15 Things About Drip That Made Me Switch From Ontraport Marketing Automation (UPDATED)

I switched to Drip Marketing Automation – from Ontraport. Here are 15 specific reasons why I made the switch.

So, I recently moved my email list from Ontraport to Drip. Certainly, switching marketing automation platforms is a big deal. And, Drip is kind of the new kid on the block and doesn’t have a long track record.

So, why Drip?

And, if I was going to move the list, why not go to ActiveCampaign?

Let me explain my rationale for the move. My intention is that it will explain why Drip, and it will help others who may be evaluating these solutions.

NOTE: About one week after originally publishing this post, I came in to make some updates to it. The reason is that I wanted to make very clear the big differences between Ontraport and Drip and the rationale for my move. I didn’t want to leave anybody with an impression that I thought Ontraport sucks. In reality, Ontraport and Drip can’t even be compared because they are aimed at completely different audiences. So, in the interest of being clear and correcting a few things, you will see updates to this post in italics.

Why Did I Originally Switch To Ontraport?

aweber-office-autopilot

In 2012, I migrated my list from Aweber to Ontraport (then called Office AutoPilot). The reason for this is explained by first defining marketing automation for those not familiar…

Marketing automation is a tool which… well, automates your marketing. 😉 The concept is to be able to place the right message in front of the right person at the right time. And do so automatically.

See, systems like Aweber and Mailchimp are what I call “linear” email systems. You have multiple lists. People get onto those lists and they get one automated series of emails – called an autoresponder. It is rather monolithic.

A marketing automation platform has ONE list, but it moves people in and out of sequences. You set up rules to define when all this happens. And you use tags on each subscriber to allow you to break your list up into segments and treat them differently, all without having to move people between lists.

A typical rule could be something like “If person visits Sales Page, automatically send them followup email the next day.

So, I moved to Ontraport because I had outgrown Aweber and wanted to begin a more fine tuned email strategy, based on marketing automation.

At the time, Infusionsoft was the only other big player in the space. Infusionsoft has a reputation for being rather complicated. Plus, it comes with a huge setup fee. So, I went with Ontraport.

My Experience Over 4 Years of Ontraport

To be clear, even though I am moving away from Ontraport, I still like their product. It is an extremely powerful platform and one of the reasons I’m moving is that I simply don’t need all that they do. Not anymore. But, if you do want an “all in one” CRM and marketing automation tool, I still think Ontraport is a solid solution.

But, my 4 years of using it weren’t all roses. Some of it is about the company… some of it is about me.

First, me. See, I had built up a lot of backlog inside of my Ontraport account. Old marketing sequences, old tags, old messages. Sequences that we had lost track of all that they were doing. It was causing some customer support issues, plus it would cause some support assignments over to me from my VA because she simply didn’t know what was happening. And that was the problem. Too many moving parts and it felt like it was held together by rotting duct tape.

Now, that’s not the fault of Ontraport. That was all me. However, the problem wouldn’t have been quite so difficult if not for the design of Ontraport and how they do automations. More on that below.

But, let’s talk about the company and their product…

I was left with a general impression with Ontraport that they were slow to develop and were getting behind the times. Almost as if the solution was originally built on a limited framework and they were having a difficult time growing the product without introducing a bunch of bugs. And, this was due to the original framework and how it was built.

For instance, Ontraport has always lagged behind the other solutions when it comes to integrations. It was to a point where I was simply tired of always sucking wind as an Ontraport customer. Other platforms would show up on the integration list of other solutions… yet Ontraport was too often not included.

I talked to an old friend of mine who’s company has built one of the top opt-in solutions for WordPress. His solution has, for the longest time, lacked solid Ontraport integration. I asked him about it at an event and his answer was, essentially, that the Ontraport API is a complete nightmare to work with.

