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What is Drip Marketing? A Guide to Drip Campaigns

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build relationships with prospects and turn them into customers or clients. It is incredibly versatile as well. You can run email marketing campaigns to subscribers who have joined your email list or run campaigns to cold prospects as part of a sales or marketing campaign.

Through drip emails, you can automate communication at key points of the customer journey. Read on to know more about drip marketing and how you can use them to increase your conversions.

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What Is Drip Marketing?

Drip marketing is the process of delivering a sequence of automated messages to subscribers or leads. You can send these messages via email or another messaging channel. For example, you could run a drip marketing campaign via LinkedIn Messenger.

What is drip marketing?
Source: Zapier

Drip marketing allows businesses to communicate with subscribers during significant events or dates in a customized and tailored manner. You will send those messages based on audience behavior or another strategic automation strategy.

For example, you might send an initial email and a series of follow-up emails to a sales prospect. The goal of a follow-up email campaign might be to secure a sales meeting with a prospect whom you’ve never met.

A drip marketing campaign will typically contain somewhere between two-seven messages spread out over a period of time. The number of messages you send will depend on your campaign and the goal you want to achieve.

Before you kick start any campaign, it's best to verify the email addresses using an online email verification tool to make sure you are sending the email to the right person.  

Why Should You Use Drip Campaigns? 

Even with the increased popularity of social media, digital marketers still rely on email drip campaigns because they have proven to be so effective. Below are some reasons why people use drip marketing to engage with subscribers and prospects:

  • Develop a relationship: You can use email drip campaigns to share information about your company and/ or offer. Each email offers you the chance to engage the prospect. 
  • Incentivize Action: When you send a series of considered emails to a person, you increase the chance of taking some form of action. That action might be responding to your email request, clicking on a link, etc.
  • Saves you time: automated emails are a huge time saver. You set up the campaign, and it will run on autopilot.
  • Lead nurturing: Converting new subscribers into customers requires patience on the part of the business. You need to provide a good customer experience. That means sharing relevant information with a prospect when they are likely to find that information useful. Drip marketing allows you to achieve this goal.

Those are just some of the many benefits of drip marketing. Hopefully, you get a sense of why you should utilize drip marketing in your business operations. With that in mind, let’s jump into the core part of this guide.

How To Get Started With Email Drip Campaigns? 

Running a drip marketing campaign is straightforward. For the best chance of achieving success, follow the four-point plan that is laid out below.

1. Research your audience

If you want your drip marketing campaign to be successful, you need to understand your target audience’s goals, pain points, and motivations. One way of researching your audience is the creation of a customer persona.

A customer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your customer base. It includes a mixture of demographic and other information about your customer.

Here’s a nice example of a customer persona below.

example of a customer persona below.
Source: BuyerPersona

The customer persona is an important source of information you can refer to when devising your marketing campaign. You should also set some SMART goals. SMART goals will give you a reference point for assessing the success of your drip marketing campaign.

2. Design your campaign

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The next stage of a drip marketing campaign is to decide what you want to share and the timing you’ll use for your email sequence. The number of emails in your sequence and how often you send those emails will be determined by the type of campaign.

However, here are some general things to keep in mind.

Each of the emails in your sequence needs to provide something of value to the recipient. So, for example, with a welcome email sequence for recipients that have just joined your email list, you might send the following sequence:

  1. Welcome email where you share some information and deliver the content upgrade.
  2. Set expectations with the subscriber and share a couple of examples of your best pieces of content.
  3. Share a personal story that a new subscriber might find engaging.

Each of those three emails in the sequence has a specific purpose. The recipient should gain a better understanding of the business/ person sending the emails.

The goal is to foster a relationship with the recipient.

The second consideration is when to send those emails?

Your drip marketing campaign needs to engage the subscriber. You don’t want to annoy them by flooding their inbox with messages. That would be counterproductive.

Regardless of the drip marketing campaign you are running, those considerations I mentioned are paramount. You need to think about how many messages to send, what you want to share, and how often to send those messages.

Be ready to experiment. You probably won’t get everything right the first time.

3. Write your copy

Once you’ve designed your drip campaign, you need to write your copy. You should use a mixture of intuition and best practices for creating the messages for your campaign. Concerning best practices, try to keep your message concise and focus on one primary goal.

