The Only Email Drip Campaign Guide You Need with Examples

by Stephanie Mialki in Conversion Optimization

Email drip campaigns (aka drip campaigns, drip marketing campaigns, automated email marketing campaigns) are a series of automated emails triggered when users take a specific action on your website or landing page. The emails work together to move consumers through your marketing funnel toward a final conversion point.

What are drip marketing campaigns, and why are they important?

Email drips are all about relevance and timing. By using a combination of intent signals, product/user fit, and behavioral metrics, drip campaigns allow you to communicate to users that you understand their specific needs and can offer them solutions to alleviate their pain points.

They provide ongoing value to email subscribers by slowly “dripping” helpful information, updates, products, and notifications, over time.

For example, if a prospect has been visiting a product upgrade landing page for a few weeks but hasn’t actually
upgraded yet, a drip can help explain the benefits of upgrading.

How are drip campaigns used?

The campaigns are all about delivering subscribers the right information at the right time to push them further down your funnel to eventually convert.

This is what separates email drip campaigns from other emails:

  • Use timing and behavioral triggers to send automated messages
  • Send emails that subscribers ultimately signed up for in the first place
  • Generate more signups with a lower risk of people unsubscribing

Drip emails accompany each potential customer through your marketing funnel. From welcome drips, onboarding sequences, and lead nurturing campaigns, to abandoned shopping carts.

Benefits of drip email campaigns

Precise segmentation leads to more revenue

Drip marketing can lure in prospects, educate leads, reward customers, and more — all within the same email campaign. By pinpointing, segmenting, and then reaching out to specific user groups, you’re able to reach the right people and at the right times.

A segmented email drip campaign can also build trust with an audience.

Rather than blasting your entire email list with the same campaign, they divide subscribers into different funnels to approach them differently—more appropriately. Since the emails you’re sending are more targeted and relevant, they feel more personalized.

This ultimately leads to fewer unsubscribes and a higher conversion rate. Research actually shows that sending segmented drip emails can drive 18x more revenue for businesses.

More engagement with less effort

Part of the reason a drip campaign generates more revenue than other email campaigns is that it helps boost engagement. Drip emails offer a 119% increase in click rate, which is huge, considering drip campaigns require less effort than many others.

First, by proactively sending relevant material to targeted prospects, you remove a lot of the legwork needed to get them interested. Since they’re already interested, you’re essentially shortening the sales cycle by moving leads more quickly through the funnel. A great drip email campaign also weeds out unresponsive site visitors, so it helps save time or energy trying to make contact.

Second, drip emails depend on automation so they don’t need your constant attention. Although you still have to monitor and test (more on this later), marketing team members don’t need to devote much time creating and sending emails.

Continuous conversation to remain top of mind

An email marketing drip campaign can serve as an ongoing conversation between you and your subscribers, allowing you to build on the information in previous emails. Not only does this keep your brand top-of-mind, but also helps establish a trusting relationship. Maintaining regular contact shows recipients that you keep your promises to always deliver more.

Email drip marketing examples

You may want to experiment with a few to help deliver relevant information to targeted readers and potentially convert leads into customers.

Welcome emails

Welcome drips act as an immediate introduction of your brand to new subscribers. They serve as a way to make a great first impression and engage subscribers.

Welcome emails can be as simple as, “Hi, nice to meet you!”, or you can use them to offer new subscribers discount coupons or start promoting some of your basic content.

This is what Hazel Village does with their welcome drip campaign. The first email welcomes the subscriber toot the Hazel Village and offers them a special discount.

This image shows Hazel village welcome on Drip.

The second email introduces subscribers to a product update and invites them back to the website to explore other toys.

This image shows Hazel village drip email campaign example.

Onboarding emails

The emails ultimately help convert free trial users into paying customers by educating and nurturing them over time. Leads have already signed up for a free trial, so now it’s your job to explain further your product or service (how to use key features, etc.), how it will help solve their problem, and how you stand out from the competition.

When a user signs up for a Jasper free trial they get a sequence of emails reminding them of the free trial and showcasing what the AI writing platform can do for them.

This email shows shows Jasper's free trail email example.

This email shows Jasper email sequence example.

Similar to landing pages, your onboarding emails should only have one clear CTA. Because the more choices people have, the less likely they are to take action. This is precisely what Jasper does with their onboarding emails.

