Drip Campaign: What is it and How Do You Launch it
Published: May 2, 2023
Drip, drip, drip—it’s the sound of your drip campaign messages hitting your recipients’ inboxes. Messages your leads or customers are receiving from you that will at some point spur them to take action. The idea is that you give your audience a little bit at a time without drowning them in a torrent of information all at once. Instead, there’s a constant flow of marketing material sent to customers over a period of time.
What is Drip Marketing?
Drip marketing is a strategy that involves sending a series of pre-written, automated text messages to a target audience over a specific amount of time. This period can be days, weeks, or even months. Some sales funnels are designed for a slow and steady approach that nurtures leads and builds relationships with potential customers, while others want to convert as quickly as possible. No matter the timeline or stages, the point is to go from lead to sale.
Drip marketing helps in this regard by providing your recipients with valuable content that moves them down the sales funnel. By timing the messages and adding relevant incentives, you can target your leads at the right place and time, increasing the likelihood of conversion or repeat purchase. The content is usually sent via email, although it can also be sent via other channels like social media, SMS, or even physical mail.
Out of these, SMS marketing is one of the most effective ways of reaching your audience. Thanks to high SMS open rates, the messages are received and viewed almost immediately and can lead to quick action being taken. Texting is a fast, easy, and cost-effective marketing channel. A successful SMS marketing campaign converts leads into customers by delivering personalized and relevant messages to your target audience in a small and digestible format.
Drip marketing campaigns can be personalized and segmented based on user demographics, behavior, and other criteria, allowing you to tailor your content to specific groups of users. This approach can help with increased engagement and conversions over time, as users become more familiar with your brand and products or services. For more advanced SMS marketing campaigns, you can use drip marketing in conjunction with social media marketing, landing pages, and lead magnets. But let’s get your feet wet before we swim.
What is a Drip Campaign?
Although drip marketing and drip campaigning are often used interchangeably, you can think of the latter as the specific set of messages you will be sending. As the name implies, this type of campaign is a series of thematically connected messages, or drips, sent as a campaign. This means that each message ideally follows a logical continuation. For example, after initial registration or contact, you can start nurturing your lead by introducing them to your products or services and eventually scheduling a sales call.
One of the key benefits of a drip campaign is that it allows you to automate your marketing efforts. This not only saves you time and resources, but reaches your customers at the right time. With a well-designed campaign, you can create a sequence of messages that are tailored to your audience's interests, behaviors, and preferences, and let the campaign do its thing.
How to Build a Drip Campaign
To launch a drip marketing campaign, all you need is a marketing automation platform, or in the case of texting—an SMS platform. These offer wide functionality and feature sets like mass texting to streamline and tweak your campaigns for a wide audience. But before hitting send, you have some important steps to take. Following these will ensure that you maximize the effectiveness of your drip campaign.
Define Your Goals
The first step is to define your campaign goals. Ask yourself what you want to achieve.
Some people just want to increase brand awareness, and drip marketing can help with that. Others want to reach out to prospective customers and generate leads. And others want to turn those leads into sales. The goals you set will guide the type of content you create and the audience you target.
Identify Your Target Audience
With your goals set, you need to identify your target audience. Who are the people you want to reach and what are their motivations? Are they your existing customers, prospects who have shown interest, or cold leads? What interests, pain points, and buying behaviors do they have?
The more you know the better, but don’t despair if all you have is a name and a number. You can use data from your CRM or marketing platform to segment your audience based on demographics, behavior, and other criteria.
Choose Your Triggers
Drip campaigns can be triggered based on certain actions like registration, subscription, orders, or just a newsletter sign-up. For any given trigger, you can choose what messages and how many to send, including the rate at which to send them.
These messages can be personalized with information like the contact’s name and a reference to the action that triggered it. You might send a message to someone who signs up for your website, for instance. Or you could send it to people who have abandoned shopping carts.
Plan Your Content
After you've identified your goals and the target audience, you can plan your content accordingly. Create a series of messages that will be sent to your audience over a specific time period. The content should be valuable, relevant, and engaging to your recipients, and ultimately move them down the sales funnel.
