Choosing the right email marketing platform is a crucial decision for any business owner. Drip and Mailchimp are two of the most popular options, but they have key differences. In this comparison article, we’ll evaluate both platforms across several criteria to help you determine which is the better fit for your needs.
We’ll be looking in-depth at Drip vs Mailchimp to compare their market position, ease of use, customization options, features, website performance, customer support, pricing, reviews, and reputation.
With side-by-side comparisons across these key evaluation criteria, you’ll have the information you need to confidently choose the best email marketing platform for your business goals and budget. Let’s dive in and see how Drip and Mailchimp stack up.
1. Understanding the Basics
Drip and Mailchimp have become leading choices in the email marketing industry, though they have different origins.
Drip was founded in 2013 by Rob Walling and Mike Perham as a simplified alternative to complex email platforms. It focuses solely on email marketing for small businesses. Drip has become one of the most popular options in the niche, touting over 50,000 customers.
Mailchimp entered the scene much earlier in 2001. Founded by Ben Chestnut and Mark Armstrong, it has expanded beyond email into a full marketing automation platform. Mailchimp now powers marketing for over 14 million businesses with 800+ employees.
Both have active social media presences and engaged user communities:
Joining these groups can provide opportunities to connect with other users, ask questions, and get feedback on both email marketing software tools. When it comes to market position and popularity, Mailchimp clearly has a broader reach while Drip focuses on serving small business owners.
2. Features and Functionality
Drip provides robust email automation tools to help businesses segment contacts, create workflows, and send timely messages.
You can build sequences to onboard new subscribers, nurture leads, and drive repeat sales. For example, set up a 5-email welcome series to build rapport with new contacts. Or create a campaign targeted to cold leads who haven’t opened in 60 days to re-engage them.
With Drip’s workflow builder, you can create customized multi-step automation using triggers like email opens, form submissions, ecommerce events, and more. Complex branching logic is easy to set up visually without coding.
Other key features of this email marketing tool include segmentation with tags and custom fields to divide contacts based on behaviors or attributes and lifecycle stages to group contacts based on where they are in your sales funnel. Drip also provides email send time optimization to test different delivery times and RSS-to-email to turn blog posts into a newsletter.
Overall, Drip provides a wide range of automation tools tailored to small businesses. The visual workflow builder makes complex sequences easy to set up without technical skills.
Mailchimp also provides powerful automation using its platform Mailchimp Automation.
You can set up simple email drip campaigns or complex multi-channel automation using the drag-and-drop workflow builder. Send automated emails based on subscriber behaviors, integrate with ecommerce platforms, and leverage customer data.
Key automation features include tags and segments to group contacts, triggers like form submissions, purchases, inactivity, and more, multiple campaign types from welcome series to abandoned carts, automation testing capabilities to refine campaigns, and API integrations to activate automation from other platforms.
With Mailchimp, you can get very advanced with your automation using variables, conditional logic, and custom code snippets. The platform is better suited to experienced marketers versus beginners.
Mailchimp offers more robust options for established businesses ready to level up beyond basic email. The downside is the platform may feel overwhelming for brand-new users.
Drip is the winner when it comes to ease of use. Its automation builder is more intuitive and beginner-friendly. Mailchimp provides more advanced options, such as automation split testing, but isn’t as user-friendly for small business owners and ecommerce businesses getting started with their first email marketing automation workflow.
Drip provides professionally designed email templates to help you quickly create on-brand campaigns.
It offers 100+ free templates covering use cases like welcome series, promotions, newsletters, and more. Templates are mobile-optimized and customizable with your own images, colors, and text.
Drip’s template editor makes it easy to drag and drop content blocks without any coding knowledge. You can easily customize templates by swapping out images, changing colors, adding/removing sections, and modifying text styles.
While Drip has beautiful templates, the selection is still limited compared to other platforms. You will likely need to use the same templates repeatedly. There is also no option to save templates if you want to reuse customized versions.
