How to Foolproof your First Drip Campaign

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Email marketing is truly unique because you’re able to engage masses of potential customers at a relatively low cost. However, perhaps the true power of email marketing comes in the form of drip campaigns. A drip campaign allows you to actively engage your audience without having to slave away in front of your computer, scrambling to track down leads.

What is a Drip Campaign?

Drip campaigns represent a series of automated messages that are sent to leads over time (thus the “drip”), eventually resulting in a specific call-to-action.

For example, a local gym might send a series of workout emails to its clients. These eventually lead up to a discounted membership offer. Another popular drip strategy requires readers opt-in to an email list to download an informational product. After they opt in, you send those same readers an email series encouraging a subscription to services over time.

Although drip campaigns come in many shapes and sizes, the universal benefits of such marketing are threefold:

  • Cost-effectiveness, considering you can build a drip campaign solely from opt-ins and warm leads that want to hear from you versus advertising to cold leads
  • Increased opportunities to build your list; if you understand the need to build your email list but wonder what to provide such users, a drip series is the perfect solution
  • Passive income, as the automated nature of a drip campaign allows you to engage customers at any time


example drip campaign

Drip campaigns remain one of the most popular means of building your business via email. But they are easy to botch if you don’t have a solid strategy in place. So, what does a successful drip strategy look like? Consider the following five-point checklist for starters.

#1 – Figure Out Your Goals

Many marketers make the mistake of trying to do too much with their drip campaigns. They aimlessly send message after message with no distinct goal or CTA in mind. Not all drip campaigns are created equal, as such campaigns can serve a combination of purposes such as:

Education – Not all email marketing has to revolve around selling: through educational materials such as content from your blog or newsletter, you can passively engage your lists without bugging them about deals.

Engagement (or Reengagement) – In the case that perhaps someone has dropped out of your sales funnel or purchased from you in the past, engagement emails attempt to reignite the fire.

Promotion and Products – Simply put, advertising new products and services to your list over time.

Often times you may have multiple drip campaigns happening simultaneously to engage different users with separate goals in mind.

For example, an engagement campaign email for someone who bought a product three months ago is going to look completely different versus someone who just opted-in from your landing page.

Whether you’re trying to sell a subscription or ebook, or are simply trying to keep readers in the loop, make sure you understand the ultimate purpose of your campaign before pressing “send.”

#2 – Make Every Word Count

Drip campaigns require a strong marketing message and lots of thought; however, you should strive to keep them short and sweet. The primary purpose of your drip series is more than likely to warm leads, not push a giant sales letter in front of your readers.

Hopefully, by the time you run your first campaign, you’ve already split tested your strongest subject lines and marketing language to understand what performs best with readers. Regardless, make sure to avoid blocks of text, unnecessary images and give your messages a sense of flow that ultimately leads them to your CTA.

In short, keep it simple.

introductory email

#3 – Remember, it’s a Series

Keep in mind that drip campaigns represent a series of emails which follow a specific sequence rather than a random email blast. Therefore, drip emails should follow a theme as you take your readers from Point A to Point B.

For example, a short, five message drip series may look something like this:

1. Introduction

2. Blog Post

3. Case Study

4. Personal Story

5. Offer

However, it’s not uncommon for drip campaigns to go on much, much longer than five emails. There are inherent advantages and disadvantages to longer campaigns. In longer campaigns, you get more opportunities to engage your readers, but you also have more opportunities to lose them

To remedy this, encourage your readers to do something throughout each message, such as a personal reply that’s necessarily related to your monetary CTA.

#4 – Keep Track of Time

We all know that emails are time-sensitive, but timing is especially important in regard to drip campaigns. How so?

  • The more optimized your timing is, the more likely readers are to open and respond to your email
  • You may choose to spread out your emails over multiple days, especially during a shorter campaign, versus being potentially perceived as a spammer by constantly blasting drip emails
  • You are responsible for keeping on top of responses to drip emails and promptly getting back to users to keep engagement alive

It is true that drip campaigns are a mostly passive process post-launch. Still, you will have an active role in making sure they’re running smoothly and keeping track of metrics. That way you can make sure that your messages are reaching readers accordingly.

#5 – Automate Your Drip Campaign

With so many moving pieces to a drip campaign, you’ll definitely want an email automation solution on deck to ease you into the process. From segmenting your lists to timing your emails to perfection, proper automation is the best way to make sure that your campaign runs smoothly.

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Zakaria Meftah

Zakaria Meftah

Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder at Sendlane
Based out of San Diego, California, Zakaria aka “Zak” is our young technological prodigy. Zak started his internet career at a super young age of just 15 years old, learning the ins and outs of technology and marketing. From building webpages to hosting servers, he found a passion in email marketing. By the time he reached 21 years old, he was proud to have delivered over 1 billion emails in his career. As one of the co-founders of Sendlane in 2013, Zakaria uses his expertise and passion to lead our technology team in building one of the "easiest to use" email automation platforms in the industry, bringing the enterprise grade solutions to every day entrepreneurs. He aspires to grow Sendlane into one of the most reputable and well known email platforms in the world.
Zakaria Meftah