The phrase “drip campaign” may have you envisioning a leaky faucet, but it’s nothing of the kind. A drip campaign can be a useful strategy when designing an automated email campaign. The term “drip” refers to a slow, steady communication plan that involves sending a series of emails to your contact list at scheduled trigger points.

Drip campaigns are based on customer actions and designed to keep your customers engaged in your brand.

Responding in specific ways to particular actions will generate corresponding specific responses, and are ultimately geared toward building long-term interest and trust.

Using automation marketing email software guarantees that you will never miss a trigger point. Over time, you can tailor your campaign to meet customer needs and build relationships that lead to more conversions.

Types of email drip campaigns

There are several trigger points you can identify to help you develop an effective drip campaign. For each event, you can send your customers either one email or a series of emails.

Welcome emails

When customers subscribe to your website or newsletter, this is an opportunity to make a strong first impression. Make them feel like they’ve joined a community by introducing your product or service and explaining how they will personally benefit from it.


Like the welcome email, you can make your customers feel like they have a stake in your success when they buy. Aside from a huge thank-you, emphasize what they can expect from the relationship, how to navigate the site, how to reach you, and the exclusive benefits they can realize.

Building email drip campaigns

Whether or not your customers order immediately, you can still launch a steady campaign with recommendations for further reading, webinars, apps, and more. This is a terrific way to keep customers engaged with your brand.

Re-engage customers

To bring back customers who have been absent for a while, send an email that reintroduces your brand and tells them the great things they have missed. Gently nudge them toward a purchase by offering a welcome-back incentive.

Abandoned shopping cart emails

Customers often will add something to their cart but then fail to check out. This could happen for many reasons: a bad internet connection, second thoughts, or any number of distractions.

Typically, customers who return to buy will do so within 24 hours of placing something in their cart. A gentle push from an email could be just what they need to complete the sale. If they don’t come back right away, offer a small discount to entice them.

Renewal subscription reminders

If a subscription is about to expire, consider sending your customers a reminder that they will be charged with the payment method on file. If they haven’t chosen to auto-renew, you can incentivize them to upgrade. Be sure to thank them for their business.


Keeping your customers engaged in your product or service is critical. You can use emails to educate and inform throughout many of the steps outlined above. I once signed up to learn about the history of tea, and by the end of it I had a whole list of teas to try and the source right in front of me offering subscriptions, discounts, and free samples.

Some customers may have signed up and even bought a subscription but have yet to take advantage of all you have to offer. Send an encouraging email that lets them know what they cannot do without. Add in great content and you will continue to build a successful relationship.

How to plan an email drip campaign

Review your entire marketing life cycle, from your website and initial contact with a potential customer to post-sale follow-up. Opportunities for drip campaigns abound at every step of the way.

Design content to meet specific needs by creating personal messages and outlining the benefits of positive action.

Send emails and then track the conversion rate. Depending on the response, adjust your strategy by changing the demographics of your contact list, delivery time, subject line, or content message.


When crafting emails for drip campaigns, you should keep a few key things in mind, just as you would with any other email campaign.

If your customers don’t actually open the email, though, none of these tips will make a difference. To that end, be sure to create catchy subject lines targeted at your audience’s interests.

Make the emails personal and appeal to your customers’ emotions. Get them to understand that buying your product or service is just the solution they need. Spell out other benefits they’ll enjoy.

The conversation should be brief but packed with valuable information. Keep the brand in mind and stay consistent with your message.

Offer words of support and encourage customers to act quickly with a precise call to action. A limited time offer or other incentive might spur them to continue.

Draw them in with teasers about future sales, contests, holiday deals, new products, and upgraded services. Keep them hooked by hinting about something you are working on that is well worth the wait.

A word of caution

Email drip campaigns are a science, and they require careful planning and execution. You are competing with numerous distractions in your customers’ lives and potentially hundreds of emails in their inboxes.

Don’t come on too strong with dozens of emails offering perpetual discounts. Make your message relevant. If a customer still doesn’t respond despite your various techniques, know when to call it quits.


That said, don’t let drip campaigns scare you. They are a fantastic way to reach your potential or current customers at every step of the process.

Creating successful email drip campaigns can be fun, too. Connect with your customers, automate the process and you will reap the awards.