That might also explain why, after 4 years, Ontraport has almost no Zapier integration. I mean, that solution alone would allow Ontraport to integrate with so many options. But, all they managed to get is a “New Contact” trigger and an ability to update contact information. That’s it.

ontraport-zapier

Other solutions had built in a nice visual automation designer. Infusionsoft has a drag-and-drop campaign builder. ActiveCampaign has a nice visual builder. Drip has one, too. But, Ontraport? Old-school text. Just… butt ugly and tedious.

… and a huge reason why it was so easy to lose track of the automations. Because I couldn’t SEE them!

People were diagramming these things in LucidChart. You shouldn’t have to!

So, my impression with Ontraport is that it has become a software beast. That modernizing the platform would require fundamental re-designs of the whole infrastructure. And it was slowing down progress.

Enough so where a tiny upstart by the name of Drip just outflanked them in less than a year.

CORRECTIONS:

What was typed above was my feelings on the matter, however some things were pointed out to me which mean I need to correct the record.

  • As far as “being slow to develop”, it is true that Ontraport pushes frequent updates. And they have been first-to-market on some things, such as direct in-app integration with Facebook custom audiences.
  • In terms of it being a software beast, it was pointed out to me that Ontraport just recently completed a 4-year renovation of their entire framework which is now making it so that they can make giant strides much easier and more frequently.
  • In terms of Zapier integration, it is true that many of the reasons people use Zapier are made redundant because Ontraport does so much internally. Secondly, I was reminded that you can set up ping URLs inside of individual sequences and therefore work in Zapier integrations in much more minute ways. This never occurred to me as an end user of Ontraport, but makes perfect sense. So, on the outside, their Zapier integration has the appearance of being lightweight. The reality, though, is different. There’s more power than meets the eye.

It is clear to me that my observations from the outside were steered primarily by me personally wanting things that Ontraport didn’t deliver. I make that more clear below. However, I didn’t want to present a false impression that Ontraport isn’t innovating.

15 Reason Why I Chose Drip (And How It Saves Me Time Over Ontraport)

Now, to be clear, some of the things I’m about to mention can be found inside ActiveCampaign, too. So, it begs the question… why didn’t I go there?

Two reasons:

  1. ActiveCampaign still had some things I didn’t need. Such as the Deals screen. This is more from the traditional CRM roots of the tool. Thing is, I don’t need a CRM. I just need the basic list, if I’m honest about what I use it for.
  2. ActiveCampaign pricing bothered me. They have this highly punishing price tier where it will jump from $175/month up to $338/month the moment you go over 10,000 subscribers. And, why pay (in my case) $338/month? That is more than I was paying with Ontraport, yet AC doesn’t have orders, affiliate, etc. Essentially, I would be paying more for less.

No thank you, ActiveCampaign.

Interestingly, I had a little chat with their sales guy about that price tier and twice I was offered a private plan to give me an in-between price tier where 15,000 would be the cutoff. Why not publish that right up front? In the end, ActiveCampaign looks like a nice tool, but the pricing didn’t make it favorable. Their pricing increases parabolically.

So, I went with Drip.

And I find that it is a breath of fresh air after being used to Ontraport for 4 years. Here’s why…

#1 – Reports and Stats That Don’t Suck

Ontraport has a big dashboard on the homepage after logging in, but like all things Ontraport… no images. Just a big grid of numbers. It wasn’t very useful, in fact, and I found I hardly ever used it.

The Ontraport dashboard.

The Ontraport dashboard.

Drip, on the other hand, has beautiful, graphical stats.

drip-dashboard

Also, the data is tracked according to time. For instance, Ontraport would obviously give me open/click stats on an email. But, it was the totals only and it just kept increasing. Even if a person opened an email a month after I sent it, it simply went onto the total number of opens. With Drip, I get full graphs over time so I can track opens, clicks and unsubscribes over time. I can see my subscriber stats over time. With Ontraport, there isn’t a single graph in the entire system. Everything was just numbers with no ability to see trends.

EDIT: Ontraport clearly measured more stuff than Drip, simply because Ontraport does a lot more things. However, the user friendliness of Drip is, by far, preferable.

