It can seem like a big endeavor to trust and pick a new marketing automation platform to grow your ecommerce business. After all, your blood, sweat and (probably) tears have gone into building up your brand. We respect that hustle and want to help you make a smart decision.
With this comparison, you will get a side-by-side rundown of Drip and HubSpot. We’ll give you the simple, jargon-free pros and cons of both platforms as this reviews takes you through the nine essentials of ecommerce email marketing software. We believe these nine points are critical to think about when choosing the right platform for you because they’re essential to growing your business (and making more money).
Because we’re confident in our product, we won’t be leaving out any details on either Drip or HubSpot. Our goal is to be honest and thorough, so you can make an educated decision. As either platform adds or changes a feature, we’ll give our comparison an update, too. So go ahead, learn more about what Drip and HubSpot can bring to your business.
1. Plays nice with Facebook
Us: Drip is totally into Facebook and its massive base of active users. There’s a ton of potential there, and we want to get you tapped in. The platform comes with a few ways to engage people on Facebook and harness their buying power. One way is to generate new leads for potential sales, and the other is to is to build better custom Facebook Ad Audiences.
When you integrate Drip with Facebook Lead Ads, Facebook users who click on your ad and enter their email or other info will be instantly sent to Drip as a ”lead.” From there, Drip can automatically send the customer the email campaign of your choosing, add them to a workflow, or more. You can pick from countless reactions that work for your ecommerce business.
Big on Facebook advertising? Us too. Put Drip to work finessing your Facebook Custom Audiences. Set the platform up to automatically add or remove people from your custom audience based on their actions. What emails do they read? Did they buy a product? Did they abandon a cart on your website? All these factors can automatically change your audiences and the ads they see with perfect timing in their customer journey.
HubSpot: HubSpot’s integration with Facebook runs deep. Like, so deep that it’s a badged “Facebook Marketing Partner.” A big pro of this integration is that it doesn’t just work with Facebook pages, but it also works with also Instagram accounts and Facebook Messenger. Let’s dive deeper.
With this platform, you can publish and schedule posts directly to Instagram to make social media posting easier and faster. HubSpot also supports Facebook posting. It’s especially helpful with video posting, so your multimedia efforts get the most reach possible. Use the platform to monitor mentions of your social accounts and get suggestions on the best times to post. All of this in one convenient place.
Like Drip, HubSpot also supports Facebook Lead Ads. Once the two are connected, Facebook lead info will be automatically sent into HubSpot. From there you can follow up with a campaign and other custom targeted advertising. You’ll also get to see the analytics from your ads and the return on your investment in order to make smarter decisions moving forward.
When it comes to Facebook though, HubSpot has one very unique feature: Facebook Messenger integration. You can set automatic message replies, create a customer service bot, and use Messenger plans to get it all started. Meet your customers where they are with this very fancy feature.
Winner: What’s your No. 1 pain point when it comes to Facebook? If you answer is analyzing how much money you make from Facebook, then HubSpot is your winner with its deeply detailed data dashboard (but expect a tacked on $100 monthly fee for the Ads Add-on). If your answer is making high-value ad audiences, then turn to Drip with its Custom Audience automation that takes making the perfect custom audience off your plate.
2. Automation Capabilities
Us: Drip’s smart automated platform boasts if-this-then-that rules and automated workflows. This system is designed for practically endless automation possibilities across your whole marketing stack.
Basically, if a person triggers a rule or workflow, it will kickstart the reaction of your choosing with perfect timing and context for each unique customer. You can even design automations to trigger multiple reactions.
Take this for example: If you set up a rule initiating a welcome email to all new customers that sends the moment someone makes their first purchase, they will get that email while they’re engaged and excited. It’s the perfect time to solidify the relationship, so don’t miss your shot to do so. (Don’t want it sent right away? Add a rule for a time delay. You can choose and much or as little time as you want.)
Drip’s goal is to make automation and rules as flexible and broad or as niche and personal as you want. Explore the platform to see how easy it is to add rules and build a workflow. If that’s a little out of your comfort zone right out the gate, there are pre-made workflows ready and waiting for you and your biz.
