What is a Drip Email Campaign?

Published: 25-Oct-2021
Last Updated: 23-Oct-2021
What is a Drip Email Campaign?

Drip email marketing is known by many names: autoresponder sequences, lifecycle emails, or automated email marketing. However you want to refer to it, a drip campaign is an automated email sequence meant to nurture email subscribers. Emails in a drip sequence can be set up to send after a certain amount of time has passed or a certain user action. 

Email marketers love drip campaigns because of their scalability and ability to deliver timely messages to email subscribers. Not to mention that multiple drip campaigns can be active at the same time. 

water on drip into a test tube

Keys to a Successful Drip Campaign

The basics of email marketing also apply to a drip-email campaign. These basic elements must be done for your campaign to be successful. 

Audience segmentation

Define a specific target audience for each drip campaign you send and only send that campaign to that audience. Drip campaigns are often predicated on user action or lack of action.

We encourage marketers to segment contacts in terms of the sales funnel when planning a drip campaign. For a high funnel sequence, you could send a lead nurture sequence to a prospective customer who learned about your company at a recent trade show. An example of a low funnel sequence would include an abandoned cart campaign. 

Quality Content

Every follow-up email you send shouldn't be a sales pitch. Sending too many sales pitches and not enough valuable content will result in your outreach being ignored.

Think about who your ideal customer is and what their work problems are. If you can send them content that helps them solve some of those problems, they will open your emails.  


A lead who recently visited your booth at a trade show or left their cart without entering their credit card information are opportunities to make a sale. Both opportunities are time-dependent. Your drip campaign should be set up to send timely automated follow-up based on events that signal interest. 

Types of Drip Campaigns

Labeling your drip campaign isn't as important as setting a goal for your campaign. Typical goals of a drip campaign include nurturing leads and improving customer experience.

Here's a list of campaign types to give your team a few ideas:

Abandoned Cart Email

abandoned cart drip campaign in parking lot

According to Moosend, almost 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a purchase is made. These shoppers made it to the end of your funnel, signaling strong purchase intent but didn't complete their purchase.

What are you doing to convert these interested shoppers into customers? We suggest using a drip campaign sequence to win these customers back!

This will require your team to study your data and define the point where an online shopping cart is considered abandoned. This could be 1 hour or 2 days, depending on the nature of your business.  

Once you have defined cart abandonment for your organization, your team must create emails to regain the shopper's interest without creeping them out. Shoppers are more concerned about big brother now than they were in 1984. 

Effective abandoned cart emails:

Quiet Concerns - Do you hear the same few objections to your product? Address those objections in your email and/or show them social proof. 

Drive FOMO - Capitalizing on the fear of missing out can be a great way to drive sales. Marketers can create FOMO by sending a limited-time offer for items in the cart or by sending an email saying cart items are almost out of stock.

Make it Easy to Purchase - Purchasing from your marketing email should be pain-free for your shopper. 

Post-Purchase Email

Customer experience post-purchase is often overlooked. But making sure customers are happy between purchase and delivery and even after delivery can help create loyal customers.

Anxious customers reach out to customer service teams with questions about shipping, returns, and refunds. Post-purchase sequences help customer service teams keep customers informed with automated updates. These preemptive updates give customers peace of mind. 

Additionally, post-purchase drip emails can include links to leave a review or product suggestions based on their last purchase.

Welcome Series Drip Campaign

A welcome series helps your organization get off on the right foot with a new customer. This type of drip campaign can be used to define your brand or to onboard a customer. Either way, the goal of the content should be customer retention. 

For a technical product like software, we suggest focusing on onboarding. It's crucial that the customer is able to make the most of their purchase. Creating a sequence of emails that help the customer understand how to use the product will set them up for success.

We suggest sending onboarding emails from an actual person's email address to add a personal touch to your customer service. 

If your product isn't technical, then this is a perfect opportunity to forge a bond with your subscribers. Kick off a branding welcome series with a message from your founder or an email explaining your brand's mission.

Event Follow-Up Drip Campaign

A successful event for your sales team means a list of qualified leads. But converting a list of leads into paying customers is easier said than done. 

Adding them to your main list and sending them the same content as everyone else is a missed opportunity. Instead, create a custom drip campaign to reach out to these potential customers when your organization is still fresh in their minds. 

The series of emails should start off by mentioning connecting with the lead at the event, then work to nurture the leads.


Your team collects data on email engagement. Now it's time to put it to use. Identify subscribers who are unengaged and send them your unsubscribe campaign.

The point of this campaign is either to reengage your subscriber or unsubscribe them. Often keeping your email list high-quality means sacrificing the subscribers who are no longer engaging with your emails. 

Wrap Up

Having a matrix of drip campaigns to manage may sound overwhelming. And it can be if you have bitten off more than you can chew. So don't start off with too many. Start off with one drip campaign, test it and tweak it until it accomplishes your goal.

Think about another goal that could be accomplished by a drip campaign and repeat your process. Then do it again! Eventually, you will feel like you have minions accomplishing your marketing goals automatically.


What's Next?

Are you ready to begin?

No problem! Schedule a call with us to get started on our journey together! 

"The first step in solving any problem is to recognize there is one." - Aaron Sorkin

Need more time?

No problem! Honestly, it might never be the right time. 
We've got plenty of articles that discuss many of the topics that we'll talk about over the phone!

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