Set Up Your Campaign
Once you have your content planned out, it's time to set up your campaign. This involves creating a schedule for when your emails or messages will be sent, as well as setting up any automation or triggers that will be used to send them.
Test and Refine
After your campaign is up and running, it's important to test and refine it over time. This includes monitoring your open and click-through rates, as well as making adjustments to your content and targeting based on user behavior.
How Drip Campaigns Are Used
You should use drip campaigns to connect with your audience following important actions like sign-ups or to mark dates like birthdays or holidays. Drip messages can target each potential customer through various points in your sales pipeline. These can be welcome drips, onboarding sequences after purchase, lead nurturing, re-engagement campaigns, and product recommendations.
1. Placing an Order
A first order is a big occasion. In addition to the regular thank you email, you can follow up with information about the product and its best uses and check in to see if everything went well with the order. This keeps your business top of the mind of the customer and shows care.
2. Attending an Event or Virtual Course
A drip campaign can be an effective way to keep new audiences informed about your businesses or to share new events that may be of interest to them. Follow up with someone from an event you hosted or attended and build a relationship.
3. Registering for a Free Info Pack or Trial
If someone has registered on your website or for a freebie, you can start sending drip messages to them as you try to convert them into a paying customer. Present your other offerings that are related to the item or service they showed interest in, but don’t be too pushy.
4. Not Placing an Order for a While
If your customers have been dormant for a long time, you can set up an automated drip campaign after a certain period has passed since their last purchase. You can include new product recommendations or inquire about their experience to see if something is wrong.
5. Important Occasions
Automated campaigns can send out messages on important dates such as birthdays, anniversaries, or around the holidays. For example, you can create a series of messages leading up to Christmas or the New Year.
6. Subscription Renewal or Reorders
If your customer’s subscription is nearing its end, you can start sending out a message a month or two beforehand to remind them and even offer some incentives for renewal. If you offer a product that’s regularly ordered (such as personal hygiene products or office supplies), you can remind your customers that it’s time to stock up.
Why Use Drip Campaigns?
Drip campaigns can help turn your visitors into buyers, increase repeat purchases or upsells, and re-engage a dormant audience. By communicating your brand and its value, you build a relationship with your audience and show that you’re a great resource—before, during, and after a purchase.
The main draw of drip marketing is that the campaigns are prewritten, automated, and personalized. For each campaign, you write the messages once, and then automate the personalization and sending. Once they’re set up, your drip marketing campaigns launch automatically in response to user action or other strategic points in the mapped-out customer journey.
Do Drip Campaigns Work?
They can be effective for engagement and conversion with both existing and potential customers. The efficiency of a campaign depends on the quality and relevance of the content and the correct segmentation of your audience. If you create relevant and engaging content for your target audience and segment your list properly, you can increase the chances of converting leads and driving return business.
What Should a Drip Campaign Include?
The content of your drip campaign depends on the goals and objectives of the campaign and the interests and behavior of your target audience.
The first message of a drip campaign is usually a welcome or a thank you that introduces your brand and sets expectations for future communication.
Educational content, such as blog posts or eBooks, provides value to your subscribers, especially if they address a user’s pain points.
Customers are so used to promo offers that they may not even take an action any longer without one. Offer discounts, free trials, or other promotions to incentivize purchases.
Social proof in the form of customer testimonials or success stories can build trust and credibility with your audience. It shows them the effectiveness of your product or service in real cases.
CTAs encourage your recipients to take a specific action, such as visiting your website, signing up for a free trial, or making a purchase.
Send follow-up messages to remind subscribers about upcoming events, promotions, or limited-time offers that are about to expire.
To be successful, a drip campaign should be well-planned, tailored to your audience, and provide value at every stage of the customer journey. Regularly analyze the data and feedback from your campaign to optimize and improve the effectiveness of your messages. Use our handy guide for SMS marketing best practices to optimize your content and ensure that every message counts.