Buyers have increasingly higher expectations. The evolution of the internet and the age of information have spurred a more informed society. Consumers are acutely aware of what they want and how they want to get it—they just need a little push. This has been a catalyst for the concept of “lead nurturing” and the various digital avenues to practice it.

One of these will forever remain…email.

In fact, just as marketers thought this was a dying art, email marketing is doing better than ever. It’s projected by the year 2024, the number of email users will reach 4.48 billion.

And one way to reach them is to start an email drip campaign.

What is a drip campaign?

A drip campaign is a form of digital marketing where relevant information is “dripped” to sales leads over a period of time. These messages typically take the form of email marketing and are based on either a user action or predefined time interval.

For any given action, a marketer can choose the number of emails, type, and rate at which to send them. These emails can also be personalized with data, such as a prospect’s name or specific references to actions they took.

A drip campaign is automation mixed with prewritten messages. Important engagement points are mapped in the marketing automation system and information is generally sent on a preset schedule in response to a specific action or strategic plan.

Drip actions

Some examples of important actions a consumer might take to trigger a drip campaign include:

  • Purchasing a product or placing an order
  • Shopping cart abandonment
  • Not placing an order for a period of time
  • Engaging with customer service
  • Attending a store event
  • Registering for a webinar
  • Downloading a report or white paper

Anything you can think of where automation easily gets the message across should be suitable for another drip message.

How are drip campaigns used?

Drip campaigns help you better connect with the right person at the right moment. They are designed for hyper-targeted messaging without the manual labor. They accompany every prospect through the sales pipeline and assist them when any snags or challenges occur.

Important dates

Date-based automations help a brand communicate with an audience on days that matter to them. This goes beyond just a birthday. You can also initiate a drip campaign for things like:

  • Subscription renewal
  • Reordering prompts
  • Anniversary of first purchase
  • Major holidays

Anything that can further brand value for the consumer can be added to a timely drip campaign.

User behavior

Drip campaigns can also be triggered by a user’s behavior. This includes actions they do or do not take. Here are some examples:

Welcome email

When a new person joins the audience, use a welcome drip to share your brand highlights or product information and tips for first-time users. Keep new people posted on upcoming events, sales, and other relevant activities.

First order

After someone makes an initial purchase, thank them for their business. Reinforce they made a good decision and suggest complementary products for future purchases.


This is a great automated email to boost sales. Recommendation messages can be sent with an order confirmation or shipping details.

Customer service

Emails that follow up after a customer service or sales inquiry are a productive way to keep your audience engaged. This creates an opportunity to further educate and onboard prospects.

Lead nurture

Drip campaigns are particularly well suited for nurturing active interest in prospects. If someone registers for a webinar or downloads a white paper, this is a cue to send a lead nurture drip email that keeps the conversation flowing.

Abandoned shopping cart

Anytime a prospect fills a shopping cart and then moves away from the page, you want to send them a reminder message. You can encourage people to reassess the purchase or send them offers on similar items.

Types of drip campaigns

When it comes to the method and style of drip campaigns, there are several archetypes to choose from. Some of these include:


This type of message keeps leads engaged throughout the sales process.


This includes any relevant data for prospects to help them make a more informed purchasing decision.


These are designed to win back the interest of cold leads.


Messages for new clients (or internally) to move readers through a training program.


Target a competitor’s customers with a better offer or the benefits of switching to your product.


Entice prospects with time-sensitive promotions and special pricing offers.

Setting up a drip campaign

Drip campaigns are an automated workhorse that helps a business maintain the marketing, nurturing, and selling that’s essential to success. Setting up drip marketing is not as difficult as one might think. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose what will trigger the campaign. Is it a specific date or action?
  2. Identify your audience. Information must be targeted. Where in the pipeline are they?
  3. Tailor your messages. Drip emails don’t need to be long, but they should always be on-brand.
  4. Measure your success and adjust based on performance. Choose metrics based on the email you type, audience, and other factors. You may track open rates, click-throughs, and conversions.
  5. Save all copy. These messages can be repurposed down the road.

Why are drip campaigns important?

A study of 2,000 people on the Transformational Consumer, found that more than half of us are engaged in a never-ending search for content, services, and products to support changing behavior. A drip campaign is just the type of marketing to encourage this quest.

Drip campaigns are important because they support a variety of business pursuits. Benefits from this style of digital marketing include:

  • Nurture leads
  • Boost sales
  • Provide relevant and timely information
  • Targeted and custom messaging
  • Increase engagement
  • Bolster brand trust
  • Automate manual actions

Drip campaigns are also one of the easiest forms of digital marketing to track and analyze. All sorts of metrics and user behavior data can be collected to give a brand deeper insight into exactly what people want to see and read.

Best practices for your drip campaign

When creating a drip campaign, there are a few things to remember.

Specific design

Make it easy for prospects to express their preferences regarding things like the frequency of messages, the type of content, and how they would like to receive it. Never push messages on anyone. That negates the point.

Targeted campaigns

Always tailor your message to a specific audience in mind. The more targeted your marketing, the more relevant the email will seem to the very person reading it.

Test everything

Always monitor and analyze every drip campaign you send. This is how you will test the effectiveness and which aspects of the campaign are working, or what needs to be changed. Review key performance indicators (KPIs), campaign goals, and important metrics like open and bounce rates.

Use your tools

Marketing automation tools typically integrate with other platforms that will make your life easier. Consider items that facilitate drip marketing, like social media management, CRMs, and analytics.

What have we learned?

Drip campaigns are a vital part of digital marketing. The most popular medium is email. This type of personalized messaging provides timely and relevant information to people, just when they need it. Not only does it leverage sales, it stimulates brand trust, and brings your customers closer to you.

Looking for a marketing automation tool? Check out Insightly Marketing.