HubSpot: Rid your days of repetitive grunt work with HubSpot’s automation systems. Using dozens of triggers, conditions, and actions, you can create workflows for various situations. All of those factors can trigger automatic email campaigns meant to fit that person’s specific situation at the perfect time. With automated campaigns and workflows, you’ll easily move prospective customers down the funnel and strengthen your relationship with them in the long-run.
Workflows and emails aren’t the only ways to set your work on autopilot with HubSpot. Their email marketing automation also helps tailor content, offers, and ads on platforms, like Facebook. They also offer a diverse range of automation software for customer service and sales teams.
Winner: HubSpot racks up a couple extra points when it comes to automation. Both Drip and HubSpot are comparable when it comes to building smart automated rules and workflows, but the ability to add sales teams and customer service to your automations tips the scale.
3. Visual Builder
Us: Creating workflows can feel intimidating, but our visual builder is designed to make the process as intuitive as possible. You don’t need to be a programer to be a workflow master. Let us provide you the drawing board!
Easily add, remove and adjust rules, goals, and tags in our visual workflow builder without ever getting lost in the project. You have countless possibilities in your workflow, and the builder makes it easy to understand with clear paths between actions, color-coded steps, and labels that tell a clear story at a glance.
Beyond workflows, Drip lets you create design-driven emails with an intuitive point-and-click Visual Email Builder. No coding necessary, just point, click, and send beautifully branded emails.
HubSpot: Having an easy-to-use platform is really essential when it comes to marketing automation. HubSpot is no exception to this. The workflow builder makes it easy to visualize and customize workflows to engage people. Doesn’t matter if it’s a simple follow-up email or a complex, multi-branch journey, HubSpot’s visual editor makes the process painless.
Beyond email, there’s actually a lot you can design on HubSpot using visual, drag-and-drop editors. Need to design a fancy-looking email template, calls-to-action, or an entire responsive website, but don’t know how to code? HubSpot’s got that covered too.
Winner: If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that will help you build your website, you should check out HubSpot (if your budget lets you, that is). When it comes to crafting automated workflows and visual emails, both HubSpot and Drip will satiate that hunger.
4. Individual Customer Journeys
Us: We know you want to grow, grow, grow your audience, but we can also help you understand your customers’ journeys to your product. Use Drip’s visual customer timelines to look at habits in-depth and how they relate to your ecommerce business. You can see how long it took for someone to make a purchase or which email campaign converted them.
Why go through all the trouble though? When you know the habits of different types of followers, you can improve your marketing strategy. Try a new tactic, or design a new campaign to score more repeat customers.
Drip has even simplified this process with data science! Lead Scoring assigns points to people for different actions. It can also take points away. For example, a person will get points for buying an item, but will have points taken away for cancelling an order. Scores ultimately help you send more targeted emails, coupons, phone calls and other marketing to people.
HubSpot: Similar to Drip, you can also take people and promising customers through a unique journey with HubSpot’s software. Workflows and segmentation can take specific customers on unique paths toward conversion. Then, take a look at your followers in a holistic way using the platform’s analytic reports.
Check out all the data you want about your email campaigns and websites, and make decisions about what is working and what needs to be adjusted. HubSpot also updates contacts to include their most recent interactions with your business. You can use this lead management tool to create hyper-targeted campaigns so you can seal the deal on more sales.
Winner: Since both HubSpot and Drip drive customers down unique customer journeys based on the real-life actions they’re taking thanks to workflows, you could call this a tie. If you are looking for heftier data dashboards, though, HubSpot is your answer.
5. Segmentation Capabilities
Us: Drip’s people-centric, flexible segmentation allows you to really capture the essence of your customers. Everyone is different (duh), which means everyone lands on your company’s radar in a different way. That’s why we make it possible to automatically label each person’s experience with various tags—anything from locations, dates, choices a person made, or even choices they didn’t make.
Tags don’t have to pigeonhole people into just one label, either. With Drip’s platform, someone can be a “cat_person” AND a “dog_person.” Or “like_milkshakes” AND “like_malts.” From there, filter people by one or multiple tags to better understand and market to a group within your audience. With more understanding comes better marketing that will pique their interest at the perfect time.
