Drip Campaigns: 5 Steps To A Killer Digital Strategy

There is a saying in marketing you probably heard “It is 5 times more expensive to sign a new customer than to keep a current customer.” Is that just a meaningless platitude? Or can this actually inform how to craft a digital strategy? I would argue the latter.

If you agree with the statement that it’s important to keep and retain customers or users you already have, what do you do next? How can you retain your customers and grow your community? Should you use Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat? With all the talk about platform reach and algorithm changes, no channel is safe. Except for the overlooked channel of email.

The most valuable thing for your business you can get from someone online, besides them paying you money is to get their email.

It’s true that there is no silver bullet when it comes to one channel in digital marketing. However, if I were to bet on one channel being around for the next 5-10 years, it would definitely be email . One reason is the “Anti-fragility” of email (to borrow a phrase from Nassim Taleb). Email has been around for the last 20+ years, and it’s used more and more every day. Chances are if you polled 10 of your colleagues at work, all 10 would be using email, but I wouldn’t be as confident in all of them using Snapchat for example (especially if you polled the unhip group of people I work with).

Now, it’s also true email has many drop off points:

  • Hard Bounces: The email doesn’t exist (or was typed wrong)
  • Soft Bounces: The email inbox was full or it goes to spam
  • Open Rate: How many emails were opened (industry average is around 20-30% for good campaigns)
  • Click Rate: How many people click on the email (industry average between 2-4% of sent emails)

However even with those drop off points, email still has the best numbers if you compare it to other channels.

OK enough about why I think email is important, what tips can I give you in this blog post on how you can create an effective email strategy. There are a number of ways to go about this. One of the hottest ways right now is what is known as a Drip Campaign.

What is a Drip Campaign?  At AstroLabs we define it as:

Relevant targeted emails that are automatically sent based on a user’s behavior, interaction with a previous email, a website /app event action, or based on demographics or other data

Drip Campaigns can also be known as Automated / Automation Emails or Transactional / Event Triggered Emails.

Examples of Drip Campaigns

There are many types of Drip Campaign. Some examples of them are:

  • Nurturing leads: Where you send out a message to a list of emails and depending on how they react to that email (if they open it or click on a link within it), you send them follow up messages. In this way, you determine who on your list is a warm or a cold lead and nurture them to go further down the sales funnel or complete a purchase.
  • Onboarding emails: This is where you send a group of users a series of emails about what you offer once they sign up for your service. For example, if you have a SaaS product, you might send a sequence of emails explaining how the product works, talking about how to setup your first campaign, activate certain feature etc.
  • Special Occasion emails: This type of drip campaign is where you send someone special message on their birthday or anniversary for example (if you have that data of the user stored in your list).


5 Steps To Create a Drip Campaign

So how do you get started creating a Drip Campaign? There are 5 basic steps to setup a drip campaign

Step 1: Track Goals

This is where you define what you want a user to do. This could be purchase something, sign up to another level of your sales funnel, resubscribe etc.

Step 2: Setup List

In this step you define the list or where the email addresses are coming from that you want to send the campaign to.

Step 3: Setup Email Series 

Here is where you define the series of emails. You might send 1 or multiple emails to the same person depending on their behavior.

Step 4: Setup Triggers

In order to send an email, you have to define what are the “triggers” that cause the email to be sent. This could be something as simple as a user was added to the email list, something that involves a previous email (if they opened or clicked a previous email in the sequence), something that involves an even action on the website (a user adds an item to the cart without checking out), or something related to the user’s stored or demographic data (it’s their birthday, or they recently bought a similar product).

Step 5: Track & Measure

The final step is to track and measure the success of your campaign, as you would and marketing campaign. Most platforms make this very easy to do with built in tracking and linking with your own website data (Google Analytics etc.)

Where do I get started?

I hope I convinced you about the power of Drip Campaigns. If this sounds like something you’d like to give a try, there are several platforms that allow you to easily create Drip campaigns, including Drip.co, Hubspot, Emma among many others.

The easiest one we recommend to get started with is MailChimp since you can get started with a free plan (for under 2,000 emails) and it has a lot of beginner friendly features and integrations.

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