What Is a Drip Campaign and How to Create Your Own
If you want to make a splash in your industry, you’ll need a marketing strategy that nurtures your audience over time. That’s where drip marketing comes in.
With a name that brings to mind the tranquility of falling raindrops, a drip campaign is a series of emails scheduled over the course of several days. This strategy tends to generate more engagement - and drive more conversions - than standard email marketing.
You can get started with drip marketing using this helpful email marketing tool. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the process - including examples of different types of drip campaigns and step-by-step instructions for crafting your own.
What is a drip campaign?
A drip campaign is a form of marketing automation that is most commonly used for email marketing. By this method, a series of pre-written, pre-scheduled emails is sent to your contacts over an extended period.
The timing of each email in the campaign is based on predefined triggers. For example, you might schedule a particular email to be sent to users after they subscribe, and a second one 3 days after that. This way, you deliver your message in gradual “drips,” adapting your communication strategy to your audience’s behavior.
There are several benefits to sending drip campaigns. First, they help you gently nurture your contacts over time, building interest progressively rather than overwhelming them with an aggressive campaign. Since drip emails are targeted and personalized, they tend to be more compelling to users than a single email blast. Ultimately, this technique can lead to fewer unsubscribes and an increased conversion rate.
Second, drip emails boosts engagement by keeping your business at the forefront of your audience’s minds. They serve as an ongoing conversation about your brand, establishing trust over time and gently guiding them through the sales funnel.
What drip marketing platform should you use?
The most convenient way to create drip emails is to do so directly through your professional website. That way, you’ll be able to keep all the information about your business - from site data to email marketing campaigns - organized on a single platform.
To get started, navigate to Ascend Business Tools in the sidebar menu of your Wix dashboard. From there, hover over Customer Management, and then click Automations. Using the Multistep Automations feature, you’ll be able to create a sequence of up to 10 highly targeted email drips based on a single trigger.
What are the different types of email drip campaigns?
You’ll find that automated email sequences are useful in a variety of scenarios, whether you’re following up with a customer after a subscription or getting them to purchase the items in their shopping cart. Here are examples of the types of drip campaigns you can create:
Welcome emails: Create automated welcome emails when a new person signs up, subscribes, or requests a free trial. Let them know you’re glad to meet them, and introduce your company’s products and insights to build a strong first impression of your brand.
Lead nurturing campaigns: Write a series of lead nurturing emails that, over time, convinces prospective customers to buy. This can include educating users about your industry, or offering them free trials and consultations. As you move people further down the marketing funnel, consider ways to onboard them to your product, such as getting them to sign up for a webinar or download your app.
User engagement campaigns: Craft messages that invite users to return to your site. For example, you might want to send a “We miss you” email to subscribers that haven’t interacted with your brand in awhile, or a “You might also like” email that entices them to browse more of your offerings.
Abandoned shopping cart emails: Build email campaigns that re-engage customers, particularly those with full shopping carts who still haven’t checked out. Cart abandonment is a huge problem - in fact, the average rate is approaching 80% - and drip emails can reignite the purchasing process. To close sales, target those shoppers with a series of powerful automated prompts that pulls them back in.
Renewal emails: Send renewal reminders to customers if your product operates on a subscription basis. If the renewal is automatic, notify users that their account will be charged with a pre-written automated email. Otherwise, alert them that their subscription is about to run out, and create a drip campaign that prompts users to sign up again for your service.
Confirmation emails: Create a confirmation drip that not only thanks customers for their purchases, but that also generates continued engagement. After sending the thank you email, for example, consider re-engaging them with drip emails that promote new product features or accessories.
Step-by-step tutorials: Create a series of bite-sized educational courses to share your expertise and generate traffic to your site. By offering subscribers a comprehensive set of drips - rather than a sequence of unrelated emails - you can build interest and engagement in your brand. Try repackaging blog content into a multi-part email crash course, whether it’s a quick SEO tutorial or a series of social media marketing tips.
How to set up a drip campaign
Ready to create an email drip campaign of your own? Here’s how to get started:
Identify your main goal
Determine your target audience
Plan the campaign
Create compelling content
Start the campaign
Refine your strategy
01. Identify your main goal
Perhaps you’re eager to obtain new leads, or maybe you’d like to generate buzz around your brand. Whatever you’re aiming for, it’s important that you have a clear goal in mind as you craft your drip campaigns.
To define your goal, think about what you’d like your audience to do by the end of the drip campaign. Do you want them to buy a product? Sign up for a free trial? Re-engage with your site?
