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What is an Email Drip Campaign and How to Create One 

Editorial Team
April 11, 2023
What is an Email Drip Campaign and How to Create One 

Drip campaigns have 80% higher open rate when compared with single-send emails!

Are you using them in your email marketing strategy?

With email drip campaign, you can send multiple sequential emails over a period of time to engage with the audience with the aim to convert them. 

According to Forrester Research, mastering this can help you boost your sales by 50%. No small feet!

That’s because with drip marketing campaigns, you build a relationship with your users over time by gaining their trust. Therefore when you pitch them your product or service, they are more likely to buy it. 

In this blog, we will discuss what a drip email campaign is and how you can set up one from WordPress dashboard. In addition, we will also share some drip campaigns examples so you can understand the content better.

So, let’s start.

What is an Email Drip Campaign?

Email drip campaigns are automated email campaigns that are sent to users over a specified period of time based on their interaction with your website. The timing of the emails is usually based on the action or behavior of the user. 

Companies use drip marketing to stay in touch with an audience in a targeted manner. Such communications are based on certain actions users take. A drip campaign can be set on customer behavior, such as they

  • Sign up for newsletters 
  • Abandon shopping cart 
  • Place an order
  • Not place an order for sometime
  • Only use the free version of your product and so on.

The Drip campaign differ from broadcast emails in that they are sent to a specific audience segment depending on their interaction with the site without human intervention. Since drip campaigns are automated, they ensure efficiency without requiring human resources to do repetitive manual work. 

Different Types of Email Drip Campaigns with Examples

Have a look at some examples of drip email campaigns:

Onboarding email campaign

The onboarding drip campaign targets the new users who recently signed up for your newsletter or bought your product. You can send onboarding emails to lay the groundwork for a strong relationship. 

onboarding email campaign example

You can send a sequence of emails to new users that include 

  • Warm welcome greeting with social media profiles
  • Instructions on how to use the product they bought 
  • Cross or upsell on the product 
  • Resources that will answer any questions they may have. 

Have a look at the welcome email of a drip marketing campaign from Just Eat.

It’s a sweet and simple welcome email. The main attraction of this email is the quirky GIF where fries and cookies waving hands to the users! Moreover, it provides users with a CTA to navigate to the account and engage with the shop.

Cart abandonment campaign

Almost 70% of customers abandon their carts. Utilizing a cart abandonment drip campaign can help you to bring back those customers to complete the order. Sometimes users need little reminders or incentives to complete an order. 

cart abandonment email campaign sequence email drip campaign

In your cart abandonment campaign, your email sequence can include 

  • Reminder for users to come back to complete the order 
  • An incentive for a limited time to complete purchase
  • Message stating stock is running out
  • One time free shipping offer and so on. 

Have a look at the initial email of the cart abandonment drip campaign example by Casper. 

cart abandonment email example

We think this is a brilliant first email for a cart abandonment drip campaign as it gently reminds the target audience to complete the order. And to remind users why they put the product in their cart in the first place, they also add reviews from other users. 

This is a well thought out first email, as you don’t want to offer incentive in the first email of your cart abandonment campaign. You can do so for the people who don’t convert after the first email.

🔔 You can also read our blog "How To Send WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Emails: The Complete Guide".

Re-Engagement email campaign

Re-engagement emails campaigns are meant to bring back those users who have not interacted with your site for a while. You can also target the customers who made their past purchase for example 6 months ago. 

reengagement email campaign sequence email drip campaign

In your re-engagement email, you can include

  • A sweet message asking users to visit your site because it’s been a while 
  • News about the newest product or updates 
  • Announcement of the upcoming sales 
  • A discount coupon or free delivery on the purchase anniversary, and so on.

Have a look at the re engagement drip campaign emails by Lowe’s. 

reengagement email lowes

This is a simple email that works to get customers’ attention by highlighting the improvements they made in recent times. It’s an effective way to offer a sneak peek into what’s been up at your store lately.

Free to Pro user drip campaign

Free to Pro User Drip campaigns are intended to target free users with the goal of converting them to paid users. This type of drip campaign is mostly used in the software industry, where they convert freemium users into premium users. This is similar to lead nurturing campaigns.

