Drip campaigns are some of the best onboarding tools available to marketers. The way they work is simple and elegant. You set up a series of messages you would like your new users to see when they subscribe to your service or newsletter. Rather than manually send messages to new users, or batch them for new users every month or two, or put them as a static FAQ on your blog, you publish them in a drip campaign. This campaign starts the moment the user signs up, with a welcome email. Then, every few days, the next message in the series is sent, all automatically. The new user feels as though they’re getting special attention, meanwhile you’re just letting a tool do the work for you.
Which tool, though? I’ve put forth over thirty of them for you to choose from. Read about them, test them out, and make a choice.
1: Drip.co – A fairly standard email management app that includes a few basic features, provided by LeadPages. All plans have unlimited mail sends, but cap subscribers. The free version is a cap of 100, Basic is $41 monthly for 2,500 subscribers, Pro is $83 monthly for 5,000 subscribers, and a scaling High Volume option exists as well.
2: Sendloop – A more powerful email management system that includes segmentation, responsive email templates, QR codes, dynamic content, and more. 500 subscribers is only $9 per month, and their plans scale all the way up to 350,000 subscribers at $1645 per month, so they have a plan level for everyone.
3: Customer.io – An email management program that primarily focuses on responsive emails with varied triggers. The smallest plan is $100 per month and works for up to 15,000 profiles, but does cap messages at 30,000 without additional fees. Thankfully, the fees are minimal, at 12 cents for 1,000 emails.
4: BombBomb – This app has a two week free trial and starts at $39 per month if billed annually, or $49 month to month. They feature app and browser extensions as well as mobile apps, and are aimed primarily at businesses in the real estate, mortgage, and automotive industries, though they have a general “sales” offering as well.
5: Vision6 – A great email management system that focuses primarily on excellent design for messages, as well as analytics for those messages. Their starter version is $9 a month, but limits you to 500 contacts and 2,500 emails per month. For unlimited sends, the business plan starts at $29 per month, though costs will scale with your subscriber total.
6: Quickmail.io – With a two week free trial, this system attempts to automate virtually all of your email management for you. They only have two plans, a $49 and a $69. The more expensive plan adds more inbox monitoring, CC ability, Gmail labels, spreadsheet imports, and a handful of other options including Zapier integration.
7: Vero – This platform is an event driven email system that allows you to plug in workflows and trigger emails, including drip campaigns, very easily. However, they’re not cheap. The cheapest plan is for 12,500 customers and 25,000 emails per month, and costs you $99 per month. Numbers only go up from there.
8: SendWithUs – This particular platform is not a platform itself, it’s an extension that works with a wide range of email service providers and integrates flawlessly. Their free version caps at 1,000 monthly recipients, and the first plan after that is $79 per month and 10,000 recipients. Their special Litmus Device Testing is only available in the paid versions.
9: ConvertKit – A kit-based solution that is designed for professional bloggers and small businesses, though it can be scaled up. They hate the one-size-fits-all theory of design and try to customize service for each customer. Pricing starts at 1,000 subscribers for $29 per month and scales up every few thousand all the way up to 900,000. Regardless of your size, if you top 15,000 they’ll migrate your existing list free.
10: Gumroad – Focused on bloggers, writers, artists, and other individuals, Gumroad is a stylish management platform designed to help single entrepreneurs manage profits and sales along with communications and profile tracking. It starts at $10 per month, but may be including a lot of non-email features you don’t need.
11: Knowtify – This platform focuses on user engagement as an end goal, and as such strives to make emails and drip campaigns that seem more natural and personalized than formulaic. They even have a special insights engine called Sherlock. The basic plan is $59 per month and works for up to 2,500 contacts.
12: Contactually – This one has integrations with both Google accounts and with Office 365 accounts, so you’re covered whether you use Google or Microsoft products as your base. Pricing is fairly typical, at $29 per month for the basic version and several plans scaling up from there.
13: AgileCRM – These guys claim they’ll allow you to “sell and market like a Fortune 500” and it’s pretty much true. One platform includes helpdesk, engagement, social media, email, automation, and even telephony. Their free version handles up to 50,000 contacts and 10 users, so you know it’s no slouch. Even then, prices start at $9 and go up from there.
14: Hubspot – Who, at this point, hasn’t heard of Hubspot? They’re one of the best, most in-depth options for contact management out there, and their blog is frankly amazing. However, they’re incredibly expensive. The basic version, capped at 100 contacts, is $200 per month with a required $600 onboarding fee. Woah.
15: InfusionSoft – This is another one of those big names, designed for mid-size and large businesses. Their “essentials” plan, which only includes CRM and marketing automation but no ecommerce or sales, is $200 per month and caps at 2,500 contacts. It’s not chump change, but their service is very worth the price if you can afford it.
16: Interakt – There’s not much that this manager offers that is unique compared to other options. It is, however, primarily designed for use with teams and mid-size businesses. Their free plan will track up to 5,000 leads, 1,000 customers, 1,500 emails per month, and 100 support tickets per month. The first paid plan is $41 per month and bumps up all those limits by at least ten times.
