What is an Email Drip Campaign?

An email drip campaign is a series of pre-written emails that are automatically sent to a customer or prospect over a period of time. This type of digital marketing campaign can be used to attract more customers, keep customers engaged, and increase sales.

Reaching out to people interested in your products or services is critical to any marketing strategy. One effective way to do this is through an email drip campaign, which sends a series of pre-written emails automatically over time. These campaigns can help you attract more customers, keep them engaged, and boost sales.

There are many benefits of email marketing.

First, staying in touch with your target audience over time is easy. As new contacts are added to the campaign, and existing ones receive new messages over time, you can build a relationship with them that keeps your brand top-of-mind.

Second, it helps keep customers engaged by sharing relevant content with them at the right time. For example, suppose a customer has recently made a purchase or signed up for your newsletter. In that case, you can send them a series of targeted emails that will continue to provide valuable information and build trust over time.

Finally, email encourages customers to take action and purchase. Often, these campaigns incorporate a “call to action” that prompts the customer to click on a link or open an attachment. This can help you drive conversions and sales, ultimately increasing your bottom line.

An email drip campaign may be your solution if you are looking for an effective way to engage your subscribers in a way that helps to improve your email marketing and overall inbound strategy.

In this article, we’ve gathered some helpful information to answer one of the most common questions: What is an email drip campaign?

What is an Email Drip Campaign? Illustration of geometric trees with light blue rain drops falling.

What is an Email Drip Campaign?

Email drip campaigns are an evolution of how we use and value emails as a marketing tool. Gone are the days when marketing material scattershot across a random mailing list and plain promotional messages were enough to try and get your business on the digital map. Nowadays, that kind of behavior lands you in the spam folder the vast majority of the time.  

Even when your customers do sign up for a newsletter or promotional material – especially if you provided some form of incentive for them to do so, like 10-15 percent off their first purchase or free shipping – it is often notoriously difficult to get potential leads or previous customers to click on and read your emails if they aren’t already in the market for another product or service from you. 

Drip campaigns focus on two key aspects to make emails more interesting to potential leads: relevance and personalization. The third crucial aspect is what makes them work and why they’re such a powerful bang-for-buck tool: automation

Email marketing is one of the best ways to stay in touch with future customers after they’ve discovered your website.

- Chris Rice, Senior SEO Strategist

Understanding Drip Campaigns

Let’s take a step back and explain how drip campaigns work. 

Email drip campaigns are a special type of automated email campaign involving pre-written, automated, and highly customized emails that are sent out periodically based on per-customer triggers and other factors. 

This could be something like sending out an email or two before Black Friday or Cyber Monday reminding your potential leads of amazing deals and once-a-year discounts, or something far more personalized, such as:  

  • Creating timely reminders for already interested leads based on their recent browsing history or visiting history on your products and services. 
  • Reminding customers (and enticing them!) who might have placed an item or two in a cart but didn’t go through with a purchase because they just aren’t sure yet. 
  • Sending out emails to customers who previously indicated that they were interested in a specific upcoming product or feature by teasing a new update or tidbit of information at a time, rather than a single slew of info in one easily missed message. 
  • Sending a follow-up after a customer service episode to ask for feedback. 
  • Sending a follow-up after a product has already arrived to ask about the unboxing experience and recommend other purchases. 
  • Reminding customers that their product is on its way or updating them periodically about where it is and how close it is (and how excited you are for them to receive it!)
  • Happy birthday wishes or anniversary deals for your customer’s membership. 
  • And a lot more. 

Why Email is Still Relevant Today

99% of email users check their email every day.

The long and short of it is that a person’s email address still acts as their key to nearly any other platform on the internet, despite the fact that the email is even older than the World Wide Web, let alone search engines and social media platforms. This means nearly everyone has an email, and chances are that emails are still a part of daily life, even if they’re using platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Skype. 

But modern email inboxes are highly curated, and only key messages are regularly opened and read. Things like important billing information, security and privacy updates, or personal correspondence. 

Getting marketing material into a person’s inbox is not particularly difficult. Even keeping your email out of the spam filter has become easier and easier, thanks to many tools and techniques to convince potential and successful leads to keep up with a business’ deals and promotional material for their own benefit. 

But statistics show that while email is incredibly low-cost and has some of the highest ROI of all online marketing mediums, getting people to open their messages can still be difficult. Drip marketing aims to increase the odds that your emails reach people who care about them at a time when they’re most likely to care about them by utilizing per-customer triggers most of the time. 

