This article explains what an email drip campaign is, how they work, and how you can use them to increase your sales with examples & best practices.
Have you ever signed up for a company's newsletter and felt you've missed hundreds of emails leading up to the most recent one? That's because new subscribers only receive emails after they sign up.
Email drip campaigns solve this issue.
Their primary goal is to nurture subscribers, send relevant emails to convert them to customers, and meet them at every stage of the sales funnel.
Research shows that brands using drip campaigns to nurture leads see a 20% increase in sales. That shows drip email campaigns are effective marketing tools that can help you easily convert leads into customers.
We'll look at what email drip campaigns are, brilliant examples you can replicate to increase your revenue, and best practices to follow when sending out your drip emails.
What is an email drip campaign?
An email drip campaign is a sequence of emails sent after a user performs a specific action on your website. These actions could include:
Drip campaigns are very effective. Pinpointe shares that drip campaign open rates are 80% higher than single-send emails, and click-through rates are 3X higher. That’s because everything happens automatically based on user segments and defined triggers.
For example, a welcome email can be sent automatically if someone signs up for a demo. After an hour, the subscriber can receive a lead nurturing email with a short presentation showing how your product features can solve their needs.
As a result, drip emails help you to keep in touch with your audience in a personalized and targeted way following significant user actions.
The image below visually illustrates how a drip campaign works:
You can use drip emails to achieve different outcomes you expect from your campaigns — from nurturing leads to customer retention.
Here are six email drip campaign examples you can replicate in your business:
1. Cross-selling campaign email
Cross-selling is a marketing strategy where you recommend complementary services or products to boost the sale value or customer lifetime value (LTV). It’s a superb way of getting customers to spend more on top of what they've already bought or will buy.
Here's an excellent example from the Dollar Shave Club:
This cross-sell drip email summarizes the customer’s order, informing them of what will be shipped and when.
It then offers the customer a superb opportunity to purchase additional products that complement their initial order. The brand displays valuable information about each product that entices customers to add more items to their carts.
2. Cart abandonment campaign email
Cart abandonment email is a message you send to customers who added items to their shopping cart but didn't check out. It's a friendly reminder to customers who may have become distracted and never completed their purchase.
Here’s an example from Rudy's:
Rudy's uses humor in their cart abandonment email by adding a relatable headline “Don't put this off like a software update” since most customers know that if you don't update your software, it may crash.
The message behind the cart abandonment email is that you don't want anything bad to happen if you don't buy your chosen products.
The brand also includes product images of the items the customer left in their cart and offers free shipping to motivate them to complete the purchase.
3. Limited offer campaign email
Limited-time offers are an effective way of boosting your sales since they increase the customer’s fear of missing out (FOMO). As a result, it encourages them to act quickly and buy your products.
That said, you should promote time offers in the right way for them to work. If you're too pushy, you'll end up annoying your customers. And when you're too subtle, visitors might miss out on your offer.
Here’s a fantastic example from Brooklinen:
The email gives customers a time-bound 20% discount on all orders.
The message is simple but powerful, creating a sense of urgency in just a few words. The brand also uses a single call to action (CTA) to direct customers' attention to the offer.
4. Re-engagement campaign email
Brands send re-engagement emails to a segment of their audience who aren't engaged with their emails. It enables them to identify and follow up with these subscribers to win them back or let them go to maintain a healthy subscriber list.
Here’s an example from Duolingo:
Duolingo’s re-engagement email is straightforward but bold.
The email grabs your attention with an image of its green mascot, who’s sad because it hasn't seen you in a while. The email also emphasizes that a lesson will only take five minutes of your time.
It then follows up with a bright orange CTA button that almost makes you feel guilty if you don’t click through.
5. Welcome drip campaign email
A welcome email is the initial email you send subscribers after they sign up for your email list. As a result, this email is crucial since it's the first impression you give new customers about your brand.
Casper welcomes its customers with a beautifully-designed email that matches the night colors and uses sleepy language to create a relaxing aura around its brand.
"Let's get sleepy" is also a hilarious CTA that matches the copy, implies action, and is always refreshing to see something new.
The 100-night trial offer removes the barrier to purchase because it feels less like a commitment and allows the customer to change their mind, making the decision to buy easier.
6. Onboarding campaign email
Sending an onboarding email to a user is like giving them a virtual hug and welcoming them into the company's family. They've now become part of a community of customers who trust your brand.
