A Comprehensive Guide to Drip Campaign For Marketing Automation

Nupur Mittal
ByNupur Mittal

15 mins read

When someone signs up for your product/services or becomes a part of your email list, they seek something. It can be to learn something, get to know the product, or become a user.

As a business owner, it's your job to identify their intent and pain point to serve them. Don't think a single email would suffice. You need a strategically planned series of emails to nurture them, gain their trust, and strengthen your relationship with them.

You need to set up a drip campaign, which we will cover in this in-depth guide with some valuable insights.

What is a drip campaign?

A drip campaign is an automated email marketing strategy that sends a sequence of pre-written emails to people who take a specific action on a website, web app, or application.

It allows businesses to build relationships with leads by providing valuable and relevant content over time, guiding them through the buyer's journey. This approach establishes businesses as authorities in their niche and positions them as valuable resources for their audience's needs.

A drip campaign is also known as an automated email campaign, drip marketing campaign, drip email sequence, or nurture campaign. It is also called behavioral email because it is triggered in response to the user's behavior and actions.

For example, suppose a user registers on the company's website. In that case, send a welcome email followed by an educational email post for 1 or 2 days.

What are the benefits of drip email campaigns?

These sequences target the right audience with the right content at the right time. As per Litmus State of email report 2021, 67% of marketers focus on drip or nurture campaigns to increase sales.

Let's look at some other benefits you can get via drip sequences:

Benefits of email drip marketing

1. Keeps customers engaged

A single email won't suffice, as users go through many steps before they become customers. So, drip sequences can help you boost engagement.

You can create a series of emails to nurture users and move them to the next stage. Be it a welcome email series or re-engagement flow, these drips will help you convert leads into prospects and humanize the entire conversion process.

2. Saves time and effort

As each email is pre-written and designed, writing individual emails every time a user takes action can be tiresome. By setting up automated sequences, you can cut that time and focus on more important tasks.

3. Nurture customer relationships

You cannot survive in a competitive environment without a strong customer base. That's why you need to build a stronger relationship with your customers. With the series of emails, you can cater to your customer's needs through the right content.

To build such a relationship, you must engage with them and offer them value through each email. Drip marketing helps you do that. You can create a humanized experience through well-curated personalized emails through a series of different emails.

4. Re-engage inactive readers

People can become inactive due to many reasons, and you'll never know if you don't keep a check on it. Drip campaigns help you do that.

By setting a re-engagement drip sequence, you can reach out to them and ignite their interest once again. Be it a cart recovery, win-back, or browse abandonment, there might be an opportunity to ignite the engagement.

5. Increase customer retention & reduce churn

You can use the right drip campaign to retain and turn customers into loyal ones. By analyzing users ' behavior, you can set up the upselling and cross-selling flow to boost retention. The more you can retain your customers, the lower the churn rate and the acquisition cost.

Targeting customers with the right email at the right time gives them a reason to stick around if that content resonates with them.

8 use cases of a drip campaign marketing

To keep users engaged with the brand's offerings, marketers can use drip campaigns in different ways. There are various types of drip campaigns you can follow

1. Lead nurturing drip campaign email sequence

Leads are the lifeline for B2B brands. These people might not be well acquainted with your product and services, where the lead nurturing sequence comes in.

As new leads aren't ready to buy, that doesn't mean they never will. You can nurture them, build trust, and nudge them towards conversions through engaging and the right emails. Many other email series, such as - welcome, onboarding, and follow-up, align with the lead nurturing sequence.

To help you out, here's a lead nurturing drip campaign example for SaaS brands. Check out our lead nurturing email flow to understand this sequence and get expert insights.

SaaS lead nurturing drip email sequence

2. Welcome drip campaign email sequence

Welcome emails are the best way to stand out and appreciate readers for joining your brand. These emails are great for showing what your company and product are all about, but they also help you build a strong foundation with your existing and potential customer base.

