Ready to invest in smart ecommerce marketing automation, but not so ready to pick a product to build it with? Our side-by-side comparisons are here to make your life easy so your online shop thrives. So, Drip or Bronto? Get ready for honest and accurate information on both marketing automation platforms.
Part of providing this easy-to-understand comparison is knowing things may change in the future. We’re committed to updating this review as either platform adds or modifies features. That way, you’re never left in the dark.
Even if you decide we’re not the one for you, no hard feelings. This is about what is best for your company (and bottom line). We believe we don’t need to bamboozle or hoodwink anyone in order to get clients. We know the info and deets on what Drip can provide you will speak for itself.
Each of our reviews will talk about the nine essentials of ecommerce email marketing software and how they relate to Drip and Bronto. Analyzing each essential point will make it easier to choose a platform that works for you. So, let’s see how both platforms stack up in the nine areas.
1. Plays nice with Facebook
Us: It’s not news to you that the social media giant Facebook holds a huge potential customer base. In order to tap into that massive audience, you need tools that easily connect with Facebook’s platform and all the precision advertising tools it offers.
Drip integrates with Facebook in a few helpful ways: One way generates boatloads of new leads for potential sales through Facebook Lead Ads, and the other builds better Facebook Custom Audiences (automatically!).
The platform can tailor your ad audiences based on actions your customers take, like which email campaigns they open or if they bought a product (or which product they bought). From there, Drip will automatically add or remove people from different audiences. Let’s say a person was browsing an item, but didn’t buy it. Voila! Like magic, they’re now seeing a targeted Facebook ad for that very product.
Except it’s not really magic, it’s just Drip.
Speaking of ads, Drip’s integration with Facebook Lead Ads can make it easy to follow up with potential customers. When someone clicks on a Facebook Lead Ad and enters their contact information, it is automatically sent to Drip.
Once it’s in our platform, you can trigger countless responses automatically, like a custom welcome email campaign to land you a new follower, and have a whole new insight into your leads.
Does creating a Facebook workflow on a new platform sound daunting already? Well, the fancy pants developers at Drip have already made pre-built automated Facebook workflows available so you can get started in just a couple clicks.
Bronto: Bronto’s “Socialite” application is how the platform makes the best use of Facebook’s massive people power. The app, developed by Bronto, has two key features to capitalize on Facebook: audiences and tabs.
To effectively target—and retarget—ads on Facebook, you can create an audience in the social site based on a segment or list in Bronto. There are plenty of possibilities from there, like building a custom audience or creating a lookalike audience. To make it easier on you, membership in these groups automatically update in each platform.
You can also get a nifty custom tab on your Facebook page so followers can opt-in to your updates. Socialite isn’t only for Facebook, though. It also integrates some features on Instagram and Twitter.
However, the platform does fall short when it comes to Facebook Lead Ads. There are other third-party developers who can integrate Bronto with Facebook Lead Ads, but most charge a monthly fee to run. How much is that integration worth to you?
Winner: This is a close race, here. Bronto’s self-developed app is useful in building and targeting your Custom Audiences with precise ads, however, it isn’t an automated process. You’ll have to go in and manually edits the lists or segments seeing your ads. (But Bronto’s extension to Twitter and Instagram could be very useful to you if that’s where much of your audience is hanging out.)
Drip comes out ahead with its automated Custom Audiences function as well as a free Facebook Lead Ads integration. If you’re jonesing for that Twitter reach, though, Bronto might be for you.
2. Automation Capabilities
Us: This automation platform has been designed with one idea in mind: make life easier for you so you can build your customer base and sell more stuff. Drip’s if-this-then-that rule system makes it simple to create basic rules, but also provides you endless possibilities.
If a customer buys a scarf, then send them a cross-selling campaign for mittens.
If someone signs up for your online course, then tag them as a “student.”
On top of automation rules, the creme de la creme of automation is workflows. These are super automated paths that take your customers on unique journeys for the best experience possible.
In every workflow, you can designate what actions your customers take trigger which outcomes. You can even trigger multiple reactions at once. Workflows are flexible so they can be designed to achieve exactly the outcomes you want.
Want people who abandon their carts to be sent a coupon within an hour? You got it. Want a person to get an anniversary email and follow-up campaign? Drip can make all of it happen with the power of smart automation.
