engaged customers and customers you want to become more engaged, then adjust your marketing strategies from there.
While understanding all of that insight might seem like a bit much, a clear and clean visual timeline makes it easy to understand how each unique customer is interacting with your brand.
AWeber: When investigating what your customers are up to, you can see their location, signup date, how they came to your list, and tags they’re labeled with. However, unless you implement a tagging system that helps you understand their specific actions and when they happened, you might not be able to get as deep of insight as you’re craving.
Without a comprehensive visual timeline, it could be tough to see which emails they opened or ads they saw that lead them to convert. If you’re looking for a basic customer overview, this will still be a useful feature for you.
Winner: Unless you have a meticulous tagging system in place from day 1, AWeber falls short when it comes to getting a full view of the entire customer. Drip gives you a bigger picture of what your customers are doing so you can make better marketing happen.
5. Segmentation Capabilities
Us: You’re going to want to know a lot about your customers. After all, each one is a unique person with a unique customer journey, and in order to reach them in the most relevant ways possible, you’ll want to know all about those journeys.
Because of this, Drip uses tag- and event-based segmentation. So instead of lumping your customers into, say, “Taco lovers” or “Burger lovers,” they can be both. This way you’ll be able to pinpoint who would love to get your coupons for both tacos and burgers, which will make for one heckuva happy customer than if they only got one or the other.
After all, humans are rarely one thing or the other—and with Drip segmentation capabilities, you’ll always know exactly who each customer is and be able to personalize your messaging to match.
AWeber: List-based segmentation is ideal if you don’t plan on digging deeply into segmenting people or personalizing their messaging much. Sorting people by lists is an easy way to dip your toe in the segmentation waters, plus it’s a nice way to keep leads sorted when you’re getting started.
But beware: If you have people on multiple lists (for example, if you have someone who is on a list for newsletter subscribers and another list for customers), you’ll end up paying twice for that one person when you send the same email to both lists.
Winner: Drip is ahead of the game when it comes to segmentation. Simply put, relying on list-based segmentation alone is going to have you missing out on a lot of fun and effective segmentation opportunities. Opt for a platform with tag-based segmentation for the most effective marketing out there.
6. Fit Your Stack
Us: We’ve built up a pretty hefty integration portfolio the past few years, with even more essential integrations on the way (hello, Magento). Drip integrates neatly across the platforms you already count on, like Shopify, payment processors, CRMs, analytics, and more. And with each integration you plug into Drip, you’ll have even more automation possibilities at your fingertips.
AWeber: AWeber should fit snugly inside your marketing stack. This platform works well with some big players, like WordPress, Facebook, and PayPal, plus 200+ more. Some integrations have to be supported through connection sites like Zapier or Automate (like the Facebook Lead Ads example I mentioned earlier), but they’re still possible and will meet your integration needs head-on.
Winner: Integrations everywhere! The winner here depends on which integrations you would prefer to work on your chosen platform without having to look to middleware like Zapier for help. Pop by integration pages for AWeber and Drip to see which works with your other ecommerce marketing tools.
7. Easy Data Migration
Us: Changing up your marketing automation platform can be intimidating—especially if you’re making the move from a very basic email service provider to a platform with tons more to offer under the hood.
We feel your pain. Which is exactly why we offer several levels of migration services to get you up and running quickly. We can move over your existing list, segments, and attributes, or we can go beyond that and import existing workflows or even create a custom migration plan just for you.
And, of course, you can do this all on your own if you want, but we just want to make sure you never feel left hangin’ before, during, or after the process. If you happen to hit a snag or have questions about migration, you can always contact our awesome support team who is here to, well, support you.
AWeber: Importing your existing list is a matter of just a few clicks with AWeber. Easily migrate up to 10K people per month—if you need to move more people than that, the AWeber import team will take a closer look at your import and finish it up in about 1 business day.
While explicit migration services aren’t offered, call, chat, and email support are offered every day of the week at AWeber. So, if you ever get in a migration jam, just shoot the team a note and your migration questions should be answered.
