What is a Drip Campaign?

A drip campaign. Yes, you heard that right. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with water sales or leaky marketing. Drip campaigns are probably something you are already familiar with, but have never had explained. They are those emails you get from e-commerce sites or businesses that inform you of promotions, recommendations, or are there to simply welcome you as a new customer. Drip campaigns are a form of email marketing and are as useful as they are inexpensive–a plus for both small businesses and big brands alike! In this article, we will discuss the different types of drip campaigns, why they are so effective, and tips on how to start your own drip campaign. 

drip marketing campaign

What are Drip Campaigns?

Before we look at how to start a drip campaign, let’s take a closer look at what it actually is. A drip campaign, or drip marketing, is a direct marketing method that involves sending various marketing information to prospects (usually customers) over long periods of time. DRIP stands for Differentiate, Reinforce, Inform, and Persuade. This method is used to acquire customers by cultivating leads via a personalized marketing funnel.

This specific method of email marketing is done through email automation. Email automation is a convenient way to send a variety of information without spending the hours customizing and personalizing individual content. Because brands and businesses often have multiple promotions running at once, drip campaigns can come in many forms. For instance, someone who is constantly searching for headphones on an e-commerce site won’t be sent the same recommendation email that another customer who is browsing for socks will get. 

Why are Drip Campaigns?

Because, in terms of marketing, they are successful. 81% of B2B marketers say their most used form of content marketing is email newsletters. Small businesses, e-commerce sites, information websites, and even healthcare uses email marketing. Drip campaigns are a successful sector or email marketing because of its personalization factor. Companies simply can’t pay people to personalize individual emails to every client they have as it would consume their entire email marketing budget.

This is where the automation feature of drip marketing gives the ability to personalize without the big money that would otherwise be spent. Overall, drip campaigns are very inexpensive which make them an ideal way to market to the masses which is why marketing automation is recommended for businesses. Now that you know what drip campaigns are, let’s look at the different types that can be utilized. 

email drip campaign

Types Of Drip Marketing Campaigns

There are three types of drip marketing campaigns. However, email drip marketing is the most common. Let’s take a look at the two less common forms of drip marketing. We will also discuss in what instance you would choose to use them. 

Social Media Drip Campaigns

This type of drip campaign is the least common of all three. Why? Social media marketing is influential through advertising new content on various platforms. It would be difficult to individualize responses and recommendations for these platforms–especially if your audience varies. The reason drip marketing is impactful is because of its concentration to a specific target audience.

In saying this, a specific form of social media that presents a great platform for drip marketing is blogging. Blogs are a great way to market content along with providing a medium for concentrated customer analysis. Blogs can be used for information, e-commerce, and advertising making them an ideal place for customers to go in order to view multiple forms of marketing at once. In order to incorporate drip campaigns into a blog, you will want to include a newsletter sign up. Doing this means you can track what people are viewing on your blog, send them reminder emails, and offer promotions through the newsletter. 

Direct Mail Drip Campaigns

Before there was email, there was good old fashioned snail mail. This traditional form of advertising and marketing may be older, but research shows direct mail marketing is still an effective way of marketing.  Direct mail drip campaigns work very similarly to email drip campaigns, but they are sent to an address, not to email. This can be both a positive and a negative. Sending promotions that are customized based on what consumers are viewing is incredibly difficult when brands don’t have instant access to what a person is viewing.

This type of marketing relies heavily on advertising agencies paying for consumer insights which can be incredibly expensive. Direct mail tends to bring in about $7 for every dollar spent, while email marketing produces $38 for every dollar you invest. Businesses pay for customer information making direct mail drip campaigns more expensive than email. Direct mail, however, is deemed more trustworthy than email. This makes it a more personalized, consumer-friendly option. 

what is a drip campaign?

Email Drip Marketing Campaigns

This kind of drip marketing is the most common type of drip campaign due to its instant insights, inexpensive cost, and high return rate. Email marketing generates $38 for every $1 spent leading to a 3,800% ROI. Customers can be sent multiple emails over time with the intention of keeping them engaged and active with the company.

A great way to encourage a customer to give a business their email is through an initial promotion. Once they are subscribed to a company via email, this is where drip marketing can take effect. A typical drip campaign consists of between four and 11 emails spaced between four days, one week, or two weeks apart. 

Although promotions are a great way to encourage subscriptions, they are not the main marketing strategy for drip email marketing campaigns. Let’s look at drip marketing strategies used that make this type of email marketing successful. 

Welcome Email

You are probably familiar with the welcome email. It is basically a tactic that allows customers to feel that they are noticed and appreciated. When a customer clicks on the welcome email, it gives the brand or business owner an idea that a customer is engaged. This is the goal: engagement. The more clicks, the more opportunity for customers to be led to the website. In a welcome email, you also have the ability to offer a quick survey or various sales. The reason this is important is it gives a brand insight into what a customer likes further narrowing down the type of email promotions that would catch their eye. 

Onboarding Email

This email is traditionally sent after the welcome email or a sign up and gives the consumer information about the business. The reason this is important is it familiarizes the consumer with the content or products they are subscribed to. B2B and B2C connections are made out of loyalty and onboarding emails bridge the gap between a welcome letter and a purchase. 

drip campaigns

Abandoned Cart Email

If you have an e-commerce site, creating a drip email that has an abandoned cart notification is necessary. Customers will either forget they have products in their cart or are unsure about the purchase. Either way, a notification reminding them of their cart is bringing their attention back to it. Be aware of the nagging effect that can come from constant emails. In order to make it effective, you will need to make it personalized and slightly nonchalant. A great example of this would be saying:

“Hey, Susan! We noticed you’ve had some items in your cart for a while. Would a discount help? We’re doing free shipping on all orders over $50 and it looks like your cart qualifies! When you’re ready to come back and save, we’ll be here!”

This email encourages the customer to come back, offers a promotion, and doesn’t appear too pushy. 

Promotional Email

Why are promotional emails so popular? It’s because they work! If people feel like they’re getting a discount, they are more likely to spend money. Some people might also not check websites a lot, so if they receive emails letting them know about sales, they have more access. 

Recommendation Email

Recommendation emails are a great marketing strategy for drip campaigns because of the personalization feature associated with it. Businesses who use drip campaigns can see what their customers are viewing therefor giving them the best insight on what they want to buy. By sending them personalized recommendations, they are more inclined to purchase or at least search through the website because the work is done for them. Recommendation emails can be combined with welcome emails in order to gather insight in the early stages of the consumer’s email subscription. 

drip campaign

How To Start A Drip Campaign 

If you’re looking to start a drip campaign for your business, you will need to do some research beforehand. Although drip campaigns take a lot of the time consuming and demanding tasks out of marketing, you will need to start out with a marketable objective. Here are things to do before starting a drip campaign:

  • Identify your target audience
  • Create your brand message
  • Devise a smart, relevant campaign 
  • Begin your campaign
  • Evaluate your current campaign and adjust if needed

Remember to utilize your tools and design your campaign for your target audience. Your drip marketing campaign will fail if you send mass, generic emails out to a large range of consumers who aren’t interested. They will simply end up unsubscribing. Follow these useful tips and you will be able to create a dynamic drip campaign. 

FAQs about Drip Campaigns: 

  • What does drip stand for in marketing?
  • What are the different kinds of drip campaigns?
  • How do I set up a drip campaign?
  • Do drip campaigns work?
  • How long does a drip campaign last?

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