Do Email Drip Campaigns Work?

Yes, they do. We’ve already mentioned that email marketing campaigns have a deceptively high ROI – an average of about $44 for every dollar spent – and there’s very little long-term effort or leg work involved in setting up the right automated emails. 

You do need your copy to be personalized, and you need an enticing design, the right plan, and a layout that works – but that’s still often less of an investment than a major YouTube ad campaign, a large multiplatform video series, or a myriad of other online marketing tools. 

How well your email drip campaign will work depends entirely on how you formulate your messages, when you trigger them, your open rate, and your click-through rate. You should keep a few things in mind if you want to make the most out of an email drip campaign.

Use what you know about your customers, including their preferences and past behaviors, to inform your subsequent communications and frame new sales opportunities.

- Eric Sachs, CEO

How to Design Your Email Drip Campaign

How often do you open a promotional email? Usually, the answer would be “when it’s interesting” or “when there’s something in it for me”. Both key points can only be fulfilled with the right subject line. That’s where it all starts. 

Think about what your audience wants to hear or see at any given trigger, such as a recently viewed product, incomplete shopping cart, or recent purchase – and put a few different subject lines through basic A/B testing.

From there, observe the following tenets: 

  • Be Personal
  • Be Creative
  • Be Direct
  • Match Emails to Crucial Triggers
  • Nurture Your Leads
  • Ask For Feedback Immediately!
  • Test, Test, and Retest

The right email drip campaign leverages information you already have about your customers – your customer profiles, your branding, the language and tone of your existing marketing material, your layouts and colors – and creates messages that help boost brand recognition, set you apart from the competition, make you memorable, and have an interesting value proposition for your readers, such as small incentives, discounts, and promotional codes. 

Be sure to keep this in mind whenever creating a new drip campaign. Incorporating these tips and other email marketing tips into your process can help you create a more effective campaign.

By conditioning recipients that nearly every message you send their way ends up in something worth their time, whether it’s an inside scoop, a new release, a small discount, or a chance at a major giveaway, you’re more likely to boost your opening rates and gain a loyal following. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve noticed business owners often have the same questions about email drip campaigns. So, we’ve put together some answers for you just below. Check them out and let’s dive into the world of drip campaigns together!

What is the difference between a drip campaign and a normal email campaign?

A drip campaign is a series of pre-written, automated emails sent to subscribers at specific intervals or based on their actions, while a normal email campaign involves one-time, manually created emails sent to a target audience.

Drip campaigns aim to nurture leads and build engagement over time through consistent, relevant messaging. In contrast, normal email campaigns are generally used for announcements, promotions, or news updates with a more immediate focus.

What is a good open rate in an email marketing drip campaign?

A good open rate for an email marketing drip campaign varies depending on the industry and the target audience. Generally, an open rate of around 20-25% is considered satisfactory across various industries. However, achieving higher open rates, like 30% or more, is a strong indicator of a successful and well-targeted drip campaign.

How many emails should a drip campaign include?

The number of emails in a drip campaign can vary depending on the specific goals and strategies of the marketer. Generally, a drip campaign may consist of anywhere from 3 to 10 emails, with each email spaced out at strategically determined intervals. The key is to strike a balance between maintaining regular engagement with the audience and not overwhelming them with too many emails.

What is an example of an email drip campaign?

An example of an email drip campaign could be a welcome series for new subscribers to an online store’s newsletter.

When a user signs up, they receive an initial welcome email that introduces the brand, thanks them for subscribing, and offers a discount code for their first purchase.

A few days later, the subscriber may receive a second email featuring popular products or personalized recommendations based on their browsing history.

After a week, a third email could be sent, showcasing customer reviews and success stories to build trust and credibility. Finally, if the subscriber has not yet made a purchase, a fourth email might be sent as a gentle reminder to use the discount code before it expires, creating a sense of urgency.


An email drip campaign is a series of emails that are automatically sent to customers based on specific triggers. These campaigns are designed to increase customer engagement and ROI. By personalizing messages and targeting crucial triggers, businesses can see an increase in opens and clicks. However, it is important to test, retest, and continually optimize your campaign in order to get the best results.​

If you want to create a successful email drip campaign, consider hiring a professional digital marketing agency specializing in email marketing. This will allow you to focus on your business while we handle your email marketing campaign, ensuring that your messages are relevant, personalized, and well-timed to increase customer engagement and ROI.

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SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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