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The Complete Guide to Drip Marketing – 2021

Posted February 28, 2021

Did you know that drip marketing can help you get on average 119% more click rates and generate 18x more revenue than your broadcast emails (i.e weekly newsletters)? If that’s the kind of impact you are looking for, then read on and ask us for any questions in the comments.

One of the most effective ways of sending out announcements and reminders to your team is email newsletters. Even though they are effective and professional, they have one major issue: new subscribers only get to see the new emails which are sent to them AFTER they have subscribed. What about the emails that were on the list before they joined? Yep, they never get to see those emails.

Your subscribers might not be getting your emails.

A more effective mode of communication will be the one that considers this issue and solves it. That’s where Drip Campaigns jump in.

What is Drip Marketing?

Drip marketing gets its name from irrigation. You’re slowly developing a relationship with your user by nurturing them with info like a farmer would do with a sapling.

Drip email marketing gets its name from irrigation.

Drip Campaigns are a set of marketing emails that will be sent out automatically on a schedule. Perhaps one email will go out as soon as someone signs up, another will go out 3 days later, with one more going out the next weekend. Or, the emails can be varied based on triggers, or actions the person has performed like signing up for your service or making a purchase, which is why they’re also sometimes called behavioral emails. Now, Drip Campaigns are not just limited to emails, they span a broader spectrum of communication and encompass phone-based marketing as well. Although most commonly by the name Drip Campaigns, they also have other names like drip marketing, automated email campaign, lifecycle emails, autoresponders and marketing automation. No matter what the name is given, the concept and working remain the same.

How to Use Drip Campaigns?

An overview of a simple drip campaign.

Let’s just say someone JUST subscribed to your newsletter and is wondering “Hmm, What next”? A drip campaign would send out a welcome email right away and instead of waiting for the customer upon your next newsletter, the drip campaign will simply pick up a previously written email and send it out the newly subscribed after two days of subscribing. There’s a reason why it is called a Drip Campaign. If a potential customer has been hovering around your “premium upgrade” page for a few weeks but hasn’t yet pulled the trigger or don’t know why exactly he/she should buy this plan, a drip campaign could send them an email with five reasons to purchase the premium plan. And one of the coolest features is that they can even be personalized with your contacts’ name, company info, and more.

Why should you use it?

Some people seem pretty at ease by sending out the email only after someone subscribes and might ask, what is the point of Drip Marketing? Aren’t the current emails enough to engage your new users? They enable you to stay in touch with groups of people based on events like when a user signs up for an account or how often that user visits your site. Also, instead of making a customer feel like they are only there to spend money, A drip email will give them a sense of “catching up”. It will give the impression that you as a company, want your customers, to be on the same level of information. But do drip campaigns really work or is it just a new way of exhausting your energy? Let’s look at the stats: according to the research by marketing suite Emma, relevant targeted emails produce 18-times more revenue than globally-broadcasted ones. They also found that people who read your drip emails are far more likely to click the links in them, with a 119% increase in click rate from drip emails.

Like any good thing, you don’t want to overdo it. Too many drip emails will only annoy your customers. But a thoughtful set of drip emails can be the perfect way to remind people to buy your product, teach them how to use your tool once they’ve purchased it, and get new subscribers up-to-speed on your email newsletter

When should you use it?

“Drip marketing” is a blanket term that covers several different marketing strategies. But the goal remains the same: keep users engaged with your product. You can have specific drip campaigns for educating users, rewarding your best customers, helping people who hit a certain page on your site, and more. Most importantly, though, is that you can pin-point user groups with drip emails, segmenting your email list, and reaching the right people when they’re ready to buy.

