Drip Campaign

A drip campaign is a series of emails sent at designated time intervals to provide value to readers while nurturing them along an email journey toward your ultimate goal: getting the reader to take action on something you want them to do (such as reading a blog post).

The fact that no prospecting occurs during the process means you’re delivering content without sales-y hooks, making it more likely to resonate with the reader.

It’s a common misconception that drip campaigns work best for building or maintaining relationships with existing customers. In fact, they’re just as effective for brand-building and lead generation if you have the right content. The following breakdown will help you figure out where to use drip campaigns, how much to communicate over time, and what types of messages to send each time (and on which days).

Drip Campaign Structure Stages of Customer Awareness

Use Drip Campaigns After Prospects Are Aware of You, Not Just When They’re Ready to Buy

As soon as someone enters your funnel—whether it’s opening an email or visiting your website—they enter Stage 1: Awareness (i.e., “I know you exist”). Ideally, you have a way to follow up that’s appropriate for this stage. You want to establish a relationship and create interest in what you offer without being so promotional that the reader leaves or closes the email immediately.

Drip Campaigns allow a company to engage prospects over time, building trust and creating value before pitching anything.

Remember that you’re not locked into one type of drip campaign. You can have multiple campaigns for multiple stages, which means you might include value-laden Stage 1 emails in your nurture stream once someone opts in, then follow up with something promotional in your product awareness sequence later on.

Campaign Frequency Depends on Your Industry

Typically, the more competitive an industry is, the more frequently you’ll need to communicate with prospects. That’s especially true when trying to establish thought leadership or credibility through content marketing—which many businesses are turning to these days. It may take some testing and adjustment before finding what works best in timing and frequency within your list. For example, you may find that prospects are more responsive to your emails on Mondays vs. Thursdays or only want a maximum of one email per week.

Drip Campaign Frequency and Timing Should Also Depend on Your Own Customers’ Behavior

Your customers’ behavior should ultimately impact how frequently you send drip campaigns to them as well. Think about it: If they just purchased from you, wouldn’t they rather have a coupon for their next purchase than an offer to download another piece of content? Sure—but it probably shouldn’t go out immediately (not everyone receives such mailings in real-time). Instead, wait three days before sending any automated follow-up messages to give them some time to enjoy their purchase.

Two days after that, you could send a customer appreciation email to acknowledge their business.

Three Days Later You could follow up with additional offers or maybe discount codes.

After 1 Month, Send another Thank You message and introduce new content (like monthly/quarterly blog updates)

After 3 Months, Use the opportunity to introduce completely new products (i.e., mix it up).

Campaigns in Your Nurture Stream Might Look Different From Those in Your Product Awareness Stage

You’ll want your nurture stream to look different from your product awareness drip campaigns since they’re designed for different purposes: To establish rapport and continue the conversation without pushing any specific action and to showcase what you offer and promote when prospects are ready to make a purchase. For example, don’t send your nurture sequence to anyone who just visited your blog—it’s not suitable for this stage. Instead, follow up with them based on whatever content they consumed or action they took (e.g., what products they viewed).

Use Drip Campaigns For Lead Generation As Well As Branding

As mentioned before, even if it’s all about branding and awareness-building over time, the content you deliver should be oriented toward lead generation. It may take longer to see results that way since it establishes trust and authority over time rather than pushing conversions immediately, but that’s exactly why drip campaigns are so effective.