Winner: The hands-free options offered for $0 makes Drip the winner for migrating platforms. Both platforms are on standby, though, when you’re taking the DIY-approach to migration, so you won’t be left on your own no matter which you choose.
8. Is It Built for Humans?
Us: We’ve spent a lot of time at Drip polishing the user experience and addressing if something isn’t flowing quite right. After all, we’re inside of our own product every single day, so a human-centric design wasn’t only crucial for your experience, but for ours, too.
Drip’s navigation is split into our core uses—sending broadcast emails, setting up email campaigns, managing your list, building opt-in forms, making automated workflows, and checking out any reporting you’re interested in. Nothing is too cluttered, and we rely on clear-cut visuals and navigation for ease of use.
And if trouble crops up?
We have world-class support! Depending on which plan tier you sign up for, you’ll get email, chat, or phone support—or all three. We also have a jam-packed Knowledge Base and blog for help and inspiration. Plus, there’s always the reliable community of Drip users on our Facebook communities, complete with smarties ready to lend a hand if you need it.
AWeber: This platform’s interface is relatively simple and easy to get used to. You’ll likely have no problem signing up, logging in, and building your first email within a few minutes. Plus, both the email builder and campaign builder are drag-and-drop, which is a pretty universally understood method today.
There are a lot of resources at the ready for whenever you have a question along your email marketing journey. AWeber’s blog is littered with informative articles, plus the support center offers a fully stocked Knowledge Base and library of video guides for you to follow along.
Winner: AWeber wins for the first-time marketer. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use platform that’s pared down to email marketing essentials, you should put your money on AWeber. But for those looking for an ecommerce tool that can scale with them, you won’t find an easier experience than Drip.
9. Workflows You Can Set Goals In
Us: When you set a goal inside of a workflow, anyone in that workflow will get pulled to that point the second they achieve that goal. For example, if you build a Workflow that starts with sending your lead five emails urging them to buy a product and ends with the goal of “Making a “Purchase,” that lead will bypass any remaining emails once they hit your goal (if you choose).
This saves you unnecessary email sends, and it saves your customer frustration from getting emails in their inbox still telling them to buy something. Setting goals helps you efficiently guide customers from one milestone to the next without wasting any time and money doing so.
AWeber: AWeber doesn’t have a feature comparable to Drip’s workflows. You can build email Campaigns inside of AWeber, which are great at automatically sending emails to people at predetermined time intervals, then applying tags to them depending on how they engage with the Campaign. Campaigns don’t feature goals, so once someone enters a Campaign, they’ll receive every email in that Campaign until they’ve finished the sequence.
Winner: AWeber’s email campaigns don’t have goal functionality, which makes Drip the winner for this must-have.
AWeber vs. Drip: The Verdict
When it comes to the spectrum of ecommerce marketing automation, AWeber leans toward the simple end. Its no-frills interface is a dead giveaway of this from the very first time you log in, then carries through the rest of the app.
AWeber’s drag-and-drop email and campaigns builder is intuitive from the get-go. Plus, AWeber really takes all guesswork out of setting up autoresponders for new leads or RSS blog emails, which means this could be an especially useful tool for bloggers who want to set it and forget it.
However, if you think your business might scale beyond AWeber’s handful of automation options, you’ll find yourself quickly outgrowing this simplicity. Drip lets you automate rules and workflows that are triggered by actions your customers take in any integrated platform—not just actions they take when engaging with your emails.
Automated workflows are incredible assets that automatically guide your customers toward a goal, whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or registering for a webinar. They can be built to adapt to someone's actions without you lifting a finger.
(Sometimes I like to think of workflows as bumpers at a bowling alley. No matter where the ball turns or rolls, the bumpers are always nudging the ball toward the pins. Just like how a workflow is always nudging someone toward a desired action.)
Plus, if your customers are a bit more complex than belonging to the binary of List A or List B, you could find list-based segmentation tough to work with and personalize from. But if your list is just gaining some traction and you’re new to email marketing, AWeber has support available 7 days per week and a slightly lower price point for smaller lists—both are great for greener marketers.
If you find yourself needing deeper personalization and more automation capabilities and customized customer pathways that can scale with you, then Drip is definitely your answer.