Comparison Outline
16 min read

Drip vs. Iterable


Ever wondered how Drip Ecommerce CRM really measures up against Iterable? Well, wonder no more! Here we have a no-holds-barred comparison of two platforms that were both built to help your business flourish.

And for the record, we want you to know that we’re going to cut the mumbo-jumbo fluff in this comparison. We won’t plug in weird labels that don’t mean anything to you or fill the page with garbage jargon. And we plain won’t stack the deck in our favor. We also won’t let this review sit stagnant when either of us reveals new features and functionality.

Ultimately, we want the same thing you do: success for your online shop so you can live the awesome life you’ve always wanted.

This comparison features nine ecommerce email marketing software essentials that should be considered when choosing your next platform. See how Drip and Iterable meet each must-have, then make the best decision for your online shop.

1. Plays Nice with Facebook

Us: If you’re looking for a platform that plays nice with Facebook, then have we got news for you. Drip integrates directly with Facebook Custom Audiences and Facebook Lead Ads for extra smooth and effective advertising.  

Looking to make your online shop’s Facebook ads relevant, smart, and personal? No problem! Drip’s Facebook Custom Audiences integration lets you automatically add or remove people based on which products they just bought or what pages they visit on your site. Start, stop, and change the ads your customers see based on the actions they take. So, when Craig buys some new kicks from your store, you can start showing him relevant ads for similarly rad shoes at the right time, in the right place.

Don’t mind me, I’m just setting up a rule that’ll show someone more ads for Adidas shoes after they buy some from my shoe store.

Drip also integrates directly with Facebook Lead Ads to help you grow your audiences by collecting information from people interested in becoming your customers. When someone clicks on a Lead Ad and enters their contact info, that info automatically gets sent directly into your Drip account.

You can have the submission of a Lead Ad trigger numerous reactions, like adding a tag, delivering a lead magnet, starting a workflow, and more. Plus, you’ll have that info for all your automation needs to come.

Drip is all about making sure your ecommerce business can engage with all people no matter where they spend their time. Some people aren’t that into email, and that’s OK! Whatever their reason for not being a subscriber, Drip lets you connect with customers beyond the inbox. Engage through multichannel workflows, SMS, social media retargeting (like Facebook and Instagram), and hyper-personalized transactional emails.

Iterable: Like Drip, Iterable also integrates directly with Facebook Custom Audiences for effective ad targeting. Custom Audiences can be created from sources like customer lists and engagement on Facebook, as well as static or dynamic lists from within the platform.

When it comes to Facebook Lead Ads, Iterable isn’t quite as slick as Drip. The platform doesn’t directly integrate with Lead Ads, so in order to merge you’ll need to use a third-party app like Zapier.

Winner: Two direct integrations are better than one. This is a solid win for Drip thanks to its direct connections with both Facebook Custom Audiences and Facebook Lead Ads.

2. Automation Capabilities

Us: Automation. Sweet, easy, hassle-free automation. Really, it’s what dreams are made of. Drip was born from a simple if-this-then-that automation rule, and ever since we’ve been setting the standard for what ecommerce marketing automation can do for you. Create one-step basic rules, as well as email campaigns and multi-step workflows that automatically move customers along their journeys.

Basic rules are if-this-then-that rules you control so that a customer’s action triggers a reaction (or multiple reactions, if that’s your jam). Create a rule that automatically sends a welcome email to a new customer, or make a rule like “if someone views the page for baseball caps two times, send them a baseball caps coupon.”

When you wanna automate past that first step, though, workflows have your back. Workflows are one of Drip’s secret sauces that spices up your ecommerce marketing automation. They’re automated paths that take your customers on unique journeys based on their actions to give them the best experience possible.

In each workflow you can designate what customer actions trigger which outcomes, and incorporate any campaign, integration, Facebook ad, and beyond. Make workflows as flexible or detailed as you’d like or choose from our pre-made visual workflows.

Iterable: Iterable’s platform is focused on goal-driven marketing that is fully automated. Campaigns and segments can be created through its drag-and-drop Workflow Studio. Workflow Designer lets users build workflows without having to know code.

