Everything You Need to Know about Drip Marketing

Email marketing through newsletters is a great way to make announcements about your company, updates about products and services and new and upcoming deals. The problem with traditional email marketing is that new subscribers that opt in to your email list only end up seeing the new emails after they sign up.

what is drip marketing, everything you need to know will be explained in this article

This doesn’t give them an accurate representation of the whole scope of products or services your company offers. As a result, they can miss out on a ton of information and potentially miss out on revenue.

This is where the power and structure of drip marketing comes in to solve that missing puzzle piece.

In this guide, we will discuss the elements of drip marketing and why it can be a powerful marketing tool when used correctly. We will discuss why drip marketing is effective, at what stages of your lead generation process you should have a drip campaign and how to properly setup a drip marketing campaign.

We will also dive into the importance of accurately identifying your target audience and how to analyze your drip campaign marketing efforts to improve them.

At the end we will finish up with the industry leading drip campaign marketing software that can help you automate your business and take control of manual processes.

What Is Drip Marketing

Drip marketing or also referred to as a drip campaign, is a set of sequenced emails that go out to your leads and customers based on specific actions they take and different time intervals. These sequenced emails allow you to strategically stay in touch with your leads and customers in an automated and structured way which is meant to optimize the client experience and improve communication flow.

Picture showing emails being send from one person to another.

Every time an email is sent through a drip campaign it comes from a sequenced que of other emails that are pre-created. They are waiting in line to be sent out to your email list based on certain timelines and actions that a lead or client performs. If you are still looking to build an email list, check out the growth hacking tools.

Actions That Trigger Drip Campaigns

Some of the actions that trigger an email from a drip campaign include:

  • Initial opt-in to your list
  • Completing a sale
  • Filling out a form
  • Certain amount of time has passed
  • Abandoned Shopping Cart
  • Upsell Opportunities

These are just a few of the many actions which can trigger a pre-written email inside a drip marketing campaign. They are meant to enhance the client experience and provide a steady flow of automated communication between your business and the customer.

The beauty behind drip marketing is the automation, structure and timing elements. They are meant to send your leads and clients the right message at the right time. Not only that but you can accurately create powerful list segmentation that can further enhance the client experience.

Like all things, it’s important to have a well balanced approach to your drip marketing campaigns. You don’t want to send too many emails and you don’t want to send too few. You need to find the right balance and timing for your campaigns and that starts with knowing your audience. See here the skills you would need to land a job within Marketing Automation.

Recommended Reading: Why Marketing Automation Could be Your Next Big Move

How Effective Is Drip Marketing

If executed correctly, drip marketing campaigns can dramatically increase the ROI on your ad spend, increase your client retention rate, and squeeze out extra revenue which traditional methods lack.

Drip marketing is most effective when you clearly know your target audience and refine your email list segmentation.

Once you accurately begin testing the performance of your drip campaigns and refining your email sequence, drip marketing can become a serious money maker for you. Some of the reasons that drip marketing is so effective includes:

  • Cost Effective
  • Personal and Customizable
  • Action Focused
  • Measurable
  • Mobile Compatibility
  • Structured and Automated

Drip marketing can create a fluid functionality inside your online business and improve many communications aspects that traditional methods lack. It all starts with knowing your target audience and accurate tracking. If the tracking within the system you are using is not efficient enough, check out these analytics tools.

When Should You Use An Email Drip Campaign

Drip marketing and drip campaigns all have numerous strategies that marketers can use. The central focus however is the same: to enhance the customer experience and keep them engaged with your product or service.

In order to understand drip campaigns further it’s important to know some of the most popular scenarios when creating your automated e-mail marketing sequence. They are used throughout the email marketing process and will vary depending on what kind of business you have.

Pro Tip: All the suggested methods do not need to be used in order to have an effective drip campaign. Your drip campaign should be unique to your product or service offering and how quickly a conversion occurs inside your email marketing campaign.

Lead Nurturing With Drip Campaigns

Leads are the lifeline to any business, especially online businesses. Without leads, you won’t have customers. At the initial opt-in point, leads require “nurturing”. They need a bit of handholding and gentle exposure to your product or service.

People talking in from of an email message visualization

The lead nurturing process can have many different components depending on your goals and what kind of target customer you have in mind. Some popular lead nurturing methods include:

  • Opt-in confirmation ( courteous and shows professionalism)
  • Free trials ( light exposure to products or services)
  • Educating leads on a certain product or service
  • Pointing leads to website resources

The first e-mail in your drip campaign sequence should be very gentle and should not cause your lead to think that all you want is a sale.