Mailchimp is known for its extensive template library with over 700 free, professionally designed email templates.
Options range from simple one-column newsletters to complex multi-page product announcements and events. Templates are optimized for mobile and pass spam filter tests.
The template editor provides drag-and-drop customization and global style editing capabilities. You can fully brand templates with your images, color schemes, and content without touching code.
Mailchimp also allows you to save customized templates to easily reuse them or create new variations. With frequent new additions, you’ll never run out of unique template options.
The only downside is the expansive template selection could feel overwhelming. Beginners may benefit from Drip’s simplified choices whereas Mailchimp offers limitless possibilities.
Mailchimp wins when it comes to email templates. The nearly endless selection of professionally designed, customizable templates makes it easy to create stunning emails quickly. Drip’s template library is too limited in comparison.
Drip provides robust segmentation tools to divide your contacts into targeted groups.
You can create segments based on email activity like opens, clicks, and conversions. Segments are also customizable using contact fields, tags, custom fields, and other attributes.
Drip lets you build segments using simple drag-and-drop filtering or advanced Boolean logic. Complex nested segments are easy to set up for very precise targeting.
Key segmentation features include email activity tracking for opens, clicks, bounces, goal tracking for conversions and custom events, field-based segments using built-in and custom fields, tag-based segments to categorize contacts, location-based segments by country or postal code, lifecycle stages to group contacts by funnel position, and saving filtered segments for re-use.
With Drip’s flexible segment builder, you can easily divide your audience into highly targeted lists to send more relevant communications.
Mailchimp also provides advanced segmentation capabilities to personalize your messaging.
You can track email activities like opens, clicks, and shares to build behavioral segments. Custom fields and tags make it easy to group contacts based on attributes.
Power users can leverage Mailchimp’s Predictive Audiences using machine learning to discover new segments based on common behaviors and attributes. Complex nesting and Boolean logic allow limitless combinations.
Key features include email engagement tracking, goal and purchase tracking, field-based and tag-based segments, location targeting, Predictive Audiences, segment sharing across users, and segment export for external analysis.
Mailchimp gives enterprises the tools to slice and dice their audiences for hyper-targeted campaigns. The focus on AI-powered recommendations helps marketers discover new opportunities.
Drip and Mailchimp offer similarly powerful segmentation capabilities. Both make it easy to track engagement, build custom fields, use tags, and create complex nested segments without coding. For most small business needs, Drip and Mailchimp are evenly matched when it comes to segmentation flexibility and customization.
Drip provides intuitive email analytics reports to help you track performance.
The dashboard shows high-level engagement metrics like open rate, click rate, and unsubscribe rate. You can drill into individual broadcasts to see opens over time, most clicked links and subscriber activity.
Key reporting features include email overview with top-line performance stats, subscriber activity tracking opens, clicks, bounces, link click tracking to see the most popular content, unsubscribe monitoring, recent activity timeline, campaign-specific reports, segment reporting to analyze by groups, and exporting to CSV or PDF.
Drip’s reports focus on email analytics versus other channels. They provide the core metrics needed for optimization in a clean, easy-to-use interface.
Mailchimp offers powerful analytics both for email and cross-channel reporting.
Email reports provide open-and-click tracking, link analytics, bounce management, and more. You can view real-time campaign stats or schedule automated email reports.
Beyond email, Mailchimp provides insights across your website, ads, landing pages, and other marketing efforts. Integrations with Google Analytics and Facebook provide holistic analysis.
Key analytics features include: email engagement reports with segmentation, automated reporting by email and Slack, cross-channel insight across websites, ads, CRM, etc., e-commerce analytics on product performance, Google Analytics integration, Facebook Ads reporting, and customizable dashboards.
For growing businesses, Mailchimp provides the breadth of analytics needed to optimize complex multi-channel strategies. The focus goes well beyond just email.
Mailchimp wins for analytics. Drip provides solid email reporting but lacks Mailchimp’s cross-channel view. For enterprises with diverse marketing mixes, Mailchimp’s expansive analytics offer greater opportunities for optimization.