In Iterable, workflows can be built to create email campaigns that are triggered by a customer’s action, a custom event, or by directly triggering the workflow. If you’re looking to create a welcome campaign or a cart abandonment drip campaign, triggers and actions are easy to set up and filters and delays can also be applied between action nodes for easy customization.

Winner: Both platforms offer great options when it comes to automation capabilities, but Drip pulls ahead because of its pre-made visual workflows that are eager to help you put back more time in your day. They’re built to highlight some of the best revenue-generating workflows, and are readily available for whenever you want to flip them on.

3. Visual Builder

Us: In some platforms, workflows can get complex. One minute you’re looking at a clear-cut map that shows exactly where your customers are headed, then the next minute—after adding in a few goals, delays, and triggers—you’re staring at a chaotic workflow that resembles a Jackson Pollock painting.

You don’t have to worry about that mess here. At Drip, we’re all about intuitive visuals like color coding, clear pathways between steps, and easy-to-follow workflow mapping. Our Visual Workflow Builder is as easy to use as a whiteboard. Add, remove, and adjust goals, rules, and tags without ever getting lost, and see how people are entering workflows and which branches they’re following.

And if that isn’t enough, check out our point-and-click Visual Email Builder that gives you complete control over how your emails look and feel (or stick to the Text Builder or importing HTML templates). Create and preview image-driven emails without ever having to touch any code.

If you aren’t sure where to start, we have some pretty sweet Visual templates waiting for you.

Iterable: From a visual perspective, Iterable’s workflows are easy on the eyes because of color-coded nodes that represent triggers, actions, and filters. Nodes can be dragged to desired positions within the workflow and can be linked to any other nodes you want to follow or precede.

When it comes to creating email or push campaigns, Iterable lets you import HTML email templates and design templates from scratch. It relies on three different types of template editors: WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) Editor, Drag and Drop Editor, and Side by Side Editor.

The WYSIWYG Editor is the main default editor for any new project in Iterable, but it does require some knowledge of HTML and CSS. Side by Side Editor also requires proficiency in HTML and CSS, so it’s not great for new users. If you’re looking for an editor that’s user-friendly, Drag and Drop Editor is by far the easiest because it doesn’t require any HTML or CSS experience and it allows for image uploading.

Winner: If you’re looking for extreme flexibility and user-friendliness, Drip takes the whole cake here. Workflows are a cinch to create, and when it comes to putting together emails, you won’t have to mess around with any code if you don’t want.

4. Individual Customer Journeys

Us: Drip’s visual customer timelines give you a front row view into how customers are interacting with your business. When you click on a customer’s profile, you enter a completely visual customer timeline that highlights everything your customer has been up to. See how long it takes someone to go from signing up to making a purchase, and examine the differences between your most engaged customers and the customers you want to become more engaged.

And with one of Drip’s latest features—Workflow Split Testing—your ecommerce business will have a front row ticket to see exactly which experiences drive the most revenue, highest average order value, and even the most site visits. Test entire workflows or just bits and pieces to see how your marketing efforts are performing for specific customers. 

You can set workflows or rules to trigger when someone makes a purchase, views a product, or performs a custom action on your site. For example, set a workflow to start for someone when they view a specific product, like a handmade bar of soap, then send them down a unique experience that provides helpful information about how that specific bar was made, and why it will make their hands softer than any other bar of soap in the world.

Iterable: Iterable’s user profile view gives you a complete overview of a person, including their message channel and list subscriptions, email interactions, custom events, and message channel preferences. Fields and events are reflected in real-time as they come into the platform.

When it comes to analyzing data about your customers, Iterable’s Intelligence Suite analyzes each customer’s digital body language to figure out the best time to send a message, the best channel to send it through (email, mobile, or web), and the best frequency in which to send.

Iterable recently launched Brand Affinity Scoring, which tracks how users interact with a particular brand to identify your power users to maximize retention and track which customers are likely to churn. Overall, the scoring uncovers opportunities for more message and campaign refinements.  