Note: Freemium is a business strategy in which companies provide free access to the most basic version of a product while encouraging consumers to upgrade to a paid premium version with more advanced features.

free to user drip campaign infographics

In your Free to Pro User Drip Campaign emails, you can share

  • The process to get started with the free product 
  • Resources that highlight the features of the pro version
  • The benefits they will receive if they switch to the paid version
  • Pitch the paid version at a discounted offer for a limited time etc.

Have a look at the last email of the Free to Pro User Drip Campaign by Canva.

canva Free to Pro User Drip Campaign

The platform Canva targets users who sign up for weekly design tips to help them make the most of this design tool.This is the third email of the email list where Canva shares different tips to ace the design task.

In this last email, they pitched the pro version. This is an excellent approach because clients already know what design tips to apply and how the pro version may assist them in achieving them quickly.

Now that you are aware of some of the email drip campaign examples, let’s learn how you can build one yourself. 

How to Create an Email Drip Campaign in WordPress?

In this section, we will show you how to create an email drip campaign right from WordPress dashboard.

To create a drip campaign, we are going to use FunnelKit Automations. This WordPress plugin is the highest rated email marketing and automation tool. Some of the reason why choose this plugin include : 

  • Multiple pre-made drip campaign:  FunnelKit offers various types of pre-built drip campaigns such as cart abandonment campaign, winback campaign, convert free users to pro, opt-in follow up, first order campaign and so on.
  • Visual email builder: Along with a rich text editor, you also get a visual email builder where you can drag and drop widgets to design your email template. You also get the preview live while you build your email template.
  • In depth analytics: You can easily track email open rate, click rate, revenue per email, revenue, average order value, unsubscribe rate etc.
  • Third party integrations: Third party integration with popular software such as Hubspot, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Convertkit, GetResponse, etc. 
  • Unlimited emails: You can create unlimited contact lists and send unlimited emails without any extra cost. 

We are going to show how you create a drip email campaign that targets customers who just made their first purchase on an online store.

Note: You can repeat the same process to create other types of drip campaigns.

So let’s start the process.

Step 1: Install and activate FunnelKit Automations

First, you need to install and activate FunnelKit Automations both free and pro version. Please note that FunnelKit is available in both the free and premium versions.

If you need help installing and activating the FunnelKit Automations pro, check our installation guide

To learn more about FunnelKit Automations, you can check out the video below 👇

Step 2: Add a new automation

The first step is to create a new automation. For that, navigate to FunnelKit Automations ⇒ Automations (NextGen) and then click on "Create Automation".

Add a new automation to create drip email campaign

Since we are going to build a drip campaign to engage the new customers, look for the “First Order” prebuilt recipe and click on it. 

click on new customer first order email drip campaign

Now you can see the whole word flow. Here is a preview of the workflow.

first purchase email drip campaign full word flow

Here are the steps of the drip campaign: 

  • Order created : The campaign will get triggered each time someone orders on your WooCommerce store. 
  • Conditional : It checks whether the order made is the first order by that customer. If it’s not the first order then the campaign doesn’t continue for that specific customer.
  • Send Email: If this is the first order (yes), the campaign sends its first thank you email.
  • Delay: After that that it delays for one day 
  • Send Email: After the delay it will send the second email that makes customers engage with the brand.

To import the recipe, click on the “Import” button on the top right corner. After that provide the name and click on Create to import the recipe.

import and name your drip campaign

Step 3: Customize the first email 

Now let’s customize the first email that the campaign will send to users. To do so, click on the “Send Email” action.

click to edit first email

Now you can alter the email line, preview text and body according to your preference. 

edit email subject line, preview and body email drip campaign

FunnelKit Automations comes with an amazing feature called Merge tag. Using this option you can personalize your email content by adding dynamic information such as customer name, order id, order details etc.

To add a merge tag click on the {{..}} icon, then look for the merge tag. Once you find it, then simply copy and paste the tag to your email. 

