Migrating from Mailchimp to Drip

Published: 25 Sep 2020

Modified: 25 Sep 2020

Rainier Watch

Email Marketing

Marketing

Hi there, my name is David and I hate email marketing. (Well that is until recently).

For those who don’t know (aka everyone except my friends and family), I run a small outdoors consumer apparel e-commerce brand (aka we sell mega cool mountain branded stuff like hats and stickers) called Rainier Watch (henceforth RW). RW is a little side hustle of sorts that I run out of our spare bedroom, in my spare time. The name of the game in e-commerce has long been emails. And it hasn’t changed even as Facebook takes over the world with Instagram while we all perpetually scroll while in quarantine. So I’ve known for years that all the small business ‘how to articles’ and experts say I need to invading users of my website with a thousand pop ups, games, and freebies in order to drive newsletter signups. Being the stubborn first born that I am, I promptly ignored all that advice and probably lost out on millions (by millions I mean hundreds) of dollars in sales. My thought was as a web developer and general user of the internet, I don’t want my website to have features that I hate to see when browsing (like newsletter pop ups). So I kept a tiny footer email signup and rarely sent emails. As such my little business, that has averages yearly sales of around $10k-20k in under 3 years of being in the e-commerce game, has had a super tiny small email list (until earlier this year it was under 300). In addition to avoiding the dark patterns of newsletter signups, I didn’t particularly enjoy writing emails and or using the email platform I was on (Mailchimp). So I didn’t really want to spend time cultivating a list for something I didn’t like. Well as you might have guessed, my opinion on this has changed and that sentiment has flipped on its head.

To back up a step, when I started my little e-commerce venture, I grabbed Mailchimp as an email software platform. It was free, it seemed good enough, and thats what all the blogs said to use. Although it was fine, I’m like Hamiliton and the perfectionist in me is never “quite satisfied” (you are welcome for that ear worm). So for several years, I’ve had my eye on this other email platform, called Drip. Drip has a beautiful UI and tasty branding. And I’m a sucker for both those things. I think I originally found it because it was a small startup founded by some indie makers in my home state of Minnesota. (Since then they were purchased by the same parent company as Leadpages, and having been flying solo since Leadpages was sold in January 2020.)

Okay let’s rewind to a several months ago when I became a “long time listener, first time caller” for Drip because they just launched an integration with the ecommerce platform that I use for Rainier Watch, WooCommerce. I jumped on board with this integration and I quickly scampered to add it to my site. Because you can create an account to test things without paying, I did that and poked around the dashboard. It was beautiful.

That beautiful UI

Then I added the Drip JavaScript snippet to begin tracking users and 💥 all of sudden my account was costing me $50 a month. (Oops, I didn’t realize this would happen after adding the JavaScript tracker). Then before I knew it, two months had gone by without me doing anyways. (Massive shoutout to Drip customer service who has credited me for those 2 months where I didn’t use Drip. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 ). But suddenly my schedule opened up last month and I took off my water wings to flounder around in the deep end. Oh and even better— Drip had changed the pricing model a bit reducing my monthly cost to $20. Way more affordable for my little side hustle! There was much rejoicing!

The Migration Process

This was easy. Well maybe too easy, there’s part of me that second guesses that i did everything correctly from a legal standpoint. But basically I followed this article (can't find article to insert) and exported my people from Mailchimp and then imported them into Drip. I setup tags to match the tags from Mailchimp and then made sure to turn off all the MC emails. Oh and I also updated all the forms on my website to point to Drip.

The Deep End

Spoiler alert. I love the deep end. And as far as deep ends go, lets say I’m not even in the high dive area yet. More like carefully flirting with the rope of the end of the kiddy pool. But using Drip is joyful, the interface is beautiful and oh boy those hover states! I often spend 30% of my time in Drip just hovering and un-hovering on buttons and cards.

Oh so pretty!

Besides the super serious reasons like hover states and tasty UI, I love how easy they make email marketing.