#2 – Separation of Broadcasts from Campaigns.

In Ontraport, every message sat in one big Message library. To tell what the messages were being used for, you were forced to come up with your own naming conventions. So, I’d have various prefixes and stuff so I can tell what the various emails were for. And keep in mind, after a few years this list of messages was well over 500 messages long.

The message library. And it is about as friendly as it looks.

The message library. And it is about as friendly as it looks.

Drip is just simpler. All campaigns have the emails self-contained. Broadcasts are listed separately. No need for me to use any fancy names to sort things or put them into groups. Drip does it for me.

#3 – Simplified Message Editor

Ontraport’s message editor is some version of TinyMCE, I believe. It has a ton of features turned on and provides so much flexibility that it actually makes it easy to jack up an email.

For instance, if you copy and paste anything into an email, all the original formatting goes into the email, too. Complete with a bunch of nasty CSS and crap that just clutters up the email source code. Trying to maintain a consistent look and feel between emails was, likewise, made difficult because it was so easy to screw things up.

It might seem weird to look at a stripped down editor as a good thing, but I do. The message editor in Drip has very few features. You just… write. Making the message look food is controlled by the template engine (more on that in a bit).

drip-message-editor

If you copy/paste into the editor, all the crap is stripped out.

The result is cleaner emails. Less HTML bloat. Easy as hell to use.

CORRECTION: Both platforms use CKEditor, not TinyMCE.

EDIT: After some discussion with them about this, it is clear that the two platforms have different underlying philosophies which affects their message editor.

Ontraport want to provide a ton of flexibility. This means their editor is feature-rich and you can control all message formatting. They also have OntraMail, which allows you to create full-featured HTML newsletters that look like whole websites. In my opinion, enabling all that flexibility means that people like me who simply want to write a text-based email get frustrated.

With Drip, they separate presentation from content. The editor is designed not for fancy formatting, but simple writing. All the other stuff is controlled by the templates. For this reason, Drip’s editor is MUCH easier to use.

So, we have a situation here of different philosophies and different target markets. Big companies may prefer big, fancy newsletter emails. Many solopreneurs, especially in the world of internet marketing, prefer plain-text emails with very little formatting. The Drip editor is clearly aimed at the latter, whereas Ontraport is aimed more at the big guys.

#4 – The Liquid Template Engine

Liquid templating is a rather geeky thing, but if you get the hang of some of the syntax, you can do awesome things. Basically, you can put if/then logic right into an email. Ontraport can’t even do that.

For instance, what if you want to address somebody by name in the email? But, some of your subscribers have first name data while others don’t. In Ontraport, you’d have to get creative so that, if the name field is blank, the email doesn’t look weird. But, with a template engine, you can say “Hi Bob” if their name is Bob, or “Hi there” if the field is blank. All in one email. See this Drip knowledgebase article on how it works.

The possibilities for stuff like this is awesome. For instance, if I want to include members-only content for Lab members inside of an email broadcast, I can do it all in one email. I put in a little tiny logical statement that if the subscriber is tagged as a Lab member in my system, show certain content. If not, do something else. All in one email.

Just… awesome.

EDIT: I had forgotten, but Ontraport does have default merge values. This means that the issue of properly presenting first name is not really an issue. My example above was a bad one.

However, the power behind Liquid Templates is obvious, allowing full conditional formatting of an email. Ontraport does not have that.

#5 – Built in Pruning Operations

I’ve never seen a marketing automation platform that had built in pruning to weed out inactive subscribers. With Drip, it is built in.

drip-pruning

Now, I had an automated sequence I built inside Ontraport to do the same thing. So, it isn’t as if it can’t be done. But, it is more complicated and I had to build it myself. With Drip, it is built in.

And, Drip doesn’t make you delete these people. I simply add them to a re-engagement campaign.

#6 – Simplified Subscriber Records

Now, people who have the need for a full CRM need to pay attention here. Because one needs to understand that Drip is not a CRM.