One of Drip’s standout features is its focus on delivering email marketing specifically for small businesses.
The platform strips away unnecessary bells and whistles so solopreneurs can send broadcast emails, build sequences, and track analytics without complexity.
Drip also provides excellent customer education through its blog, email courses, and podcasts. Resources like the Conversion Cast teach beginners email marketing strategies step-by-step.
By specializing in friendly tools for small business owners, Drip fills an important niche not covered by sophisticated platforms like Mailchimp.
A key unique feature of Mailchimp is its expansive marketing automation and CRM capabilities beyond email.
Within one platform, you can manage complex customer journeys with email, social ads, web push notifications, surveys, and more. Built-in CRM tools provide insights to customize cross-channel campaigns.
Mailchimp also offers more advanced features like A/B testing and AI-powered audience analysis. Custom coding options are easier for developers to implement.
For growing businesses, Mailchimp is a one-stop shop to create targeted experiences across all touchpoints. The platform scales from beginners to experienced marketers running sophisticated strategies.
Drip and Mailchimp each have unique advantages that appeal to different users. Drip’s simplicity and education focus are ideal for email marketing newbies. Mailchimp’s robust cross-channel features provide value as businesses expand beyond email alone. Both are winners in their own niches.
3. Ease of Use
Drip prides itself on an intuitive user interface tailored for beginners.
The visual drag-and-drop workflow builder makes it easy to create automation and campaigns without technical skills. Key features are laid out in a clean, uncluttered dashboard focused on simplifying email marketing.
Drip uses plain English rather than jargon across the platform. The team believes email marketing shouldn’t require extensive training to understand. Customization is straightforward with easy text, color, and image editing.
The learning curve is gentle. New users can quickly build email lists, create broadcasts, and analyze results. Drip also offers free courses and tutorials if you need extra help.
Overall, Drip focuses entirely on fast usability for small business owners new to email marketing. Experienced marketers may desire more advanced options.
Mailchimp provides a polished user experience but has a steeper learning curve.
The platform offers more features which can initially feel overwhelming. Taking time to navigate through the expansive template and automation options is worthwhile.
Mailchimp tries to balance power and simplicity. Drag-and-drop builders help novice users build emails and landing pages. Advanced users can fine-tune deliverability settings, access raw HTML, and leverage A/B testing tools.
With multiple ways to approach tasks, onboarding takes more time. Mailchimp mitigates this with extensive knowledge resources such as guides, videos, and community forums.
Usability is polished for both beginners and experts but favors marketers comfortable with complexity. Very simple email needs may be better met by Drip.
Drip wins for superior ease of use, especially for email marketing beginners. Its interface focuses exclusively on simple essentials versus Mailchimp’s broader feature set. For small business owners who just want to create good-looking emails, Drip is more approachable.
4. Email Deliverability
Drip focuses on maximizing email deliverability through smart sending practices and deliverability tools.
It provides sender authentication, domain authentication, and DMARC configuration to instill trust. Features like link wrapping and image hosting prevent external content from tripping spam filters.
Drip sends at optimal times based on open and click tracking data. You can schedule sends or allow the platform to queue broadcasts based on past performance.
Other deliverability features include dedicated IP addresses to maintain sender reputation, email authentication like SPF, and DKIM to improve security, automatic link shortening for inboxing, and custom compliance options (unsubscribe links, physical addresses, etc.).
Deliverability is a clear priority for Drip though the smaller platform can’t match Mailchimp’s volume.
With Send Time Optimization, link wrapping, and other protections, Mailchimp also focuses heavily on deliverability.
As one of the world’s largest email platforms, Mailchimp meticulously monitors sender reputation across every major ISP. It maintains individual relationships with ISPs to stay abreast of changing policies.
Mailchimp offers advanced compliance field mapping to ensure emails follow CAN-SPAM and GDPR rules. Users have granular control over security protocols like two-factor authentication.
