A drip campaign is a series of emails sent to a targeted audience that has taken a specific action. For any action taken, you can send a certain amount of emails at various times. Typically, these emails are personalized based on the action taken.
For example, if you have an abandoned cart trigger, you know that the lead is at least somewhat interested in those products. The email could be triggered after 48 hours of abandonment, prompting the lead to finish their purchase. This could be a free shipping incentive, a 5-10% discount code. Then after a certain time period, you can send a second email with a simple explanation of how others have enjoyed the same product or service.
Drip campaigns are critical for lead nurturing, onboarding, and customer conversion. However, it’s not as simple as sending a couple of emails and hoping something sticks. It’s an art and science that requires a lot of research and A/B testing based on your industry, company, and goals.
Why are drip campaigns so important?
Drip campaigns are essential for lead nurturing, sure, but there’s a lot more to it than that. In actuality, drip campaigns are a massive driving force behind ROI, ROAS, and over profits for any company. Here’s why:
- Drip campaigns have the power to turn simple subscribers into leads and even customers. With a constant flow of well-thought-out messages, you can give the prospect the information they need to purchase that they may or may not know they need.
- Drip campaigns turn manual, repetitive tasks into automated ones when using the right tools. This allows you to avoid sending out emails by yourself and manually keeping track of the customer’s journey.
- Drip campaigns are based on specific actions taken. That means that you can gather insight based on those actions and segment your leads based on their interests.
- When there’s a constant stream of branded emails being sent out, it increases brand awareness. These emails serve as a subtle reminder that your company still exists, and it would be a great option for their needs.
- Drip campaigns can also do a great job of humanizing your brand. Think about it. If the leads are getting emails based on their actions, that means that your brand understands (to a certain point) what they need. In the leads’ eyes, that shows initiative and that the brand is paying attention and wants to help.
Of course, these are just a few examples. Depending on your brand, drip campaigns can produce a lot of incredible results and benefits across the board.
The best drip campaign examples
Knowing what to send and when is the core behind a drip sequence. Timing is everything. Of course, each campaign will be slightly different, but the best way to grasp this concept is to look at others. For that reason, here are 15 drip campaign examples that you can use to engage and nurture leads.
1. Netflix’s win back drip campaign
Being an industry giant, Netflix has developed a unique algorithm to create playlists and make suggestions based on users’ activities. This especially comes in handy when a user wants to cancel their subscription.
In this case, the cancellation is the trigger. What makes Netflix so unique in this campaign is that they’re constantly changing and evolving. Back to that algorithm we mentioned above, they can store your preferences and make suggestions based on what you like to win you back.
Pro tip: In Encharge, you can trigger an automated email with the Stripe trigger “Canceled Subscription”.
Now that the user has canceled their subscription, they’ll be receiving emails like this. Recently added movies at the top, based on watch preferences, and even a suggestion or two based on what they think you’ll really like.
As a finale in this drip campaign, Netflix sends an email suggesting that you come back and enjoy their services once again. The final message is short and simple, but it’s powerful. It gives the user the information they need (Netflix’s biggest selling points) and gives them a simple CTA.
2. OptinMonster’s cart abandonment drip campaign
Abandoned carts can cause a lot of lost revenue. Although you technically aren’t losing money, you are certainly missing out on some. For an abandoned cart drip campaign, the idea is to try and convince them to take a few more steps to complete their order.
Take a look at this example from OptinMonster, letting the user know that they still have actions to complete.
The second email in this drip campaign is sent a day after the abandoned cart.
In the email copy, you can see that they ask if everything is alright, implying that something must be wrong for them not to complete the order. Then, the end it with a sentence explaining why the lead would want to complete the transaction, followed by a simple CTA.
Finally, after a short period of time, OptinMonster sends out one last email. This email is designed to inform users that their account will be deleted since it wasn’t completed with a purchase. 24 hours before the deletion, they even offer them a 10% discount as a last-ditch effort.