Case in point, your subscribers are not going to have full data fields. No name, address, phone, state, zip, etc. In Ontraport, all that is built into the profiles, plus you can add all kinds of custom fields and build out a whole customer database.

But, that’s not the mission of Drip. Drip is an email automation platform and it isn’t trying to be more than that. So, all subscribers have one basic field: email. Each subscriber can have tags assigned, a timezone (so emails can be timed to them and not you), etc. But, in terms of other data, it is all custom field.

drip-subscriber

A profile from one of my Lab members. In this case, all the custom fields come in from MemberMouse, then I can trigger any automation I want.

This was a big change for me coming from Ontraport. But, then I really thought about it…

Did I ever send these people physical mailings? Well, no. So, why do I need their address? Why do I need their phone? Besides, in my case, MemberMouse is really the lead database on all that. We went through an awful lot of headache trying to copy all that data into Ontraport from MemberMouse… but why? It wasn’t as if I ever DID anything with it!

So, in my case, this is one of those things where I need to keep in mind my core mission: to email them. And to realize that I have no need to copy all the data from Ontraport into Drip, or to copy all activity from MemberMouse into Drip. Just isn’t necessary.

EDIT: I emphasize, again, that Ontraport and Drip are not aimed to be comparable. Ontraport is a full CRM, aimed at businesses which have a need for full record-keeping on each person. Drip is not a CRM, and it doesn’t pretend to be. So, this point isn’t that Drip has some big advantage over Ontraport. They’re simply different. And for my business, the simplicity of Drip is far preferable.

#7 – Visual Workflows

After designing automations using a visual editor, it honestly made me SAD that Ontraport has gone so long without it. The Ontraport textual interface honestly seems so old-school after using a visual system.

The list of sequences in Ontraport. Once again, it is exactly as fun as it looks.

The list of sequences in Ontraport. Once again, it is exactly as fun as it looks.

Creating sequences is all textual. And each sequence step can do multiple things. So, it is VERY easy to completely lose track of what's going on.

Creating sequences is all textual. And each sequence step can do multiple things. So, it is VERY easy to completely lose track of what’s going on.

Look at how Drip does it…

So. Much. Simpler.

So. Much. Simpler.

Like anything, it takes a little getting used to at first. But, it is quite powerful and makes the whole thing much easier.

#8 – Subscriber Events

Such a simple concept, but it saves a lot of hassle and noise.

See, a profile has tags that help you classify the subscriber based on various things. Problem is, with Ontraport, I had to use tags to record basic things the user had done. For example, I would have a tag for each and every lead magnet. So, if the person downloaded a certain lead magnet, I’d tag them accordingly.

Events mean that is unnecessary. An event is simply that… an event. You can type what they did and build it into a Workflow. The event will then be recorded in their activity log along with the date and time they did it.

drip-event

For instance, if somebody opts in for a certain lead magnet (let’s call it Magnet A), they’d be added to a workflow specific to Magnet A. One of the steps of the workflow would be to record an Event of “Downloaded Magnet A”. It would simply be added to their history. No tags necessary.

Later, I can segment people who performed that event. I can even segment on WHEN they performed that event.

See, with tags, it is just monolithic. I know they did a certain thing, but not WHEN they did it. Much more complicated.

EDIT: Ontraport does allow tracking of ALL events which affect a customer. All field updates, all actions… everything. However, the way it works is not the same as the way Drip does it. Ontraport treats it more as an ongoing record, and you can still automate based on actions the person takes. The way Drip does it, however, is far simpler and is a fundamental component of segmentation, similar to tags.

#9 – Ability To Add Staff Without Fees

This always pissed me off about Ontraport. After paying them $297/month for service, they’d charge me another $49/month per user to add them to my profile. The account came with one other space for a profile, but the moment I want to add my second assistant, I’m popped with another $49/month.

Not with Drip. It is all free. As it should be.

#10 – Actual. Freakin’. Integrations.

