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How to use drip campaigns

Everything you ever wanted to know about drip campaigns

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What do you think when you hear the words “drip campaigns”? Marketing is full of terminology and people are always coming up with more all the time!

If you’re not up-to-speed with this term, settle in and read all about drip campaigns. I’ll take you through what one is, why you should use them, as well as setting one up and ideas you can use.

What are drip campaigns?

You might have heard it called an email sequence, or an email automation campaign. All the terms mean the same thing.

It’s a series of emails that are sent (automated) when a person takes an action (a trigger.)

The trigger could be a few things:

  • Joining a list
  • Opening an email
  • Clicking on a link

We’ll go into this a bit more further down.

What you will have done is set up a series of emails that are triggered by a person taking the action you’ve chosen.

That’s it. You’ve heard me talk about email automation before. A drip campaign is just another way of saying that!

Why should you use drip campaigns?

Time. Something we don’t have a lot of. In the long run, they save you loads of time. Plus, they result in really good open and click rates. Want to know more? Read this blog post.

I’m not going to kid you here and tell you that they don’t take a bit of planning. They do.

But, here’s the thing.

Learning how to plan one is a skill you can learn. And once you have learned it, and practised it, it gets easier.

What’s the difference between a drip campaign and an email campaign?

There is one distinct difference.

A drip campaign is planned in advance and all the emails are created to be part of one automation. The emails get sent out once they are triggered.

An email campaign is a regular email. You might have a monthly newsletter. This is an email campaign. You create the content from scratch every time. You send it to your regular contacts. Maybe you have a newsletter list.

How to plan a drip campaign

As with any marketing activity, you start with a goal. What do you want to achieve? It’s important to know this as it will help shape what goes in the emails you create.

Next, think about your target audience. Who is your drip campaign aimed at? Try to be specific because it will help you figure out the content of the emails. Understand what their challenge is and how what you’re sending them solves it.

Then you get to the nitty-gritty of how many emails will be in your campaign, what the content will be and how often you’ll send them.

If you need a little help with this, download my worksheet.

Ideas for your next drip campaign

I have five ideas for you to read through. Not all of them will be relevant. But what these examples will do is inspire you to think of more of your own.

Let’s go!

Abandoned cart

I’ll start with this one because it leads to sales. It happens. People come to your website, put something in the cart (basket) and don’t check out. They don’t make that crucial purchase.

It happens for a lot of reasons. They got distracted. They’re going to do it later. They want to talk to their partner before they buy.

You’ll never know all the reasons why someone abandoned their cart. But you can be proactive and remind them they did.

And, if you use an eCommerce solution, such as Shopify, there will be templates you can use. Set yours up today because you’re missing out on potential sales if you don’t.


What do I mean by that? Well, it’s really another welcome email sequence.

You’ll want to use an on-boarding campaign for something like a membership. If you’re thinking of putting together something like this, it’s a good idea to have your on-boarding planned out before you launch.

For example, a coach may be about to launch some sort of academy. This involves sharing resources, group coaching, challenges, and one-to-ones. There might be a portal for clients to navigate. They’ll need reminders of what’s available to them.

That’s when an on-boarding campaign will help settle them in and help them understand what to expect.

Order confirmation

Think about the last time you placed an order online. I bet you received an email confirming your order almost straight away.

That email is part of a drip campaign. Again, tools like Shopify will help you set these up. You might also want a couple of update emails.

For example, one email could be sent at the point where the order is being prepared. Then another email for when the order has been sent.

Lastly, don’t forget to include an email for the customer to leave you a review. You might want to leave this a week or so after you sent the product, so people have time to use it and give feedback.

Event registration

If you organise events, you’ll want your attendees to have the best experience. That starts with the moment they submit their details to register.

It’s good to have an email confirming they have been booked for your event. It gives people a bit of reassurance. They know they can book the time out in their calendars.

If your event is a way off, say more than six weeks, your campaign should include some emails to registrants during that time.

What could you include? Perhaps spotlight your speakers. Tell people the agenda so they can plan. Give them clear directions on how to reach the venue and the event space once they arrive.

Make the whole thing as seamless as possible for them so they arrive relaxed and happy, ready to enjoy your event. Don’t forget to add an email to collect feedback and reviews.

If you’re planning a webinar, you won’t need as much detail. It’s always a good idea to have a confirmation email, plus a reminder email on the day, say an hour before.

Downloading an eBook

This is the type of drip campaign I use the most. It’s great for any B2B. It doesn’t always have to be an eBook. It could be a single-page PDF.

The important thing here is that it should be something of value. Something that solves a pain point for your target audience.

I normally follow up with four emails in this order:

  • The eBook so people have it in their inboxes.
  • An additional resource they will find useful (I use blog posts for this, as I have a bank of them.)
  • A tool they’ll find useful.
  • A link to join The Marketing Morsel, my community.

Next step

If you’re all fired up, but need a bit more structure, my new Email Marketing Planner is for you! It is on sale now, but there are only a limited number of copies.

What can you expect?

  • Clear, simple worksheets to help you create an email marketing strategy and content plan.
  • Tips on how to ask people to join your list and ideas for where to ask.
  • How to set up a template so you can create emails faster.
  • Advance techniques, including more on drip campaigns.

Buy your planner today!

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