Drip Email Marketing: A Vital Tool for Nurturing Leads Progressively

September 29, 2020

By Chris Donald


Email marketing is the lifeline for most brands and marketers. Under ideal conditions, the ROI of your email campaigns can reach up to $38 for every $1 spent. Compared to other marketing channels, emails have the advantage of reachability, i.e., your social media post may get drowned in a sea of other posts, but an email that reaches an inbox will stay there indefinitely.

The success of email though, is not solely dependent on this ability. One needs to focus on the power of personalizing the conversation based on the past interactions of a subscriber and the scheduling of individual emails based on user behavior. That is where drip emails (an important email series) come into the picture, as they effectively educate leads and help them make the right choice when they are ready to purchase.


What is Drip Email Marketing?

Drip email marketing is a form of email marketing where you create a series of emails to cover all types of combinations of user behavior with an end goal of converting them into customers. The difference between traditional emails and drip email campaigns is that while the former is more of one-to-many communication, drip emails are more of one-to-one communications.

The emails in a drip email campaign are sent to the subscribers in a sequence, so email marketers use these emails to progressively educate the subscriber about their brand. This method is similar to the drip irrigation methods followed in agriculture, and so the email campaigns are popularly called drip email campaigns.


How Drip Emails Work

When someone becomes a part of the drip email campaigns, they receive a series of emails in a sequence you set. So, the drip emails work on the concept of sending appropriate emails that match the action taken by a subscriber. As soon as someone joins the drip email campaign, an initial email is sent to them. Based on the interaction with that email, the follow-up email changes, i.e., a particular email is sent if the previous email was opened, another if the email was ignored.

An example of a drip email is as demonstrated here:

Source: Email Uplers

Initially, you send the subscriber an informative whitepaper. The next email varies based on subscriber responses. If the email is opened, the following email would be an ebook related to the whitepaper. If the email is not opened, it is a sign that the subscriber may not be interested in reading it, but an interactive video might be better suited. Based on which email is opened, the 3rd layer varies. If the interactive video is clicked, a detailed ebook is sent to keep them engaged. If the whitepaper related ebook is opened, it is an indication that the subscriber is sales-ready. So the product demo is sent to make the final move.

So eventually, the outcomes from a drip email campaign would be fully engaged (sales-ready) or dormant (re-engagement-ready) subscribers.

The first step to a drip email campaign begins with segmentation. While everyone segments email lists for regular email marketing, you need to divide the segmented list into smaller channels for better-personalized email communication for drip campaigns.

The next step is setting frequency. The email sending frequency is crucial as less time between two emails (unless triggered) would overwhelm the subscriber, and a large time gap between the emails would cause the subscriber to lose association.

The final step would be content creation. The goal here is to be as diverse as possible, as you may initially be unsure about what would excite (or discourage) your subscribers. With time and practice, you gain experience and can quickly pinpoint the correct email copy.


Benefits of Drip Email Marketing

Drip email marketing is one of the most beneficial email marketing types adopted by most marketers. Some of the benefits that make drip email stand out are:

  1. Better customer engagement
  2. Improved storytelling in content as per the subscriber's interest
  3. A clear lead nurturing process
  4. Easier brand awareness opportunities
  5. Can double up as cart abandonment and re-engagement emails
  6. Assistive upselling and cross-selling opportunities
  7. Precise email segmentation
  8. Better control on email copy and sending frequency


Popular Drip Email Marketing Tools

There are multiple email marketing providers that double up as drip email automation tools:

  1. Drip
  2. Sendinblue
  3. GetResponse
  4. HubSpot
  5. Sendloop
  6. Vision6
  7. Mailchimp
  8. Mad Mimi
  9. Customer.io
  10. MailGet

Just like every other email type, it is a good practice to A/B test your drip emails as well. Drip email allows you to gain better control of what your email should convey, as well as who is the intended recipient. We hope this article has given you a hang of drip email marketing, and you will now make the most. Happy drip emailing!

Chris is the director of InboxArmy.

The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

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