Heads up! dotdigital is formerly known as dotmailer. Read about the shift here.
Weighing the pros and cons between using dotdigital and Drip Ecommerce CRM as your email marketing automation platform of record? Here we have an honest-to-goodness comparison of these two tools that will help you pick which one fits 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 dotdigital meet each must-have, then make the best decision for you, your goals, and your stage of business.
1. Plays Nice with Facebook
Us: Drip’s Facebook Custom Audiences integration lets you automatically move people in and out of Custom Audiences on Facebook—all from within Drip. Start, stop, or change the ads your customers see based on the actions they take, like what pages they visit on your site and which products they just bought. Tailor each customer’s experience to hit them with perfectly aligned messaging.
You can also integrate your Facebook Lead Ads with Drip so that when someone submits a form, they can be automatically entered into any campaign or workflow you choose. Create time-saving automations like applying tags, sending email campaigns, and more.
Drip also lets you reach customers beyond the inbox. For example, if customer Sally unsubscribes from your marketing emails, your business can still reach and engage with Sally in other ways. From hyper-personalized transactional emails, to SMS, direct mail, and social media retargeting, the power of multichannel marketing is at your fingertips.
dotdigital: dotdigital also works with Facebook Lead Ads and Facebook Custom Audiences, but it requires a third-party connection app, like LeadsBridge. However, once the third-party app is utilized, you can sync your Lead Ads in real-time and sync segments of contacts in your database with custom audiences on Facebook so you can easily upsell and retarget.
Winner: Drip takes the winner-winner-chicken-dinner here. Its direct integrations with Facebook Custom Audiences and Facebook Lead Ads paves the way for an easy Facebook marketing experience that puts more time back into your day.
2. Automation Capabilities
Us: If you’re looking to add more sand to your hourglass, Drip is your one-stop shop that’s overflowing with time-saving automation capabilities. Create if-this-then-that rules, email campaigns, and fully automated workflows that automatically move leads and customers along their journeys.
And, to make things even easier, you can start and stop automations based on milestones your customers reach—like when they complete a campaign or make a purchase—so you’re never a broken record player spitting out the same redundant messages.
With all of the apps that integrate with Drip, your automations can be triggered by virtually any actions your customers take on your site or with any of your other marketing tools like landing pages or payment processors. If they just made a purchase or abandoned a cart, Drip’s automation rules will send leads and customers the right message at the right time, every time.
dotdigital: When it comes to automation, dotdigital offers a few time-saving options. Its Program Builder lets you create simple or complex automation programs that stay active with customers along their journeys. Actions, delays, decisions, and end points can be linked with connectors to automate your workflows.
You can also create triggered campaigns that automatically connect with customers based on triggers. If a contact unsubscribes from an address book, you can trigger a campaign to send an email asking for feedback on why they’re unsubscribing.
Winner: If you’re looking for a deep variety of flexible automation options that can keep up the pace with your growing online shop, then Drip is your jam.
3. Visual Builder
Us: Drip’s visual workflow builder provides you with a picture-perfect roadmap of how your triggers, actions, and goals link together. Distinctive colors identify delays, triggers, and goals, and clear pathways come standard, so you can always see exactly where you’re leading your customers.
And when it comes to emails, Drip’s Visual Email Builder is a cream-of-the-crop builder that gives you complete control over the look and feel of your emails. Our point-and-click builder lets you create and preview image-driven emails—all without pasting HTML or touching code.
dotdigital: dotdigital also scores points for its clear-cut visual layouts when mapping out workflows. A customer’s journey can be mapped out by dragging and dropping nodes (such as actions, delays, and decisions) that can then be linked with connectors to create automated workflows. Nodes vary in colors (actions are green, delays are pink) for easy identification, and workflows can be as simple or complex as needed.
dotdigital’s EasyEditor is as easy as it sounds. Text, images, videos, and columns can be dragged and dropped into a template to create customized content for effective emails.
