How Do Email Drip Campaigns Affect Marketing Success? A Guide


If you’re looking for a high return on your marketing investment, a strategy you can count on is email marketing, with its active participation in the six distinct stages of the sales funnel. Nevertheless, email marketing still needs an automated support system to touch base with potential customers consistently. This is where email drip campaigns emerge as important, given their optimal measures to generate user response and imprint the brand in consumers’ minds. This blog focuses on the various types of drip campaigns and how to craft the most compelling email marketing strategy.

Email Drip Campaigns

When email marketers design a series of pre-written automated emails to regulate different campaigns, the result is an email drip campaign. Simply put, email drip campaigns refer to automated email campaigns, marketing automation emails, product lifecycle campaigns, and autoresponders that act throughout the lead and sales funnel. The driving force behind email drip campaigns is maximizing conversions of potential customers to loyal buyers. 

Types of Drip Campaigns

You can choose from the different types of email drip campaigns to suit your business needs. These include:

Welcome Emails

The most common among email drip campaigns, are these invite a new subscriber to the virtual community, showcasing the human aspect of the business. To further heighten introductory interest, you can offer discounted rates for referrals or an extension of subscriptions. This drip campaign is primarily an extension of personalized gratitude for completing a buy. Thoroughly crafted welcome emails increase unique click rates by 196%.

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Onboarding Emails

While welcome emails usually don’t have the bandwidth to highlight more information about the company, onboarding emails are a clever strategy to briefly introduce your followers to the entire batch of products or services you offer. It also offers a space to highlight any remarkable update in a product or state features to distinguish yourself from the competition. 

List-Building Emails

List-building emails often form the cornerstone of formidable email marketing strategies. It is important to boost your list with highly active contacts of subscribers genuinely interested in your products. This can be easily done by integrating your website with email marketing and prompting visitors to opt-in to receive emails.

Cart Abandonment Emails

In 2021, the average cart abandonment rate was 69.82%. While the reasons are diverse, they all point to customer apprehension about the product or the brand. Regular engagement with shoppers about their cart information exudes a sense of urgency and increases brand-customer cohesiveness to secure a buyer.

Subscription Renewal

As another drip campaign that caters to customer engagement, subscription renewal emails offer value to customers by giving them a choice to opt-out or renew their business with the company. The underlying objective is to entice your audience with compelling offers and engaging content.

Benefits of Email Drip Campaigns

Here are some benefits of drip campaigns over normal bulk email campaigns:

  • Email drip campaigns are initiated by triggers which means they are timely and relevant
  • They are short, and their automation quotient gives you better headspace to formulate more creative email campaigns
  • Once automated, they will serve through the entire customer journey
  • Their open rates are about 80% higher than single-send emails
  • They enhance the sales funnel by producing relevant content systematically at every stage 
  • Their combined benefits result in an uninterrupted flow of high-potential communication within the marketing funnel
  • They help rejuvenate lost contacts by increasing brand awareness

Email Drip Campaigns: Best Practices

Email drip campaigns achieve maximum efficiency when combined with other digital marketing strategies. Some of the best practices in the domain include:

  • Sending regular updates so that even if your emails remain unopened, you position your brand in your audience’s mind
  • Balancing product emails with personalized messages since the latter determines the success of the campaign
  • Enhancing consumer relationships than merely producing moments of sales pitch
  • Following users’ online behavior to ensure succinct personalized communication
  • Maintaining email list quality by optimizing deleted email IDs and increasing the successful delivery of emails
  • Ensuring email automation has a humanistic appeal
  • Making drip emails very easy to skim through

How Do You Create an Email Drip Campaign?

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating flexible email drip campaigns:

Identify Market Segments and Their Triggers

Drip campaigns require a thorough understanding of the specific market segments you want to target. Once you identify the target segments, zero in on the triggers that will work for your audiences. Triggers can be action-oriented such as finishing a pending buy, or a welcome email introducing a subscriber to a brand, among others. 

