Drip marketing

By Anastasia Nenova · Updated January 25, 2023

Email marketing has become a tough endeavor, in this day and age. Finding a way to connect with prospects through cold email just isn't easy anymore.

Drip campaigns present a far better opportunity to connect and engage because the recipient is already subscribed. You have their attention. The hard part is done

Providing you nail the content, drip campaigns will serve as a great opportunity to connect with customers in response to specific actions they have taken.

In that sense, cold emailing might be compared to firing a 12 gauge shotgun from a huge distance, expecting to hit a small target.

Drip emails, on the other hand, are more like a sniper picking off targets at close range when the moment best presents itself. 

Through this article, we are going to help you set up your sites and get sniping. metaphorically speaking, of course.

What Are Drip Marketing Campaigns?

A drip campaign is a series of emails that are automatically delivered in response to a predetermined schedule or user action.

It's also known as automated marketing or an automated email campaign. Drip campaigns seek to provide relevant information at the right time to the right person. 

We love a good analogy here at Startup Geek, and this feels like the right moment to use one. So, let's look at drip campaigns by comparing them to an old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar store that you, as a customer, are visiting.

You pick up a pair of sneakers and show vague interest, before walking away. The salesperson then gently announces, from a distance, "we have those in three other colors, just so you know".

After browsing the perfume section, an assitant gently taps you on the shoulder and helpfully offers you a 20% discount voucher for all perfumes.

As you leave the store, the general manager approaches you with a smile, thanks you for visiting, and tells you that “there is a sale next Thursday, so please come back for a bargain".

Drip email campaigns are the digital equivalent of this time-honored sales technique: approaching prospects at specific periods, after certain actions have been taken, in order to upsell, close, or promote.

To ensure that your email content is targeted as precisely as possible, you can segment your email list however you see fit and attach various triggers to different groups.

Drip emails can be tailored with the recipient's name and other information unique to them as they are written in advance.

Drip email campaigns are also known as:

  • Automated email campaigns
  • Autoresponders
  • Lifecycle emails
  • Triggered emails

To develop these sequences, all you need is an excellent email marketing platform that possesses a dedicated feature.

How drip marketing works

Source: Zapier

Benefits of Drip Campaigns

Let's explore some of the main advantages of drip campaigns and marketing automation for your business:

Automation

Email marketing automation is a key component of drip campaigns and is a useful time-saving tool.

Without having to manually send each message to your email list, email automation allows you to stay in touch with customers and prospects as part of an automated routine.

You can also set up an automated follow-up process using drip campaigns. At various points in the sales cycle, follow-up emails can be used to keep in touch with both regular customers and leads.

The automation tool will handle the rest once you've set the format based on the triggers and schedules you've established. The sales and marketing teams will have more time to devote to other projects as a result.

It also increases team productivity and efficiency when paired with other tools, such as task management software solutions.

Nurturing Leads

For converting prospects into paying customers, there needs to be a steady stream of relevant content.

You may connect with prospects throughout the customer journey with the help of effective drip campaigns that nurture leads with personalized and planned content.

While prospective customers might not always be prepared to buy at the outset, they would require more time to familiarize themselves with your company before making a purchasing decision.

The promotion of material like articles, business newsletters, or product recommendations can be done well with drip campaigns. Better yet, they assist you in promoting the relevant material to the ideal prospects.

You can achieve this by segmenting email leads based on specific interests, attributes, or marketing goals.

Improved Customer Loyalty and Engagement

Email marketing and drip campaigns can be powerful tools for improving customer loyalty and engagement.

Through email marketing, businesses are able to send targeted messages to customers based on their interests or past purchase behaviors. 

Drip campaigns allow businesses to cultivate long-term relationships with their customers through automated emails that are sent out regularly over time.

By using strategic content, businesses can increase customer loyalty by showing customers they are valued and appreciated. 

For example: You could send customers a survey upon purchase. This survey could ask questions about the customer’s experience with the product or service, as well as their general satisfaction with the brand.

By gathering this information, businesses can gain valuable insight into what their customers want and how they prefer to receive messaging from the company, which can then be used to tailor future emails for better engagement.

Additionally, engaging content like surveys and polls can help businesses better understand their customers’ needs and desires while providing them with a more personalized experience.