As an Ontraport customer, I constantly felt like I was behind the curve on this. Zapier integration was highly limited. Many solutions out there took their sweet time integrating with Ontraport. Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign seemed to get so much integration love, but us Ontraport users were too often left behind.

I mean, it isn’t as if Ontraport doesn’t integrate with things. But, there’s something about it that makes it always last to the party.

When I go into Drip, I see a whole list of things it can integrate with easily. One of them is MemberMouse – a big deal for me and allowed me to cancel FuzedApp (which I was paying $39/month for simply to integrate with  Ontraport). But, it integrates with a TON of others. Including Zapier, which gives it integration capability with…. almost anything.

Drip has an actual integrations screen inside the account to make it easy and straightforward.

Drip has an actual integrations screen inside the account to make it easy and straightforward.

Ontraport has one trigger and one action with Zapier. Simply pathetic, after all these years.

Drip is the new kid on the block and has 16 triggers I could use, even down to the point of automating things if a subscribers clicks on a particular EMAIL.

EDIT: It was pointed out that Ontraport indeed integrates with quite alot. And it does. You can view Ontraport’s integrations here. But…

I still take issue with the way Ontraport handles integrations. They clearly take a “hands off” approach on it. They focus on making their tool do a lot of things, and they leave integrations up to third parties. The integrations they have are buried in their knowledgebase, which puts more load on the end user rather than simply having a built-in section in the app for integrations. Also, since Ontraport is depending on third parties, it leads to some misleading entries to their list of integrations. They list MemberMouse as something Ontraport can integrate with, not mentioning that it only works if you use FuzedApp to do it. Apparently, using a third-party middleman service counts as a real integration. Not to me.

Ontraport, again, has a different philosophy. They work to grow their customer base and therefore incentivize third parties to proactively integrate with them. However, I think a better strategy is for Ontraport to take some initiative and actually make integrations easier and foster them to happen. I know Ontraport seeks to be a one-stop shop, however they’re never going to be best at everything. And a passive approach to seeking integrations with outside solutions is perhaps one of the reasons I was left wanting when it comes to integrations.

Again, I guess I’m a different target market. I clearly DO NOT want to use one app for everything. If I did, I’d be happy with Ontraport. But, since I do use outside tools, those integrations matter alot. And I want them to be easy-peasy.

#11 – Message Templates

If you want to create beautiful email message templates to use – complete with full Liquid template engine and all capabilities – it is easy to do. And this is one of the reasons why the message editor can be so simple, because the template controls the look and feel of the email. You don’t have to format every email as it’s own standalone entity.

drip-templates

EDIT: Ontraport does have a feature called OntraMail, which allows you to use templates to create fancy emails. It is fundamentally different than how Drip works, however, in that OntraMail is not a separation of form and function. I tried OntraMail. It is powerful, but I found it hard to use.

#12 – Lead Scoring That Actually Makes Sense

Lead scoring is pretty basic to a marketing automation platform, but yet I didn’t use it in Ontraport because it was too damn difficult.

With Drip, define all settings on one screen and be done with it.

#13 – Ability To Auto-Resend To Non-Opens

Any time I send an email, it is a matter of one-click to have Drip automatically do a re-send to non-opens.

drip-resend

When you check the box, you can tell Drip when to send the re-send as well as define a new subject line for that resend.

With Ontraport, this was a highly manual process.

#14 – A Modern Interface

Ontraport is ugly software. It is all text. Small text at that. They updated the interface a couple years back and it wasn’t much of an improvement.

Drip was designed using modern UI technique and that’s a huge factor on why it is easier to use.

EDIT: Word is that Ontraport is about to release a full UI update. We’ll have to see how it turns out.

#15 – No Email Sending Limits

I decided to change up my email strategy. The effect would be more emails to my list. Problem is, Ontraport has a limit of 100,000 sent emails per month.

So, think about it. If you have a list of 10,000 people, you can email them 10 times in a month. After that, you get charged a $99 overage for another 100k emails.

I honestly don’t know how or why they do this anymore, since pretty much every other provider allows unlimited sending. I just got tired of being nickeled and dimed, especially after paying $297/month.