With dedicated deliverability experts continually optimizing its sending infrastructure, Mailchimp delivers email reliably at a massive scale. Unique anti-abuse detection fends off emerging threats.
For both new and mature email programs, Mailchimp has unrivaled expertise in email deliverability.
Thanks to its size and dedicated deliverability resources, Mailchimp is the winner. Drip also focuses on inboxing but lacks Mailchimp’s established deliverability at scale. For the best deliverability, Mailchimp’s expertise is unmatched.
5. Customer Support and Community
Drip provides email-based customer support with fairly fast responses given its small size.
Users can expect an initial response within 24 hours for common issues. More complex tickets take 1-2 business days generally. Support is offered 24/7 for billing questions.
The Drip community provides extra self-serve help resources. Active forums let you post questions for peer advice and feedback.
Key community resources include:
- Email support ticketing system
- Forum for peer troubleshooting and tips
- Robust knowledge base of articles and videos
- Facebook user group
- Free email marketing courses for self-education
Considering its smaller customer base, Drip does an excellent job providing personalized support when you need it.
Mailchimp offers 24/7 customer support by phone, chat, and email. As a large company, wait times can vary.
Users have access to an extensive knowledge base with tutorials, guides, and troubleshooting tips. The searchable resources provide self-help for common questions.
Mailchimp also has an active user community with over 500,000 forum members. The community allows customers to help each other with advice.
Key support resources include:
- Phone, chat, and email ticketing with 24/7 availability
- Large knowledge base of help articles and videos
- Active community forums with peer troubleshooting
- Frequent webinars and events to learn best practices
Mailchimp’s breadth of self-service resources offsets the unpredictability of direct support. Customers have ample opportunities to educate themselves if wait times are long for one-on-one assistance.
Drip and Mailchimp evenly match customer support by taking different approaches. Drip provides more personalized assistance through timely email ticketing. Mailchimp scales support through robust self-service options. Both models have strengths for community-driven education.
As a focused email marketing platform, Drip offers core integrations to connect email with your website, ecommerce store, and marketing apps.
It provides deep integration with landing page builders like Leadpages to capture subscribers from your sites. Zapier support connects Drip to over 1,000 popular apps including webinar platforms, CRMs, analytics tools, and more.
Key integrations include website and form builders: Leadpages, Unbounce, WordPress, ecommerce: Shopify, WooCommerce, CRM, and sales: Zoho CRM, HubSpot, analytics: Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Zapier for 1,000+ app integrations.
While not as robust as Mailchimp, Drip covers the major categories email marketers need – especially ecommerce, analytics, CRM, and web building.
Mailchimp excels at integrations with CRM, ecommerce, web analytics, social media, and marketing automation tools.
It offers native connections with Salesforce, Shopify, Magento, and other platforms. Zapier expands options for integrating niche applications.
The Mailchimp API allows developers to build custom-connected experiences between Mailchimp and internal systems.
Key integrations include CRM: Salesforce, Zoho, Insightly, ecommerce: Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, analytics: Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, social media: Facebook, Instagram, form and site builders: Landingi, AWeber, and Zapier for connecting niche apps.
For businesses running diverse systems, Mailchimp is a marketing hub that ties everything together.
Mailchimp is the winner for its vast app integration capabilities. Drip covers the basics that most email marketers need but can’t match the breadth and depth of Mailchimp’s partner ecosystem.
Drip has a simple pricing structure based on the number of contacts in your list. The lowest plan costs $39/month for up to 2,500 people. You can sign up for a free trial on the platform to test out the software before committing to a paid plan.
All plans include unlimited emails, and access to core features like automation, analytics, and integrations. Higher tiers offer more contacts, additional CRM and e-commerce integrations, and priority support.
Overall, Drip is competitively priced and its free tier provides excellent capabilities for early-stage businesses.
Mailchimp has 3 paid tiers: Essentials at $13/month, Standard at $20/month, and Premium at $350/month billed annually.