It’s your chance to make the first impression and it’s important in order to understand the responsiveness of your audience and test your ad copy.

Sample Lead Nurture Email

Sample of a lead nurture email from Sales Loves Marketing

You can manually send welcome emails to all your customers but that can be extremely time consuming and prevent you from being able to scale your business efficiently. Drip campaigns can help you nurture your leads from the start and eventually turn them into paying customers. Sign up for our newsletter, we are not selling you anything but only give you marketing & sales information.

Welcoming Your Leads

Welcoming emails function in accordance with the lead nurture process. They sometimes act as a secondary follow up to assign sales agents, introduce product or service features, or simply a welcoming hello.

Welcome your leads before you start the lead nurture

The statistics for open rates on welcome emails following an initial opt-in show that they hover around a whopping 60%, so it’s extremely important to have a welcome email sent 24-48 hours following an initial opt-in.

Having a well-crafted welcome email is a great way to start the momentum of your drip campaign sequence and keep your email open rates high.

If your lead engagement is active from the start you increase the probability of converting them into a paying customer.

Recommended Reading: Converting Clients Using Cold Email Templates

Onboarding Your Leads/ Clients

Drip campaigns are extremely effective in helping you to proactively onboard clients who may have gotten stuck at some stage of the process. We can’t stress enough how effective this can be for your business if it’s structured correctly inside your email sequence

It’s great if your business is able to acquire demo or trial users for your product or service, but it’s much better if those trial users turn into paying customers.

Expiring Trial Example:

If you have trial users on a 14 day trial and their trial ends, on the 14th day you can have a carefully crafted drip email that goes out to them with a link to pay for the service if they want to continue using it.

This can function as an automated way to funnel your trial users into paying customers without you lifting a finger. All it takes is a well-structured drip email to turn that trial user into a paying customer.

Abandoned Shopping Carts

It’s very common for online shopping stores to have a client start adding products to their cart to only abandon them somewhere throughout the process. There’s a plethora of reason why this can happen, but a drip email for an abandoned shopping cart can help you rescue the sale.

According to e-commerce giant Shopify, about 68% of online shopping carts get abandoned at some point during the sales process. This is a staggering figure which can make a massive difference in your online business being successful.

E-commerce example where someone puts something in their digital cart

See the Full Article Here: Why Online Retailers Are Losing 67.45% of Sales and What to Do About It

If online companies don’t have the proper drip campaigns in place for abandoned shopping carts, they are losing on a massive amount of cash. An automated drip email can be structured to trigger once a customer fails to make a purchase within a certain amount of time after adding a product to their shopping cart which can help rescue the sale.

It’s also worth noting that follow up emails on abandoned shopping carts have roughly a 50% open rate and about a 15% conversion rate.

Abandoned Shopping Cart Example:

Imagine your online business had 100 abandoned shopping carts per day, with an average order value of $50. That equates to $5,000 in lost revenue.

If you have an email drip campaign and it gets fired off 24 hours following an abandoned shopping cart, you can rescue at least $375 of that lost $5,000 with a single email.

The Math:

100 abandoned shopping carts    x    average order value ($50) = $5,000 lost revenue

Drip email blast to the rescue:

100 emails   X  50% open rate x 15% conversion rate = 7.5 orders X $50 = $375

The rescued revenue amount of $375 might not seem like a lot, but it adds up to over six figures after the course of a year. A single abandoned cart drip campaign can potentially be worth six figures. It’s a powerful automated functionality to have in place.

Product Upsells and Recommendations

A great way to increase the average order value is to have proper upsells and recommendations in place for client purchases. Amazon is known for leading the way for product recommendations and upsells with things such as “frequently bought together” and you might also like” taglines by other products.

These kinds of strategies induce clients to purchase more and as a result can help you increase the average order value of your website and increase repeat sales.

Having these kinds of e-mail campaigns in place, after someone buys or directly inside the sales funnel is a great way to squeeze more revenue out of clients and enhance their shopping experience.

For a B2B SAAS sending out up-sell emails is a great way to decrease your Net Churn.

Pro Tip: This will depend highly on the type of product or service you have and allows you to have different levels of clients. It allows your product to have flexible levels which can create additional revenue for your business

Product Renewals and Upgrades

Software products and services tend to have re-billing and expiration periods. If a customer’s subscription needs to be extended, upgraded, or is going to run out, you can deploy a friendly drip campaign to ensure that the customer upgrades or extends their subscription.

It’s a great way to ensure consistency in your revenue and to also keep clients engaged with your product or service.

The great thing about drip campaigns is that you can configure them in a way that gives clients multiple warnings before their product is going to expire. If a product or service is coming up for renewal or expiration within 1 month you can structure 3-4 emails to give them the proper heads up.