A planned welcome email series will build trust and keep the conversation going with the new readers.

A good welcome drip campaign example is the one below. It welcomes users, gets them onboarded, and shares useful resources to inform readers about the brand and the industry. Get the detailed breakdown of this welcome drip email series for SaaS.

SaaS welcome email drip sequence

3. Onboarding drip campaign email sequence

The main goal of B2B SaaS brands is to convert leads or freemium users into paid ones. Onboarding email drips are the key to converting them. These emails show how different features work and what users will get from them.

You take users through a step-by-step journey, be it an account set up, a new feature, or showing the benefits of premium versions. With onboarding emails, you take users through what they're currently getting and what more they can get via the paid version.

One of the emails in this onboarding sequence is case studies, as social proof is among the strongest decision drivers. And it should be a part of your onboarding emails as it enforces credibility. Get the detailed version of this self-serving onboarding drip sequence.

SaaS self -serve customer onboarding email drip sequence

4. Abandoned cart drip campaign email sequence

According to Baymard Institute, eCommerce's average cart abandonment rate stands at 69.8%, meaning 3 out of 4 people leave without completing the transaction.

That's a huge loss in sales. But, an abandoned cart drip series can help recover the loss. The Klaviyo eCommerce benchmark 2022 report states that these email series have an open rate of 50%, generating a conversion of 3.72%. It amounts to the revenue of $3.42 revenue per recipient (RPR) - the highest among all email campaign flow.

So, abandoned shopping cart emails are your chance to recover sales. The typical email flow for cart recovery consists of 2-3 emails with a reminder and discount offer email. Check out how to create an abandoned cart drip campaign flow that converts.

Ecommerce abandoned cart email drip series

💡 Related guide: How to Create Abandoned Cart Emails to Recover Lost Sales

5. Event registration drip campaign email series

Events have become omnipresent in the past two years, and their rising trend is self-evident. Webinars and seminars are gaining traction as they help build brand awareness and generate leads.

But, to get more registration, event registration drip series are a must. The flow begins a few weeks before the event with registration confirmation emails followed by reminder emails.

This event registration drip sequence is one of the typical flows you can set up. Read more about it and learn what experts have to say.

SaaS webinar registration drip email sequence

6. Win-back/re-engagement drip campaign series

People change their email addresses, lose interest in your email content, shift jobs, and whatnot. It's basic human nature. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to win them back.

Win back, or re-engagement drip emails are sent to inactive or disengaged users in your email list. The duration to track the inactivity can vary from the last 30 days or 60 days, depending upon your business strategy and goals.

By analyzing these users' behavior and activity across your website and email, you can identify which kind of email will be best suited for them. Once you decide that, you can start assembling the sequence, which can look like this. Read about the win-back email sequence in detail.

Ecommerce customer win-back email drip series

7. Free trial email drip campaign series

One of the tasks of every SaaS brand is to convert free trial users to paid users. This free trial drip sequence aims to do that.

This email series is often longer than others, requiring users to get familiar with the free features and nudging them towards the premium versions. Case study emails, feedback, and follow-up emails are some of the emails used in this sequence.

Fintech customer feedback email drip sequence

8. Feedback email drip campaign series

Customer feedback is imperative, no matter which industry you work in. It helps build trust and gain insights into what's working and not.

Feedback emails need a pre-planned series as often the readers might not reply to you. A strategically planned email series resolves that issue by offering the right incentive to compel them to complete the survey or form.

In this feedback drip campaign example, a second email gives them an incentive to fill out the form, followed by an acknowledgment email once they complete it.

💡 Related guide: Feedback Email Guide: Use cases, Benefits, and Examples

Best drip campaign marketing softwares

Setting up the right drip campaign flow can be overwhelming.

There are many factors to consider, including:

  • Types of triggers

  • Ease of audience segmentation

  • Type of drip sequence builder.