If you’re having trouble deciding on a specific goal, try seeing whether any of the following resonate with you:
Promote a product
Build brand awareness
Drive sign-ups or registrations
Once you’ve selected your goal, write it down. This will serve as the roadmap for your entire drip campaign.
For an in-depth guide on how to define the right goals for your business, take a look at this article on SMART goals.
02. Determine your target audience
Email marketing isn’t one-size-fits-all; instead, you’ll find yourself more consistently achieving your goals if your messages feel personal and relevant to your readers. With that in mind, you’ll need to craft different emails for specific subsets of your target market.
The process - called market segmentation - involves dividing your audience into different customer types based on their shared features. These characteristics can range from anything from their demographic data to their behavior on your site to their purchasing history. Based on this information, you’ll want to create triggers that determine which campaigns you’ll send to which people.
For example, you might create a trigger for abandoned shopping carts. In that case, your segment could be people who haven’t returned to their shopping carts in 24 hours or more. You’d then create a drip email campaign specifically for this segment, with the goal of closing the sale.
Another trigger might be a new subscription to your company newsletter. Here, you’d create a segment for new subscribers. You’d then send a drip of welcome emails to people who fall under that category.
03. Plan the campaign
At this point, you should know what your goal is in sending your drip emails, and which groups of people you’ll be sending them to. But how many drips should you create? And how often should you send them? On the one hand, you want to keep your audience interested and engaged. On the other hand, you don’t want to annoy them with too much content.
Effective email drip campaigns vary from 4 to 10 emails, with a space of 3 days to 2 weeks between messages. You may want to leave a gap of just 3-4 days between your first few emails so that you can engage with users immediately after the trigger. After that, space out your emails further to avoid overwhelming your contacts.
Keep in mind that while there are a few best practices, there are no magic numbers. After you send out your first few drip campaigns, analyze your data and adapt the quantity and timing of your emails until you hit the sweet spot.
04. Create compelling content
So you’ve defined your goals, determined the segments and triggers, and planned the
timing and spacing of your drip emails. Now, you’ll need to dive into the content itself.
As you write the emails, aim for a message that’s helpful, interesting, and drives readers toward your desired action. Here are some tips for creating powerful content:
Use strong subject lines: The first step toward a successful drip marketing campaign is getting people to open the message. If you’re feeling stuck, take a look at these tips on how to write an engaging subject line.
Make it personal: People are more interested and engaged when they feel that your emails are meant for them. Use your audience segments to determine which messages and promotions will attract different groups. Then, tailor your drip campaigns accordingly.
Use a consistent brand voice: Brands, like people, have personalities. Help your contacts get to know - and love - your business by building a memorable brand identity. You can do this by adopting a particular way of speaking or tone of voice in your emails, whether it’s humorous and fun, professional and authoritative, or something in between.
Keep it concise: Don’t overwhelm your subscribers with a deluge of new information or big blocks of text. Keep your message short and sweet - with plenty of white space - to make them easily digestible and increase the likelihood of people reading them.
Focus on value: Don’t simply use your emails to explain the details of your business or the features of your offering. Instead, focus on how your product or service benefits users.
Create a sense of urgency: Make users feel that their next action can’t wait. You can do this by offering exclusive deals with deadlines, such as a coupon code that expires in one week.
Include a CTA: Each of your emails should include a call-to-action that guides readers toward your ultimate goal. This should be presented as a prominent button with direct, action-oriented language such as “Start now,” “Download,” or “Sign up.”
Build anticipation: Conclude your emails by getting readers excited for more. Include a “P.S.” to drop hints about an upcoming holiday sale, user contest, brand new e-book and more.
Finally, don’t forget to package your content with enticing design. Use these email marketing templates to create eye-catching messages that reflect your offering and brand. All of them are created by professional designers, and they’re fully customizable so that you can adapt them to fit your needs.
05. Start the campaign
Once you’ve created your emails and finalized your strategy, it’s time to send them to your audience. Because the process is automated, all you need to do is set the initial trigger (e.g., a subscription to your newsletter) and specify the number of days between the emails that follow. You can do this directly through the Automations Dashboard of your Wix website.
06. Refine your strategy
Just like every good marketing campaign, you should continually adapt your strategy to optimize the results. If you’re not meeting your goal, you may find you need to edit the audience segments, readjust the messages, or alter the timing of your emails.
If the open rates are low, for example, try cleaning up your email list or rewriting your subject lines. If conversions are low, try creating more compelling CTAs that entice your audience to click. The bottom line is to analyze the results of your campaign so that you can continually improve with each new iteration.
By Rebecca Strehlow
Wix Blog Writer