ActiveCampaign Vs Drip

If you currently run a small to medium sized business and are looking for a reliable email marketing service, then two names that you might have come across are ActiveCampaign and Drip. These are both marketing automation service providers that have been around for a number of years.

There are so many different marketing automation platforms on the market that it can be difficult to decide which one would be right for you. They all come at different prices, include different features, and are suitable for companies of different sizes. If you are trying to decide between ActiveCampaign and Drip, then you have come to the right place.

In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about ActiveCampaign and Drip, so you can make a well-informed decision with confidence that it is the right choice for you. Just keep reading to find out more about these two companies.

ActiveCampaign Vs Drip

Active Campaign Vs Drip

Active Campaign has been around for the last 15 years, steadily building itself a reputation as a marketing automation leader, and they serve more than 70,000 businesses around the world. Some of its main features are its workflow editor and integrated CRM.

On the other hand, Drip, which was launched in 2013, has quickly gained traction with businesses that are looking to take advantage of its ecommerce CRM features and intuitive automations.

If you are trying to decide which of these two companies is right for you, then you will need to find out everything there is to know about each of them. One may be better suited to your needs than the other, which is why it is so important to find out what they can both offer you when it comes to marketing automation.

We are going to provide you with a full comparison between ActiveCampaign and Drip below, so you can find out exactly what features they have to offer, and how much their plans will cost you. Some of the main things that we are going to look at include:

  • Usability
  • Email Design Flexibility
  • List Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Forms
  • Ecommerce 
  • Integration
  • Spam Testing and Design Testing
  • Reports
  • Integration
  • Customer Support
  • How Much They Cost

ActiveCampaign Vs Drip: What You Need To Know

The first thing that you should know is that ActiveCampaign and Drip are two powerful marketing automation platforms. However, the integrations and automations that are provided by Drip are most suited towards ecommerce.

On the other hand, ActiveCampaign’s inbuilt CRM will allow for better integrated sales and marketing automation for businesses that have sales processes that are more complex.

Usability And Email Editor

To start off our comparison, we are going to take a look at how easy these services are to use. With Drip, you can expect to be greeted by a vibrant and modern interface that includes just a handful of top menu options that are very easy to familiarize yourself with. The actual process of building the emails is slightly less conventional than with other services. 

This is because instead of the standard drag and drop builder that most companies tend to use, you will instead need to use a selection based approach, which involves selecting the section that you wish to edit, and then choosing what content you wish to insert.

Once you have done this, you can then choose the section that you want to add it to again, and your intended result will be applied.

The email editor is very dynamic, but it probably isn’t the most intuitive email editor that you will be able to find on the market. Unfortunately, it also isn’t the most efficient, but it does get the job done.

With ActiveCampaign, you won’t get the color and excitement that you get with Drip. Instead, this service is much more business oriented, which is why it is much more professional looking.

However, even with that being said, the menu options do make a lot of sense, and everything is separated into headings, making it all really easy to find. The dashboard may look a little overwhelming to some at first, but you can customize it to make it more simple or if you want it to only contain the things that you need.

Building emails is typically a lot easier to do when you are using ActiveCampaign, and the drag and drop editor that you use provides you with much more flexibility when it comes to the layout. It also means that you will be able to insert a wider variety of content elements, like social links, video links, and RSS.

You will even be able to insert conditional email content, like different product offers if a certain contact has shown an interest in such a product before, for example.

Out of these two options, ActiveCampaign is the more intuitive. Although Drip may be easier to familiarize yourself with, ActiveCampaign is much more flexible, and it is the best option long term.

Templates And Design

One of the most important things for you to consider is design, and usually, the more design options that are available to you, the better. In this instance, one of these companies offers more flexibility than the other.

Drip only has a small total of 6 email templates, and these are also very basic layouts. You will need to apply your own style, color, background, and more. You could choose to import your own HTML, and most email marketing services will allow you to do this, but if you were booking for lots of templates to use, then you will probably be disappointed.