HubSpot: On HubSpot, segments are more commonly called “filters” and it applies to more than just contacts with the software’s many available services. You can also filter by companies, deals, and tickets.
There are default and custom filter properties to use, so it’s easy to adapt segmentation to your needs. Once you’ve created a filtered list to your liking, you can save that filter and easily go back to it later. Use filters to create more effective campaigns for different groups within your pool of leads and customers.
Winner: While you can also segment people inside of HubSpot, Drip wins here. Tag-based segmentation ensures you won’t be sending 2X (or more) the number of emails to people who might be on more than one list (like if one person was on both lists I happened to be emailing). HubSpot’s reliance on list-based segmentation throttles its ability to segment as deeply as Drip.
6. Fit Your Stack
Us: With Drip, you never have to worry that your others tools won’t fit right with the platform. We love to show off the 100 applications Drip already integrates with. Plus, we’re adding more all the time, making integration with your other apps as easy as one click.
You may ask, “What if Drip doesn’t integrate with tool XYZ?” We’ve got you covered. Our top-notch API (Application programming interface) allows virtually any tool to talk to Drip’s platform. You get access to an in-depth API library to customize your experience. And remember: the more tools you integrate, the more you will learn about people.
HubSpot: There’s no need to stress over how your current tools will fit in with HubSpot—the platform is ready to connect you with its extensive stack of apps. There are a little over 200 integrations already verified or in beta testing.
If you can’t find what you need, you can just develop your own. Their developer space comes with an API documentation library, including info on CRM extensions, timelines and webhooks. You could even get your work certified later with HubSpot. This is great if you have nimble developers already on your team.
Winner: Because of two thick integration portfolios and open API documentation, Drip and HubSpot tie in this contest. Both marketing automation apps will have you swapping info and setting up automations with your website, payment processor, ecommerce platform, and more without a single hiccup.
7. Ease of Implementation
Us: One of the spookiest parts of deciding on a new tool for your ecommerce business is the fear of moving over your lists, templates, and everything else you’ve been counting on to keep up and running.
It can be a bit of a headache, but if done wrong it can leave you with a killer migraine. That’s why Drip has developed various levels of implementation services to make the process simple and smooth if you don't want to go it alone. Each level has different benefits and levels of assistance to support everyone from one-person shops to large multi-team companies.
But if you're totally down to get set up by yourself (which is a very popular and doable idea), we have loads of how-to videos, Knowledge Base articles, blog posts, webinars, 24/7 chat and email support, and more to help you along the way.
HubSpot: With HubSpot’s platform comes a variety of options for onboarding and data migration based on your ecommerce company’s needs. Your options run from simply importing spreadsheets to the platform yourself, to having onsite onboarding help.
Don’t have much data to work with? A how-to guide will take you through the process of cleaning and importing your data at no cost. For more support, HubSpot has a data migration service, as well as “professional” and “enterprise” onboarding services—for a price. In the end, there’s a good option for any business out there looking for migration assistance.
Winner: The variety of consultation and implementation service levels offered by Drip, along with their 24/7 support if you're setting up on your own, is really tough to beat. A close call, but Drip gets this one.
8. Is It Built For Humans?
Us: An ecommerce marketing automation platform can come with all the features in the world, but if it’s cluttered and poorly designed, it becomes totally useless. At Drip, we’ve spent a lot of time designing our platform to ensure it’s intuitive to use and learn. You really (really) don’t have to be a techie to use Drip and see mega results.
If you do hit a problem while working in Drip, there are plenty of very human options to go to for support. Everyone with a Basic plan or up has access to live chat support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
No matter the method, the nerds over in Drip will guide you through a quick solution. Our Knowledge Base and blog also explain everyday issues and how to solve them on your own. Plus, we’re adding more posts all the time. You can even turn to peers (other reliable Drip users) in Facebook groups for advice. You don’t just get a service with Drip, you get a whole community of people dedicated to success.
HubSpot: HubSpot’s platform has a lot to offer. Like, seriously, A LOT. It can feel pretty overwhelming when you see all their different services in one spot, but they’ve kept a simple and sweet design to help users navigate it all.