Determine Goals for Every Campaign

Ask yourself the following questions to determine fixed SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based) goals for each drip campaign:

  • What do you want to achieve through this campaign?
  • What is the marketing bandwidth of the campaign?
  • What are the best ways to automate and optimize your campaign?

Such questions will also give you realistic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), enabling you to remain focused.

Craft a Remarkable Email

Once you know your goals and target audience, it’s time to craft the most effective email copy. The most important element here is to stay human. Automated emails will get ignored if they fail to use engaging, personalized titles, respect people’s online boundaries, and include a definite Call-to-Action (CTA). 

Campaign Planning

Although this step encompasses all the aforementioned stages, campaign planning gets the most attention in this phase of your drip campaign design. At this point, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do you improve the quality of your email lists?
  • What is email hygiene, and how can you improve on it?
  • What are the email list-building strategies best suited for your business goals?
  • How will you decide on an efficient email series for different campaigns?

Automate the Campaign

Perhaps the most crucial step in this entire process is automating email campaigns. To do that, take care of the following step:

  • Undertake stringent list segmentation by studying the behavioral information of your consumers and finding topics relevant to your subscribers
  • Design a comprehensive series of emails that will systematically achieve your campaign objectives
  • Determine the appropriate triggers depending on where your customers lie in the sales funnel

You can also induce more triggers with hard-to-ignore subject lines, compelling preview texts, and storytelling.

Analyze Campaign Results

Email automation software systems often come with effective markers of campaign efficiency. Moreover, there were some KPIs you decided on before starting the email drip campaign. If you’re confused with your choices, here are some SMART KPIs for you:

  • How many emails got delivered?
  • How many emails were opened?
  • How many readers clicked on the desired links to the CTA?
  • Is there any social share of your content post your email drip campaigns?
  • What is the forwarding rate of your emails?

Email Drip Campaign Software

Here are some trending email drip campaign tools you could use:

  • SendX – Intuitive user interface with easy track replies and auto-generated UTM parameters
  • Customer.io – Effortless drag-and-drop interface with a visual workflow builder and rich text editor
  • Hubspot Email Marketing – A comprehensive CRM platform dedicated to email marketing and advanced automation
  • Sendinblue – Another easy-to-navigate interface that uses a visual canvas for your drip campaigns with a variety of pre-made templates, and a unique ‘Workflow Logs’ feature that tracks user journey

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Email Drip Campaign Examples

Irresistibly Strong Goodbye Emails from Netflix

As you can see, this drip campaign has a short, compelling invitation alongside the regret of losing a worthy customer. Generating value in the consumer’s mind is one of the best tactics to redeem lost customers, boost engagement, and reduce churn rates. 

Keeping the Primary Text at the Top

As mentioned, drip campaigns are short. The idea is to grasp maximum user attention—just like newspaper headlines—and ensure readers don’t miss the campaign’s main point. This example of the Baking Steel email campaign is a case in point.

Stitch Fix Keeps it Short to Tune its Brand Image

Stitch Fix fuses elegance with minimalistic choices, which is reflected in the design of their drip campaigns. Check out this compelling combination of simplicity with rounded fonts making a headline, a brief subhead accompanying a two-liner, and visuals. Aligning with the brand image, this drip campaign works its CTA on brand loyalists.

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Are Email Drip Campaigns Effective?

The success of drip campaigns depends on the company’s instant acknowledgment and recognition of customers. Their subliminal messaging will impact the final buying decision. Its importance can be learned from the following facts:

  • Companies that excel at drip campaigns generate 80% more sales at 33% lower costs
  • 54% of B2B marketers use marketing automation software to assist them with their content marketing efforts
  • Continual lead nurturing via automated email drip campaigns is central to pushing customer acquisition

A 2022 Yahoo Finance report quotes that the market share of marketing automation software will reach $13.71 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 12.9%. Learn about all the offshoots of marketing automation, including Customer Relationship Management (CRM), lead management, and sales automation, with Emeritus’ online digital marketing courses, offered in collaboration with top global universities. 

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