Winner: It’s a toss-up here, folks. Both Drip and dotdigital provide users with easy-to-follow, color-coded workflows for piece-of-cake navigation, and both platforms offer email builders that pack a powerful punch when it comes to visually driven emails. Hop into each and see which one feels better during an ol’ fashioned test drive.
4. Individual Customer Journeys
Us: We know you have lots of customers, and it’s our job at Drip to make each customer journey as crystal clear to you as possible. Visual customer timelines highlight a customer’s milestones since first getting on your list. See how long it takes a customer to go from signing up to making a purchase, and examine the differences between your most engaged customers and your least engaged customers.
Split Testing in Workflows is one of Drip’s latest features and lets you test multiple paths and strategies in a single workflow to see which experiences drive the most revenue, most conversions, average order value, or total site visits. Test an entire workflow or just bits and pieces to uncover even more information about your customers, and continuously optimize with your findings.
Lead Scoring is a points-based system that helps you keep track of your customer’s level of engagement with your website and emails. For example, when Customer Betty opens one of your emails, her lead score increases. Different point values can be assigned for different events, and you can set a point threshold for when someone goes from being a prospect to a hot lead.
dotdigital: With dotdigital’s WebInsight you can monitor your customer’s behavior on your site. When a customer clicks on one of your emails, you can see the pages they’ve looked at and use that data to figure out the best way to target them next.
Like Drip, dotdigital also uses a scoring system to define customers. Its Engagement Scorer is a flexible scoring system that lets you score customers based on things like purchase history, email opens, and page views. Results can be viewed in real time so you can see which contacts have and haven’t responded to your emails through the number of opens, clicks, and replies.
Winner: If you’re looking for a full-fledged, completely visual customer timeline plus Lead Scoring in order to paint a clear picture of how each customer is interacting with your brand, then Drip is a solid choice.
5. Segmentation Capabilities
Us: Your customers are unique people with unique journeys, and you’re going to want to know all about those journeys so that you can reach them with meaningful messages that really hit home.
Drip lets you segment your customers based on tags and actions. Tags add visual identifiers to people and help you to better understand their engagement level and behavior.
Tag everyone based on names, custom fields, dates, and more so that you can effectively personalize your communication with them. Drip’s Shopper Activity API makes it possible to easily segment customers by specific items or brands they’ve purchased. Segments can be as broad or as niche as you’d like for each workflow, campaign, or broadcast email.
dotdigital: dotdigital’s drag-and-drop segment builder lets you segment your contacts into meaningful groups. Segments can be as simple or complex as you’d like and can be based on everything from geographical location to social interests. Flexible and easy to use, the segment builder allows for easy targeting.
Because SMS is such a big deal, the platform also lets you segment based on the content your contacts have replied with. Easily gauge intent, enable retargeting across other channels, and set up smart autoresponders.
Winner: If you’re looking for segmentation capabilities that can be as specific and detailed as you want, then Drip takes the pumpkin pie. dotdigital’s group-based segmentation limits how personal you can get with each unique person, plus you risk sending repeat emails to people who are in more than one group.
6. Fit Your Stack
Us: What makes for “easy-like-Sunday-morning” marketing? Tools that play nicely together. Drip integrates natively with nearly 100 other online marketing tools—and we’re still expanding (hello, Magento). And with even more possibilities through tools like Zapier, you’re able to automate practically every part of your marketing.
And what if Drip doesn’t integrate with a platform in your stack? No worries—our best-in-biz API (Application Programming Interface) can step in and help you connect Drip to your other tools.
dotdigital: When it comes toemail marketing integrations, dotdigital works with numerous platforms such as Magento, Shopify, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics. dotdigital also works with 80+ existing integrations found in its app directory.
Winner: dotdigital squeaks out ahead here with its existing Magento integration (although Drip has one on the way). However, both platforms have ties to Zapier, so any connection you’re looking for is possible there.
7. Ease of Implementation
Us: Does the thought of moving to a new platform make your palms sweat? At Drip, we understand that changing up your marketing automation platform can be scary. To keep things simple and perspiration-free, Drip has 24/7 customer support, videos, articles, webinars, and more to get you started out right.
