Can you run marketing automation with Drift?

We get the question all the time. Is Drift a replacement for marketing automation tools like Eloqua, HubSpot, or Marketo? In many cases, the answer can be yes. But let’s discuss what that means.

With Drift’s new email tool, you can now kick off sequences for both marketing and sales that are directly connected to your Drift messaging. This means that when these recipients click on an email or visit the site after reading them, they can see a tailored message or a message coming directly from their company representative (sales or customer success, it’s your choice how to set this up.)

This offers an incredible experience for people in your audience. To walk into a store, and feel like you are known is to feel truly appreciated. That is a difference maker in today’s relationship-driven economy.


You can kick marketing email sequences off from any dynamic segment (list based on attributes or buyer behavior event) that you choose. You just have to make sure that you are tracking these events. Many are built in, like the newsletter subscriber one you see below. (Other examples include page views, and the # of times someone viewed a page.)

But others require a more robust event analytics integration. This allows for infinitely flexible system that is capable of almost anything. However it does require a little bit of setup for automating playbook-driven email sequences based off things outside of the Drift ecosystem like video play in Wistia, Google Analytics page scrolls, and more. We use Segment to accomplish this here.


So does this replace other marketing automation tools? Well, considering you could use a form on your website driven by a point solution that allows for events, and that Drift allows you to do a whole hell of a lot (Especially with the Zapier integration); it is certainly possible.

If you use a CRM like Salesforce, there is a real case to be made for ditching your legacy marketing automation system. If you use something like HubSpot CRM, there is still a ways to go, but you might be able to do without the marketing automation side of HubSpot if your website is hosted on another platform.

Note: for those that prefer all-in-one tools for all your marketing including your website CMS, HubSpot is still a great option and covers 80% of what you might need when you integrate Drift. The other 80% is

You will want to look at your technical and cultural debt that has been built up over time, though. Can you afford to switch? Putting any financial investment aside, have really you invested a lot in your current marketing automation tool. (anecdotally, 75% of businesses I have run across have only really set up two or three automation sequences, and could move in a second.)

There is a lot to this decision. Ask us anything about it in the chat. I just might be the one to answer!

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