  • Pricing

  • Personalization availability, etc.

That's where drip campaign software can help you. Most ESPs offer in-build automation features to create effective drips and send them to your customers. Mailmodo is among such ESPs.

Here is how Mailmodo's drip sequence builder can benefit you:

  • Reduced back and forth via CRM and API integration like HubSpot, Zapier, Pabbly, etc.

  • Ample options are available to upload or add to your email list.

  • Drag-and-drop journey builder using which you can create a drip campaign in no time.

  • Create targeted campaigns using different triggers and conditions.

Check out our guide on the best drip campaign markeitng softwares in 2023 to explore all the options.

How to set up a drip campaign?

This section will discuss different steps to build a drip sequence and how Mailmodo can help you at each step.

But before we move further, get familiar with the following terms, as they will come in handy:

  • Trigger: It defines when you want to trigger a journey. For example, you can set the trigger to 'when a contact is added to the email list.'

  • Action: Action refers to activities you do to create the automated journey. Everything is counted as an action, from adding a new campaign to integrating with webhooks.

  • Delay: Delays refer to the waiting period between two emails. You can add two types of delays: wait for some time or wait until a period.

  • Conditions: These refer to conditions you put on each email to define what should be triggered next in the journey. You can add these conditions: opened, clicked, or submitted.

Now that you are familiar with the basic terminology let's discuss steps to set up your email marketing drip campaign flow:

1. Identify and segment your audience

A welcome email sequence won't appeal to everyone as it aims to fulfill a specific task - to nurture those who signed up for the first time. Adding existing customers to this series is nothing but asking for trouble.

That's why identifying the right audience is crucial.

Once you identify whom you want to serve, consider the traits you can use to group them.

  • Do they belong to the same age group?

  • Did they sign up for the same type of email?

  • Do they share the same values and pain points?

  • How long ago did they sign up?

  • When was the last time they opened and clicked on your emails?

What makes them different from everyone else and similar to each other? -- Seth Godin

Answer this question, and you'll get the right segment to target. This step is crucial as every trigger and condition you set up will be tied back to your audience.

In Mailmodo, apart from uploading the existing contact list, you can add new contacts between journeys. This way, you can avoid the hassle of creating a new journey for the new users, especially when you already have an action sequence.

Creating a drip campaign in Mailmodo

2. Choose and create emails

Once you identify the target audience, you can start creating and designing the email. At this step, you must estimate how many emails there will be in the sequence. Because if you don't have an idea, you might create more or less than required.

Here are a few things you must consider when creating emails for the drip series:

  • Use the subject line and preheader text to hook the reader.

  • Make your email copy enticing, attention-grabbing, and conversational.

  • Maintain your brand voice and tone throughout all the emails.

  • Add images and GIFs to present information in a digestible manner.

  • Make your email more inviting by adding white space.

  • Don't forget to use high color contrast, legible font size, and alignment for accessibility purposes.

In Mailmodo, as soon as you choose the trigger, you are asked to choose the campaign. You can choose a new campaign by creating a new email or choose from a library of pre-made HTML and AMP email templates. We aim to make it as easy and efficient as possible to create drip email campaigns for you.

3. Set up the drip campaign

At this step, visualize the email drip sequence by answering the following questions:

  • What are the different triggers you'll use?

  • How many emails will there be in the sequence?

  • What will be the time interval between each?

  • What are the different conditions you'll use to send the email?

  • How many emails will you send until you break up with the prospect?

  • What will you do even after the sequence user is not converted?

In Mailmodo's journey builder, you can add or remove email sequences as you like. Furthermore, add conditions (opened, clicked, and submitted) and delays between the emails to send more relevant emails.

4. Review and make the drip campaign live

Once you finish the drip campaign sequence, check all the triggers, contact lists, and conditions are set in place. After reviewing, you can save the journey as a draft or instantly activate it.