Winner: While Drip and Iterable both score points for customer profile viewing, Drip pulls out ahead in the dash to the finish line thanks to its Split Testing feature. Drip lets you see exactly how your customers are engaging with your business, then helps you optimize every strategy—what could be easier? From there, you can use that information to further enhance your automations and customer experiences.

5. Segmentation Capabilities

Us: At Drip, we prefer to focus on people. We know that everyone comes from different sources and takes different actions on their way to your online store's checkout. To better understand the people who interact with your brand, Drip uses tag- and event-based segmentation to sort and talk to everyone no matter their journey.

Applying tags lets you add visual identifiers to better understand their behavior and engagement level. Tag customers based on things like names, custom fields, actions they take, and everything beyond so that you can send them personalized content that really hits home.

Events are similar to tags, but the biggest difference is that they record dates and keep track of the number of times an event has occurred such as “made a purchase” or “submitted a form.” This way you can segment customers by the number of purchases they’ve made, or if they made a purchase during a certain time, like on Cyber Monday or Small Business Saturday, for instance.

Drip’s new Shopper Activity API is another handy-dandy tool that allows for even more segmentation opportunities. The API lets you segment people in your store based on specific items and brands they’ve purchased.  

Filtering by events is awesome in identifying things like your fiercely loyal customers.

With Drip’s beefy segmentation capabilities, you’re able to make segments that are as niche or broad as you want so that your broadcast emails, workflows, or campaigns are always as meaningful as possible to the people receiving them.

Iterable: Iterable also lets you create targeted customer segments for effective marketing messages. Its segmentation tool is based on lists and it lets you segment across your audience to make dynamic or static lists.

A dynamic list saves a query, so any time you edit, view, or access the list, it searches and returns matching users. For example, a dynamic list could search for people who have clicked on an email within the past 30 days.

When it comes to a static list—also known as a “standard list”—the email addresses don’t change over time unless a user is manually added or removed. The segmentation tool lets you create a static list and multiple lists can be created with one query.

Winner: While list-based platforms are alright when you don’t have a critical need for deeper segmentation, lists don’t allow you to really get up close and personal with customers. Drip snags another win thanks to its tag-based segmentation and how much that allows you to understand your customers even more.

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6. Fit Your Stack

Us: With nearly 100 application integrations (and counting), Drip makes it a piece of cake to up your marketing capabilities. We integrate natively with big players like Shopify, Facebook, and more.

And if we don’t integrate? No worries! Our cream-of-the-crop API (Application Programming Interface) can easily connect Drip to your other tools. Or there are always alternative integrations possible through Zapier and other third-party middleware sites.

Iterable: Iterable integrates with quite a few big names such as Segment, Magento, Mixpanel, Shopify, and Google Analytics. The platform also integrates with Zapier for even more options.

Winner: While Iterable integrates with some big names, its list is not nearly as extensive as Drip’s. Take a look at each platform’s integration list and see which one meets your existing stack best. The less you have to spend on third-party integration sites every month, the better, amiright?

7. Ease of Implementation

Us: It's not unusual for Drip customers to go from signing up to sending emails and building automations in the same day. With live chat support (live chat available 7 am – 7 pm CT, Mon. - Fri.), a very user-friendly interface, how-to videos, the MyDrip learning hub, and more, there are a lot of resources at your disposal to help you get set up.

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.

Like I said, you can do all of this on your own if you’d like, and if at any time you hit a snag or have a question, feel free to chat or email with our support team. 

Iterable: Iterable’s onboarding process begins with an Onboarding Call and an account manager that hooks you up with a manager in the Customer Success department. The company provides a customized version of its Onboarding Workbook that gives you info on the pre-work you’ll need to complete before the general onboarding begins.

How much will this onboarding process cost? This remains an unsolved mystery.

Winner: If your eye has resumed its nervous twitching after reading about Iterable’s data migration services, then Drip is your clear winner. It’s hard to go wrong with a platform that offers so many resources, live chat support, and consultation services to fit your needs and goals.