Bronto: This platform is also all about the workflows that keep your marketing going! Similar to Drip, there are so many combinations of actions, triggers, and filters that will automatically get your products inside people’s inboxes.
To keep things simple, especially for those who aren’t email software experts, Bronto has preset workflows. For those with a little more know-how, you can build custom workflows. You can even automate multiple campaigns into a single workflow and set off lifecycle messages.
What businesses will find most helpful with Bronto’s automation are the applications. Bronto and partners have a variety of trinkets that provide even more automation, like the ability to identify cart abandoners and automate personalized recovery emails to try to reel them back in. And also just like Drip, there are pre-built integrations with top ecommerce platforms, including NetSuite, Magento and Shopify Plus, that talk to the platform and sync your whole product catalog.
Winner: This is a tie! Whichever one wins for you will come down to which ecommerce platform you need integrated. For example, Drip integrates with WooCommerce, Shopify, and Shopify Plus without the need for a third-party app, but Bronto currently integrates with Magento. Your ecommerce platform is going to play a big, big part in your automations, so it’s important that whichever automation platform you choose works well with your online storefront.
3. Visual Builder
Us: Creating workflows or email campaigns can feel intimidating, but Drip’s visual style is designed to make the process as intuitive as possible.
For starters, when creating a series of emails in a campaign, you will see a vertical timeline of their order. This makes it easy to keep your emails organized and timed out how you want them in each series. Similarly, once you move on to create a workflow, you’ll be welcomed by a more detailed builder.
Once inside the workflow builder, just get started by adding a trigger that gets customers in, then start adding actions (like sending emails, applying tags, or adding them to custom audiences), time delays, decision trees, goals, and more. Like the email campaign builder, workflows are laid out in a nifty vertical timeline.
We’ve also built in color-coded steps and clear pathways between steps, so you’ll never get lost in your work. You really don’t need to be a savvy coder to master Drip’s platform. Use our “drawing board” and create workflows that are perfect for your online business.
Plus, Drip now has its very own point-and-click visual email builder. The learning curve is roughly 2 minutes, and it is one of the best ways to spread your brand—with colorful, image-driven emails.
Bronto: A simple and easy-to-learn visual builder is essential when expanding your business. With Bronto, you can use a workflow template or build your own using the drag-and-drop and copy-and-paste functions. No coding classes necessary. Woo!
The workflow builder canvas is a grid, allowing you to place your trigger, filter, or action nodes wherever you want. You can drag connections between your nodes as you need, depending on your goals for each workflow. Plus, all of your trigger, filter, and action options are laid out in a left-hand toolbar.
The other sweet visual bit of Bronto’s platform is the email designer. For those who can’t code emails from scratch (let’s be honest, not many of us can), Bronto offers a drag-and-drop email editor. The messages are all responsive design and work on a variety of devices, so no one is left behind.
Winner: Drip wins here. While the drag-and-drop functionality of Bronto’s workflow builder is common and intuitive, the layout, as a whole, feels clunky and outdated. You’re also in charge of connecting your nodes, and the options available for workflow actions, triggers, and filters are limited, which will, in turn, limit how far you can take your ecommerce automations.
4. Individual Customer Journeys
Us: While it’s important that Drip helps grow your audience, it’s just as important that we help you understand these people, too. Using Lead Scoring, Drip tracks leads and customers, then assigns them points for different actions.
For instance, you can set up your Lead Scoring so that buying an item would add points to someone’s lead score, but cancelling an item or abandoning a cart would subtract points. You have total control over the scoring system and can change it if your business fluxes. The whole *point* is that you have an objective, data-driven way of creating marketing plans based on real-life actions.
Drip also lets you dive deep (I mean, seriously deep). You can select a follower and see an individual visual timeline of their habits with your website and products. See which emails converted them to buyers or compare your most and least engaged people. Then you’re ready to adapt your strategy and start doin’ more of what works for your customers.
Bronto: Knowing the behaviors of people, whether loyal customers or those just browsing, is key to keeping people interested in your brand. Much like Drip, Bronto has tools that can teach you about your customers by breaking down some data, but it doesn’t have a true lead scoring function.