EDIT: After some discussion on this, it is clear that this point of contention is, again, due to a mismatch between what I personally prefer and the target market of Ontraport. Ontraport is an enterprise level CRM product. In this world, it is very normal to charge for email volume. Also, Ontraport has a large team dedicated only to email deliverability. Their delivery team is bigger than the entire Drip team. Ontraport has large companies that send millions of emails per month using their platform. 

Drip is obviously aimed at a very different demographic. One that I am a member of. 🙂

Some Final Thoughts

The jist of this post was about explaining why I’ve abandoned Ontraport and switched to Drip. And it might seem as if I’m bashing Ontraport around alot.

I want to be clear…

Ontraport is a nice piece of software. It is the very nature of the beast that a full CRM and marketing automation platform is going to be complicated. It isn’t as if Infusionsoft is easier. 🙂 Ontraport comes with baggage, but anything that does all that will inevitably do so. The last thing I want to do is leave an impression that I think Ontraport is highly flawed. It isn’t.

Certainly, there are things they could improve on. I know many Ontraport people who have switched to ActiveCampaign for many of the reasons I stated above. Thing is, Ontraport does more stuff. Ontraport will run your affiliate program, your membership site (if you use PilotPress), and process all your orders. ActiveCampaign doesn’t. So, it really comes down to what YOU need.

For me, my needs had simplified. Ontraport was overkill. And I wanted something different.

EDIT: This is the main reason I made these updates to this post, to drive that point home. Ontraport and Drip are not designed to be compared, by nature. I compared them because this post was written based on MY experience and MY opinions. But, I don’t contend that my opinions will fit everybody.

Fundamentally, these two systems are aimed at very different kinds of people. Ontraport is an enterprise-level CRM aimed ideally at larger companies with more needs. Drip is aimed primarily at smaller businesses like mine. In fact, Drip is more on par with the likes of Aweber or Mailchimp, with the difference being that Drip offers full marketing automation as well. But, Drip is not a CRM. It doesn’t do order processing. It doesn’t do built-in lead tracking. It doesn’t do SMS or physical mailings. There is clearly a lot that Ontraport does and Drip doesn’t. And that’s by design.

Now, what about YOU?

Let’s keep in mind that…

Drip is an email marketing automation tool. So, you need to have a more developed operation to actually have a need for marketing automation. You’d need to have some products selling, several lead magnets, etc. Otherwise, you really don’t need marketing automation.

If you just run a standard blog with a standard newsletter, you don’t need marketing automation. A standard linear system like Aweber, Mailchimp or ConvertKit will do just fine.

Now, if you DO have a need for marketing automation, consider Drip. If all you need is email – and not a full CRM – then Drip is a great tool.

It is young, however it is very well built. Plus, LeadPages just acquired them, so I think it only says good things about the future of the platform. I’ve been highly impressed with LeadPages growth, how they run their operation, and what the CEO Clay Collins has done with it.

So, at this point, I couldn’t be happier with my transition to Drip. And I hope this explains why. 🙂

You can give Drip a try yourself for free. This isn’t a limited trial, either. For up to 100 contacts, you can use a marketing automation tool for free with no limits. 

About David Risley
David Risley is the founder of the Blog Marketing Academy, a 20-year veteran blogger and online entrepreneur. His focus? Building a reliable, recurring business around his "lifestyle" and the lives of his students. He has this weird obsession with traveling in his motorhome around the country with his wife and 2 kids. David also likes to talk about himself in the third person. In bios like this one. Read his full story.
  • This is my first visit to your site, David. And I appreciate the time and thought you’ve obviously put into writing this content. I’ll be back.

    I’m still torn on the Drip vs ActiveCampaign front. My business is primarily around helping folks with WordPress based membership sites. And the most powerful solution I’ve found is Bob Keen’s ActiveMember360, which features “deep”, API-based integration with ActiveCampaign which makes AC the “control center” so to speak, of the membership site.

