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What Is a Drip Campaign? (+ How to Implement a Successful One)

April 3, 2019

When engaging with a brand via a purchase, signing up for their email newsletter, or requesting general information, customers always want to feel like the brand is speaking to them directly.

But with so many users interacting with your brand in different ways, from making purchases on your website to requesting more information to downloading a trial of your mobile app, how do you personalize each user’s experience to their interests and where they are in their journey?

A drip campaign is a large umbrella term for several iterations of email marketing strategies within your campaign that can be applied at different points in the user’s journey. After you become a pro at how to build an email list, you'll have a ton of potential email recipients at different levels of interest and involvement with your brand.

Drip campaigns are used to adjust your email marketing campaign for leads, established customers, or potential customers in different situations and terms of familiarity with your brand.

Drip campaign basics

This article will go over the basic elements of what a drip campaign entails and what you can accomplish using one, as well as how to set one up.

Learn more about drip campaign examples!


What does a drip campaign entail?

At its core, a drip campaign centers on getting people the right information at the right time. The campaign includes automated sets of emails that go out based on specific timelines or user actions. It enables you to stay in touch with groups of people based on events, such as a user signing up for an account or how often that user visits your site.

What makes drip campaigns so useful is the customizable and automated cadence at which a business can send them based on triggers or customer behavior. For example, a user signing up for a newsletter or requesting a demo with a high level of interest in a product might trigger more frequent and information-filled emails. A subscriber that does not interact with the product page more than once can be sent emails on a less frequent basis.

Each time a drip email is sent out, it comes from a queue of already-written emails. There’s no need to manually write and send each one. It also contains the ability for customization of the name, company, and other personal information of the recipient that provides the brand with a boost of familiarity to the potential customer. The campaign is a perfect balance of customizable for each user’s relationship to the product, while being automated and not requiring a large amount of time and effort from the sender.

TIP: Check out a few drip email campaign examples for inspiration on your next campaign.

When should you use a drip campaign?

Usually, you can determine when to use a drip campaign based on one of two types of triggers. The first is an action on your site or in your app, such as subscribing to your newsletter, making a purchase, or scheduling a demo or trial of your product. These types of actions necessitate fairly straightforward responses via a drip campaign. A new newsletter subscription warrants a welcome email, while a purchase warrants a receipt with a thank you or follow-up offer.

The second type of trigger for your newsletter is a piece of user demographic information based on interaction with your site. Examples of this kind of trigger are users who have signed up for your service weeks ago but have not returned to your site or started using your app for a project they did not complete. These types of actions allow for a bit of creativity in how you can strategize to reach out to the user and re-engage them with your brand.

How to set up a drip campaign

The first step in setting up an effective drip campaign for your brand is identifying the target audiences for each campaign you’d like to establish. Before crafting your emails, you must explore which segments of your subscriber base or interested users would best benefit from a campaign, as well as plan out the intended result of this campaign that you can keep in mind when crafting the emails.

After identifying the target audience for your campaign, write copy that is clear and actionable. Using the aforementioned example of a campaign of a user that has recently subscribed to your newsletter, the drip campaign that you can set up for this type of user will begin with a welcome email, as well as direct links to places on your site where they can learn more about your brand and the services you provide.

Once you craft your initial message, you should make sure that your campaign is planned out. Map the emails you’ll send and in what order they will be sent. Make sure your actionable items are in line with your message, and establish a way to measure the engagement of your recipients with these actionable items.

Finally, you can start your campaign with the confidence that your planned drip campaign has the full ability to convert your recipients into direct engagers with your brand and website. The only thing you will have to keep track of once the campaign begins are the metrics you deem important to hit before sending. Evaluate and adjust the campaign accordingly so you crush the metric goals that you set before the process began. An additional potential helper with setting up a drip campaign is the use of email marketing software

See the Easiest-to-Use Email Marketing Software →

Why should you use a drip campaign?

Drip campaigns and other automated email campaigns net an average of a 20% increase in sales opportunities compared to other leads, according to DemandGen Report. In addition to the known and statistically-proven benefits, a drip campaign will also add a personal touch to your emails that would be hard to obtain via manually putting together campaigns for all of the different customers and potential users of your product at various points in the process of buying or using your platform.

You’ve put in countless hours of work to generate a strong brand identity and attract leads and new customers to sign up for your emails. Why would you not put in the same amount of effort to keep their experience personalized and in-line with the type of experience you want your brand to present?

A drip campaign is an easy way to effectively provide this opportunity to your subscriber base, regardless of what stage they are in with your product.

Interested in amassing a large email list you can use for your drip campaign? Check out our guide on how to build an email list.

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