Ultimately, leveraging email marketing and drip campaigns allows businesses to build relationships with their customers over time and create a sense of engagement that translates into increased loyalty and sales.

How Do You Design a Successful Drip Campaign?

The following six steps will help you create your own drip campaign easily and convert leads into customers:

Identify Your Target Audience and Triggers

A drip campaign's first and most important step is to determine which target audience should receive emails. 

You need to divide your target audience into segments and choose the groups and triggers you will use to engage with them using your chosen email marketing software.

Segmentation will help you have a better understanding of the customers that comprise your target market.

Two different types of triggers—an action or a piece of demographic data—are used in drip marketing. 

An example of an action trigger is; users who join your email list and receive onboarding or welcome emails, or customers who make purchases and receive an order confirmation or receipt.

A demographic trigger might be a user's birthday, which would prompt your business to send them an email with a discount code and a happy birthday wish.

By personalizing your drip campaigns and giving your customers the knowledge they need at the right moment, you can go a long way in making customers feel valued and turning them into loyal customers that repeat purchases.

Targeting customers based on clicks, user behavior, and frequency of visits.

Determine Your Goal

Setting your goal is the second most important step in developing a successful email drip campaign.

Planning the remaining components of your campaign and maintaining focus throughout the process is made easier with a well-defined objective; such as nurture leads, onboard and welcome customers, re-engage customers who left their shopping carts empty, and much more.

Make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based by following the SMART method. 

Write and Design Your Email

Apply the knowledge you have about your goal and target market while you write and design the content of your email.

Your email should be informative, engaging, and have a clear call to action (CTA). Consider the user's actions or the objectives you want to achieve.

Do you desire the recipient to buy something? Would you like to spread the word about your product?

The content needs to demonstrate that. Make sure your message is clear and consistent with the tone and brand of your business.

Example for informative, engaging email with clear CTA

Subject line: Introducing Our New Product Line

Body text:

Dear [customer],

We're excited to announce the launch of our new product line! Our team has been working hard to develop a range of high-quality products that we think you'll love.
[Insert information about the new product line, including features, benefits, and any relevant images or graphics.]

To celebrate the launch, we're offering a special promotion for our email subscribers. Use code NEWPRODUCT20 at checkout to get 20% off your purchase of any of our new products.

Don't miss out on this limited-time offer – shop now and save!

Thank you for your support. We can't wait to hear what you think of our new products.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

In this email, the subject line clearly communicates the purpose of the email and entices the reader to open it. The body of the email provides information about the new product line and includes a promotion to encourage the reader to make a purchase. 

The email also includes a clear call to action – "shop now and save" – which tells the reader exactly what they should do next. The email concludes with a thank you and a note of appreciation for the reader's support. This helps to create a sense of goodwill and encourage the reader to continue engaging with the business.

Launch Your Drip Marketing Campaign

You're ready to launch your campaign once you've identified your target market and goal, produced your content, and determined which metrics to track.

You can use some of the top email marketing software to build emails and schedule them for easy automatic sending.

Test Your Drip Marketing Campaign

To analyze your drip campaign's performance, you need to evaluate it both during and after implementation.

Use the metrics (for example; Open rate, Click rate, and Unsubscribe rate) you selected while you were planning your campaign to identify its strong points and places for improvement moving forward. 

Email metrics tracked

Drip Campaign Examples

Welcome Emails

When someone signs up for a mailing list, they anticipate at least receiving a quick confirmation in their inbox, but you'd be wise to provide more than that.

To demonstrate that you value the attention of your prospective customer, you should think about sending a sequence of welcome emails.

Furthermore, it allows you to leverage their early level of interest by letting them know what you've got to offer and what they can anticipate from you.

Here's a good example of a welcome email from Kate Spade (see full snapshot here):

Kate spade

At the top of the email, you’ll see two models welcoming you and inviting you to join a party - this is the first stage in converting new users into customers.

Thanking customers for their trust in you even just for signing up demonstrates that you are a trustworthy business. The thank-you emails from Kate Spade also provide offers and discounts.

It is a fantastic approach to encourage first-time users to interact with their emails and learn more about their offered products.

