What Are Drip Marketing Emails?

Melanie Balke
May 10, 2023

Customer retention is one of the biggest issues in modern marketing.

It’s hard to compete in a world filled with similar ideas, and even unique brands have trouble breaking through the din. Customers face daily advertising overload, which gnaws at click-through rates and erodes even the strongest budgets.

Sure, email marketing automation has made things easier, but it’s not enough to have a tool. You must also learn how to use it!

Enter the drip email campaign, the hero of our times. This marketing strategy delivers relevant content to the right people, and it’s always on time.

Sounds crazy, right!?

But it’s real! Keep reading to learn more about this fantastic subset of the automated email campaign.

An Introduction to the Email Drip Campaign

A faucet with a single drop of water. "The Basics: What Is a Drip Email?"

Drip marketing campaigns are part of the wider world of automated emails, and, at their core, these marketing efforts aim to deliver regular content to consumers.

These campaigns can have one or more goals with purposes as far-ranging as increasing brand awareness to onboarding emails (and everything in between). More importantly, they’re perfect ways to stay connected to consumers without straining your customer relationships.

The Hallmarks of Automated Drip Campaigns

A 1919 receipt from a state-sanctioned plumbing job. Overlaid text reads, "What It Takes: Drip campaigns have unique traits that make them special."

There are four critical elements to every drip campaign:

  1. Automation: Drip emails are automated email campaigns, generally triggered by dates or user actions.
  2. Consistency: Drip emails are consistent, not one or two random messages.
  3. Focused: Drip campaigns are targeted — usually based on a user’s position within the sales cycle.
  4. Scheduling: If an email drip campaign is linked to an action, it is sent after a predetermined amount of time passes. Otherwise, it’s sent on a specific date.

Many drip campaigns work by triggering or responding to a change in customer status. However, this is not always true. As such, I didn’t include this fifth trait as one of the defining features of this kind of email marketing.

Targeting-wise, these campaigns are diverse. Both new subscribers and loyal customers are great candidates for a drip campaign strategy. Indeed, these campaigns are handy tools for every stage of a buyer’s journey!

The Benefits of Drip Marketing Campaigns

A machine with dials and meters. "Perks: Why You Should Use Drip Emails."

I’ve mentioned some of the perks of this marketing strategy, but let’s dig a bit deeper.

Obviously, this concept inherits many of the perks of email marketing. Compared to many other forms of digital marketing, it’s affordable and easy to understand. The medium’s many software options further complement its accessibility.

But we’re talking about drip email campaigns, right?

So, what can a successful drip campaign do for you?

Build Trust and Improve Customer Relationships

The planet Mars. "Awareness: Drip marketing is proof that persistence is worth the effort!"

First of all, the reliability and consistency of drip campaigns make them one of the most effective ways to promote trust and awareness with consumers.

Whether you’re greeting newcomers with welcome emails or engaging existing customers with nurturing campaigns, your drip campaigns can ensconce your ecommerce business in a user’s conscious. Truly successful drip campaign emails can even improve over time, building on existing relationships and promoting familiarity between a business and its patrons.

Many drip marketing strategies also function as brand awareness boosters.

After all, think about it!

If you’re constantly seeing content from one source, you’re more likely to remember its name. The same is true for brands! Persistence pays off, and it pays well with automated drip marketing.

Keep Your Audience Engaged With Your Content

People in a meeting room. "Communication: Drip email campaigns are a fantastic way to keep customers interested."

Have you noticed how often I talk about consistency?

The frequent and prolonged contact of drip email marketing is integral to a campaign’s success. It’s what makes or breaks a relationship, and well-planned campaigns can drive massive revenue to your online store.

On the surface, drip campaigns remind customers of your existence. We all want to think everyone remembers our company, but people are busy! Even an enthusiastic existing customer can succumb to slippage without some gentle reminders.

But drip marketing campaigns go deeper than that.

Once you’ve established a rhythm, you can actually tell how to target customers based on your metrics! Over time, these figures will help you build better brand awareness flows and amplify your customer engagement. (And, yes, I know I’ve also been saying “customer engagement” a lot, but it’s very important!)

It’s also worth noting that certain industries — particularly those classified as business-to-business (B2B) ventures — are always seeking new ways to re-engage and educate consumers.

Save Money With This Automated Sales Funnel Helper

A storefront. "Save Money: A great marketing automation tool can help you save money."

From abandoned shopping carts to welcome emails, the drip email is one of the most cost-effective methods for nurturing leads.

