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LeadPages' Drip vs Infusionsoft vs Ontraport Marketing Automation

Is It Really "Drip vs Infusionsoft vs Ontraport"?

I first wrote this a couple of years ago when LeadPages, which I have used extensively over the years and really loved, announced that they had purchased their "favorite marketing automation tool," Drip.

Naturally, my friends and associates in the online community asked me if I have a "Drip vs Infusionsoft" writeup, so I dove right in to create that, and, since I was already plugging away, figured I'd add Ontraport to the mix as well.

While I am also an affiliate of Drip and like what they are doing, looking at "Drip vs Infusionsoft" is akin to comparing a new Cadillac CT6 sedan to a Cadillac Escalade.

I picked the Cadillac CT6 on purpose because it's a new model from Cadillac and Drip is a relatively new, but luxurious, player on the marketing automation scene. 

However, both vehicles come from the same manufacturer, have four tires, an engine, and some really nice features in much the same way Drip, Infusionsoft, and Ontraport have many similarities as well as some key differences.


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All Three Do Marketing Automation

Drip is open, honest, and direct about what it is they do: marketing automation, and that's all.

They do it with a lightweight platform that is visually appealing with a vertical drag and drop sequence builder that is almost as sexy as Ginger on Gilligan's Island. (Look her up you young whipper snappers. She was sexy!)

Infusionsoft also does marketing automation with the first (in their space) drag and drop workflow builder, but they allow you to build out your workflows left to right and/or vertically. 

Ontraport, meanwhile, does not have a drag and drop / visual workflow editor, which makes learning Ontraport a little harder at first, but it's not like Calculus 3! It's just not as easy as Drip and Infusionsoft.

However, what I don't like about Drip is how they lump Ontraport and Infusionsoft into the same world as Eloqua and Marketo and claim that Drip is "a lightweight alternative that gives you the bulk of the value at 10% of the sticker price."

That's both an inaccurate and misleading statement, insofar as Ontraport and Infusionsoft are concerned. (See my Ontraport vs Infusionsoft writeup for more details on those tools.)


My Biggest Regret About HubSpot Is...


Drip vs Infusionsoft vs Ontraport Pricing

Drip offers a Basic package at $49/mo, which gets you 2,500 Subscribers and unlimited email sends. 

With Infusionsoft's Basic package you'll pay $199/mo, which also includes 2,500 Contacts, 12,500 emails/mo, and three user licenses.

So if my math is correct in the Drip vs Infusionsoft pricing we have $49/$199 = 24.6% so their claim of being "10% of the sticker price" of Infusionsoft is off by 246%.

When it comes to Drip vs Ontraport, they're even farther off the mark since Ontraport offers their own Basic package at $79/mo with a 90-day, no risk, money back guarantee that gets you 1,000 contacts, Unlimited email, and one user license. However, Ontraport does not have a sexy drag and drop builder but you do get a lot of other features that Drip doesn't offer. 

So if my math is correct in the Drip vs Ontraport pricing we have $49/$79 = 62% so their claim of being "10% of the sticker price" of Ontraport is off by 620%. Wow. 


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What happens when you are successful with Drip's marketing automation and you need more than 2,500 contacts? You'll pay $99/mo. 

What happens when you are successful with Drip's marketing automation and you need more than 5,000 contacts? You'll pay $149/mo.

What happens when you are successful with Drip's marketing automation and you need up to 25,000 contacts? You'll pay $254/mo for Drip, $297 for Ontraport, and for that many with Infusionsoft you need to haggle, which is where I come in. (I'm nagging them to increase their contact thresholds...wish me luck).  

So in a nutshell, i.e. not completely, not 100%, not down to the gnat's ass, the pricing looks like this (platforms listed in alphabetical order):

  Drip Infusionsoft Ontraport
Basic Edition $49/mo $199/mo $79/mo
Contacts 2,500 2,500 1,000
Emails Unlimited 12,500 Unlimited
Free Trial 21 Days No No
Money-Back No No 90 Days
Lead Scoring Yes Yes Yes
Reporting Best Decent Decent
Visual Builder Yes Yes No
CRM No Yes Yes
E-Commerce No No No
Upgraded Edition Business Complete Pro
Price $149/mo $379/mo $297/mo
Contacts 12,500 10,000 25,000
Emails Unlimited 50,000 100,000
E-Commerce No Yes Yes
Landing Pages No Yes Yes
Popups No No Yes
Affiliate Mngmt No Yes Yes
Sales Automation No Yes Yes


Sales and Marketing Automation

The "sales and" part of "Sales and Marketing Automation" there is the key differentiator when considering Drip vs Infusionsoft vs Ontraport.

