October 18, 2022

Drip Marketing: What It Is, When to Use It, & Why

Reading time about 11 min

83% of consumers are willing to share their data if it means getting a personalized shopping experience. Run drip marketing campaigns to make the most of that data and give your audience what it wants!

Drip marketing has been around for a while. With marketing tools today, however, it’s never been easier to automate your own drip campaigns. 

In this article we’ll cover the basics of drip marketing, why you should be using it, and how to set up your drip campaign emails.

What Is Drip Marketing?

Drip marketing consists of series of emails automatically sent to contacts at certain intervals or after predefined user actions. When running a drip campaign, the goal is to reach your contacts with timely, targeted, and personalized content. 

Drip marketing is also known as marketing automation. You may also hear terms like “autoresponder” in reference to drip campaigns.

One of the most common examples of drip marketing is abandoned cart emails. When a shopper adds a product to their cart without finalizing the purchase, drip marketing allows you to send them a personalized email featuring that product. You could also suggest related products, or offer the shopper an exclusive discount to lock in the sale.

After implementing drip campaigns, 80% of marketers saw increases in lead generation and 77% saw an increase in conversions, too.

Part of what makes drip campaigns such a lucrative marketing strategy is that they’re automated. This means that after setting up the trigger events and templates, drip campaigns pretty much run on their own. 

Why Run a Drip Campaign?

The benefits of drip marketing are countless! As mentioned above, drip campaigns deliver a massive amount of benefit relative to the time and cost it takes to set them up.


In general, drip campaigns are a means to generate sales. They deliver personalized customer experiences and help brands develop strong relationships and reputations with audiences through targeted automated communication.

Lead nurturing

Apart from increasing conversions, drip campaigns have numerous other benefits, especially for ecommerce and SaaS businesses. They form an integral part of lead nurturing via welcome emails and onboarding flows. With a well-designed drip marketing strategy, you can accompany new leads along every stage of the customer journey.


Re-engaging contacts is another use case for drip marketing. Rather than let contacts slip away, reach out automatically and at the perfect time thanks to drip marketing.

Content promotion

Drip marketing is also well suited to promoting content, be it new products and releases, blog articles, or gated content like ebooks and case studies. By offering your target audience valuable content, you’re giving them all the more reason to engage with your brand. 

Brand awareness

Relatedly, drip marketing is also great for brand awareness. Even if your contacts don’t convert as planned, staying up to date with your business helps maintain a positive image of your brand in the mind of consumers.  

Drip Marketing Use Cases

We’ve already mentioned a few of drip campaigns’ many use cases. In this section, we’ll go into detail on the types of emails you can send as a part of your drip marketing strategy.

Welcome emails

First, welcome emails are one of the most common examples of drip marketing. As the name suggests, welcome emails are a way to greet new subscribers and get them acquainted with your brand.

Welcome emails are typically rather brief, but still informational. Your primary goal in welcoming new subscribers should be to thank them for signing up to your email list and set expectations for the type of content they’ll receive.

Depending on your drip marketing strategy, welcome emails can also include coupons or exclusive offers for new subscribers. You could even kick off your new customer relationships by offering a small gift.

But don’t stop there! Welcome emails can be the first in a series of emails forming your overall drip campaign.

Check out our articles on effective welcome email examples and drip email campaign examples to get inspired!

Onboarding emails

Onboarding emails are series of emails sent to new customers after purchase to help them learn more about your brand and the product they just bought. Particularly for SaaS brands, onboarding emails help get customers acquainted with your product or service through small bite-sized tutorials. 

Think of onboarding as a user manual that’s actually user friendly. Forget that tiny six-point font on a tightly-folded wad of paper — onboarding emails tell new customers everything they need to know about your product or service in a way that’s engaging and easy to digest.

When designing your drip marketing strategy, ask yourself whether your customers could benefit from some kind of onboarding process. Is there certain information that might be helpful after purchasing your product? Are there opportunities for upselling and cross-selling after a customer’s initial purchase?

Spending time on an effective onboarding drip strategy has major benefits in terms of engagement. When your audience enjoys their customer experience, it’s more likely they’ll feel connected to your brand and interact with it later down the line.

Re-engagement campaigns

Another great use case for drip marketing is re-engagement. Over time, you’ll see some of your contacts engage less and less with your email content. You can tell when this happens by looking at open rates and click through rates.

What you can’t as easily determine is which individual contacts on your email list are disengaged. That’s where drip campaigns come in!

By setting up a drip campaign to re-engage subscribers, your email marketing software will automatically send targeted content to those contacts. 