For example, if you were sending a sales sequence, you might use the following:

  1. Explain why you are getting in touch and why they should have a meeting
  2. Share social proof and examples of previous results for other clients
  3. Send a final follow up where you share your availability

You can see each of these messages has a specific purpose. Keeping each message focused makes it easier for a recipient to understand what you want from them. Secondly, you can address a specific issue from various perspectives.

After all, different people have different drivers. 

4. Test and modify

Drip campaigns are great because you can leave them on auto-pilot. However, you should only let a campaign run on auto-pilot once you’ve done everything possible to optimize the campaign.

The metrics you’ll use to assess success will vary according to the objectives of your campaign. For example, if your goal is lead generation, the ultimate Key Performance Indicator might be the number of meetings you secured. On the other hand, for a welcome email sequence, you might track a metric like email open rate.

The short-term goal of your monitoring efforts should be to optimize conversions. A longer-term objective is to ensure that the conversion rate doesn’t dip over time. If there is a drop over time, you may need to revise the copy.

Examples Of Drip Campaigns You Can Create

We've gone through some of the fundamentals of what makes an effective email drip campaign. Now let's get down to business by dissecting some of the most popular email types.

1. Welcome mails

Making an excellent first impression can spell the difference between an email marketing campaign and one that underperforms. 

With welcome drips, you can tell a newcomer everything they need to know about your business. You may also give your new subscribers an idea of the things they can expect from you. The welcome email from Birchbox below is a good example:

Example of welcome email
Source: Mailerlite

A welcome email is a great way to arouse interest in your brand, increase anticipation for future emails and events, and invite your subscribers to explore your site and content. 

2. Re-engagement

User engagement is a strong indication of how likely a subscriber is to turn into a buyer or whether they're on the verge of churning. Drip emails allow you to take constructive measures to keep your subscribers involved and get inactive users back to your site. Periodic emails, quality updates, websites, and other methods of maintaining subscribers interested are excellent options.

Source: HubSpot

If a customer hasn't taken any action, you can start a drip campaign to encourage them to come back and try the product. Sending them emails that illustrate product features and how they can be used can help convince them to give it another try.

3. Abandoned cart

Online shoppers often add items to their shopping carts and then abandon the transaction. This behavior, known as cart abandonment, costs businesses billions of dollars of lost revenue each year.

Source: Shopify

People are either just exploring or aren't ready to buy yet, so abandoned carts are prevalent across industries. However, it takes time and effort to make a purchase. An abandoned cart email drip will assist you in converting your customers. 

Your drip email can remind a customer that their goods are already in the cart. You may then use a limited-time offer to build a sense of urgency and lower the resistance to making a purchase.

4. Customer feedback

Email marketers use drip email campaigns to ask customers for their feedback on a product, service, or event. 

Source: Blog eDesk

Typically, the first email in a customer feedback drip campaign is sent immediately after the order. In contrast, the subsequent emails are sent automatically if the customer still hasn’t left their feedback, even if a certain amount of time has elapsed after the first request.

5. New product launch

A product launch email campaign is more than just a single email sent the day before your product goes on sale. Instead, it's a collection of emails you send out to get people excited about upcoming events. Therefore, it must be meticulously prepared and timed.

There are five types of product launch emails:

  • Product Release emails
  • Upcoming features announcement emails
  • Pre-Order emails
  • Event – webinar invitation emails
  • Future Sales emails

Here is a simple drip that you can follow:

  • Send a “mysterious message” two weeks before the product launch.
  • Send it one week before the launch to announce the new product.
  • Release the product and send the message out on the first day of the product's release.
Source: Sender

Every email you send has the potential to make or break you, so you need to tailor them accordingly.


Drip marketing is a great way to engage your audience, develop leads, and generate sales. This guide looked at the different elements of drip marketing. The first part of this guide defined drip marketing and looked at how you can use drip marketing campaigns for your business.

The latter half of the guide looked at some examples of drip marketing campaigns.

If you're planning to use drip marketing, the campaigns we’ve discussed in this article should help you out. Remember, marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You will be rewarded by spending more time developing a relationship with your audience with higher conversion rates.

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Article by Owen Baker

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