Sections you’re not signed up for are even kept “locked” so you don’t get lost wandering around a system you don’t need. As we talked about earlier, many of HubSpot’s essential automation tools are visual and meant for everyday people to use. Whether it’s a workflow or email campaign, the builders are easy on the eyes and therefore easy on your building process.
Plus, HubSpot comes with a solid support network. If you’re a paying customer, you’ll be able to submit support tickets or call a helpline. For free accounts, the HubSpot Community forum is the place to ask questions and get solutions.
Winner: With deep knowledge bases, a good variety of customer support options, and supportive communities from people just like you, Drip and HubSpot tie when it comes to helping people succeed on these platforms.
9. Workflows You Can Set Goals In
Us: At Drip, we firmly believe that every person has a unique journey with your business and products. We have mad respect that journey and want to make the experience fun for people so they stick around long-term. Because we don’t want people to ever be overwhelmed with ads, emails, and other marketing messaging, you can create goals within our workflows.
When creating a workflow, you can set a custom goal, like “made a purchase” or “viewed my product page.” If a person meets your goal while inside a workflow, even if they’re in the middle of it, they are picked up from that point and resume the workflow from the goal.
So if they buy something and hit your goal of “made a purchase,” they’ll be pulled from whatever email campaign they’re in an pulled to a more relevant place in the flow. They won’t receive repetitive emails. They won’t get nagging ads. They’ll only get get the next steps in the workflow.
HubSpot: As you already know, workflow goals are pretty darn important. Not only do they help measure the success of your workflows, but they also build a healthy relationship with people.
No one wants to ever feel bombarded with ads and emails telling them to buy something after they’ve already bought it. HubSpot is one of the few automation platforms to offer workflow goals outside of Drip.
This is how it works: Before a workflow action begin, the platform checks to see if the contact has fulfilled the goal, and if they did, the action will not be initiated. Instead, the contact will be unenrolled from that workflow.
What’s more is that goals don’t just pull people forward in the workflow, but instead, goals in HubSpot pull people out of the workflow entirely. The only catch? Goals in HubSpot are only available to marketing professional and enterprise subscriptions (AKA, paid subscriptions).
Winner: Drip comes out ahead when it comes to goals in workflows. While these two platforms both solve the problem of keeping people in workflows even after they’ve reached a goal, the fact that Drip lets you choose to keep people in the workflow after the goal is ideal.
This lets you build workflows with multiple goals instead of having to build an entirely new workflow for each goal.
HubSpot vs. Drip: The Verdict
Drip and HubSpot both have a whole lot to offer, but you might still be wondering which is right for your ecommerce business.
HubSpot has a wide range of features—and not just for marketing. They also have platforms for sales and customer service teams. All three platforms inside HubSpot are stacked with useful integrations and tools to save companies time through automation. Features like domain hosting (for one URL) and social media scheduler are huge perks if you’re looking to have your entire team run on the same platform. That way it’s easy to find everything in one spot.
However, such a big system comes at a cost. The more features and platforms you want to use, the more it will cost you. Help with data migration could cost you big time and so can adding multiple people from your team on to your platform. Want goals in your workflow? That will cost you, too.
If you want impactful features like lead scoring, event-based segmentation, and custom event triggers (which are all foundational features in Drip, even in our Forever Free plan) with HubSpot, expect to shell out at least $2,400 every month.
If you don’t have deep, deep (seriously deep) pockets, Drip provides a lot more flexibility when automating your email marketing. With customizable tags, segments, workflows, and individual timelines, Drip champions businesses looking to go above and beyond to know people.
And the goals that make the whole experience stress-free and positive? That doesn’t cost extra.
While HubSpot is trying to build an all-in-one marketing platform, the costs it passes onto its customers so they get the best parts of marketing automation are astronomical. Marketing automation is the sun of Drip’s solar system, and we would never charge more for the features that help you the most.
Your support options are also wider with Drip’s support chat and Facebook communities. If you’re ready to be part of a community dedicated to your business’ success, Drip is ready for you to join up.