The first drip email can be sent when expiration is coming up in 30 days. The second would be when they have 2 weeks remaining. The third would be when there is one week remaining and then a one to two more emails when their expiration period is 24 or 48 hours away.

Product Renewals and Upgrades Example

GoDaddy handles their drip marketing campaigns extremely well when it comes to the expiration and renewal of domain names. They send multiple emails once your domain is one month away from expiration and make it their duty to make sure you are aware. Below is a sample drip email they send.

GoDaddy screenshot from a product renewal offer

This whole process is automated on their end and it allows them to stay in constant contact with their clients in order to help them not lose their domain properties.

If you want to get more examples or looking for tools which can help you, check out the marketing automation tools.

Opt-In Product Confirmations

Another important component in drip marketing is purchase confirmations and opt-in confirmations. They are critical in making sure clients are aware they made a purchase. Confirmations are also important in helping distribute important information that clients may need in the future. These can include:

  • Hotel reservation confirmations
  • Product and service payment confirmations
  • Signed document confirmations
  • Email sent/ received confirmations for important financial information
  • Completion confirmations

They are important in making sure clients are properly notified when they have completed an intended action and it helps to take the confusion out of online processes that have occurred.

Below is a sample confirmation of a hotel reservation email that details all the information a client will need once they get to the hotel.

Example of a drip email with a confirmation reservation for a hotel

Audience Engagement Emails

It’s more than obvious that the more a lead or user interacts with your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase at some point or another. Audience engagement drip campaigns are emails that are meant to navigate the user back to your website in one capacity or another.

If you notice that a current user or lead has not interacted with your website or content in some time you can have pre-set drip campaigns in place to send out to them to get them back to a new blog post, product page or entertaining piece of content.

These types of emails are especially useful for activity based apps. If the app notices that a user who was very active a month ago and has all of a sudden stopped using the app, they can send a drip campaign as a friendly reminder to get back out there.

Below is an engagement email from the fitness app RunKeeper that does just that.

Activity based emails in a drip campaign

Different Stages of Content Consumption

There can be a number of ways in which different people consume information. Some take long periods of time before making a decision and some make decisions much quicker.

What drip marketing can allow you to do is create different stages of content drip emails in order to help provide valuable insight to clients that need more information before making a purchasing decision.

They are carefully crafted drip content emails that reveal more and more information about a product or service with each additional email sent. Below is a sample content drip sequence that can be created with an automated drip campaign.

Drip Marketing Sequence example for any business

Tracking Unsubscribes and Engagement

It’s very important to measure your open rates at each stage of your drip campaign.  It will give you the necessary insight into how to properly structure the length and timing of your campaigns.

A good measure for doing so is seeing at which stage of your drip campaign that your open rates start to decrease or if there are breaks in your email deliverability.

If you notice that your open rates start to decrease by your 5th or 6th email that should be an indicator that you shouldn’t send more emails or you should optimize your ad copy.

It’s also to accurately track at which stage you are noticing the most unsubscribes and what kind of ad copy causes people to unsubscribe. After that you need to begin accurately tweaking your campaigns in order to reduce unsubscribes. This can all be done with the use of smart templates.

This tracking and tweaking can have a major impact on your business consistency over the course of a year. It’s more serious than people realize.

How To Set Up a Drip Marketing Campaign

At this point you should have a good general understanding of different use cases for drip campaigns and why they are vital to increasing your conversions and client experiences.

Setting up a drip marketing campaign

In order for you to accurately create a well-structured and automated drip campaign, you have to peel back some of the layers of your business and marketing mix. It all starts with the client experience in mind.

Identify Your Target Niche and Audience

The start to any successful drip campaign begins with your target audience and list segmentation. You can’t just funnel all of your subscribers into the same category and blast off the same emails to them.

Every subscriber is different and it begins with carefully mapping out the types of drip triggers you will have inside your campaign.

The starting point to “drips” begins with two types of triggers:

  • A completed action on your website, app or initial email (gets added to different drip category)
  • No action taken ( gets added to a different drip category)

Once someone opts-in to your email list and completes an action or fails to complete an action, a “drip” email will be triggered. Not only that, but they will get split up into different categories which will start segmenting your list.

Pro Tip: It’s also worth noting that you can have different drip campaigns structured for different types of leads pages, funnels and types of actions taken.

Let’s explore some common actions taken by users which can trigger initial and additional drips.

