An Easy Guide to Creating an Email Drip Campaign

Drip campaigns are complex, require a lot of original content and emails, and take time to put together. They are also good tools for building relationships, boosting retention rates, and increasing sales numbers, while being automated to a large extent. Done correctly, the drip campaign leads customers in a call to action.

Each email in a drip campaign stands on its own, even subsequent emails that build on what came before. As a result, careful consideration and preparatory work must be done prior to launch. Everything sent is strategically planned to maximize results. Read on for the steps you need to create a successful email drip campaign.

Determine Your Goal

If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, how will you know when you achieve it? Are you simply trying to gather email leads for future actions? Is your campaign about to begin? Do you need them to buy a product now?

Regardless of which question you ask, you will need to determine your measure of success. Be specific, breaking down what you hope to achieve into sub-goals if necessary.

Make Your Content Matter

Sending emails alone doesn’t guarantee success. To be effective, you need to write good emails, with content that engages your target audience. Poorly written emails will drive customers away as surely as any other poorly written content.

Build trust and cultivate a relationship with your audience. Inspire interest and loyalty by sending them something of value, like an informative email with an embedded video, daily tips, or a free eBook. If the email benefits your audience, they may even look forward to receiving them.

Set Timing and Frequency

The next step is to determine when and how often emails will be sent. Loose guidelines are available that can provide a good starting point, but you’ll need to test what works for your campaign.

A general rule to follow is to start with a high frequency that trickles downward over time. Doing so will show the recipients that you won’t be flooding their inboxes with your emails.

Delivery times vary according to region and demographic. Use metrics from your email marketing partner to get an idea of the times when people open your emails, and start there. Monitor this, so you can adjust if you see a trend toward a different time.

Segment Campaigns

Segmentation places customers in buckets, based on whatever group characteristics you choose, and allows for different delivery time-tables to be assigned to each bucket. This allows you to create emails customised for each customer group.

You have several options for segmentation. You can group by type, such as new or repeat customers, by professional background, marital status, and more. Segmentation works to get the response you want from your campaign, but don’t over-segment. Complicated structures cause problems in automation and increase the chances of sending an email to the wrong target group.

The ideal level of segmentation maximizes efficiency and appeal, while reducing complexity and workload.

Create a Landing Page

Be sure your landing page is ready for the traffic you will generate. Develop a polished page before you’ve sent the first email. Create a landing page designed to move recipients forward in your campaign. Keep the page simple. Contrast a call-to-action with simple submission fields. Write a clear headline, present the content professionally, and include the legally required opt-in box.

Set Rules and Triggers

Once the drip campaign has been set up, the emails composed, and the segmentation groups selected, you need to set specific rules and triggers to deliver the content when you want, to the right audience. From this point on, drip campaigns operate automatically. You will, of course, monitor the metrics provided by the email distributor, to know when to tweak the campaign.

Understand Your Results

Metrics drive drip campaigns. Making small changes as the campaign unfolds can lead to better results. Use statistically significant results, both good and bad, to shift your campaign. Make tweaks to weak parts and capitalize on strong results.

Monitor email open rates and times. Shifting to a time when emails are sent to more optimal windows could lead to more eyes on your content. Track bounce rates to make sure your list is fresh. Track clicks and conversions as a measure of success. Knowing what is being clicked and what these clicks lead to helps you guide other recipients to the same goal.

Keep an eye on email sharing/forwarding rates. Knowing what your recipients are forwarding gives you an advantage. Alter content or create new content that is similar to encourage more sharing.


Email drip campaigns benefit from a long sales cycle. An effective campaign gives your product staying power. You can supplement your customers’ knowledge of your company and brands through this tool. It also affords you a unique way to customize your content to different types of customers.

Properly segmenting your email lists and creating rules and triggers allows you to start on the right foot. Staying on top of your campaign and constantly watching metrics guarantees you’ll continue on that course. Use these best practices when you create your next campaign to boost the effectiveness and maximize your return on investment.