Re-engagement emails

These email sequences are great for contacting inactive prospects and pulling them back in. Whether they’ve been deleting your emails without opening them, or failing to click through once they’re in—re-engagement emails can captivate these once-interested subscribers.

This is what Modobag does with their re-engagement emails:

This email shows how Modobag uses re-engagement emails.

Abandoned cart emails

Ditching a shopping cart is extremely common for users. Bringing those users back is what abandoned cart emails are for.

Explore Cuisine’s abandoned cart email reminds visitors that they forgot something delicious in their carts:

This email shows

Abandoned cart emails help you call back your customers to buy what they left behind and complete the conversion action. The emails work when you remind users what they left in their cart, confirm the items are still available, and even offer a discount code to get them to pull the trigger.

Confirmation emails

Even after you close a sale, your drip email efforts are not complete. You can still use this strategy to confirm a customer’s purchase by setting up a “thank you” autoresponder immediately after they purchase.

You can also use post-purchase email sequences to collect some social proof by asking visitors to leave a product review in exchange for a coupon code or discount or set up a referral campaign.

This is what Cometeer does, it asks customers to refer their product to a friend and get a discount in return.

This email shows

Ensure your drip campaigns are successful with these best practices

How successful your drip campaigns are depends on what you include in them—ensure your emails use the following best practices.

Consider the customer journey

To increase your odds of engagement, send drip emails that are relevant to recipients and their progress through the sales funnel. For example, if someone recently became aware of your business, they’re likely not ready to buy. So you need to nurture with more educational, valuable content before seeing a sales pitch. Subscribers who know your brand, and have been considering it for a while, would likely appreciate product/brand comparisons, coupons/discounts, and free trials.

Discover your audience’s needs and pain points, and adjust your messages accordingly. This will help strengthen relationships and provide you with better campaign results.

Space out emails and create a smooth flow

Be consistent, but pace yourself. Maintain contact, but also leave your audience wanting more. Too much contact could come off as aggressive and could make prospects unsubscribe. As a rule of thumb, don’t send prospects more than one drip email per day. That gives them time to breathe and better digest your content.

Most importantly, an email drip campaign should tie together smoothly. To ensure this happens, write all of the emails in one sitting for consistency. While this may sound time-consuming and intimidating, many of the emails may only be a few paragraphs so they can be written quickly in a short session. There are also several writing tips to simplify the process.

Follow basic email writing tips

To write quality email content, consider these recommendations:

  • Focus on value: Always send significant, valuable content so subscribers don’t feel like they’re wasting their time
  • Short paragraphs: Big blocks of text are intimidating, especially on small devices, so keep it short and add white space
  • Keep emails short at first: Since they don’t fully trust you yet, they may not be willing to give a lot of their time
  • Get personal: Sharing non-business related information — such as a captivating story, personal failure, or funny anecdote. This allows prospects to connect with your email and brand
  • Avoid marketing language and large media: Both of these can reduce deliverability. Because email clients like Gmail and Outlook are always looking for reasons to send your emails to the Promotions folder
  • Use compelling email subject lines: Getting people to open the message is the first step, so the subject line must be compelling
  • Create urgency: Set deadlines and offer exclusive deals
  • Include a CTA: Show them what the next step is by offering more value, such as visiting an email landing page to download a whitepaper
  • Add a P.S: Tease the next email you’ll send and get the subscriber excited for it

Connect your campaign to other channels

Drip campaigns don’t exist in a vacuum. Strive to make all of your advertising channels work together in harmony to create maximum engagement.

For example, adding “Follow us on Instagram” to the end of your emails lets people know you’re active on social. You can also use similar content across social posts, paid ads, and blog posts to generate excitement and remain consistent. And remember to always connect all your email offers with relevant, optimized landing pages.

Start planning your next campaign today

The key to creating a high-converting campaign is to take subscribers on an engaging journey. Delivering relevant messages to the right people at the best times can help achieve that.

To complete your campaign and reduce wasted clicks, be sure to connect your drip emails with the perfect landing page.

And where there are landing pages there’s Instapage.

Instapage makes it easy to create personalized, relevant landing pages for every email campaign and audience with hundreds of templates and easy in-app testing. Sign up for a 14-day trial and start increasing your conversion rates and return on advertising spend (ROAS) today.

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Stephanie Mialki

by Stephanie Mialki

Stephanie Mialki is a digital marketing professional with expertise in ecommerce trends, landing pages, journalism, and mass communication.

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