3. Amazon’s upselling campaign
Although drip campaigns are typically a series of emails, that’s not always the case. Remember, they are based on an action taken, and then the email is “dripped” to the customer in hopes of a conversion.
Take Amazon’s upselling campaign, for example.
This drip campaign was triggered when free content was downloaded on Amazon’s Kindle. Amazon could sense the user’s interest in premium content based on the number of downloads.
The email details the benefits of a Kindle subscription, relates how the user is already using the Kindle to the subscription, and then gives a short tutorial on how to get a subscription.
Amazon doesn’t stop there, though. As one of the world’s most well-known businesses, they know exactly what their customers are looking for and design drip campaigns accordingly. For example, after you add a book to your cart, and then don’t follow through with a purchase.
Based on your behaviors, actions, and preferences, you’re sure to get some sort of drip campaign email in your inbox from Amazon every once in a while. Why? Because they know they work.
4. Patagonia’s weather-based drip campaign
Patagonia is one of the world’s leading brands for outdoor apparel. They offer very niche products based on the weather, and their drip campaigns reflect that in a very creative way.
Patagonia has weather-based triggers, meaning if you’re in a place that is about to receive heavy snow and you associate with the brand or brands like it, you might receive an email like this one.
This drip campaign is targeting a specific audience. This is an excellent example of a personalized drip campaign. It’s so successful because it relies on a tailored selection of products to help people overcome the harsh environment heading their way.
Patagonia will send emails like this in their drip campaigns based on your preferences. Who wouldn’t want a nice, warm hat while sledding through the snow? Patagonia has mastered the art of understanding their customer and uses elements outside of the traditional emails marketing campaigns to make sure they provide the perfect product for their customers.
5. Dollar shave club’s cross-selling drip campaign
Dollar Shave Club quickly rose in ranks as far as men’s hygiene products are concerned. They did so because they knew the market and knew how to market. Take, for example, their drip campaign based on cross-selling.
In addition to your order confirmation, they make recommendations to add to your order. This event is triggered by the next order being shipped. As you can see, it details what you’ve ordered and makes recommendations based on what they think would work well with your products that are already on their way. This happens with every order confirmation.
As you can see, it’s a simple drip campaign example, but it’s highly effective. Since Dollar Shave Club has so many options to add to your order, odds are that a lot of customers will want to make an additional purchase outside of their usual order from month to month.
6. Airbnb’s action completion campaign
Airbnb has a unique algorithm that allows them to make suggestions on places you might like to stay. All of this is based on places you’ve stayed, places you’ve looked at, and, of course, the extensive list of amenities that is detailed in every listing.
As you can see based on this email, the user is interested in staying somewhere on Calangute Beach. The email prompts the user to learn more about the beach hut and even suggests contacting the owner to ask questions.
But, if the user decides that this particular hut isn’t the one for them, Airbnb doesn’t give up there. After some time without additional action, the user will receive an email like this.
These are suggestions based on all the criteria we listed above, only slightly adjusted. This is so that the suggestions are similar but offer something slightly different. One might have more bedrooms, be closer to the beach, offer a swimming pool, and so on. This drip campaign is designed to find the right fit for the user, all while still making that ever so important conversion.
7. Zulily’s abandoned cart drip campaign
In eCommerce, the competition is tough. Vendors need to take every opportunity they get to make that sale. For an abandoned cart, this provides many opportunities, especially if the price was the cause of the cart abandonment in the first place. Here’s an example from Zulily.
After a predetermined amount of time, the user will receive a message like this, informing them that an item they have in their cart is on sale, but it’s not going to last. This instills a sense of urgency. They have to purchase before the sale ends.
Sometimes just before the sale ends, they really lay on the urgency with an additional email. This email is designed as sort of a final CTA. If you don’t get it now, you won’t get this incredible deal!
Now, you get a real sense of the situation. The sale is ending, and you need to check out before the items disappear forever. They provide simple CTAs to get the job done, and not much more. The point is to display the urgency, and this drip campaign does that very well.