Drip is not a CRM or sales automation engine. That means you'll have to integrate this with Salesforce or Zoho or Sugar or some other 3rd party CRM if you need to track deals through your various stages.


Pick Wes's Brain


If you're purely an online marketer and/or close all of your deals via one call closes then you probably don't even need a CRM.

Additionally with Drip you'll need a 3rd party shopping cart such as Shopify or 1ShoppingCart if you want to take orders online. 

The benefit of running your business like this is that you can implement "best of breed" componenets in each phase of your business. Salesforce is the 800 lb gorilla in the CRM space. Shopify is a beautiful, powerful shopping cart (and a great website / blog platform as well). 

However, the more tools you piece together the more likely complications will arise. What happens when your prospect takes you up on your 10% off offer and the Drip API doesn't fire off properly?

Not only will your new customer NOT get they product they ordered, they'll also get the "Final offer of 20% off" email the next day.

Now you risk not only profit but maybe the customer altogether, not to mention your reputation.

When you have Drip connected to Salesforce connected to Shopify connected to Zapier connected to Drip connected to Zapier...things can and will go wrong.

You will have four tech support lines to call and troubleshoot when you build your sales and marketing automation system this way, which may be worth it because you're getting the best of breed, but you need to be aware of what you're getting into.

The more pieces and parts you connect also further cuts into Drip's "10% of the sticker price" argument.

If you're paying $49/mo for Drip + $27/mo for Shopify + $20/mo for Zapier + $50/mo for Salesforce ($25/mo/user for two users) you're up to $146/mo for just the basic editions of all of these tools, and how long do you plan on running a "basic" business? 

Month-to-Month Contracts

It also eats into Drip's flexible pricing / no-contract model. What good is a month-to-month contract with your marketing automation engine if your Salesforce CRM locks you into a 12-month contract?

Ontraport not only offers a month-to-month contract and a 90-day money back guarantee, they also offer two months free if you pay for a year.

And while Infusionsoft is moving towards an annual contract, they are still month-to-month as well.




The Truth About "Ease of Use"

Drip has great marketing that supports their beautiful interface and they really drive home the point that they are "easy to use." 

While I will hand it to them that it is easy to use Drip, you need to realize that if you need

  • a CRM,
  • a shopping cart,
  • landing pages,…

You'll need to go buy, learn, and integrate those tools into Drip.

So that's like In-N-Out saying "we have an easy-to-order" menu, which is true, as long as you don't want a grilled chicken or tuna melt sandwich or a salad or fresh fruit instead of fries.

Now don't get me wrong, I've probably eaten 1,000 pounds of In-N-Out burgers and fries since moving to SoCal in 2004, but I go next door to Miguel's Jr for the best burritos and I go to Vince's for the best meatball sandwiches. 

And sometimes, when my family of 9 can't decide, we park in the middle and some go get burgers, some go get burritos, and since In-N-Out is always more crowded, the burger-eaters usually bring their food to Miguel's so we can all eat together.

That's what you'll be doing with Drip if you need a CRM, a shopping cart, and/or landing pages. (Good thing LeadPages bought Drip to help alleviate some of the mixing and matching.) 


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Drip Is Great at ONLY Marketing Automation

So if you want/need best-of-class and/or you only need email marketing automation then get Drip. It's a beautiful, elegant, well-oiled machine and I hope Infusionsoft, HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, Nimble, and Ontraport learn from what they are doing right.

At the end of the day Drip focuses on just a few things around marketing automation, triggering, and reporting but does them well.

Now with their LeadPages merger I expect to see even more coming from them on a regular basis and I'm happy to recommend them to you if you are either looking to upgrade from MailChimp or ConstantContact or Aweber and/or don't need the expense of an Eloqua or Marketo for their current marketing automation.

For those that need a CRM, a shopping cart, membership site integration, affiliate marketing, and more, Drip may not be the tool for you.

That's when I'd direct you over to take the free Best CRM For Me survey to see what would be best for your current needs.

Or feel free to contact me and let's arrange a time to dig in and peel this onion until we find the tool that's right for you.




Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.