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Drip email campaigns are incredibly useful for driving engagement with your prospects and customers. They’re also a great tool for distributing relevant content to a segmented audience, preparing your leads for a sale, and retaining your brand’s mindshare — all without the manual legwork of writing and sending an email one at a time.
There are many ways to start your own drip campaign, which can make it intimidating to pick one strategy that works well for your brand. However, our six examples below should point you in the right direction.
What is a Drip Email Campaign?
A drip email campaign is an automated set of emails that are sent out in a specific order after a specific user action is triggered. These actions can be simple as visiting your website or filling out a form. Drip campaigns can also turn blog subscribers into customers through smart nurturing, and you can even send emails containing personalized recommendations and upgrades after a customer makes a purchase.
Each campaign involves a set of pre-written “drip” emails, which are typically built with marketing automation software.
6 Drip Campaign Examples
The best drip email campaign examples are personalized and often delight recipients without them realizing that the emails are pre-written and automated. Effective drip email campaigns also give people the right information at the right time. The six examples below easily meet the criteria for effective drip campaigns despite each group’s scenarios.
Nurture Leads: Zapier
Drip campaigns are often used to nurture leads with tailored content. Zapier perfected this type of drip email campaign to produce an increase in sales opportunities. So what makes this is a great drip campaign?
It’s personal. The message reads like an actual letter instead of a promotional email, which eliminates the need for images. It’s just lines of text about what to do next and how the recipient might benefit from using Zapier. The email is pre-written and automated, but it comes off as personal and intimate, with Wade Foster, the CEO of Zapier, signing it off with simply “Wade.”
The content is practical and helpful. Zapier’s email contains plenty of information that helps recipients brainstorm ideas for using automation. It’s presented clearly complete with links to how-to pages and a bulleted list of examples of what the recipient can do with Zapier.
Welcome Customers: Headspace
Sending email drip campaigns is a great way to build relationships with new customers.
A welcome message sets the tone of your entire campaign as well as your relationship with a customer. Here’s a great example from meditation app Headspace:
The welcome is warm and playful. Through the use of playful visuals and simple copy (“We’re pleased to meet you”), the email immediately makes the recipient feel included in their community. The message also contains a brief description of what Headspace offers right after the personalized salutation.
Branding is on point. The email also effectively establishes the look and feel of the Headspace brand. If you’re a Headspace user, you’ll quickly recognize the images used in the message accurately reflect the rest of the company and the app’s visual identity.
Re-engage Users: Grammarly
One of the most common uses of drip campaigns is to get users to continue your service or product, particularly after they have shown signs of being disengaged.
One company that excels in “re-engagement” drips is Grammarly, an online grammar checker and writing assistant software:
It’s straightforward. Grammarly noticed a lack of logins in at least a week, which prompted an email encouraging us to log in again. The message is simple and the call to action is very clear.
There’s a sense of urgency. There isn’t necessarily a deadline for logging into Grammarly and using the tool. But the subject line (“Uh oh…”) communicates urgency by talking about how the logout might be accidental.
It gamifies user behavior. The rest of the email provides personal stats on Grammarly usage. It’s a neat trick that heightens awareness of the it’s used, and frames this behavior in terms of achievements that can be unlocked.
Request Reviews and Customer Feedback: G2
Drip email campaigns also urge customers to review your business or share feedback.
The first email in the drip is sent out shortly after purchase while the follow-up emails are automated and sent if customers haven’t clicked or left their review and some time has passed after the first request.
Online review website G2 is a master at creating effective drip campaigns centered around generating new reviews. Here’s why:
It’s funny. Nobody will buy the “Oh, sorry, we thought it was your birthday” trick, but the overall email is funny and it makes the whole process of writing a business software review seem much more exciting. The sense of humor displayed in the drip email also goes a long way in humanizing G2’s business software and services brand.
There’s a reward. While we don’t generally recommend incentivizing reviews or rewarding customers who write them, G2’s email stands out for the way it presents its offer. The reward is highlighted in bold each time.
The email has a clear and bold CTA. After presenting the $10 Amazon gift card offer, G2 makes it very easy for people to claim it. The plan is to get recipients to write reviews, and there’s a big red “Write a Review” call-to-action button that tells them to do just that.
If you want to develop a drip email campaign to generate more reviews for your business you can use our Ask Tool’s all-new Drip Campaigns feature. This enables you to send a “reminder” email to customers who previously received a review request but didn’t actually leave feedback. In the long run, the feature will streamline and automate your Ask Tool emails, which takes the manual legwork out of following up with customers.
Upsell and Cross-Sell Products: Amazon
Another effective drip email campaign involves upsells and cross-sells. Depending on how you craft your message, the email will either increase your sales and customer lifetime value or get sent straight to the trash.
Amazon’s drip emails are highly effective, and it’s easy to see why:
The campaign is goal-oriented. Amazon sends this email out after a user downloads free content from the Kindle Store with the goal to make users sign up for an annual subscription to Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
The email makes it easy for recipients to take action. To encourage people to take action and claim the offer, Amazon spells out the process for signing up for a subscription. The steps are numbered and all the important information, including the deadline for the offer, is highlighted in bold.
Recover Abandoned Carts and Unconverted Visits: Booking.com
One of the most recognized drip email campaign examples are abandoned cart drips, or campaigns that activate after a visitor leaves your website without converting. Booking.com sets a great example of how this can be done effectively:
It’s relevant. This drip email came shortly after browsing Booking.com’s website for hotel accommodations in Panglao Island in the Philippines. The rest of the email contains a list of options on where to stay in the area complete with special pricing offers and review highlights.
Moreover, the actual images of hotel properties shown in the second fold of the email leave a strong impression to remind users why they were browsing the site in the first place.
The email establishes a sense of urgency. The orange “5 deals left” button goes a long way in communicating the urgency of finding a place through Booking.com. Phrases like “Hurry! Only a few rooms left!” and “5 rooms sold today” are also incredibly effective in getting a customer to make a purchase or book a room.
Make Drip Email Campaigns Work for You
Drip campaigns can be one of the most potent tools in your marketing team’s toolbox. When done right they can positively impact your bottom line.
Use the examples above to map out your own drip email campaign strategy to attract and retain more customers.