What is a Drip campaign: definition, types, and examples
A drip campaign, or drip marketing, is using a series of pre-planned, automated messages to existing and prospective clients to encourage interaction and sales. The multi-step communication stream can be triggered by time, the recipient’s actions with prior correspondence, interaction with the website, and other predetermined parameters.
Advantages of drip campaigns
The main appeal of drip campaigns is the ability to keep in touch with the consumer in a timely manner without having to spend large amounts of individual time on each client.
The best feature of a drip campaign is that it is a guaranteed timesaver. Once you have planned your chain of messages, you just let them go do the work for you. They keep you in consistent touch with the consumer, which means you won’t miss sales by slipping through the cracks or being forgotten.
Creating the chain is the hardest part of a drip campaign, but a well thought out campaign can do all the product pitching, educating, and relationship building for you while you focus on sales and building your product.
Drip campaign nurtures leads for you. Say you send a cold email about your software to a prospective client, they open it and click through to your website. You don’t want this to be the last time they think of you. A drip campaign will automatically, at a predetermined time, send them a second email thanking them for viewing your site and encouraging them to try out a free trial, if they’d like.
If they try the product, there’s a much higher chance they will buy it than if you just send them one email and never nurture a continued relationship with them. Nurturing leads and staying in contact with your clients can, of course, take more than two emails. A consistent, continuous stream is required to lead to sales.
You don’t ever want to send people incorrect or outdated information. With a drip campaign, you can edit your chain as needed in order for that not to happen. To make sure your lead sees exactly the information they need, you can easily add or update old information in a drip campaign with relevant content.
The other appeal of a drip campaign is that each client receives information relevant to their step of the sales cycle. You wouldn’t send the same email to a brand new prospect and a paying customer, and a drip campaign takes care of that for you. Through triggers, the right information goes out to the right people right when you want it to, leaving all guesswork and juggling of clients out of it.
Types of drip campaigns
This is not an exhaustive list, as just like chains, drip campaigns can have endless incarnations. However, these are the most common and ones you definitely should take into consideration when creating your own drip campaign.
When someone joins a mailing list, they expect at least an immediate confirmation of the fact they joined to show up in their mailbox, but you’d be wise to offer more than that. A series of welcome emails goes a long way to show your prospective client you care that they are showing interest. It also gives you a chance to go ahead and show what you have to offer and what they can expect from you while they are still newly interested.
Here is an example from Smile Direct Club. It’s informative and welcoming, simple but well-designed.
Top of mind
The idea behind a top of mind drip campaign is to keep your prospect’s interest. These messages may be triggered by a lack of interaction with your site or spread just to remind prospective clients what you have to offer. You want to remind them you exist and that you want to interact – which will hopefully lead to a click on that CTA button.
Duolingo never lets you forget about them. Daily reminders to use their website abound!
If your lead has gotten cold, you have to re-engage. There are many ways to do this, from a very casual “hey, haven’t heard from you in a while” to a more formal invitation back. Maybe you need to retarget because the drip persona you chose for that person isn’t quite the right one. Whatever you do, turning a prospect into an engaged client is the end goal.
Re-engagement emails are often paired with promotions to give incentive to the customer to interact.
Part of building brand loyalty is showing the client the brand cares about them as an individual and as a customer. If you have a customer, the whole idea is to keep them! Courting new customers is important, but having existing customers come back to you is actually more important, as they are more likely to make future purchases with you. Post-purchase drip campaigns can help you do that.
Automatically sending out a confirmation of purchase also brings peace of mind that the order went through.
A drip campaign directed at competitors’ clients explaining why your product is superior or more beneficial can be an effective way to pique interest and ultimately convert them to your product. This is also a good time to run promos, as explained in the next section.
As shown in this Moo email, even when not naming competitors, superiority claims can be made.
Everyone loves a good sale! Running limited-time promos almost guarantees a jump in interactions and sales. Set a drip campaign that will offer your prospects an occasional deal or sale. Free trials, promo codes, and temporary markdowns are all enticing and exciting for consumers, who are always looking to get the most bang for their buck.
In this limited offer sent early in the morning, DoorDash offers what is basically a steal, and I promise you it was effective.
It’s really important to make sure you’re clear about exactly what your product is, what it does, and how to use it. This applies to everything from bookshelves to software: people need to know what they are getting. It’s also important your client knows how to maximize their user experience, so any educational media, such as how to’s, tips and tricks, or industry information, can be shared for their benefit.
Product information helps people decide which product is right for them and as you can see, Image Beauty does a great job with that.
People who unsubscribe don’t always want to never hear from you again. Maybe they just want fewer emails or to follow you on social media instead. A link to a “sorry to see you go” webpage or email with those options might just keep someone from disengaging entirely.
A good unsubscribe page makes people consider for a moment why they unsubscribed and gives them a chance to just receive fewer emails.
Well-designed drip campaigns are a very effective way to keep in touch with your customers without having to do a ton of work on your end. Reminders, sales, interactions, all can be put into your drip campaign – it nurtures leads for you in a timely manner, specific to each customer’s actions.