    Other membership plugins like DAP, MemberMouse, MemberPress, etc. – while all excellent – sync AC’s data to their own databases rather than simply act as a terminal to pull data FROM AC in real time using the API. The latter approach is far more elegant for reasons beyond the scope of a humble comment. 🙂

    As of right now, the Drip API is throttled to the extent that any attempt to develop a sister plugin to AM360 (and the InfusionSoft port, iMember360) would result in changes happening with a delay (i.e. NOT in real time). Until and unless Drip removes this limitation, ActiveCampaign proves a better choice for membership site owners.

    I’m a Drip user myself and I freakin’ love it! So it pains me to say this, especially in light of the better pricing and leaner build of Drip (I don’t need no dang CRM neither). Plus Clay and the team over at LP / Drip have been busting their humps to improve Drip at an ambitious pace.

    This issue aside, I think AC and Drip are comparable, and both excellent.

    Thanks again for your analysis on the subject.

    Cheers!
    Vic Dorfman
    Founder – MemberFix

  • Johnny says:

    Great article. As I’m considering making the switch, for many reasons you stated, I have one big concern at this point that you didnt address- Affiliates? Do you use affiliate links? I asked Drip how they handle that, they said we’d give you links with letters and numbers that would go to a hidden field in the opt in page, that would track referrals. Any experience with how well that works?

  • Thanks David for the insight you bring to both of these and yet my thing with changing from one platform to the next is the transferring of everything.

    So, when you moved were you moving 1, 2, 10, 50+ funnels, how many email contact, messages, secure checkout forms, etc?

    I’ve looked at other platforms over the years, but the switch over can be timely and costly if everything isn’t moved properly.

    So how did you do this? How long did it take you? Did you have help and if so where did you find the help?

    Thanks again for your insights as you grow your business.

    • What’s up buddy!

      Yeah, certainly, if I was running everything though Ontraport, it would have been a real issue. That’s one of the things that led me to switching… that I didn’t need an “all in one” solution like either Ontraport or Infusionsoft provide. MemberMouse runs the “guts” of my business.. so that made things simpler.

      Plus, my landing pages and forms weren’t built with OntraPages, either. I use OptimizePress.

      So, as you can see, all I really had to deal with was the emails. Most of the messages I had in the Message Library were not necessary to bring over, so I simply abandoned them. The ones I needed in a sequence I copy/pasted over, and really, I might have 5-7 funnels going actively. Certainly not 50. 🙂

      It took me a couple days to get the hang of how Drop works. Maybe 3-4 days to re-build the main sequences into Drip workflows. Then, a day or so to export/move the emails. Then… done. Certainly not nearly as bad as it COULD be to move from one marketing automation platform to another. But, as you can see, I don’t run a super complicated business and I didn’t rely on Ontraport for everything.

      Keep in mind, if you are indeed using Ontraport for all those things, then you probably should stay put. 🙂 Neither Active Campaign nor Drip offer everything under one roof.

      • Thanks David. Really appreciate the insights to what you moved over. Helps me to better understand the decision you made and why this was a good choice for you. Hope we can catch up again soon.

        Cheers.

  • Ravi says:

    I just switched from Aweber to Drip last month. WOW – the experience is so much more pleasant!

    1) I no longer have duplicate counts for all my subscribers if I want to subscribe them to various campaigns. 2) I no longer have to deal with that terrible email editor where my newsletters never look like they should look in the preview. 3) I also have already been using the lead scoring to understand which subscribers are worth reaching out to offer something special to. I think the lead scoring has HUGE potential for me (as a coach, this is key, knowing who to offer a free coaching session to).

    All in all…very happy I made the switch.

  • Landon says:

    Hey David,

    Sad to see you go!

    I’m not going to bother responding to this critique point-by-point (although you certainly have missed several features of ONTRAPORT here… but I’m not going to argue about them because if, after all these years, you still don’t know the ins-and-outs of our platform, I’ll consider that our fault and not yours. We are working to make things easier!)

