How drip email campaigns work

By Cole Battles on July 24, 2019

By Cole Battles on July 24, 2019

If you’re anything like me, you might have heard of a drip campaign, but didn’t completely understand what it was or how you could use it.

In addition to being the graphic designer extraordinaire here at T&S, I also help with content on a fairly regular basis. Depending on the topic, I enjoy writing nearly as much as I enjoy designing.

As a result, I recently contributed to a drip campaign project we started working on for a client. I had heard the term drip campaign, but hadn’t had the opportunity to work on one before. So I thought I would share some of what I learned, including some ideas for your own campaigns.

What is a drip marketing campaign?

Let’s start with a definition so we’re all on the same page. A drip marketing campaign is a specific type of email marketing campaign for lead nurturing. It consists of a series of prescheduled emails generally triggered by a specific event, such as abandoning your shopping cart on a website. It can be triggered manually as well.

It’s worth noting that if you’re a Mailchimp fan like we are, they refer to this as an Automation Campaign. That is to say, their Automation Campaign option can be used to create a drip campaign among other things.

The schedules can vary greatly as can the amount of emails. My research showed that for a lot of drip campaigns, 5-10 emails total with one delivery per week may work well. Of course, depending on what type of drip campaign you’re setting up, the specifics may vary.

Do drip campaigns work?

So before we get into some examples, do these even work?

They do!

Automated email messages like those in drip campaigns average 76.7% higher open rates and 151.9% higher click-through rates than normal email marketing messages, according to the Epsilon Email Institute.

And according to the DMA, more than 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered email campaigns like drip campaigns, rather than one-size-fits-all email marketing campaigns.

Obviously each campaign will have a different goal, but as you can see they do work! And obviously you’ll want to check out your reporting on a regular basis to make your own adjustments.

Email drip campaign ideas

“Okay,” you may be saying to yourself, “that’s great. But I have no idea what kind of email drip campaign to create!”

While we have talked about emails you can include in a drip campaign before, here are some ideas for different types of drip campaigns you can create.

  • Welcome series
  • Reengagement campaign (for people that aren’t engaging with your email newsletter)
  • E-course
  • Case study series
  • New lead follow-up
  • Cold lead follow-up
  • Post-event follow-up
  • Highlighting new product or service
  • Post-purchase series (on-boarding clients)
  • Renewal (when an ongoing agreement is about to end)

If you’re just getting started but already have an email newsletter, the Welcome series is a great place to begin. What are you waiting for?

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