Chronicles of Drip Marketing: Cory’s Birthday Surprise

Posted August 19, 2019

The following is part of a fictional series centered around drip marketing. Names, characters, brands, places & incidents are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or deceased, is entirely coincidental.

It was a week before Cory’s birthday. He had just sat down for an iced coffee at his favorite coffee spot – Verve Coffee Roasters on Melrose. Today he needed an extra espresso shot. His birthday celebration had started early and he needed a pick me up.

He pulled out his phone and started working through his standard Instagram routine: First check his story views, then his comments and next his new followers, followed by a scroll down his feed. He stops on a post by @goat – a new KITH shoe drop. Cory bookmarks posts like that in an especially important folder for this week “Birthday Splurge”. Cory was never a shy retail buyer, but he had established a ‘tradition’ in the last 2 years – his annual retail splurge – the one time of the year he excused himself to spend more than usual on clothing, shoes, or really anything else that excited him. Not atypical, Cory had few brand loyalties. He liked to buy the new hot Instagram thing or street trend. But today was different… Today, a blast from his (recent) past pinged him.

Birthday drip email

Cory grinned and quickly went back to Instagram and started scrolling through @FragmentBags feed to see what he’d buy. Spotted & Bookmarked!


Cassandra was just coming into work. Traffic was surprisingly light today, but she still arrived 20 minutes late to work. Her two insta-famous Golden Retrievers – Droopy & Goofy – named after her favorite cartoon dogs, had been recognized by a neighbor. He wanted to take (what seemed to Cassandra like) an endless number of selfies with the two uber-friendly dogs.

“It really worked!” Joseph yells to Cassandra. Joseph was her usually timid marketing intern. This was his second to last week before the internship would be over. “What are you talking about?” exclaimed a still out-of-sync Cassandra. Joseph continues, “The Birthday marketing thingy, we got 13 replies over the weekend. It went out to 39 customers.” Cassandra felt validated.

How can we increase our e-commerce sales?

She had recently championed for putting an emphasis on automated and personalized emails with her boss. She discovered this form of marketing by researching for ways to ‘increase online sales’ on Google and speaking to some of her friends who worked at similar sized companies making ~$2M per year in e-commerce sales. Shelly, her boss, had just given her solo budget allocation- a $10k monthly budget with which she was expected to deliver a minimum of a 5x return. Shelly was a fair boss but she was also a very metrics-driven one. Social media engagement and PR were all fine and necessary activities, but she kept asking Cassandra the same question “How can we drive sales growth? Where can we invest some additional marketing dollars to increase our sales?”

Cassandra got referred to an agency that specializes in drip email marketing and after looking at all the data, she came to the conclusion that if she had to bet her $10k allocation, she would do it on drip marketing. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Influencer Marketing – all she heard was horror stories of working with agencies that charged a fee on top of the amount she had to spend on ads. Drip email marketing, as she discovered, was a way for her to increase how much her existing customers spend – and with over 70% of their customers being one-time buyers – she saw that as a big opportunity for growth. 


It’s Monday 9am. Cory’s is sitting at Verve again. An email notification pops on his phone “Cory it’s time to get your bday gift!” Cory was waiting for this since last Monday. A few minutes later the order confirmation email comes. ‘Your order is on its way!”

This time, Cassandra arrived to work early. She was already going over the weekend sales on the Shopify site. New notification:

Drip email sale

It’s been a month since the birthday emails started at this point. They’ve produced 23 sales for a total of $7,436 to-date. Cassandra knows how good this looks on her but she’s already thinking about what’s next – how much more it can grow.  

Drip marketing advice

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