Reasons why I love Drip:

  • The Automatic workflows are really easy to understand and edit. Because they are visual I feel like most folks can figure them out pretty quickly.
  • Pre-built workflows are amazing and allow you to hit the ground running. I took full advantage of this and highly recommend them! Check em all out
  • The depth in the Workflows is really impressive with how many integrations and features you can do.
  • Their visual email editor hits a great sweet spot of easy to use without over complicating things or being too advanced. I think Mailchimp’s is more advanced in terms of customization but I prefer Drip’s because of this sweet spot!
  • Split testing is everywhere. If I was better at marketing I’d split test everything (I know by disclosing I’m not split testing all the marketers reading this are about to throw their device across the room).
  • The documentation and education sections are really fantastic. Drip has released a lot of great video content that help explain the platform and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface of the MyDrip platform.
  • Related to the documentation and education, Drip also hosted a regular webinar about ecommerce marketing this summer. I soaked up lots of knowledge from these and then in last summer they invited me on as a guest and did a breakdown on Rainier Watch’s customer journey. It was super fun and you can watch the replay here!
  • Again, as I’ve said, I drool over the dashboard; the user interface is one of my favorites out there.

That being said, it’s not all roses and peaches in Dripland. Here are some things I feel that could be improved:

  • Their dashboard site while beautiful is not really responsive, so don’t think about opening it on a phone without having to pinch in and pinch out all over the place. I would forgive this if there was a smartphone app, but there’s not. I’m sorry but I strongly feel you can’t really run a SaaS in the year 2020 without a responsive website and/or app.
  • To have your embedded form update automatically you need jQuery installed. Luckily I’m on the world’s most popular (cough worst cough) CMS, WordPress, so I have jQuery on my site. But jQuery should never be necessary. I mean come on, its the year 2020!
  • I haven’t been able to figure out a way to do transaction emails for things like order confirmations. So if anyone knows how to wire up an email that will read order details from Woocommerce, give me a shout on twitter (I really wish I could setup some slick order confirmation emails to replace the not so pretty WordPress default ones.)
  • Email live preview could be improved to render Liquid code. Example: I have a post purchase email that asks the customer how their order went. In that email I removed the liquid code because I wasn’t 100% sure it was working. I don’t want strings of code going out to customers.
  • Customer service is really, really slow. Often it takes several business days if not more than a week. (I’m not on a premium tier that gets access to live chat so I have to wait for email replies). That being said while I was on Mailchimp, I didn’t get any customer support. (Although I was on the free tier so it’s not exactly comparable). And I will say the reps have been quite helpful so far, once they do reply.
  • Hosted forms are very basic and have basically no customization. Whoa, hold the ☎️! I just noticed Drip recently rolled out a new form editor and I haven't kicked the tires yet.

Automated Workflows

So a few weeks ago I sat down and built some automated workflows because my goal with marketing has always been a hands off, automated approach. Like I said earlier I started with the pre-built workflows which saved me oodles of time. Here’s the email workflows for Woocommerce (and their pre-built templates) that I used a starting point. I hope they are helpful for you!

My Welcome Series: Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Workflows updates:

After running my workflows for 2ish months, I definitely found the most success with the welcome series I built. If it’s your first time doing email marketing, I’d recommend starting with the Welcome series and Cart emails. Of course all businesses and markets are different so definitely test things for your business!

Here’s the revenues from my little micro business in the last month or two:

  • Welcome series: $400
  • Abandoned Cart: $350
  • Browse Abandonment: Under $100
  • Post Purchase follow up emails: Under $100

What workflows are you using? I’d love to get your suggestions!

Conclusion

I know I aired a lot of grievances and its not even Festivus yet! But my conclusion is this, I used to hate doing email marketing and now I enjoy it! So that’s a big win for Drip and I’m a very happy customer. If they could fix or work on a lot of the things above I’d be over the moon.

I love Drip for email marketing and I think you will too! If you found this helpful and want to take Drip for a day test drive, sign up with this link and try Drip for a 14 day free trial! (Yes, the link is an affiliate link but like all affiliate links I have on my website, it won’t cost you anything and I wouldn’t be recommending it unless I honestly loved it).

Tweet me your questions or comments; thanks so much for reading!

(That reminds me, I need to setup comments set up on this website).

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