Moreover, thanks to the flexibility of email marketing software, a single automated drip campaign can wear multiple hats. One clever email can encourage conversions with a discount code and promote awareness with educational content. The ability to craft personalized content with ease is just the cherry on top!

Once you set up a drip, your only job is to monitor the results. These campaigns run themselves, and many need little more than infrequent tweaks and updates. That being said, you should never leave automated campaigns alone for too long.

It’s hard to capture a target audience, so don’t lose them to slippage! Stay on top of things, and remember that choosing the right marketing automation tool for your email drip marketing makes things even easier for your sales team!

How to Make Your Own Drip Marketing Campaigns

A sundries story. "How to DIY: Make Your Own Drip Campaigns."

With all those benefits, I’d be surprised if you didn’t want to use a drip campaign!

A quick Google search will show you countless email drip campaign examples, but you won’t see many guides.

Fortunately, drip campaigns are a straightforward bunch. A welcome email flow and a re-engagement drip campaign use the same process. The content, of course, varies, but the goals and ideas remain the same.

1. Identify Your Target Audience

A United States Fish and Wildlife Service agent handles and identifies an iguana. Overlaid text reads, "Drip Campaign DIY: 1. Identify the idea target audience for your email drip campaigns."

Always set up a drip by starting with your audience.

“Who is this email drip campaign for?”

The recipients guide your drip marketing strategy and inform your writing. You wouldn’t send onboarding emails to new subscribers, after all!

Remember: These are lead nurturing campaigns. Sales revenue is nice, but it doesn’t have to be your only goal. Each entry in your email campaign can have its own spin, but the ultimate goal is to educate and convert a prospective customer.

For example: Let’s say we’re making a post-purchase campaign for existing customers. We’ve already sealed the deal, so our lead nurturing angle will focus on educational content and cross-selling.

2. Determine Your Goal

A basketball hoop. "Dip Campaign DIY: 2. Give your drip marketing campaign a clear goal."

The next question is, “What is my goal?”

Do you want to inform customers of your product’s value, or are you trying to turn an abandoned cart into a purchase? One of these situations is an onboarding email; the other is a conversion problem.

Let’s look at another campaign example: the classic welcome emails.

At this stage in the sales funnel, customers are looking to purchase something, but they probably haven’t made a commitment. You’re looking at a potential customer, which means you’ll want some onboarding email fodder. Here, “customer education” would be a reasonable goal.

3. Create Your Drip Marketing Campaign

An index card with planning information. "Drip Campaign DIY: 3. Plan and create you drip campaign."

Now, you get to have some fun!

When you make a drip campaign, the only true limitations are your audience and goals. Otherwise, a drip marketing campaign can be as serious or as silly as you want!

If you can’t get those creative juices flowing, think about the type of emails you’re sending. If you received an abandoned cart campaign (or a post-purchase email, or a welcome email, or whatever kind of email!), what would you want to see? Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and create what would amaze you.

4. Implement Your Email Drip Campaigns

A World War II order of battle map. "Drip Campaign DIY: 4. Implement and schedule your email drip campaign."

Once you’re happy with your results, input your messages into your drip campaign software of choice. Common picks include Klaviyo, MailChimp, and SendPulse.

Unfortunately, there are no drip campaign examples for this step!

You’ll have to figure out how the software works, as every marketing automation platform is different. Alternatively, you can hire an agency or consult with your marketing team.

5. Monitor and Tweak Your Drip Campaigns as Needed

A notebook and textbook, both open, laid on a desk. "Drip Campaign DIY: 5. Monitor and edito your email drip campaign as needed."

Finally, you can sit back and relax!

Most drip campaigns are self-sustaining. If your metrics are good, there’s nothing left to do! Just sit back and enjoy the show. However, some email drip campaigns need some editing. Yours may be spectacular at first, but even the best harvest eventually sours.

Keep close tabs on your email drip campaign, and edit it if needed. Common minor tweaks include editing the subject line for deliverability purposes or rewording some of the copy. Larger edits to email drip campaigns include complete rewrites and changes to included graphics.

Get More From Your Email Drip Campaigns

Overlapping leaves. Overlaid text reads, "More for Less: Let the Pros Handle It."

Want even more bang for your buck? (Uhm… Who doesn’t!?)

Skip the hassle and fuss, and work with us!

Find the perfect marketing team at The Email Marketers and let the experts handle your drip campaigns. We’ll craft unique automated flows and drip campaigns for your brand and monitor them.

Take the stress out of lead nurturing!

Give me a call and schedule a free strategy session. And don’t be afraid to browse the rest of the blog for more amazing marketing tricks and tips while you wait!