This platform does have more than 30 key metrics that you can use to analyze your audience, and Bronto even offers tools that make predictions based off the data you collect.
Take this example: Because you can see real-time browse and cart data, you can begin sending targeted messages to try to make those sales. Use those analytic tools to create segments and develop personalized product recommendation campaigns or build reports to give to teammates or business partners. Data is power and you got the power (but you don’t have lead scoring)!
Winner: Since Bronto doesn’t yet have a true-to-form lead scoring feature, Drip wins this one. Lead scoring is key to knowing which leads are hot and ready to buy, and which are cool and need some re-engagement from you. Lead scores serve as key triggers for a lot of automations, so if that sounds important to you in your quest, you’ll wanna go with Drip.
5. Segmentation Capabilities
Us: At Drip, we like to focus on people, not just their emails. This is why our segments are based off events and tags, and each individual human can be labeled in multiple ways.
Filter people by locations, actions they’ve taken, custom fields, tags, and much more. Pick one of these or many until you narrow the audience you want to focus on. After that, it’s just a matter of finding the perfect message for those unique segments (as broad or as niche as you want them), so you can peak a person’s interest and score their business.
Big-power segmentation enables you to market to broad audiences, such as sending a coupon to everyone tagged “customer,” or market to niche pockets, like if you want to send a VIP offer to everyone who bought Product X from your shop three times in the past month. The grittier you get with the details, the more personalized and relevant your marketing will be with each of your unique customers.
Bronto: Bronto aims to simplify segmentation so businesses easily make money. On the platform, you can check out personalized information on shopping carts, locations, device preferences, and even the first thing a visitor clicks on.
Breaking down info like this teaches us about people already interested in our business. Bronto lays it out in a three-step process:
- Look at demographics you already have, like when and where followers signed up.
- Import more data from third-party apps, including Magento and Shopify.
- Add other criteria and rules to create segments of people you can understand better and engage more effectively.
Winner: Both platforms can create broad to minute segments. They distill your hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of customers into bite-size portions that are easier to understand and market to. Get in each app and see which one feels right to you, ‘cause this one comes down to usability and preference.
6. Fit Your Stack
Us: We’ve built up a pretty tall stack of integrations and tools at Drip over the years, and we have no intention of slowing down. We currently boast almost 100 integrated apps and platforms your ecommerce business probably already uses (Shopify and WooCommerce, anyone?). This makes starting with Drip as easy as one click.
Plus, there’s nothing to sweat if you can’t find your favorite app in our library. We’re confident our API (Application Programming Interface) can be used to connect virtually any tool to Drip’s platform. No matter what, we’ve got you covered.
Bronto: Bronto’s stack is fairly comparable to Drip’s and also focuses on ecommerce businesses. They have close to 100 partner integrations, seven of them being with ecommerce partners like Magento and Shopify. Your business can work with Bronto’s app center or API reference library to make their platform work best for you.
Winner: Thumb through each app’s integrations portfolio. While there is a lot of overlap, Drip and Bronto have slightly different integrations right now. See which platform integrates natively with the other tools you use (and try to avoid having to go through third-party platforms like Zapier because while Zapier is great, it is still an extra cost to you).
7. Ease of Implementation
Us: We believe you should be able to sign up and get sending with Drip on the same day. We've made tons of content—how-to videos, Knowledge Base articles, blog posts, webinars, and more—so you can easily import all your people and start talking to them right away.
However, we also realize some of our customers might be coming with a ton of existing data, automations, and more from their past platforms. If that's the case and you'd like a hand in making the move over to Drip, we're more than happy to help.
Our ECRM customer success team is at the helm to help you find out what additional service you might need to get you set up and sending quickly and smoothly. Your solutions discovery and one-on-one consultation time with Drip is always flexible, so we can work together on whatever you need at the time. Whether you need help with training, reviewing and optimizing your automations, recreating workflows, and beyond, we have a success plan for you.
The best part? You’re never alone. If you hit a bump in the road, our brilliant support team is there to answer questions. Anyone on a Basic Drip plan and up gets free 24/7 chat and email support.
Bronto: Bronto’s data migration process is, generally, a more hand-on process. For ecommerce customers with NetSuite, Shopify, Magento, or Demandware, you can set up a connector to enable an automatic data exchange.
