Comparison Outline
6 min read

Drip vs. Mailchimp

At A Glance

Mailchimp is far from the new kid on the block. It’s pretty much become synonymous with email marketing over the years. However, marketers looking to take their efforts to the next level, particularly those marketing an ecommerce brand, will quickly find themselves looking for Mailchimp alternatives as they become frustrated by a lack of more robust features. Read on to see our comparison between the two platforms. 

Customer Data

Winner: Drip, for segmentation and targeting abilities that go beyond simple email marketing.

Customer Data
Tagging
Custom Fields
Event Tracking
List Pruning 
Behavior Tracking 
Engagement Tracking 

Drip: All people are stored in the “People” tab, where you can tag and upload your list. You’ll find tools to go deeper in your customer data as well, like the ability to see who isn’t interacting with your emails, who has unsubscribed, and suggested actions for each group. You’ll also find segments in the “People” tab, which is where you can utilize tagging and tracking features to really hone in on your customers. Drip automatically suggests some segments for you, but there’s really no limit on what you can use as criteria for segmenting. Things like purchase history, email engagement, and recent unsubscribes can all be used to create a new segment. 

Mailchimp: Under the “Audience” tab, you’ll find several options for tagging contacts, from simple manual tagging to event tracking. These tags will also allow you to create new segments. The major downside here is that subscribers who appear in multiple segments count twice, meaning you could end up paying twice. While these options are certainly enough for basic contact creation and segmentation, Drip’s more robust features take the cake here. 

Email Builder

Winner: Drip, for stupid simple drag-and-drop editing, liquid templating, and WYSIWYG design. 

Email Builder
Easy to Use
Shiny, Pretty Templates
Liquid Templating 
Expiring Links 
Product Content Blocks 
Recommended Products 
Top-Selling Products 
Abandoned Products 
Abandoned Cart URLS 

Drip: There are two kinds of emails within the Drip platform: broadcasts and automation emails. Broadcasts are one-off promotional emails for things like announcing a sale. Drip gives you several options for setting up emails like this, with preloaded templates you can choose from, as well as the option to start completely from scratch. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, the platform gives you plenty of options and recommendations for audiences, design, and content creation.

For those who know a thing or two, Drip is like going from a station wagon to a sports car. Build completely customizable emails using the full HTML builder, display dynamic information with liquid templating, or send stress-free scarcity emails with handy features like expiring URLs. 

Mailchimp: Campaigns live under the campaign tab in Mailchimp, along with automations, retargeting ads, and...literally everything else under the sun. This gets a little bit confusing, but for the most part, you can figure out where everything goes with a bit of digging. There are several Mailchimp templates to choose from as well.

Automation

Winner: Drip, for robust, 100% customizable workflows and options that allow users to go beyond standard automations, as well as a seriously powerful visual builder.

Automation
Visual Workflow Builder 
If-This-Then-That Rules 
Workflow Dashboards 
Split Test Automations 
Split Testing
SMS 
Facebook Audience Integration 
Workflow Library 

Drip: Automations live under their own tab in Drip, with multiple options available. Workflows allow you to use Drips visual marketing automation builder to visually layout the nearly endless options for your strategies. Set up marketing automation emails in workflows, which are your set-it-and-forget-it emails that will trigger with no effort on your part. You’ll also find rules, which automate simple one-step actions. The number of options and customizable triggers are nearly endless. 

Mailchimp: You’ll find automations in their own tab in Mailchimp as well, but the options are far more limited than with Drip. This is where you’ll map out customer journeys, set up transactional emails, and retargeting campaigns.

If you’re a Shopify customer, you’ll likely find the lack of built-in Shopify integration especially frustrating when it comes to setting up automations. Mailchimp recommends using a third-party app to do pretty much everything related to automatic responses, and on top of that, you can expect to pay additional fees for these services. 

Outside the Inbox

Winner: Drip, for point and click form design and branding, crazy simple SMS, and laser-precise remarketing.

Outside the Inbox
Forms
Show/Hide Forms to Segments 
Built-In SMS 
Facebook Custom Audiences 
Behavior Tracking 

Drip: For a holistic view of customer activity both inside and outside the inbox, Drip is where it’s at. Social ads integrate seamlessly through Facebook Lead Ads, which means all of your reporting is in one place for each customer. Target customers who clicked a product in an email with a social ad, and vice versa. This is an area where Drip really shines as an alternative to Mailchimp. 

Mailchimp: Things outside of the inbox are all found in a few places within the Mailchimp platform. Forms can be found within the Audience tab, and social ads and other content can be created in the content studio. It’s a slightly scattered approach, and users are limited to mostly pre-built options. 

Integrations

Winner: Mailchimp has more integrations available, but if you’re an ecommerce business, you’ll find Drip’s integrations hard to beat, from a robust Shopify integration to a Shopper API that plugs custom stores straight into their data.

Drip: Even if you aren’t an ecommerce marketer, you’ll still find a robust suite of integrations that can supercharge your marketing efforts within Drip. However, ecommerce marketers will love the native Shopify integration as well as the other ecomm-specific integrations supported by Drip. Plus, Drip gives stores with custom carts and interfaces access to all customer data with the Shopper Activity API, giving users instant access to all of their customer data. 

Mailchimp: It’s hard to compete with Mailchimp on this front because it has been around for so long. Comparing the sheer number of integrations available between the two platforms, you’ll notice the ‘chimp integrates with more platforms. However, for ecommerce marketers specifically, certain integrations require the use of third-party apps and workarounds that can get incredibly clunky. 

A/B Split Testing

Winner: Drip, for ease of setup and the ability to add up to four tests in an email, as well as the ability to split test entire automations.

A/B Testing
Split test email elements like subject line, header, etc
Split test emails within automations 
Split test entire automations 

Drip: With the ability to test traditional email components like subject lines and content to more complex features like entire automations, the possibilities are nearly endless if you want to know which automations are outperforming and earning the most revenue. 

Drip has some seriously powerful A/B testing options, such as:

  • The performance of an email vs an SMS message vs an MMS message

  • Three emails compared to two in an abandoned cart series

  • Whether sending an email is as effective as sending an email and showing them an ad on Facebook 

Drip also offers subject line and email content split testing in broadcast emails, showing the open rates, click rates, unsubscribe, and revenue associated with each variation, so you know which emails are most effective for your audience. 

Mailchimp: Mailchimp does offer a few automations within its platform, but they’re pretty basic. If you’re one of the many Shopify customers utilizing a third-party app to connect to your store, you face additional challenges and fees when setting up your campaigns. The lack of visual builder and ability to split test automations will likely be frustrating in the long run.