Let’s look at some cases where setting up an automated drip campaign could help you get relevant information to targeted readers, and convert them into customers. Drip campaigns are not just limited to these, read on and you might find some creative ways that will be best suited for your business/company. Here’s where you can use Drip Campaigns:

  • Welcoming
  • Onboarding
  • Empty Shopping Carts
  • Recommendations
  • Renewals
  • Confirmations
  • Engagement
  • Unsubscribes


You’ve started out amazing and have managed to get a lot of people on board. There is a number of people checking out your website and browsing through things but they have a question or two about some of your services and products. What now?! Time for your Welcome Email to shine. As soon as someone subscribes to your newsletters, a welcome email will be sent out. Introducing your products, services and everything that is to know about your company. Not only this, welcome emails are a very good way to make the customer feel like a part of the company but just writing a little nice thing at the start of your email, like “Hey there, welcome Aboard, we are so excited to have you with us”.

Send out a great welcome drip campaign, and you’ll get the amazing engagement welcome emails receive and then keep the momentum going with follow-up messages.


Onboarding emails help your customers learn about you and your product.

Pageviews and trial users are nice, but to run the business, you’ll eventually need to buy your products or services. That’s where an onboarding drip strategy would come in. After you’ve introduced your values, goals, and introduction in your welcome email, get them to learn about your product. This can include downloading your company’s mobile app, signing up for a webinar, or purchasing a premium subscription

By using automated emails, you can set up a system that helps to drive customers toward activation in your product.

Empty Shopping Carts

You crafted enticing newsletters, offered flash sales, and after adding the “Add to Cart” Button, your job ends? Think again!

Ditching a fully loaded shopping cart is more common than you think. You’ve done that too, admit it. But with an automated drip campaign, you can re-engage those customers who are not so sure if they should buy that product. You can lead them back to the “buy” button. Whenever users leave an unpurchased product in their cart, use a drip to follow up and confirm that it’s still available. You don’t even need to be selling physical products for this to work. Perhaps send them an email reminding them that the product they discarded is still in stock but is running out real quick.


Recommendation emails are the cornerstone of every online retailer.

If there’s one strategy that never fails, it is the “recommendation” strategy. Recommendation engines are a cornerstone of nearly every giant online retailer. The more a company knows about you and your buying habits, the better they can predict what you will and won’t like. With that info, they can send you targeted drip emails that contain products or coupons specific to your purchasing tendencies. Based on the data from a customer’s previous purchases, you can send those links to the product that they will most likely buy. Imagine buying some books on the Romantic genre, and the company starts sending you links to buy similar books. So convenient, right?


Whether your user extended their subscription or it’s about to run out, you can leverage drip campaigns to engage customers during the renewal process.

For automatic renewals, try using an autoresponder that sends users an alert that their account is about to be charged. You can load these notification emails with contact information for your customer care team, or links to pages where users can update their billing or shipping information. If your subscriptions don’t auto-renew, craft your drip campaign with a clear call to action, prompting users to re-up with your service. And for the users that do renew, be sure to send them a drip thanking them for staying with your service and perhaps prompt them to share your product with their friends.


Order or subscription confirmations help your customers engage with your brand.

You can also use a drip campaign to confirm your user’s purchase renewal. All you have to do is send out an “Order Confirmation” email and include some links to your product’s newest features to re-engage them with your brand. And with confirmations for things like plane tickets and hotel rooms, send a quick email a day before the event to put any important confirmation codes at the top of the user’s inbox


The math here is pretty simple: the more often someone engages with your site, the more likely they are to convert into a paying customer. Engagement emails are a type of drip campaign that invites the recipient to return to your site and look around, triggered either by some on-site activity or a general lack of activity.

If a customer hasn’t visited your website for long, send them an email with the openings like “Hey, We miss you” And add the things that they have been missing out while they were away. This will add fear of missing out and they’ll most probably head over to your website right away to catch up.


Keeping a balanced number of emails is necessary to make sure you don’t annoy your customers. Also, when someone hits the dreaded “Unsubscribe” button, make sure to show up a message which says “We hate to see you go. Are you sure you want to leave all the fun”?

You can also suggest them to stay connected on other social media platform if they don’t like staying connected to email. That way, you can save a huge chunk of customers.

