An Ultimate Guide To Drip Email Campaign

How to develop successful email drip campaigns

If you don’t already use drip email campaigns in your business, you miss out on a powerful marketing tool. When done right, drip email campaigns can be an extremely effective way to nurture your leads and convert them into customers. In this ultimate guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about setting up and running a successful drip email campaign.

What is a drip campaign?

Drip email campaigns are an automated way to send emails to your customers or subscribers at predetermined intervals. Such mailings are also called lead nurturing campaigns. They can be used to: 

  • Welcome new subscribers
  • Promote special offers
  • Keep your audience engaged with your brand
  • Remind about upcoming events
  • Provide helpful information or tips

An email drip campaign is a series of messages that are automatically sent to a contact at predetermined intervals. The interval can be based on:

  • Time (e.g. send an email every day for 7 days).
  • Actions taken (e.g. send an email 3 days after someone signs up for your list, signs up for a free trial, or makes a purchase).
A drip marketing campaign visual explanation
This is what automatic email sequences look like in drip campaigns depending on the actions of subscribers

The ideal drip email campaign is seamless, clearly planned and automated. It takes resources to prepare and implement, but if successful, all the effort pays off.

Why use drip email marketing

There are many reasons why you would want to use a drip email campaign in your business. Here are just a few of them:

  1. Automation. Once you set up a drip email campaign, the emails will be sent automatically at the preset intervals. This frees up your time to focus on other areas of your business.
  2. Increased engagement. Drip email campaigns keep your audience engaged with your brand by sending them timely and relevant emails.
  3. Improved conversions. Drip email campaigns can improve your conversion rates by nurturing your leads and building a relationship with them before they’re ready to buy.
  4. Segmentation. To run a successful drip campaign, you have to segment your list into smaller groups. This allows you to send more personalized messages to each group based on their specific interests, needs, and preferences. Segmentation is key to a successful drip campaign.
  5. Increased ROI. With the increased engagement and improved conversions, you can expect to see a higher return on investment from your email marketing strategy.

Drip campaign use cases

Let’s get down to business by analyzing some of the most popular types of emails for drip campaigns.

Welcome emails

A welcome email is an obligatory part of any email campaign. The welcome message is the most opened of all email types (57.8% vs. 14.6%). According to the same statistics, welcome emails have high click rates compared to other promotional mailings.

You can tell the newcomer everything they need to know about your business. Considering that welcome emails have such steep open and click-through rates, you have to take advantage of this. In welcomes, set a plan of action, i.e., tell the subscriber directly what to do next and where to go by including additional links to your website in the email for further engagement.

The mandatory parts of the welcome email are an introduction (a couple of lines about the company), a brief description of the opportunities it offers, and an announcement of the next newsletter.

The welcome email from Birchbox below is a good example. In it, the company provides tips on how to make the most out of your subscription:

Birchbox welcome email example
Source: MailerLite

Onboarding

An onboarding series is a chain of automated emails that introduces a new user to the basic features of a service or system. Using onboarding emails, you can achieve a higher level of new user engagement and convert them into customers faster.

Grammarly’s email showed how their service could be used in various ways.

Grammarly onboarding email example
Source: Really Good Emails

Onboarding emails are important messages that your customers receive after they sign up for your product, software, or service. They serve as a way to educate your customers about what they can do with your product, and how it can benefit them.

Abandoned cart emails

Around 69.8% of shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes their purchase. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as changing their mind, forgetting about the purchase, or having doubts. 

The GILT store does a great job of enticing customers with large photos, clear discounts, appropriate email fonts, and minimal text. This automatic drip message makes it easy for the customer to make a decision and complete the purchase.

GILT abandoned cart email example
Source: Really Good Emails

If you want to convince someone to come back to your website and complete a purchase, it may be more effective to send multiple abandoned cart emails rather than just one. According to Omnisend, emails that come in a series are 63% more likely to be successful than a single email.

Post-purchase messages

Now that you have your cart abandoners completing their purchase, what’s next? This is a great opportunity to send a “Thank you” email to show your appreciation, but that’s not all! There are still ways to engage with customers, get feedback, and recommend other products. Bellroy’s post-purchase drip campaign is a great example of this.

Post-purchase email from Bellroy
Source: Really Good Emails

Also, post-purchase drip messages can include emails of recommendation. These messages are based on buying habits: frequent visits to the same section, repetitive site searches, just made purchases.