    I WILL argue with one primary point though: ONTRAPORT is absolutely, positively NOT “having a difficult time growing the product without introducing a bunch of bugs. And, this was due to the original framework and how it was built.”

    In fact, the very reason we haven’t (until now) worked on things like our interface-with-too-small-text is because we’ve been hard at work building the mother of all platforms on the backend, which allows us to build and scale faster than ever, and certainly faster than our competition (which Drip is certainly not.)

    For example, we just spent 4 months redoing the interface from the ground up (announced at ONTRApalooza last week) and we’ll be rolling that out in the next few weeks. It’s beautiful, and was possible to do so quickly only because of the extensive work we’ve done on the platform.

    We update the system several times a week (without introducing bugs), and have released dozens and dozens of new features this year alone… again, thanks to the solidity of the platform.

    So, you’re gone and I’ll miss you (really!) but do keep an eye out.. because now that we’ve got this interface project behind us, we’ve got a whole lot of seriously amazing stuff cooking. Honestly, I’ve never been more excited about our platform, our company, and our future.

    I’m sorry we tired you out! And, if you’re mainly focused on email only, I get it. But we’re playing the long game, so the massive investment we’ve made in building a strong foundation – even at the cost of some bells and whistles that could have gotten us more clients in the short term – makes a lot of sense to us. It will pay off for our clients in spades.

    Wishing you the best,

    L

    • Thanks so much, Landon. I will continue to watch the platform and I want nothing but the best for Ontraport. It really is a great platform, but as you can see, my needs changed. Plus, there were some areas that I think other solutions just outpaced Ontraport. But, there’s no doubt it is a great platform and I have no doubt you guys will continue to improve it. If people need an all-in-one marketing automation and CRM, I will continue to recommend Ontraport.

  • Brayanth A says:

    This is a helpful review of drip. I have an account on Active Campaing with the basic plan. I think It’s a good Idea for small or starter business owners to use AC, because the pricing for basic plan, with the Marketing Automation of AC it’s vert accesible.

    But I had already realized that advanced or big plans are more expensive compared to other providers of the same service.

    For now I’m happy with active campaign, but at the time to grow I have an alternative for the cost of email marketing and the tools to use are good.

    Thanks for this post about Drip. It’s helpful.

  • Stella says:

    Hi David!
    Thank you for taking time to compile this post. I’ve never used Drip, but I was actually considering it as an option. It has another benefit. It’s quite affordable compared to others. Anyway, this review of yours made be go back to their site and revisit the features. I might actually end up using it.
    Thanks again

    • I think Drip and Active Campaign are the most affordable solutions when it comes to marketing automation. I think AC starts out a little cheaper once you begin paying for it, however it goes up quickly. So, depending on the size of your list, Drip is much more affordable.

  • BJ Ahlen says:

    David,

    That is one of the very best posts/articles I have ever seen in this field, because it “really thinks things through,” rather than just comparing features on the surface.

    Simply Chris Lema level (whose focus is elsewhere), and it makes me a bit less grumpy about paying you the big bucks every month :O).

    Albert Einstein said, “Only two percent of people can think. Another three percent of people think they can think, and the other ninety-five percent of people would rather die than think.”

    He was not referring to IQ of course, but to the capacity for rational thinking. You’re in the two percent group, and I am very grateful for your articles/posts at this level.

    Thank you!

  • Hey David – as a member of the Leadpages/Drip team, I really appreciate the time you took to lay out all the awesome features that Drip brings to the table. I know your readers have always looked up to you at BMA for years—for fair, in-depth insight, and you certainly didn’t disappoint here!

    We’re proud of what we’re creating here, and look forward to showing more small businesses that there is an easier (and less expensive) way to do marketing automation the right way, and get fantastic results serving the people in your audience.

    Also—as you mentioned at the end, Drip is totally free for up to 100 contacts with all the features. It’s not a limited trial, neither by feature or by time. And the annual choice gives you two months free in credits should you want to make it even more economical.

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