What Is a Drip Email Campaign and How Does It Work For Marketing?

Also known as an automated email campaign, a drip campaign is an email marketing tactic that involves automatically sending a series of pre-made emails to subscribers over time.
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If your business struggles to generate leads or sales with email marketing, perhaps you should use a drip campaign.

Subscribers often require nurturing before they’ll take action.

Even when acquired using an opt-in form, most won’t click links or respond to commercial emails unless they’ve developed a relationship with the business that sent them.

With a drip campaign, you can nurture subscribers so that they are more likely to not only open your emails but also take action after viewing them.

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Overview of Drip Campaigns

Also known as an automated email campaign, a drip campaign is an email marketing tactic that involves automatically sending a series of pre-made emails to subscribers over time.

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Some campaigns consist of just three or four emails, whereas others consist of 20 to 30 emails.

Regardless, each email is part of a larger series that’s used to cultivate a relationship with subscribers while gently pushing them towards the end goal of taking action.

Drip campaigns don’t flood subscribers with commercial-heavy emails. Rather, they slowly drip marketing messages into subscribers’ inboxes. It’s a subtler marketing tactic to which subscribers respond strongly.

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How a Drip Campaign Works

Drip campaigns are powered by email marketing software like Convertkit, KEAP, Constant Contact, Get Response or AWeber

While it’s possible to create and send a series of emails manually, true drip campaigns are automated, so they require software. You’ll need an email marketing program like ConvertKit

Using email marketing software, you can both create your drip emails and schedule them for delivery.

The software will automatically send your drip emails to subscribers at the appropriate times.

You can configure drip campaigns to send emails on specific dates or at specific intervals. Alternatively, you can configure them to send emails in response to a trigger event.

A trigger event is simply some type of trackable action a subscriber takes. You may want to send new subscribers a welcome email, for instance, in which case you can target new signups as the trigger event.

When a new prospect subscribes to your newsletter, he or she will immediately receive the welcome email.

Common trigger events used in drip campaigns include:

•   New signups

•   Email views

•   Email link clicks

•   Email replies

•   Subscribers’ birthdates

•   Membership or subscription renewals

•   Repeat purchases or conversions

•   Product views

•   Abandoned e-commerce shopping carts

•   Website visits

Drip Campaign Benefits

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By using a drip campaign, more subscribers will open your emails. According to a study by Martech Zone,

Drip emails have an 80 percent higher open rate on average than single-serve or other nonsequential emails.

Drip emails generate high open rates because they are familiar and trusted by subscribers. If you only send a single email, subscribers may fail to associate it with your business.

As a result, fewer subscribers will open it.

You can expose subscribers to your business’s brand, however, by using a drip campaign. After seeing several emails from your business, they’ll feel more confident opening and viewing them, especially when nurtured along the way.

Using a drip campaign can improve your sender reputation. With spam accounting for 45 percent of all emails sent globally, according to Spam Laws, mailbox providers must scrutinize incoming emails to determine whether or not they are legitimate.

Sender reputation helps mailbox providers filter spam emails by revealing which senders have been flagged for spam.

Your sender reputation is linked to the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the email address from which you send emails.

Therefore, a poor sender reputation will follow you around while lowering the deliverability of all your emails. The good news is a drip campaign can improve your sender reputation in several ways.

It can drive higher open rates, for example, which is a sign your emails are legitimate and not spam.

A drip campaign can also improve your sender reputation by using a consistent delivery schedule. It won’t flood subscribers’ inboxes with an excessive number of emails at the same time.

Instead, subscribers will receive your drip emails periodically over time.

When mailbox providers see the consistent way in which you send emails, they’ll raise your sender reputation so that your emails aren’t automatically filtered as spam.

Another benefit of using a drip campaign is increased conversions.

According to optinmonster, businesses that use drip campaigns generate 80 percent more conversions than their counterparts.

As more subscribers open and interact with your drip emails, you’ll experience more conversions.

Getting Started With Drip Campaigns

To create your first drip campaign, you’ll need to secure email marketing software. ConvertKit is probably the easiest one to get started with.

All of the leading email marketing software providers offer drip campaigns.

With that said, some of them offer a deeper level of customization than others.

Check out some of the web-based email marketing software plans offered by AWeber, GetResponse, and Constant Contact, and choose one that’s aligned with your needs and budget.

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When creating a drip campaign, you should strive to maintain a logical flow from one email to the next. In other words, each consecutive drip email should continue or expand upon the message of its predecessor.

If there’s a break between the logical flow of your drip emails, subscribers may not respond to them.

Don’t forget to personalize the subject lines of your drip emails. Depending on which email marketing software you use, you should be able to add a tag or token for subscribers’ names.

When added to an email’s subject line, the tag or token will display the respective subscriber’s name. Personalizing your subject lines will encourage more subscribers to open your drip emails.

Monitoring the performance of your drip campaign will help you understand which drip emails, as well as deliverability methods, drive the most subscriber actions. If few or no subscribers are opening a particular drip email, you can test one or more new variants with which to replace it.

Drip campaigns are effective because they allow you to nurture subscribers through your business’s conversion funnel.

You can pique their curiosity with a compelling welcome email after which can you send them a half-dozen or more other emails.

With each of these drip emails enticing subscribers to move through your business’s conversion funnel, they’ll drive meaningful results.

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Hi! I’m Lori Ballen. I help content creators grow and monetize their channels. Are You Ready to Grow?

About Lori Ballen

She is the founder of The Ballen Method. Lori is a content marketer, speaker, and trainer.  Her students appreciate her authenticity, as well as her ability to take complex elements and make them understandable. As a 6-figure Affiliate Marketer, Lori understands the power of monetizing content marketing channels like Youtube, Blogs, and Social Media Networks.

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