Lower tiers are suitable for small businesses. Advanced and Premium add powerful enterprise features like journey builder, workflow automation, and advanced analytics.
Mailchimp’s free plan lets you send 1,000 emails per month with basic automation for your email marketing campaigns. Overall, Mailchimp offers cost-effective plans.
Both email marketing tools have powerful features at affordable prices. Mailchimp wins on pricing thanks to its forever free plan with up to 2,000 subscribers. Drip’s starter plan is affordable but can’t match an ongoing free option for smaller email lists. Mailchimp is more cost-effective for bootstrapped small businesses.
8. Reviews and Reputation
Drip earns positive reviews for its simplicity and ease of use, especially for email marketing beginners.
Users praise the clean interface, clear documentation, and thoughtful automation workflows. Many reviewers switched from overly complex competitors.
Common pros highlighted include excellent tutorials for getting started, segmenting options, and valuable blog content. Cons mention occasionally slow loading times and lack of advanced features beyond basic email.
Drip holds a 4.5/5 rating on Capterra based on 180+ reviews. Most criticisms focus on the platform’s lightweight reporting compared to larger rivals.
Overall, Drip is well-regarded for delivering solid email capabilities without headaches for small businesses.
With over 100k users, Mailchimp earns strong reviews for its expansive features and scalability.
Fans praise the many marketing automation tools, easy customization, and excellent deliverability. The forever free tier also wins acclaim for enabling small business adoption.
Complaints mention the steeper learning curve and clunkier interface versus simpler competitors. Upcharges for add-ons like automation frustrate some budget-conscious users.
For sheer user satisfaction, Drip emerges as the winner. Its focused approach delights small business owners despite less robust features. Mailchimp is more polarizing – some love the scope, while others find it overkill. Drip’s clarity of purpose gives it an edge.
- What types of emails can I send with Drip?
Drip allows you to send standard email broadcasts, create targeted automation workflows, and send RSS-generated newsletters.
- Does Drip have email templates?
Yes, Drip provides professionally designed templates for different email campaigns types like welcome series and promotions. All templates are mobile-responsive.
- Can I integrate Drip with my ecommerce store?
Drip seamlessly integrates with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce for sending cart abandonment emails and tracking customer behaviors.
- Is there a limit on email subscribers?
Drip offers plans to support up to 500, 2,500, or 5,000 subscribers. Enterprise options are available if you need support for larger lists.
- What marketing channels does Mailchimp support?
Mailchimp supports email, landing pages, postcards, automations, Facebook ads, and more. It’s an all-in-one marketing platform.
- Does Mailchimp have free plans?
Yes, Mailchimp offers a free forever plan for up to 2,000 subscribers with basic features to get started.
- Can I customize templates?
Mailchimp provides hundreds of customizable templates. You can modify colors, images, and text without coding.
- How does Mailchimp pricing work?
Paid Mailchimp plans start at $13/month for up to 500 subscribers. Pricing scales based on number of subscribers, emails sent, and add-ons.
Drip is an excellent choice for small businesses and solopreneurs looking for an easy-to-use email marketing platform. The intuitive drag-and-drop editor and workflow builder make it accessible to non-technical users.
Drip also provides great templates, automation, SMS marketing, and integration features to execute targeted campaigns even with no prior experience. If you want to get started with email marketing quickly and easily without complex enterprise-scale capabilities, Drip is a great fit for your website or online store.
Choose Mailchimp if you just need to get started with email marketing through an easy-to-use platform. Mailchimp is best suited for beginners, small businesses, and side hustlers looking for basic email campaigns and list management capabilities.
You may also be interested in checking out some Mailchimp alternatives to help with the evaluation process.
Users love the simple, intuitive interface to create newsletters and manage subscribers. Mailchimp excels at email fundamentals but falls short if you want more advanced features like visual workflow automation or integrated CRM for your e-commerce business. The free forever plan also makes Mailchimp accessible.