8. Starbucks Earth Month drip campaign
Throughout Earth Month, Starbucks played a game within their app in order to drive engagement and re-engagement. The idea was that every purchase made allowed you to play games and win prizes. To get prospects to engage more and more, Starbucks used a drip campaign to continually remind them of the games going on.
After about a week, Starbucks would send another email to let the users know that there’s still time to engage, play, and win.
The idea behind sending multiple emails like this is to drive re-engagement. Over the course of an entire month, the odds are that prospects forgot. That is until they received the email letting them know that the games aren’t over yet.
This campaign and campaigns like it work so well because it’s consistent. It continuously engages prospects and encourages them to participate in the games. On top of that, each email was tailored depending on the timing. As you saw in the example just above, that’s the message for the last week of the games. Each message is unique, making it easier to engage with the brand over the course of the month.
9. Allbird’s feedback drip campaign
For most brands, feedback is essential. When you’re providing a product or service, you need to know how your audience likes what you do so that you can improve or continue what you’re doing right. Take Allbirds, for example. First, they send you a tailored thank-you message after purchase.
Once you’re in the system, you’ve completed your purchase and had enough time to gather your thoughts on the brand and their services; they follow up with another email.
Allbirds drive their brand with positive feedback about their products and their service. This final email in the feedback drip campaign aims to gather reviews. With that data collected, they can directly direct their attention to any potential issues.
Grammarly runs a drip campaign that focuses on re-engagement. All drip campaigns loosely follow a set of predetermined actions the user takes. This case and any other re-engagement drip campaign are based on a time of absence.
The first email in this series talks about how Grammarly noticed how the user hasn’t logged in in a while. More specifically, a week. They invite the user to double-check that they are indeed logged in, and then give the user a quick way to check their editing stats roundup. If they simply haven’t been logged in and didn’t realize, this serves as a reminder. If they truly haven’t been using the tool, this will remind the user that it’s still there and waiting for them.
The second email in this series focuses on the benefits of the tool, and as you can see, it’s nothing to shake a stick at. Grammarly knows their audience, and they know how useful they are for users that struggle with grammar or just need a boost. Displaying stats like this is an easy way to show off their usefulness, and any user will instantly see value in using the tool.
Now, if the user still has not taken any action, the third email in this drip campaign will trigger. This email is clearly designed to get the user to take action immediately. There’s nothing that shows off Grammarly’s usefulness but rather its application. They paint themselves as an essential tool for writing anything on the internet.
The final email in this drip campaign looks something like the one displayed above. This will trigger as sort of a last resort for Grammarly, as they know that too many emails will just put a bad taste in the user’s mouth. They again talk about their usefulness, show a little visual display, and then offer a crazy amount of 50% off all their plans. For someone that is really on the fence about whether or not to come back to Grammarly, this could be the email that pushes them.
11. Kenneth Cole’s incentive drip campaign
One of the biggest deciding factors for users being indecisive with a purchase is a discount. We’ve all been there at some point. Some deals are just too good to pass up. What Kenneth Cole does, however, is actually genius.
The initial email in their drip campaign is a simple 15% off if you complete your purchase. There’s nothing too crazy about their strategy here, just a simple discount code and a time limit. However, if the user doesn’t take action, they up the ante.
Now, the user is greeted with a 20% off discount code and another time limit. This does two things for Kenneth Cole. The first is that, of course, it increases conversions through abandoned carts. The second is that it allows them to experiment. Do they get more click-throughs with the 15% or the 20%? If the data shows that they get significantly more conversions through the second, 20% off code, then they can later try sending that one first.
12. Birchbox’s sense of urgency drip campaign
Birchbox is yet another abandoned cart drip campaign, but it takes a slightly different approach than the other examples on this list. It all starts with their first triggered email.