An effective onboarding email ensures the customer stays with your business for the long term and continues using your product after signing up.
Here’s a fantastic example from Just Eat:
Just Eat uses a humorous tagline and a fun animated GIF on their onboarding email. They’re not giving too much information or doing a hard sell of their service. The brand is just welcoming new customers and trying to make them smile.
Email drip campaign best practices
Drip email campaigns can only be effective if you follow the right practices. So, here are six email drip campaign best practices you should follow to send your drip emails the right way and increase your open and click-through rates.
1. Segment your email list
Email segmentation is where you divide your email subscribers into smaller, targeted groups to send them the most relevant information. That makes email unique because you can create content for small groups rather than broadcasting generic content to everyone and hoping it appeals to most people.
Has someone viewed multiple products in a particular category? Put them in a specific segment where you can send them emails with similar products.
Ultimately, your drip campaigns aim to generate revenue for your business. By segmenting your email list and sending content that aligns with where your recipients are in the funnel, you'll be more likely to convert them.
Here are more benefits of segmenting your email list:
It increases the open and click-through rates
It improves email deliverability and avoid spam filters
It decreases the unsubscribe rate and improves the conversion rate
2. Use A/B testing to set the right frequency and timing
The success of your drip email campaign depends on the frequency and timing of your emails. So, you must send each email at the right time if you want to increase the open rate of your drip emails. No one will open your emails if you send them during their off hours.
As a result, it can be challenging to strike the right balance between being consistent in your drip email series and not oversaturating your customers' inboxes. But A/B testing the timings will provide you with data supported by the user's behavior, where you can base your analysis.
Personalization ensures your recipients receive an email tailored to their specific interests and includes their names and relevant offers. So, even if your drip emails are automated, they shouldn't sound robotic.
Here are some personalization tactics to help you increase your engagement metrics and get better results from your drip emails:
Personalize the “from” name so that different recipients see different names. For example, you can send your marketing campaigns from the account manager or individual sales rep working with a specific account.
Add the subscriber’s first name to the subject line to help your email stand out and increase the open rate.
4. Set up relevant triggers based on user preferences and behavior
Not everyone is interested in your service or product, so sending an email blast won't yield any tangible results.
Analyze the user's behavior once you segment your email list. Examine how they engage with your emails. Which emails did they click on most? Did they click on the call to action (CTA)?
Such information will help you understand your users better and design more targeted drip sequences with higher chances of conversion.
5. Clean your email list regularly
You must clean your email list regularly to keep it healthy and receive accurate reports on your drip campaign’s performance. That means you’ll need to remove inactive subscribers (those who don't open your emails).
Removing subscribers may sound scary, but a smaller email list of highly-engaged subscribers is more valuable than a massive list of people who never open your emails. So, the faster your email list grows, the more often you'll need to clean it.
Cleaning your email list will result in:
Better open and click-through rates;
Fewer spam complaints;
Better sender reputation;
Lower bounce rates.
6. Combine email and drip SMS campaigns
Marketers rarely use one channel to do their marketing campaigns. They typically use omnichannel marketing strategies to drive their message home. For example, you can use an SMS drip campaign to increase opt-ins to your email drip campaign.
You can encourage visitors to sign up for your email drip campaign by:
Adding an opt-in email link in your SMS campaign;
Sending a specific text message regarding an email campaign;
Including your email address in each SMS signature.
With such SMS strategies, you can boost the effectiveness of your email drip campaigns and eventually increase your sales and revenue.
Convert prospects into loyal customers with email drip campaigns
There you have it. The examples and best practices above will give you enough ideas to design a drip campaign that resonates with your target audience and fits your brand. They'll also help you send drip campaign emails that engage and convert your prospects to loyal customers.
By providing value to your subscribers consistently, you can ensure they get the information they need to make a purchasing decision.
Once you design your automated drip campaigns, you'll be able to keep in touch with your customers without putting in a lot of effort. As a result, you'll be able to sell effortlessly and increase revenue for your business.
Do you have more email drip campaign examples and tips we haven't mentioned? Share the post with your answers.
Skirmantas Venckus is a writer by day and reader by night. He hates talking about himself in the third person. He is also the growth hacker at Sender.net – the email marketing provider that is focused on user-friendliness, affordability, and utility.