Alternatively, ActiveCampaign will provide customers with more than 125 fully designed and responsive email templates for you to choose from. All of these templates are quite modern, and due to the wider variety of options to choose from, ActiveCampaign is the winner of this segment. 

Managing Lists

Something that Drip does have going for them is the fact that their list management and segmentation features are very impressive. You will be able to create your own segments by combining various different types of criteria, including event based data. 

An example of this would be creating a segment of people that have or have not clicked on an email in a specific automation. You could even do the same for people that have not clicked on the last few emails that they have received, or customers that have placed a certain number or orders.

There is even the option to apply tags to contacts if you want to categorize them by using different characteristics, like source, or whether or not they have gone to a specific page on your website. These tags can be applied through either an automation workflow, or through Drip’s universal rules function.

In addition to all of this, Drip will also allow you to segment using custom fields, and you can even set up lead scoring in order to identify hot prospects.

ActiveCampaign is not too different from Drip in terms of what it has to offer, as it also allows you to create segments out of custom fields, tags, event data, contact actions, and various other criteria. They can also be created manually within lists or by using automations if you are looking to make cross list segments.

Something else that is available with ActiveCampaign is lead scoring, which will allow you to set up some complex scoring that is based on a long list of criteria or actions. These two companies are both relatively equal when it comes to list management, but the simplified interface that Drip has to offer may make them slightly better for this purpose.

Marketing Automation

If you have landed at this article, the chances are that you are looking to find out about which company is better at marketing automation. If we take a look at Drip, we can see that it definitely has the most interesting automation workflow editor out of these two options.

It is both easy to use and well designed, and it is also quite flexible and can be fun to use all at the same time.  There are lots of different automation triggers that you can choose from with Drip, like link clicks, page views, tags assigned, and even actions in integrated tools, like a purchase in your Shopify store.

As well as this, you will be able to add workflow steps like sending campaigns, moving contacts into other campaigns, or even splitting contacts down multiple paths.

So, with the Drip workflow editor, you will be able to build pretty much any type of automation that you want, and in a very intuitive way. This is something that can be quite a complicated process, so this is really helpful.

As well as this, you can set up automation rules, which are basically universal actions that get applied whenever a contact performs a certain action, no matter what campaigns might have been set out or what tags that may be applied to them.

You can even set up restrictions so that you can exclude certain contacts if you need to. So, if someone were to view a certain webpage on your website, you can simply set up a rule to send them a campaign, without having to build a full workflow in the automation editor. As you may already know, powerful features like this can be really hard to breat.

Although, surprisingly, ActiveCampaigns does a good job of matching this. They also offer a visual editor where you can build automations, and their service also comes with a great library of pre-built templates that can get you started. 

The overall experience is not as polished as it is with Drip, but it is intuitive enough for you to use it, and it is also just as flexible. There is a long list of both triggers and actions for you to choose between, and these can even be combined, so you can build complex workflows for sending out emails, data segmentation, lead scoring, and much more.

As well as all of this, due to integrated CRM, you will also be able to automate a variety of sales processes too. So, if you want any leads to be generated from your marketing campaigns to automatically enter your pipeline as a deal, you can set up automations that will be able to do just that. Finally, you can even automate any follow up sales emails that you want to be sent.

Sign-Up Forms

Sign-Up Forms

With Drip, you will be able to create various different types of forms, like widget, embedded, and even hosted forms. Inside of the visual form editor, you will be granted control over customizing form fields, a few basic design elements, confirmation messages, and more. 

Your form submissions can also trigger various different actions, like adding in a tag to a contact, flagging as a prospect, moving or moving them from a campaign or workflow, or recording a conversion.

Something that you should be aware of is the fact that if you are using a widget or popup form, then you will not be able to add in a dropdown radio button or checkbox fields. As well as this, if you are making an embedded form, then you will only be able to add these field types if you were to customize the HTML. This is not really ideal for beginners.

ActiveCampaign’s visual form builder is a lot better than this because it allows you to build different types of forms, like inline, floating bar, floating box, and pop up forms. However, the last 3 are not available if you are on the lite plan. You will also get more control over the overall design of the form.

