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Why I Left Mailchimp for Drip

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Published by The Supreme Team on September 9, 2020

Email is my #1 promotion tool. Always has been.

I’d been using FanBridge since 2012, but it didn’t integrate with the WooCommerce shop I added to my site earlier this year. Mailchimp did.

Moving all of my FanBridge subscribers to Mailchimp would’ve cost me $99/month, so I chose to maintain two accounts: FanBridge for “fans” and Mailchimp for “customers.” As you’d expect, the lines were blurry and I was constantly shuttling people from one Soundcloud promotion service to the other.

Even with less than 500 subscribers, my Mailchimp bill ramped up quickly. I was charged for people I wasn’t allowed to email, and paying for additional “add-on blocks.”

I eventually figured out that if a customer unchecked the permission box on the checkout form, I could never email them. Removing the box didn’t help. They had to explicitly opt in. Maybe half did.

I’m not a lawyer (surprise!), but my understanding has always been that it’s okay to email someone you’ve established a business relationship with.

I recognize the distinction between “transactional” and “promotional” emails, but I couldn’t figure out a way to designate an email as transactional in Mailchimp, and support didn’t help.

Rendering half my customers unreachable was a deal-breaker for me. I ditched both Mailchimp and FanBridge for Drip and haven’t looked back. That’s an affiliate link, so if you continue after your free 14-day trial, I may receive a small commission to support the site.

Before I gush about Drip, I should mention that Mailchimp or FanBridge might be just fine for you, especially if you’re just getting started. Mailchimp is free for basic emails up to 2000 subscribers, though the price escalates quickly after that.

Scott Englund at FanBridge has been incredibly responsive and helpful over the years. The pricing is very competitive, and the product continues to evolve. You can get a free 60-day trial here (nothing in it for me).

Still, I think Drip is superior to both, even for a basic newsletter. That’s why I moved my How I’m Promoting My Music This Month subscribers over too. I receive a single bill based on the combined subscriber count of both accounts, and I can switch between them with two clicks.

Drip Subscriber Analytics

Warning: this may creep you out a little! You can click to enlarge any of these screenshots.

Drip subscriber detail view

For each subscriber, you can see every site visit, every order, and every email opened or clicked, down to the finest detail.

Drip subscriber web activity

You can peruse a subscriber’s entire journey from the day they signed up. Here’s a taste:

Drip subscriber activity

My Drip Welcome Series

The first step in a Color Theory subscriber’s journey is my welcome series, a 5-email campaign to provide a little background on who I am and what I do. It’s scheduled to go out over the course of a week, on weekdays at 11 a.m. in the recipient’s time zone.

Drip makes it easy to see which emails resonate with your audience, and which are causing friction.

Drip Welcome Series settings

Case in point, the “Why I don’t perform live” email used to have a clever title: “I have performance issues.” Once I spotted the dramatically lower open rate, I opted for clarity over humor.

Although none of the emails are sales-oriented, they still generate a bit of revenue (AOV is short for Average Order Value).

The campaign dashboard shows how many subscribers are receiving the campaign at any given time.

These sorts of campaigns aren’t just restricted to new subscribers. You can create as many campaigns as you’d like, and launch them with a vast array of triggers.

I’m planning to create an “album Soundcloud promotion package experience” campaign around my next release, triggered by a CD purchase. It’ll wait a couple of weeks for the buyer to receive their order, then launch into a daily series of stories behind the songs, working through the tracklist from start to finish.

My Drip Automations

The subscriber analytics and campaigns are top notch, but the automation is what really won me over.

I previously described how I crafted three automated post-purchase offers based on order history, so I won’t retread that ground.

Instead, I’ll start with Facebook integration. For that, I’ve set up three automations:

  1. When someone subscribes, they’re automatically added to my CT Subscribers custom audience on Facebook
  2. When a subscriber’s total order value exceeds $20, they’re added to my LTV>$20 custom audience, which is the source for my top-performing lookalike audience
  3. When someone unsubscribes, they’re removed from CT Subscribers and added to CT Unsubscribers so I can continue to reach them on Facebook

I also use Facebook custom audiences with my How I’m Promoting account, so that I can exclude those subscribers from my ad targeting. I want Soundcloud promotion real my ads to reach people who are interested in my music, not people who just want Soundcloud promotion real to see how I’m promoting it.

Similarly, I use Zapier to integrate with Patreon by applying the Patrons tag to new patrons. If they delete their pledge, it removes it and applies the Former Patrons tag.

Drip Re-Engagement and List Pruning

Drip is cheaper than Mailchimp to begin with, but I save even more money by ditching subscribers who don’t open my emails.

I used the workflow below to get from 11K combined subscribers down to under 4K:

Drip Re-Engagement and List Pruning Automation

If a subscriber hasn’t opened any of their last 7 emails, and hasn’t opened an email in 45 days, they’re sent an email asking them to conreal Soundcloud promotion firm their subscription.

If they don’t do so within five days, they’re unsubscribed and deactivated, so I don’t pay for them anymore.

To make doubly sure I wasn’t abandoning genuine fans, I targeted unsubscribers with an ad on Facebook asking them to resubscribe. Crickets.

Currently, I’m paying $69 a month for both accounts, which gets me unlimited emails to up to 4000 subscribers. I suspect that might drop to $59 next month after another round of pruning.

After this first round, open rates have never been better:

Drip Broadcasts High Open Rate

My How I’m Promoting newsletter went from 2696 subscribers down to 1408. As a result, my last email blast saw a 40% open rate!