8. Is it Built for Humans?

Us: Drip was built for you. Yes, you—the busy online marketer looking to grow your business, reach your goals, and take over the world (insert evil laugh here). OK … maybe world domination isn’t on your radar … but hey, we support big dreams.

By the people, for the people!

Drip’s platform is down-to-earth, clutter-free, and visually driven. From color-coded actions in our Workflow Builder to our point-and-click Visual Email Builder, everything within Drip’s platform was created to make your online marketing life easier.

Because we know how much personalized communication means to your and your customers, we make sure content is quick and easy to tailor. Email copy is able to automatically update for each of your individual customers and highlight your top-selling products, make product recommendations, send dynamic discounts, and even entice shoppers back to their abandoned cart through price-drop notifications (or install pre-made Product Price Drop Sharable Workflows).

And if you do happen to run into a pickle, shoot us an email or give us a chat—our support team is ready to answer any questions you have with live support for anyone with a Basic plan and up. We also have an extensive Knowledge Base and a blog written to explain common issues in simple ways.

Iterable: Overall, Iterable is user-friendly. If you’re looking to create workflows, you shouldn’t run into much trouble. Large, color-coded nodes are easy to understand and paint a clear picture of exactly where your customers are headed.

Iterable has a resources center that provides users with everything from case studies to blog posts to reports. There’s also a support area within the platform where you can find answers to most any standard question.

One big area that the platform loses user-friendly points on is its Template Editor. While its Drag and Drop Editor lets you upload images and doesn’t require HTML or CSS experience, the platform’s other two editors—WYSIWYG Editor and Side by Side Editor—do require HTML and CSS knowledge. That’s a bummer if you don’t know anything about those acronyms.

Winner: If you like HTML, CSS, an editor with a name that has no business being abbreviated (WYSIWYG), and a nervous eye twitch, you’ll probably like Iterable. If you dislike everything in the previous sentence and prefer simplicity, we have one word: Drip.

9. Workflows You Can Set Goals In

Us: Drip lets you set goals inside of automated workflows. When inside a workflow, a goal is a specific step you want your customer to hit, such as “made a purchase.” Once a customer hits that specific goal, they’re automatically sent forward within the workflow.

What does this mean? It means that you’ll save your customers from unnecessary emails telling them to do something they’ve already done, like “make a purchase” or “view a product page.” Goals keep your customers (and their email inboxes) happy.

Iterable: The closest Iterable comes to goals within workflows falls within its workflow triggers area. Setting the trigger node of a workflow determines when a user will enter a specific workflow. For example, once a customer adds an item to their cart, they can enter a “shopping cart abandonment” workflow that will send them a reminder email if a purchase isn’t made within a set amount of time.

Winner: If we sound a bit like a song on repeat, you’re right, you’re right, you’re right. Drip snags another win because goals are just one more way to make sure your marketing is dancing to the beat of each of your customers.  

Iterable vs. Drip: The Verdict

At the end of the day, both Drip and Iterable at least touch on each of these nine email marketing necessities, but one platform probably aligns closer to your ecommerce needs right now.

If you’re looking for a cross-channel platform that will get the job done, Iterable won’t disappoint you. Navigating the platform is relatively straightforward, its Workflow Studio lets you put together easy-to-follow workflows that are color-coded, and the Iterable Intelligence Suite helps you fine-tune the best ways to reach out to your customers.

However, there are a couple of areas where Iterable falls short. When it comes to segmentation capabilities, Iterable relies on lists while Drip relies on tags. List-based segmentation is fine if you don’t plan on digging too deep into your list. But if you’re looking to really focus in on your customers and you’re looking to connect with them in meaningful ways, Drip’s tag- and event-based segmentation is the way to go.

Iterable also stumbles when it comes to data migration options. The cost of its onboarding process isn’t detailed anywhere on the platform’s website, and you’ll have to go through a lot of pre-work before the onboarding process even gets underway. Drip offers three different levels of migration, with two of the services being completely free.  

Are you ready to go above and beyond? Try Drip free for two weeks to see how your business can benefit.

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