Recommendation emails can include product cards, coupons, and trends. For example, if you buy a coffee machine online, the store might send a coupon for fresh beans or filters because it knows you already have one. In a follow-up to Bellroy’s email campaign, they offer a selection of products based on a previously purchased product.

Recommendation message from Bellroy
Source: Really Good Emails

Re-engagement

The goal of re-engagement emails is to get your clients back into the fold and turn them from inactive to newly interested, engaged customers. This can be done in a number of ways, from a casual “Hey, what’s up?” to a more formal invitation. Whatever method works best for your business, make sure your drip message has some sort of promotion with benefits so people want to interact with you again.

Clear re-engagement drip email
Source: Really Good Emails

Confirmation emails

The sale is closed, and the user has made a purchase. But the drip work isn’t over yet. If you sell tickets for airplanes, trains, theaters, and movies, or rent hotel rooms, remind the person of their purchase the day before the event (check-in, trip, event).

You should send a “Thank you”, tell them about the product features, and suggest similar products. Confirmation emails are important because they let customers know that their order has been received and is being processed. This helps to provide peace of mind and avoid any confusion or frustration.

Confirmation drip email example
Source: Really Good Emails

Promotional messages

Sales are a great way to increase interactions. A drip campaign can help you keep track of your promos and offer deals that are too good to pass up. By offering occasional discounts and sales, you can entice even the most skeptical of customers. Free trials, promo codes, and temporary markdowns are all great ways to enhance interest.

Below is an example of a limited offer that is hard to get past:

Promotional drip email example
Source: Really Good Emails

Lead nurture

To increase sales, it is helpful to encourage customers to purchase items. However, some customers may drop off. One solution to this problem is to use a series of lead nurturing emails to reduce the number of people who drop off. 

When someone takes an interest in your product or service, it is the perfect opportunity to reach out to them with more information. This could involve sending them additional information about your products or services, or providing helpful tips related to what they’ve already purchased. 

Sending emails that are strictly promotional can sometimes turn people off and make them less likely to engage with your content. Instead, add in your lead nurturing email some value and usefulness. 

For example, Framebridge includes helpful tips and guides in their email content. This provides value to the reader and nurtures leads:

Lead-nurturing email example
Source: Really Good Emails

It is important to keep in contact with your clients and nurture your leads to make sales. This requires more than just a couple of emails, but rather a consistent stream of communication.

Product information/educational

To make your product in demand and useful for people, provide them with all the necessary information about it. Here, drip messages can include information about what exactly their purchased item will do for them; how to use your product or service better. Any educational tools such as textbooks or tips that can help maximize the user experience are great material for a drip email campaign.

Dossier does an excellent job with its drip email:

Dossier educational email
Source: Really Good Emails

Competitive emails

With a clever email drip campaign that compares your product to your competitor’s product, you can generate interest and conversions from potential customers. This is also an opportunity to offer promotions or discounts.

It’s easy to see how Moo can make superiority claims even without naming competitors.  The message highlights all the great features of their product and its high quality:

Competitive email example
Source: Snov.io

Unsubscribe emails

If a customer removes themselves from an email list or subscription service, don’t just let them go. In addition to the classic “We’re sorry we’re breaking up”, you can add links to the company’s social media pages. Maybe the user isn’t bored with you. Maybe they just don’t use email and want to interact with you on Facebook or Twitter. In addition to asking what inspired their decision, you can provide special offers or incentives that will get people back on board again.

Unsubscribe email example
Source: Really Good Emails

Pros and cons of drip email campaign strategies

Automated drip campaigns offer a number of advantages in terms of efficiency. These have been discussed in detail above. However, it is also worth considering the potential drawbacks of this marketing strategy. Let’s compare the pros and cons of drip marketing.

👍 👎
Are a great way to keep your target audience informed without overwhelming them with too much information at once. You can customize the content and delivery schedule to best suit your needs. To be successful, drip campaigns require time and effort as well as careful consideration to ensure that the messages are relevant to the recipients.
Can be quite novel as such, which may capture the attention of your target audience and increase the likelihood that they will engage with your message. May take some trial and error to find the right timing and content for your campaign.

How to set up a drip email campaign

When planning a drip email marketing campaign, keep the following tips in mind for the best chance of success: 

Choose your trigger

Your drip campaign can be based on any number of interactions. Think about what makes the most sense for your business. For example, if you’re a B2B company, you might want to create a drip campaign that’s triggered when a user downloads a white paper from your website. If you’re a B2C company, you might want to create a drip campaign that’s triggered when a user adds an item to their cart on your website.