The most important thing to note is that you can easily add different types of form fields like text, dropdown, radio buttons, checkboxes, and even hidden fields. This means that you don’t have to play around with HTML to do what you need to do.

With drip, you will even be able to trigger various different actions once a contact has submitted a form. You can add them to lists, tags, and even deals. This is why you can also add them to any associated automations. So, when it comes to creating forms, ActiveCampaign’s form editor is much more flexible, and it is easier to use.

Integrations For Ecommerce

Both of these marketing services offer great integration options with some of the most popular ecommerce platforms, which will allow you to import store and customer data and track revenue that has been generated by emails and campaigns. But if you are running an online store, then which one of these options is the best one to choose?

ActiveCampaign has deep data integrations with 3 different platforms, which are BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Shopify. This means that ActiveCampaign is able to pull in customer data from your own online store. It can pull information like your total revenue, orders, and products that have been purchased. ActiveCampaign can then use this information to build segments, campaigns, and automations. 

As well as this, there are third party integration apps like Revenue Conduit and Zapier, which will allow you to import data from other ecommerce platforms. 

Alternatively, Drip takes this one step further. It offers customers direct integrations to many of the same platforms as ActiveCampaign, and it also supports additional third party integrations like BigCommerce and SamCart. There is even a Shopper Activity API that you can make use of if you take some time to set it up.

However, it goes even further than this in a few different areas. Drip allows you to trigger automations for even the simplest of customer actions, like if they are viewing a product page, or adding an item to their basket without checking out. All of these options are available by default through the automation editor, which means that you don’t have to create a specific event in order to set them up.

Webpage tracking is also available with ActiveCampaign, but it does require you to insert some tracking code into your Shopify store. The process is made to be much simpler with Drip, which does all of this for you automatically when you integrate the two tools. 

Drip will also allow you to dynamically add product information into your emails in a few different ways. An example of this would be the fact that you are able to send order confirmation emails without having information about which products were ordered, or how many items were in the checkout.

The thing that really gives Drip an edge over ActiveCampaign is that you are able to automatically add content like product recommendations and best selling products straight into your newsletters. All this can be done by using the Visual Email Builder..drip product recommendations.

So, while both of these options are great solutions for adding to the email marketing of your online store, Drip certainly feels more like it has been designed for this purpose.

Spam Testing And Design Testing

Something that is really important is for you to be able to test out your emails before you go ahead and send them. You should know that Drip does not offer any type of span or design testing other than standard email previews.

This means that you will need to run all of your emails through other tools if you want to check if they would be marked as span or see how they would look in different email clients. 

ActiveCampaign does offer spam testing through the use of SpamAssassin, which will automatically test every email before it is sent out. Email client previews for testing how emails would look in different email clients does not come free of charge, but you can purchase credits that will be able to do this.



Drip offers a good range of different report types, and you can get some standard overall reports in the analytical section. You can find out more about subscriber growth reports, unsubscribes, and bounces.

However, you will also be able to get some useful events based reports that will highlight when contacts have had a tag applied, become prospects, or visited a webpage. 

You will be able to both view a graph and a list of the contacts that have performed these actions. You can even set up custom conversion tracking for certain events. Ecommerce dashboards are also available if you were to integrate Drip with your online store.

You will be able to track exactly how much revenue was generated by individual campaigns or automation workflows. You will even be able to see your revenue per subscriber and average order value per email.

When it comes to individual emails that have either been sent as a single email or in an automation series, you can get opens, clicks, and unsubscribes, but this is about as far as it goes. You don’t get any click heat maps or geolocation reports.

Something else that you won’t be able to view are reports that show how each automation will perform overall, or social engagement statistics. 

ActiveCampaign has reports that are a little bit more comprehensive. The individual campaign reports that it provides are excellent, and highlight opens, clicks, unsubscribes, bounces, and forwards. You will even be able to view read reports, geolocation, social mentions and shares, and see which email clients have been used.