At the top of this email, you can still see that they’re offering a discount for the completion of the order. It’s nothing crazy, but 10% off is 10% off. What stands out is the sense of urgency that they display. The big, bold text reads, “Finish your order before your items sell out.” This puts a time limit on the order without outlining the exact dates. Once the item is gone, who knows when it will be back?
If the prospects still don’t bite, Birchbox follows up with the next email in the sequence and suggests that maybe they aren’t happy with what they put in their cart. They’re shown what’s currently in their cart, and then they’re offered an alternative based on what they looked at before. There’s no longer a discount code available, but it doesn’t really matter if the prospect isn’t happy with their products before they even order.
13. Bellroy’s feedback and upselling/cross-selling drip campaign
Who’s to say that you can’t kill two birds with one stone in a drip campaign? Bellroy has been doing it for years, and it seems to be working well for them. Take a look at this first email in their after-purchase drip campaign sequence.
This email serves two purposes. First, it checks in on the customer 30 days after the initial conversion, reinforcing them as a brand that cares. Secondly, it asks for feedback and reviews at the bottom. Once that’s done, the next email will be pushed depending on the action taken.
If they had a positive experience, Bellroy invites users to share their experience on social media, using a special hashtag. This is an excellent strategy for drip campaigns because it adds a layer of engagement and increases brand awareness at the same time.
After all the reviews and feedback, the customers are then met with the final email in the drip sequence. This one invites them to expand their collection of Bellroy products and make another purchase. After all, if they’re happy with what they’ve bought so far, why wouldn’t they want to buy more?
This is a great example of how you can utilize drip campaigns to get a lot more than simple advertising and brand awareness out of them. Bellroy designed this specific campaign to get feedback and reviews, increase their engagement on social media, and sell more.
14. Trello’s Twelve Days of Trello drip campaign
When it comes to email marketing, few do it better than Trello. Known for their unique approaches to how content and information are shared through email, their Christmas drip campaign is no exception.
For 12 days out of December, Trello sends education-focused emails through drip campaigns to target users. Each email message is holiday-themed (ex. Give the gift of class… Business class), and they all lead the user back to Trello’s services.
The idea is that the users will find useful content on one or more of the 12 days and follow the trail back to Trello to make a conversion. Few companies have 12 emails in a drip sequence, but very few also have the platform to do it. With education-based drip campaigns, users are not only less likely to get annoyed, but they might actually look forward to that email popping up in their inbox each day.
15. Leesa’s Black Friday drip campaign
Black Friday is a huge deal for retail and eCommerce. Billions are spent each year around this time, and businesses invest countless money to get their name out there ahead of the pack. Leesa leads the charge with a drip campaign that starts well before Black Friday. In fact, they host these sales multiple times per year.
Black Fridays outside of November aren’t exactly ground-breaking, but Leesa makes a big deal about it through drip campaigns. Sound the alarms. Black Friday is here… In July!
Throughout the sale period, Leesa offers unique deals that can’t be passed up for some people. At the end of it all, there’s a deadline, too, so the user is hit with that ever-so-important sense of urgency we’ve mentioned several times before.
As the sale comes to a close, they send out the last email in the drip sequence to let the prospects know that it’s still possible to get the deal. For anyone that has dragged their feet up until this point, this is usually where they pull the trigger.
Conclusions and takeaways
As you can see, drip campaigns are incredibly important for conversions and nurturing. They keep the leads (and customers, in some cases) thinking about your brand constantly.
There are many benefits to running a drip campaign. Brand awareness, increase in ROI, and automation possibilities. In fact, without automation, drip campaigns would be extremely difficult to execute. Some might even say impossible.
That’s where Encharge comes into play. Encharge boasts many benefits, too, a big one being that you can set your drip campaign on autopilot. Create remarkable user journeys with a robust and easy to use flow builder, create personalized drip campaigns that matter with an easy-to-use email editor, and even set emails to trigger based on behavior and actions. Try Encharge for free today, and get your drip campaigns dripping!