Engagement Emails

An engagement drip email campaign is designed to maintain your prospect's interest.

These notifications could be sent to remind potential customers of the services you provide or they could be triggered by a lack of engagement with your website. 

Duolingo sends email reminders to subscribers who signed up to learn a language to begin their next challenge and finish their daily goals in an effort to keep their users engaged:

Most duo-able resolution

Both in terms of content and design, Duolingo prefers to keep things simple. Their emails primarily aim to build and establish an emotional connection with subscribers.

To achieve this, they don't use impressive graphics, unnecessary text, or a variety of colors; instead, they get right to the point and use a catchy subject line.

Re-Engagement Emails

You need to re-engage if your lead has gone cold, for example, a contact didn’t open your emails in the past 60 days.

There are several methods to go about this, ranging from a very informal "Hey, haven't heard from you in a while" to a more formal request to return. 

Re-engagement drip emails are frequently used in combination with promotions to remind customers about your product or service and encourage them to interact, like Grammarly's re-engagement email:

Grammarly's re-engagement email

Grammarly presents inactive subscribers with a "Wrinkle in Time" badge in an effort to re-engage with them. The users are tempted to use their service yet again by the prominent CTA button "GO."

At the bottom of the email, they additionally advertise their premium version and make a hint about discounted pricing.

Post-Purchase Emails

Showing the customer that your brand cares about them as a person and as a customer goes a long way toward developing brand loyalty. The goal is to keep a customer once you have one.

It's necessary to court new customers, but it's even more crucial to keep your current ones coming back because they are more likely to make additional purchases from you. You can achieve this by using post-purchase drip emailing.

A purchase confirmation that is automatically sent out provides your customer with additional assurance that their order was successful, like Tarte's order confirmation email:

Tarte

The "thank you" email from Tarte serves as an order confirmation, informing clients that their order has been processed.

This email stands out with a large, personalized "thank you" message, vibrant colors; and the lack of billing, purchase, and delivery information.

An excellent method to increase customer interaction is to make the customer's name stand out in the "thank you" email, which is something that not many eCommerce businesses have been able to achieve.

You can take inspiration from Tarte's design and add some more features, including a CTA.

Promotional Emails

Everyone enjoys a good deal! Running limited-time promotions practically guarantees an increase in engagement and sales. Create a drip campaign to occasionally provide deals and sales to your prospective customers.

Free trials, discount codes, and limited-time markdowns are all tempting and exciting for customers who are constantly trying to find the best deal possible.

DoorDash kept the call-to-action(CTA) very clear in their promotional email, you get a $7 discount when you make a pickup order and your order is more than $10 in value.:

DoorDash

DoorDash issued a limited-time offer that is essentially a steal. Having a discount offer on coffee so early in the morning is guaranteed to be a success.

Who doesn't get their coffee fix before work? Even if it's decaf!

Abandoned Shopping Cart Emails

Abandoned shopping cart emails are automated emails that are sent to potential customers after they leave abandoned shopping carts.

Emails sent in response to abandoned carts are often part of a workflow that begins when a person abandons their online shopping cart.

A process for abandoned carts frequently consists of a series of emails aimed at persuading a potential customer to come back and complete their orders.

Using mild humor as leverage, Adidas adopts a different strategy and attributes an abandoned shopping cart to a weak Wi-Fi connection:

Adidas

You should never place blame on a potential customer in marketing automation. Adidas' comical approach to this drip marketing campaign helps them connect with their customers.

You would find it amusing if you were to check this email, knowing that your Wi-Fi connection is actually strong and that you just carelessly left your cart on the World Wide Web to gather dust.

Building a relationship with your customer, like Adidas does in this instance, encourages an individual to continue with the checkout process, making a purchase and becoming a paying customer.

Wrap Up

In short, drip marketing can play an organic role in your marketing campaigns and maybe even help promote brand recognition, lead generation and increased revenue. Many businesses implement email drip marketing for their email campaigns, but every one of them has different objectives.

It's crucial to carefully consider what you want your users to accomplish. Drip marketing works in achieving those objectives, whether it's to click a CTA that directs them to your product page, read a new post and gain a blog subscriber, or make the purchase that was abandoned in their online cart from the previous week.

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