  1. Someone opts-in to your email list. This can trigger a welcome drip and also begins the segmentation process and you can automatically start the lead nurture process.
  2. A customer makes a product purchase. A product purchase moves the client from simply a lead into a separate customer category. This can trigger payment confirmations, upsells and product recommendations.
  3. Customer signs up for a trial. A trial sign up moves a lead into a potential customer zone and starts sending sequenced instructional emails and how to use a product or service. After the trial is over, they will get sent to a product purchase page.

These are some of the most standard drip triggers. Once you see website visitors taking actions you can begin to see where your drips are doing well and where they are potentially struggling.  

Map Our Your Drip Campaign Flow

At this stage you should be visually mapping out your drip campaign flow. This can be done with flowchart maker such as Visme.

Map out your drip campaign flow with a tool like Visme

This should be your planning phase where you label out your initial sequence and what the workflow will look like once someone enters each stage inside the drip campaign. At this stage you should also establish some sort of minimum conversion targets for each drip, so you have a method to measure the effectiveness.

Some common factors to consider when building your drip campaign stages and setting up your list segmentation include:

  • The order of the emails based on each qualifying trigger
  • Amount of emails based on each trigger and list segment
  • What are methods I will use to measure triggers and conversions
  • Split testing ad copies
  • Frequency of the emails
Work towards a deal with your email marketing campaign

Once you have these accurately planned out you can create your drip campaigns. This will require some alignment between your marketing and sales teams so they know their responsibilities once a lead comes through a lead funnel or if they want further information.

Run Your Drip Campaign

This is the fun part. Once you have carefully designed and implemented your drip campaigns inside your business it’s time to activate them and begin seeing the machine at work. It’s like building a small machine that is meant to automatically connect and follow up with clients.

In order to do this you can manually build it out inside your website or use a third-party drip campaign software to help you manage and track all of this for you.

Keep always track or the KPI of your drip campaigns

A great piece of software that can help you build amazing personalized experiences, create meaningful customer engagements and increase your client retention is DRIP. They are the leader in drip marketing and have plenty of free resources to help you get started.

Reading tip: See all marketing terms in our Marketing Glossary

Analyze and Adjust Your Drip Campaign and Messages

Even though your drip campaign is automatic, it doesn’t mean you should just let it run. It’s important that you spend the necessary time to analyze the behavior and performance of segments. See where you can make adjustments in order to improve your desired results.

Track and analyze your peformance when doing a email drip campaign

It’s not enough to just create a drip campaign and call it quits. You have to constantly monitor it and adjust its components. Through careful measuring and optimization you can improve your drip campaign.

Important Drip Campaign Performance Factors to Consider:

  • Time Spent On Initial Lead Page
  • Click-Through Rate at Each Stage of the Drip Campaign
  • Intended Action Conversion rate
  • Ad copy split testing performance
  • Lead Page Bounce Rate

Pro Tip: Don’t default to analyzing every single performance from the start. Start with the most important first, and work on optimizing the ones that are relevant to your business.

How to Measure Your Drip Marketing Campaign Results

If you don’t accurately measure the performance of your drip marketing campaign at each stage, you can’t gain the necessary insight to make important improvements which can drive more revenue.

As we mentioned, you don’t have to analyze every single performance metric from the start. You need to find the one that is relevant to your bottom line and slowly optimize its moving parts. But how can this be done and what does the analysis look like?

For starters, the easiest way to do this is through a paid drip marketing app such as DRIP.

List Segmentation through Tags

Drip has powerful features that allow you to understand your leads and customers the second they enter your website.

From the start they allow you to see how visitors interact with your website. They also give you a great way of segmenting your list and customizing a unique message to them.

Create segmentation in your drip campaign by using tags

Custom Fields for Personalization

Website visitors who land on your website and subscribe to your list or funnel can have custom tailored messages ready that give the experience a personal touch.

Make sure you enter personalized data in your drip campaigns by using custom fields

Event and Customer Behavior Tracking

Drip also gives you the ability to track every single website click and see what your customers are up to. You can see any time a customer has taken an action on an email, product page, when they made a purchase and the value generated from your email campaigns.  

Send emails based on customer behaviour or certain events

These are just a few of the many features available through Drip that allow you gain an edge inside your own business and improve your communication with your leads and customers in an automated fashion.

Other tools to consider: data / analytics.

Reminder: if you have seen terms you don’t know yet, check out our marketing glossary of terms with more information on them.


If you have an online business that is growing you should highly consider drip marketing. It can help automate mundane tasks and improve your client communication flow.

It will help certain processes inside your business become automated and consistent and ensure your customers have great engagement and experience with your business right from the start.

Reading tip: 10 Email Marketing Strategies To Improve Your Audience Engagement