If you'd rather have some extra hands on deck, though, our ECRM customer success team can help do things like recreate automations, help you optimize your strategies, or offer up advice and implementation wherever you may need.
dotdigital: dotdigital offers three levels of onboarding services. Its guided setup is a self-service option that gives you the docs you need to get your account set up; its managed onboarding hooks you up with an onboarding product manager who works with you throughout the entire migration process; and its enterprise onboarding offers all the features of managed onboarding plus extra support. While all three of these options will get you up and running, each one will cost you a pretty penny.
Winner: The hands-down winner of this showdown goes to Drip for its 24/7 customer support. While both platforms have custom options for hands-free implementation, having someone to talk to with questions any time of the day is a huge asset, especially when you're getting started.
8. Is It Built for Humans?
Us: Does anybody reallylike over-the-top language that doesn’t have a point? Or complex interfaces that feel like the apocalypse? We didn’t think so. At Drip, we prefer simple and intuitive features to keep brain-drain (and the apocalypse) at bay. Our visual workflow builder, plain-language rule creator, and easy-to-use email builder were all built by humans, for humans.
We also know that personalized content for your ecommerce business is a must, so we make it easy to tailor content and give every message a personal touch. Email copy is able to automatically update for each customer and show cool things like the current top-selling products in your store. It can also dynamically update to include price-drop notifications (the customers will flock to the checkout!), product recommendations, and dynamic discounts.
dotdigital: All in all, dotdigital’s interface isn’t overly complicated or difficult to navigate. Its email builder with drag-and-drop capabilities allows for visually appealing emails, and its program builder lets you create simple or complex automations.
dotdigital also offers an extensive knowledge base that covers everything from automation tips to web behavior tracking. Training videos, blogs, and customer support are also available.
Winner: While both platforms are built for humans, Drip comes out ahead thanks to its extra-friendly language that doesn’t require a dictionary.
9. Workflows You Can Set Goals In
Us: Setting goals inside of workflows can help you efficiently guide customers from one milestone to the next without wasting any time. For example, you can add the goal of “made a purchase” into your workflow so that when your customer meets that goal, they’ll bypass all of the other things you had planned for them, like email campaigns and ads. Goals pave the way for smooth and pleasant customer experiences.
dotdigital: dotdigital lets you set up simple decisions that can automatically remove contacts from a program once that contact has performed a particular action. Like Drip’s workflow goals, these simple decisions can prevent a customer from receiving the wrong type of email.
Winner: Once again, this win goes to Drip. With automated workflow goals that can be customized for each individual journey, you won’t have to worry about clogging up your customer’s email inbox with redundant messages.
dotdigital vs. Drip: The Verdict
When it comes to the nine ecommerce marketing automation essentials, both Drip and dotdigital touch on each must-have feature. But which is right for you?
Here are three top takeaways to consider when comparing the two platforms:
- How important is Facebook? If you’re looking for a platform that directly integrates with Facebook Custom Audiences and Facebook Lead Ads, then Drip is your numero uno choice. The multiple integrations make automating tasks in Facebook a piece of cake, so your customers will always see the right message from you at the right time. No third-party connection app required, and no additional fees.
- How do you feel about technology? For the most part, dotdigital’s platform is down-to-earth and easy to navigate. A few of its automation options can get a bit intense, but there are accessible resources (blogs, a knowledge base) along the way. The people at Drip believe that technology shouldn’t be overcomplicated, and this is evident throughout Drip’s platform. From color coded actions in the workflow builder to a point-and-click Visual Email Builder to a knowledge base and full-staffed customer support team available 24/7, Drip keeps things simple for the everyday user.
- What’s your price? If you’re looking to save money while moving to a new platform, Drip offers three free levels of migration that are sure to fit your style. And while dotdigital offers data migration options that are similar to Drip, their options will take a stab at your bank account.
Ready to test Drip for yourself? Grab a free 14-day trial today.