How can you use Drip Campaigns

Now that we know what Drip Campaigns are, the next step is, where to set them up? Although it seems like a difficult thing to automate everything, it is actually pretty easy. And to help you with that, this article breaks down all the necessary steps that you need while sending out drip emails.

Before you set up Drip Campaign for new users, DO make sure that you don’t send out previous emails to your old subscribers. That will be a disaster for your company.

  1. Identify Your Target Audience

Drip campaigns are all about breaking your subscriber list into subsections, and targeting information to niches of customers. So the most important piece here is determining which triggers and groups you’re going to use for your drip campaign strategy.

Drips are usually based on one of two types of triggers: either an action in your app or on your site, or an added piece of user demographic information.

Let’s say that a user subscribes to your company newsletter, and you send them a welcome email via your drip campaign, this is an action in your app.

But when a user who signed up for your service a week ago, but hasn’t returned since, and you send them an automated email asking if they need any help will be a piece of demographic information.

By tracking behavior you can build up a ‘profile’ on each individual user that allows you to better serve their needs. Are they loyals customers? Do they shop once a year? Are they looking for a bargain or a fan of a particular brand in your store? Do they login weekly or rarely? How often do they visit your website? What are the products they have liked in the past years?

Figure out the target audience and the problem that you’re solving for them. Your drip campaign needs to be targeted to a specific behavior for it to be effective.

2. Craft Your Message

Now that you know who you’re targeting, you need to generate a message that’s helpful and grabs their attention. What do you want the user to do? Or, what do you want the user to learn? Write a message that is clear, concise and easily understandable. Customers should not have to read one line over and over again to figure out what’s being said. Maintain the voice that you’ve built for your brand, but make sure that your message is clear.

3. Plan Out Your Campaign

Next, you need to figure out the logistics of your drip campaign—what the workflow looks like from the first contact to sale to support. This is also when you set the goals of your campaign, make sure that the copy in each email flows together with the others, and decide how you’re going to measure your results.

To do this, think about these questions:

  • How many emails am I going to send, when, and in what order?

Consider how much information your target user needs, when he or she might need it, and why.

  • Do my triggers line up with my message?

Nothing’s worse than getting an emailed coupon for something you bought last week, or an over-the-top sales pitch seconds after signing up on a site. Make sure that your triggers are all laid out and that each email in your campaign is directly related to a trigger. Users should always understand why they’re getting an email.

  • How am I going to measure success?

Always have it clear in your head that how are you going to measure the success of your campaign? What is the number of visitors you want on your blog or website? Make everything clear to yourself.

4. Start Your Campaign

Once you’ve decided on a strategy, you have all your guns ready, it’s time to fine. Start sending out emails when you know you have everything figured out. The excitement of getting into this thing is HUGE but don’t get carried away. Nothing worse than engaging some audience an then losing them just because you lost track of what you were planning to do.

5. Evaluate and Adjust

Just because your drip campaign is automated doesn’t mean you can let it run unsupervised. You spent a bunch of time researching user segments, and it’s important to readjust those segments and your strategy based on the results. If you aren’t getting as many clicks through as you want, try rewriting your calls to action; if you aren’t meeting your conversion rate goals with your sale-closing email, try more educational communications before asking any user to pull the trigger. Evaluate, adjust, and repeat.

Apps to Run Drip Campaigns

There are dozens of different tools available for managing your drip marketing and crafting an effective drip campaign—Klaviyo, Drip, MailChimp, and SendGrid are a few that come to mind. But each of those apps has a different set of features, limitations, and price points, so you’ll want to evaluate them thoroughly before committing.

Whichever tool (or tools) you choose, marketing automation through drip campaigns can help you nurture leads without monopolizing up your time. When you stick with your users—and help them use your product—they’ll grow to love your brand.

Filed under: Blog

Tagged with: drip emails, drip marketing, e-commerce

Libia RM

Libia has several years of experience creating content for marketing, advertising, and PR.