Re-engagement emails are usually part of a longer workflow. For instance, you could set up a drip campaign to be sent to contacts who haven’t opened one of your emails in the past three months. Your first email in the drip could simply invite customers to look at your new products. If that doesn’t succeed at re-engaging them, the second email could include an exclusive offer or discount.

To learn more about managing unengaged contacts, check out our post on email list cleaning

Abandoned shopping carts

Abandoned shopping cart emails are another high-performing and worthwhile way to use drip marketing. When a shopper adds an item to their cart without checking out, they’ll receive an email prompting them to complete the purchase.

Sometimes, a simple reminder is all it takes to lock in a sale. But you could also consider offering a small discount to really convince hesitant shoppers.

Abandoned cart emails are easy to set up. Once you’ve connected your ecommerce platform to your email marketing solution, then all you need to do is set up the template you’d like to use.

Product recommendations 

Drip marketing allows you to send customers personalized product recommendations based on their purchase history and interactions with your website.

Let’s say you run a petshop. Based on their previous purchases, you know what type of pet a customer has. From there, you can send targeted product recommendations on a regular basis.


While you never want to see your target audience shrink, unsubscriptions can be a good learning opportunity. 

After someone unsubscribes from your list, you could set up a drip email campaign to request feedback about why they no longer want to receive your email marketing campaigns. Feedback like this is valuable for fine tuning your marketing automation strategy. 

How to Set Up a Drip Marketing Campaign?

Now that we’ve covered some common types of drip campaigns, we’ll walk you through the steps to creating your own.

1. Set your goals

The first step to setting up your drip campaign is to define your goals. Drip marketing should contribute to your overall marketing strategy. Maybe you’re looking to improve customer retention. Or conversely, maybe you need to generate more new customers. 

Whatever your goal is, make sure it’s specific and measurable. For instance, instead of aiming to “boost sales,” your goal could be to increase your email conversion rate by 0.5%.

With a clearly defined goal, you’ll create more precise and effective drip campaigns. Plus, you’ll be able to better engage with your performance metrics to identify areas for improvement. 

2. Identify your audience and triggers

Next, you’ll need to choose which segments of your audience will receive your drip campaigns. Of course, you can choose to target multiple audiences — just as long as it corresponds with your drip strategy.

pre-defined segments in Brevo

Let’s say your goal is related to customer retention. In this case, you should be targeting existing customers and, in particular, those who have declining engagement with your email marketing. 

You could send an automated email to customers who haven’t opened your campaigns in the past 90 days. Direct them to your new products to rekindle their interest in your brand.

Two weeks later, your drip campaign could target contacts who didn’t open your first re-engagement email with an exclusive coupon as an extra incentive.

This is just one example of how you could define your audience and triggers. Other attributes and events to consider for your drip campaign parameters include:

  • Demographics (gender, age, location)
  • Specific dates (birthday, customer anniversary)
  • Previous engagement (purchase history, website activity)

3. Define your message

With your goals and audience top of mind, your next step is writing the email content. Typically, drip emails aren’t very lengthy. Because each email in a drip campaign serves a specific and narrow purpose, you don’t want to distract your audience.

Regardless of the aim of a specific email, be sure your content is on-brand. Sticking to your brand’s tone of voice and visual aesthetic is important for developing a strong sense of identity.

Using email templates is an easy way to stay consistent and on-brand. Customize a template using your email marketing software’s drag-and-drop editor then reuse it for all your campaigns! 

Find the best drip email marketing software solutions here.

4. Create your campaign

When it comes to creating your drip campaign, you’ll have to define each step of the drip. If you’ve followed this article, most of the work should already be done!

You’ll need to choose which contacts are in the drip. Next, choose triggers/waiting times to determine when your automated emails will go out. Then, select which templates correspond to which user actions. 

This may sound a bit abstract for beginners. Luckily, most email marketing platforms have a visual editor for drip campaigns, making them easy to set up.

types of drip automations available in Brevo

5. Analyze your results

Your work isn’t over once your drip is live! Automated email workflows need to be monitored for their performance.

Of course, you should be looking to see whether your drip campaign is serving its original purpose. Along the way, however, you should keep an eye on a few metrics to make sure you’re on track, including open rate, click through rate, and conversion rate. 

Consider A/B testing parts of your drip campaigns like subject line and CTA copy to know what works best for your audience.

To learn more about monitoring your performance, check out this post on email marketing metrics.

Get Started with Drip Marketing 

So there you have it — everything you need to know to get started running your own drip marketing campaigns. Drip marketing is an easy and effective way to target contacts with personalized content and offer top-notch customer experiences.

Get started creating your own campaign today with Brevo!

Create your drip campaign for free today!

Free plan includes access to all core email features, 300 emails/day, 40+ email templates, and customizable email templates for drip campaigns.

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