5. Review and analyze the campaign’s performance

You've put a lot of effort into creating the drip campaign, don't leave it hanging once it's live. Keep track of how each email performs by tracking the right email metrics such as click rate, conversion rate, etc.

Monitoring will give you insights into what's working and where you can optimize for better performance.

  • Getting low conversions? Try changing the CTA positioning, copy, or design.

  • Not setting open enough? Try tweaking the subject line.

Here's an overview of what Mailmodo's drip sequence analytics dashboard looks like:

You can see the metrics in one glance by customizing the period.

  • Contact overview: You can see the total contacts, contacts still on the journey, and contacts who have completed/failed the journey.

  • Activity log: A tabular or graphical representation of your campaign's performance.

  • Journey summary: See all the metrics for each email in the journey

  • Enroll: Add existing or new contacts.

  • Pause: To edit the journey. This feature is helpful as you can test the journey if you find anything not working out.

  • Three dots: To test, preview, or change the name of the journey.

Mailmodo's drip campaign analytics dashboard

Check out what each metric means and how you can use it to draw analysis.

Drip campaign email marketing best practices

Drip campaign marketing will only be fruitful if you follow the right practices. So, we have enlisted some of the best practices you should follow to do drip campaign marketing the right way:

drip campaign best practices

• Set the right timing and frequency via A/B testing

The success of drip sequences depends on the timings and frequency of different emails. No one will check your email if you bombard them with an array of emails and send them emails during their off hours.

You can assume the timings that'll work, or you can a/b test different timing and frequency. A/B testing the timings will give you data backed up by the user's behavior, based on which you can make your analysis.

• Be personal in your emails

Even though your emails are automated, that doesn't mean you should sound robotic. Make your email personal, as no one likes to speak to robots. The humanized conversation is your key to building stronger relationships.

Option to add personalized parameter in email copy

So, ensure you have an email address that shows your or your company's name. Make emails personalized using recipients' or company names, work experience, etc.

• Study the user’s behavior before you set up the trigger

The trigger you set up should be relevant to user preferences and behavior. Everyone isn't interested in your product, so sending an email blast won't yield any benefit. So, once you segment your email list, analyze the user's behavior.

See how they interact with your emails, which emails they spend and click on, and whether they click on the CTA. All this data will help you better understand your users and create many more target sequences with high chances of conversion.

• Track user’s behavior apart from emails

Every email you send often redirects to your website or another platform. That's why you should avoid limiting your analysis to emails alone. See which page they interact on on your website. Which lead magnet did they download? Do they engage with your posts on social media?

The cross-channel analysis will offer you more insights through which you can create more targeted sequences.

If you have different email types, frequencies, and timings, try adding a 'manage preference' link in your emails. It offers recipients options to customize the email they would like to receive. It'll also help you understand their preference, based on which you can personalize the emails in the sequence.

Furthermore, as each email gets relevant to them, you'll see less unsubscribing and more engagement.

💡 Related guide: How to Create Powerful Preference Center to Retain Your Subscribers

Way forward

Getting the right drip email sequence is a bit tricky. There are loads of variables to consider - timing, frequency, type of email, the delay between each email, etc.

But, you will be losing 80% more sales at 33% lower costs if you're not setting up a drip campaign - Email Uplers

Our team understood this pain and came up with the brilliant idea of creating a hub of email sequences for different industries and use cases. This resource was created to help you get ideas for your next drip campaign, save time, and get a higher ROI. So, check out our library of email flows and engage your subscribers.

FAQs About Drip Campaign

The number of emails in a drip campaign depends on the goal of the campaign and the audience's preferences but typically ranges from 3 to 7 emails.

The frequency of a drip campaign should be determined by the audience's engagement level but typically ranges from once a week to once a month.

A good open rate for an email marketing drip campaign is typically around 20-30%.

There are many software options available to create an email drip campaign, including Mailmodo, Drip, ConvertKit, Mailchimp, and more.

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