Here we have added

  • {{contact_first_name}} in the email subject line
  • {{order_id}} in the email subject preview 
  • And {{order_summary}} in the email body.
merge tags by FunnelKit in email drip campaign

All these merges will display dynamic information based on the user that receives the email. 

Here is a preview:

first email preview of email drip campaign

If you find this email too plain, then you can design it with a visual builder as well.

Design email using visual builder 

To design an email using FunnelKit’s visual builder, choose the visual builder option and click on start.

edit with visual builder create email drip campaign

Now you can drag and drop images, text and buttons to design our email. You can also add merge tags like you did with the rich editor.

Here for demo purposes we created the first email with an image, text and button widgets. After that, we changed the email background color under the “Body” section.

Design drip campaign email with visual email builder

When you are happy with the email design, save and close the email editor. 

Step 4: Adjust the delay

The workflow has a delay of one day before the second email. To change the delay duration click on the “Delay” step.

click on delay

Now you can add delay in terms of days, hours, weeks  and months. If you want, you can also add a delay until a specific time of the day or days of the week. 

add custom delay to email drip campaign

After the delay you can alter the second email just as you did the first one in Step 3. 

Note: If you want you can add another delay followed by a third email to the email sequence if you want according to your drip campaign strategy.

Step 5: Activate the email drip campaign 

Finally, Come on the workflow page and turn on the toggle on the top to activate the email marketing campaign.

turn on the email drip campaign

Email Drip Campaign Best Practices  

To ensure you get the optimal results from your drip email marketing campaign, you need to follow the best practices. Here are the things you need to follow to create a successful drip campaign.

Be informative but brief.

While your drip email content should be informative, you shouldn't make lengthy ones.  The goal should be to get users to click on the  CTA button fast. 

However, in certain cases, you can make your email lengthy. For example, emails in which you demonstrate to users how to use your product.

Include a CTA button or question at the end of every email.

Always include a CTA button at the end of every email. Users should know what they should do at the end of every message.

Your CTAs should be action-driven and tell users about the specific action you want them to take. For example, buy a product,  sign up for the newsletter, read the latest blog post, etc.

Get the email timing right

Getting the email timing right is very crucial because the open rate depends on the timing heavily. Research by Campaign Monitor demonstrates that Fridays have the highest open and click-through rates at 18.9% and 2.7% respectively.

In addition, the research suggests you should avoid sending emails on Saturdays. However, you should decide the timing based on what works for your audience based on previous data and research.

Track open rates, click-through rates, and click-to-open rates

Always keep track of email open rate, click rate, and click-to-open rates. This last one is particularly relevant because it indicates the percentage of people that clicked through after reading the email.

Monitoring this data allows  determining the optimum time and day to deliver your emails. Also, it will help you to decide  whether the content of your email and CTA is working or not.

Send follow-up sequence after no response

You shouldn't stop sending drip emails just because users didn't respond once or twice. Always, remember you are offering them value with an email and not annoying them for no reason. 

However, you should stop sending emails if you find users don't engage after 3 to 4 emails.  In case you choose to stop emailing, you can send them a last email asking them the reason they didn't respond and how you can make the experience better.

Ready to Start Your Email Marketing Drip Campaigns?

Drip campaigns with consistent communication through personalized email create a strong relationship with the potential customer. This relationship can help you increase sales as well as retain existing customers. 

If you use FunnelKit Automations pro, then creating automated drip campaigns is as easy as walking in the park. However, you should remember the best practices we shared while designing your campaigns.

The best part with FunnelKit is that you don't have to design the drip email campaign from scratch. You can just import template based on your goal. Moreover, with in-depth analytics, you can easily track your email drip marketing campaign's performance and then make adjustments based on real data. 

And as mentioned earlier, you can send as many emails as you want with this email automation WordPress plugin. Furthermore, you won't have to worry about privacy because FunnelKit doesn't store your data on its server but instead on your server. 

So, are you ready to make your bond with customers stronger with an email drip campaign?

Author: Editorial Team
The Editorial Team at FunnelKit (formerly WooFunnels) is a passionate group of writers and copy editors. We create well-researched posts on topics such as WordPress automation, sales funnels, online course creation, and more. We aim to deliver content that is interesting and actionable.