You can even have access to automation reports, contact trend metrics, conversation reports, and goal based reports that you are able to set up yourself. There are also ecommerce reports that are available if you set up deep data integration with either Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce.

As well as all of this, if your plan provides you with access to ActiveCampaign’s CRM, and you will even get their deal reports, providing you with funnel overviews and detailed deal reports. So, although Drip’s event based reports are really helpful, ActiveCampaign does offer you a wider variety of reports with more comprehensive data.


At the end of it all, it all comes down to numbers ActiveCampaign provides customers with direct integrations that have more than 250 applications and include some of the most popular CRM’s, analytic tools, CMS website builders, and social media networks.

Drip has much less integrations at around a total of 100. However, you will still be able to integrate directly with various apps like Shopify, Paypal, Facebook, and much more. Although, they don’t seem to have any direct integrations under their CRM category, even though they can be set up by using a third party integrator like Zapier.

Customer Support

Both of these companies provide email and live chat functions if you are looking for one on one support. There are also direct knowledge bases and community forums for both ActiveCampaign and Drip for when you need quick answers.

You will also be able to make use of one on one training, and ActiveCampaign makes tutorials and webinars available online for you to utilize.  They both offer great customer experiences and offer live support that is fast, friendly, and responsive.

However, Drip does offer 24/7 live support, whereas ActiveCampaign is limited to business hours. Having 24/7 support does make a big difference, especially if you are not in a US timezone. You will be able to get quick answers to your questions no matter what time of the day it is.

How Much They Cost

ActiveCampaign and Drip are two excellent email marketing services, which is why it is not surprising that they both come at a relatively high cost. They offer more premium features, although they do both have free trials available to them. Out of the two options, which of them provides better value for money?

ActiveCampaign and Drip both charge you based on the number of contacts that you have, but there are some differences between them. The main difference is that ActiveCampaign allows you to choose from 4 different plans. The most basic of these plans is the lite plan, which starts at just $15 a month and provides you with all of the basics that you might need.

You will need to purchase at least the plus plan if you want to make use of some of the more advanced features like CRM and deep data integrations with Shopify and more. This plan starts at $70 a month for 500 contacts.

Drip will provide you with access to all of its features, no matter what plan you  are on, and their cheapest plan starts at $49 a month for 2500 contacts. This is quite a big commitment to begin with. If you want to find out more about how these two companies compare when it comes to cost, then you can check out our table below.

ActiveCampaign Plus PlanDrip
2500 Contacts$125 (discounted yearly plan: $99)$39
5000 Contacts$169 (discounted yearly plan: $135)$89
10,000 Contacts$249 (discounted yearly plan: $199)$154

You can also make use of annual plans when you subscribe to Drip, and these will work on a credit system that also provides you with two months worth of credits for free. When you are comparing these two plans side by side, you can clearly see that Active Campaign is the most expensive option of the two.

However, you will get more with the plus plan than you would with Drip, like CRM and SMS marketing. This can make it more difficult to do a direct price comparison. You will also find that the Lite plan that is available with ActiveCampaign is slightly less expensive than Drip.

Although, you will miss out on additional features, like deep ecommerce integrations and CRM.

ActiveCampaign Vs Drip: Summary

When it comes to marketing automation, ActiveCampaign and Drip are two companies that you have probably already heard of. They can both offer intuitive and powerful workflow editors that allow you to build almost any type of automation that you want to. 

Drip is known for being particularly strong when it comes to ecommerce, but ActiveCampaign does often take things one step further in many aspects of their service. They offer a good CRM, as well as other useful extra features like email templates, spam testing, comprehensive reports, and more.

Both of these options are strong contenders, but it is up to you to weigh the pros and cons before you make a decision. With that being said, if you are still struggling to decide between these two companies, then you could even choose to make use of their free trial services.

Both Drip and ActiveCampaign come with their own 14-day free trials, so you can try them out for yourself before you commit to a paid plan. This will help you to decide which one you prefer.

Mark Matthews