Drip lets you easily resend emails to people who don’t open them, with a different subject line if you’d like. Even the resend saw a 23% open rate.

My Drip Signup Form

Popups are annoying, but they work.

I daresay I’ve found the right balance between annoying and effective here at Passive Promotion:

Drip signup form

My signup form is configured to appear after 100 seconds, so casual browsers won’t be bothered. Dismiss the popup and you won’t see it for two weeks!

As lenient as those rules are, I still got 150 new subscribers in the past month:

At colortheory.com I’ve got a different set of rules, the most important being not to interrupt a sale! The popup doesn’t appear on cart or checkout pages.

Drip vs Mailchimp Conclusion

I’ve only been using Drip for two months, and I’ve barely scratched the surface. Fortunately, they offer a detailed knowledge base and blog to explore, plus a series of courses and webinars.

It should be obvious by now that I highly recommend Drip. I encourage you to give it a spin, using my referral link if you would be so kind!

You can import as many subscribers as you like and test all the features for 14 days risk-free. Beyond that, it’s $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers and $29 per month up to 2500.

I also encourage you to subscribe to my How I’m Promoting My Email This Month newsletter, if only to be excluded from my Facebook ad campaigns!

Have you tried Drip? How about Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, or Klaviyo? Which do you think is best? Let us know in the comments!

SoundCloud Promotion

Supreme{PR} is a Texas based Organic SoundCloud Promotion Agency with a focus on music promotion streaming platforms like Soundcloud and Spotify. We generate real engagement through our partnerships with the largest promotion networks. Supreme{PR} provides 100% transparent Soundcloud promotion services and remarkable customer Soundcloud promotion service. Disclaimer: We offer organic exposure, not miracles. Make sure your songs are professionally produced and mastered.

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The Influencer

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SoundCloud Reposts

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FREE INTERVIEW

Interview Submissions for Musical Artists:

  • FREE PROMOTION FOR YOUR SONG RELEASE
  • Reposted to thousands of our FB, INSTA, TIKTOK, and TWITTER followers.
  • Added to HUM Music Blog (https://thehum.us/)
  • 24-hour Featured Artist Free Interview on our home page.
  • Streams from our website and SoundCloud playlists.
  • Daily emails to industry professionals.
  • Option to publish to 80+ News Sites, including NBC, FOX, CBS and Google News.*

Interview

  • If you don't use a real email we can't add you.
  • THE PHOTO IS 99% of the reason people click. (If it's WEAK, your interview will probably get removed.) You are an artist, show some creativity.
  • URL must be formatted like: https://soundcloud.com/user/song (Leave off the mobile "m." )
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

FAQ

  • How do Reposts Work?
    1. Your song is distributed to our network of SoundCloud Influencers.
    2. Our Influencers have between 10k – 500k followers each.
    3. Influencers repost your song to their followers.
    4. Followers may (or may not) choose to play, like, comment, or repost your track.
    5. The better the track, the better it will perform.
    6. You can monitor your engagements in SoundCloud Pulse or Notifications.
    7. Reposts stay active for 48 hours.
    8. To see an example of a repost schedule click here.
  • What are you going to do for me?
    We give your release a boost by getting it in front of a real audience. We provide you with a "first wave" of engagement that you may not be able to get otherwise. What happens next is up to you and your music.
  • How long do reposts last?
    Reposts stay active for 48 hours. After the first 48 hours, your reposts are too far down the stream to be noticed. Removing them keeps an influencer's channel from being over-used and outdated.
  • Will I go VIRAL from one organic soundcloud promotion?
    The truth is, probably not. Unless you have the next “The Box” in your pocket, you are probably not going to blow up from one promotion. We are not going to bullshit our clients and make false promises. Think “Brand Building” not “Overnight Sensation.”
  • Will I get noticed by labels?
    The best way to get noticed is to keep your brand in front of an audience while producing top quality material. Labels want real artists who already have a brand together, who self-promote and have a good presence on Soundcloud and Spotify. Please, don’t expect to send out some reposts and get signed. This is the most competitive business in the world.
  • Can I have the links to your influencer channels? 
    No. It took us many years to build our network.
  • How many is a million?
    The number represents the total amount of followers your song is shared with. It doesn’t mean that your track will be reposted by a million influencers.
  • Can I split an order between multiple songs?
    We require a minimum of 1 million reposts per song when splitting an order. The minimum order you can split between two songs is 2 million reposts.
  • Can I change the link to my song?
    Unfortunately, no. The organic Soundcloud promotion can't be forwarded. It is okay to change the title or other meta-data, just not anything that affects the link.
  • What if no one likes my music? 
    If we can't get anyone to repost your track, we will refund all of your money.
  • Are the organic SoundCloud followers real people who will become fans?
    They are fully organic, real, living people who have downloaded other music from our fangates and given the option to follow you. Once they are following you they will receive your music in their streams and it's up to you if you connect with them and build your community. This is how to turn them into "Superfans."
  • Will they immediately like my music?
    New followers are not automatic "fans" and will probably not engage your tracks right away. You have to engage them by streaming good music, following them back, comment on their stuff, and chatting with them.  Build your community.
  • How Long does it take to gain 1000?
    Once the campaign has started, you can expect 1 week per-1000.
  • How can I track the progress of a campaign?
    Watch your organic Soundcloud followers grow on the Pulse app or in Notifications on the website.
  • Can I change the link to my profile after I order?
    No. Unfortunately, the promotions can't be forwarded. It is okay to change the title or other meta-data, just not anything that affects the link.
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