Other triggers may be: 

  • Visit a specific website page
  • Form submission 
  • Click the link 

It’s important to think about the user journey when you create a drip campaign. What action do you want your users to take? And what information or resources do they need to take that action? Once you have a clear understanding of the user journey, you can start to map out your drip campaign.

Define your audience

To create an effective drip marketing campaign, you need to know your target audience’s goals and pain points. One way of researching this is by creating customer personas that include information on demographics as well other relevant facts. These can be used to find out what sort of activity and content would most benefit them.

Design and write a copy for each email

The next step in a drip marketing campaign is to create content for each email. Think about what you want to share, and how long your email sequence will be. Remember that each email in your sequence should offer something of value to the recipient.

Email design is more than just making it look good. A well-designed message can help you reach your business objectives by optimizing every metric from clicks to conversions. So don’t underestimate the power of design.

Lunch, test and see the results

Since drip marketing is automated, it is most convenient to launch such campaigns using specialized services like Selzy. These services make it easy to set up and manage your drip marketing campaign, and they provide a wide range of customization options to fit your specific needs.

When you automate your drip campaign, it’s important to monitor the results and make changes as needed to optimize the campaign. Just because it’s automated doesn’t mean you can set it and forget it.

How to measure the performance of email drip campaigns

When measuring the effectiveness of a drip campaign, it is important to focus on metrics beyond just open rates and clicks. Instead, focus on the value of your email list, the activity of your subscribers, and your engagement rate. This will give you a more complete picture of how successful your campaign has been.

Your email list is the foundation of your drip campaign, so it is important to make sure that it is healthy and active. Check your bounce rate and unsubscribe rate to ensure that people are still interested in receiving your emails. Also, take a look at the activity of your subscribers to see how engaged they are with your content.

Finally, your engagement rate is a good indicator of how well your drip campaign is performing.

Most marketing automation tools allow you to track campaign analytics. This includes data such as email open rates, link clicks, and replies. Selzy also allows you to monitor your recipients’ engagement. This way, you can see how well your campaigns are performing and make necessary adjustments.

Best email drip campaign examples

Let’s take a look at an example of a drip campaign from Grammarly. This short series of emails will give you inspiration for your own drip messages. 

An example of what you could include in your emails sequence is shown below. This will help prepare your new prospect for the purchase.

The first email is a friendly welcome and introduction to the benefits of subscribing:

Welcome email from Grammarly

Next comes a series of two onboarding emails that explain the features of the service, as well as let you know about your progress in using it:

Onboarding email from Grammarly
Your progress message from Grammarly

Next comes a promotional message, which reveals the possibilities of different package plans with a hint of upgrading your account:

Promotional email from Grammarly

The next two emails (sent two days apart) are directly pushing you to buy a premium package, offering you a nice discount:

Drip email campaign example
Grammarly drip email campaign example

Finally, after you buy a subscription, you get a confirmation email from the company:

Conformational email example
Source: Really Good Emails

When you plan your email drip campaign, remember that your contacts may read all of the emails in the series. Keep this in mind when determining the content and tone of each email. It may take a few emails before the recipient takes the desired action, so make sure that each email builds upon the previous one.

Final thoughts

A drip campaign is an automated email marketing campaign that sends out a series of emails to your subscribers.

Drip email campaigns are often used for the following purpose:

  • Welcoming new subscribers
  • Promoting special offers
  • Keeping your audience engaged with your brand
  • Reminding about upcoming events
  • Providing helpful information or tips

Drip campaigns usually consist of a series of emails at specific intervals, each of which contains a certain message that is designed to move the lead further down the sales funnel. The time between each message can be based on factors like time or someone’s actions

There are many reasons to use a drip email campaign in your business:

  1. Automation saves you time.
  2. Increased engagement improves customer relationships.
  3. Improved conversions mean more sales.
  4. Segmentation allows for more personalized messages. 

All of these factors can lead to a higher return on investment from your overall email marketing strategy.

To put drip campaigns into practice, stick to the following steps:

  1. Consider your business and target audience.
  2. Determine triggers.
  3. Create the number of campaigns and email combinations that will help achieve success. 
  4. Remember the uniqueness and relevance of each message in the chain. 
  5. Keep track of your results and optimize your company’s performance.

Examples of drip email campaigns show the limitless possibilities of drip marketing. It can be used to build long-lasting relationships with your target audience, as well as to achieve other goals: creating a need for a product and increasing sales. 

Do you run email drip campaigns?

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