For those not using those apps, Bronto’s knowledge base can take you through how to manually import your data in a spreadsheet. Thankfully, no matter what, there are email, phone and chat help options to get you through any questions you have when moving your business information over.
Winner: Switching platforms can really slow you down, especially if you’re still running your bustling online shop while trying to do so. With different levels of ECRM success services to meet your goals, plus 24/7 support if you choose to get started on your own, Drip is golden here.
8. Is It Built for Humans?
Us: Email automation is supposed to make your life easier, not give you a migraine. We’ve spent a lot of time and energy making sure Drip’s platform is simple to learn and navigate. Our visual workflow and email creators, individual customer timelines, and vertical email campaign builder are part of valuing intuitive tools anyone can use.
If things do get confusing, though, there are lots of support options. Chat or email us anytime, day or night. That way, a real person will really talk you through your problem.
There is also Knowledge Base and blog that’s constantly updated with more information and tips to get the most out of Drip. If you like peer-to-peer problem-solving, there are also Facebook groups with other reliable Drip gurus willing to help. You don’t just get a marketing automation platform, you get a whole heckin’ community.
Don’t believe us? Try the platform free for two weeks and see what you think.
Bronto: The specifics of some of Bronto’s features can be a bit of a mystery when looking at their website. But Bronto’s hefty knowledge base can help clients really understand the platform. There are how-to guides to getting started, a video library with walk-throughs, and even a glossary of terms.
For example, one video will walk you through how to build a workflow using Bronto’s drag-and-drop technology. Plus, everyone learns differently—if reading an explanation or watching a video doesn’t help, try an interactive learning guide. It might just do the trick.
Whether you need a “Bronto 101” or a more advanced understanding of your contacts and messages, the knowledge base probably has you covered. If it still falls short, you can look toward phone, email or chat customer support.
Winner: Both platforms have some kick-butt resources, but just navigating Bronto can be a bit tricky. Drip’s interface is clean, clear, and inviting through the entire app. You won’t find muddy bits or outdated features bogging you down here.
9. Workflows You Can Set Goals In
Us: In the end, the most important factor in choosing an email marketing platform is your goals. And at Drip, we’ve taken the idea of a goal to the next level.
We think every person has a unique relationship with your product, and we want to make sure they’re always engaged in a positive way. With Drip, you can add custom goals into every workflow. If a person meets that goal, regardless of where they are in the workflow, they will skip through the rest of the steps.
Let’s say you set a goal of “make a purchase” while the beginning of the workflow sends your leads four emails trying to get them to buy. If anyone in that workflow makes their purchase after, say, the second email, they won’t be sent the remaining two. Instead, they’ll be pulled to where you goal is set and resume the workflow from there (which means they won’t be getting two redundant and annoying emails telling them to buy the thing they just bought).
This way, you leave the relationship on a super positive note. Having a platform that values your goals can go a long way in developing trust with your customers.
Bronto: All email marketing platforms help you build campaigns, but unfortunately, not all let you set goals. Goals are what separate Drip from the rest and Bronto is no exception. Bronto’s workflow lets you add a long list of actions: send email, delay, change list, post to social media, and more. But there’s not goal feature in sight.
Winner: Like with a few features throughout this comparison, Drip wins where Bronto doesn’t have a comparable feature. But even if they did, Drip has been the beacon for goals for a while now, and we trust it would be hard to top us in this department.
Drip vs. Bronto: The Verdict
So after all that information, which automated email marketing platform is going to be the right fit for your ecommerce venture?
Drip has the ability to propel businesses with clear goals forward. The ability to integrate goals in workflows, combined with the people-centric tag-based approach to lists and segments, is unique to most platforms. Drip will let you drive deep into analytics and audience segmentations.
It’s easy enough for business just starting their marketing automation efforts or those ready to create advanced workflows STAT.
Bronto also has visual builders, analytics, segmentation and app stacks comparable to Drip. It’s a flexible platform that allows business to understand their audience and build custom email marketing campaigns. However, a lot of Bronto’s details are hard to understand because the website requires you to speak to a salesperson before seeing the platform or learning about pricing.
Don’t want to wait for a salesperson to call you? Ready to move your business forward? Explore Drip for two weeks free or sign up for a “free forever” account with no strings attached.