17: Intercom – This one is an all-around communications manager, so they do a lot more than just email. Their goal is to cover everything between you and your customers, including automation, apps, email, phones, live chat and all the rest. They have four different products, for acquiring, engaging, and supporting customers. All four products together start at $110 per month, but you can get individual products for lower costs if you prefer.
18: Jumplead – Another platform that takes landing pages and lead generation, live chat, and analytics and bundles it all together. The free version works up through 200 visitors and contacts, and 100 emails, which isn’t much for most businesses. Bump that up to 3,000 visitors, 2,000 contacts, and 10,000 emails and it will cost you $49 per month.
19: Hatchbuck – Hatchbuck is a suite of tools that strive to be an all-in-one CRM and marketing solution. They help accumulate information about individual customers and their communications over time, as well as their lifetime sales value. One user, 750 contacts, and unlimited email sends starts at $59 per month.
20: LeadSimple – This lead tracking and engagement platform starts with unlimited lead sources, but only one lead type and two connected inboxes. Call and email tracking, as well as drip campaigns and management, are included for $65 per month.
21: MailChimp – Who doesn’t know about MailChimp at this point? They’re one of the best and most extensible options available and can do anything you can imagine. The only reason this article covers any other option is because I wanted to give you a list of choices. Their free forever plan is probably all you need as a small business, and their paid plans start at $10 per month.
22: CampaignMonitor – Another very popular option, Campaign Monitor is used by over 200,000 businesses around the world, including BuzzFeed and Unicef. Their model is interesting; they have three plans, and you’d probably want the middle one for all of the email features. Pricing for each of the three plans scales depending on how many people you have on your list. When you have 500, it’s $29 per month. When you have 10,000, it’s $149 per month. Pricing scales up based on volume.
23: Aweber – One of the largest email service managers and a primary competitor to MailChimp, Aweber handles emails for over 100,000 businesses. Pricing starts at $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers and scales up from there. All features are included for all plans, so price only deals with volume. They also have a 30-day free trial if you’re interested.
24: Benchmark – This simple drag and drop email manager lets you put together landing pages, opt-in forms, and the back-end management all at once. Their free version works for 2,000 subscribers and 14,000 emails per month. The medium plan gives you unlimited mail sends and starts at $12 per month for 600 subscribers. They also scale all the way up to over seven million subscribers and 100 million sends per month, though that package costs $29,200 per month.
25: GetResponse – GetResponse is one of the prototypical email management systems out there. They have a lot more beyond just email, but they center around that communication path and the analytics attached. For $15 per month you can start with 1,000 subscribers and use autoresponders, basic landing pages, automation workflows, and a single user. Other packages increase functionality, including abandonded cart tracking, webinars, integration with Salesforce, and even consulting at the high end.
26: Constant Contact – One of those email managers with enough clout to run radio ads and make them successful, Constant Contact has a wonderful set of features but is likely overkill if all you want is a drip campaign. Nevertheless, their templates are excellent, and their pricing starts at $20 per month. You also get a two month trial – yes, month, not week – for free.
27: Emma – Emma actually has a range of different products, including one focused on nonprofits and one for universities. Their new Emma Plus system is also great for large businesses, but less so for smaller brands. They start at $89 per month for 10,000 contacts, if that gives you a sense of scale.
28: E-Goi – Don’t be fooled by one of the least dynamic websites on this entire list; E-goi is a great multichannel marketing and automation program. They do email, social media, mobile, web, and voice all at once. They have three products; one for unlimited sends, one for monthly send limits, and one pay as you go plan. Unlimited starts at $25 per month, while pay as you go runs $0.0033 per email. Not a lot unless you have a lot of volume.
29: Mad Mimi – One of the more interesting and cleverly designed apps, a 100-contact plan is free to start with. The basic plan, for bloggers and entrepreneurs, is $10 per month for 500 contacts. Other plans increase send speeds and subscriber caps, primarily.
30: ActiveCampaign – Another extremely robust campaign management tool, this one has a nice method of color-coding and categorizing different types of emails, including proposals, follow-ups, and leads. For 500 contacts, the lite plan is $9 per month, while the small business plan is $49 per month. Small business gives you custom branding, their CRM, and up to 25 users.
31: iContact – For a subscriber base of 5,000 people, your email marketing system with iContact starts at $52 per month. For more automation features, split testing, engagement tracking and social monitoring, among other features, the cost rises to $129 per month. They also have a custom managed solution, but it requires a consult to work out a price for your business specifically.
32: MailerLite – Finally, to round out the list with another small, email-only manager, we go with the simple MailerLite. This app manages email and not a lot else, and it’s simple in pricing; for 1,000-2,500 subscribers, unlimited emails, it’s $10 per month. If all you want is some email marketing software, and don’t need all the extra features, you can’t go wrong here.
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