Blog » Articles » General Marketing » Best Practices for Email Drip Campaigns

Best Practices for Email Drip Campaigns

by | February 27, 2023

After someone connects to your brand, you need to stay in touch. See best practices for email drip campaigns to boost engagement and sales.
Illustration of email drip campaigns

More than 80% of online advertisers use email marketing, which means we get a flood of marketing emails every day. You need to think strategically if you want your brand’s messages to rise to the top of our inboxes. 

Email drip campaigns are automated marketing emails sent to a targeted audience. These campaigns draw in customers who have interacted with your brand, by visiting a webpage, stopping by a store, or clicking on a social media link. 

Drip campaigns send repeated messages over time. That’s where the name “drip” comes from. It’s a steady drip rather than a raging fire hose. 

An effective email drip campaign can help you do the following:

  • Build brand trust and loyalty.
  • Gain insights into the types of messages customers respond to most.
  • Improve customer experience by offering helpful tips.
  • Learn the best days and times to send emails to ensure the highest open rate.
  • Promote new products or services
  • Test subject lines that encourage customers to open the emails.

Emails Campaigns Take Dedication

A woman in a chair next to an illustration of the concept of email marketing.

The most effective email marketing strategies use intention and timing along with creative content. You need to know when and how to send the emails to get the highest open rates. You also need to understand your target audience so you send content your customers actually want to see. 

Here are some ways content marketers set up successful email drip campaigns:

  • Build an effective campaign schedule
  • Give consumers options
  • Keep track of the metrics
  • Test different email types for the highest engagement

To help figure out which type of email works best, let’s look at some types of emails that show up in successful drip campaigns.

Not All Email Is the Same

An abandoned shopping cart.

Before you can set up audience segments or a schedule, you first need to know what types of emails to create.

Here are two of the most common types of drip campaign emails:

Lead Nurturing Emails

Lead nurturing emails are the bread and butter of a drip campaign. They encourage consumers to take some kind of easy, measurable action, such as clicking through to a new product or completing a survey.

Lead nurturing emails help you stay in touch over time with potential customers who haven’t yet bought anything from you. They help you convert people who identify with your brand into paying customers. 

Here are two types of nurturing lead emails:

  • Abandoned cart emails. These go to consumers who add a product or service to their online “cart” but don’t complete the purchase. Along with a gentle reminder, they may include discount codes, limited quantity notifications, or links to similar products. 
  • Retargeting emails.  These recognize a consumer’s online engagement with the brand and attempts to bring them back in. They may include a call to action, a targeted discount, or sales info. They might also reconnect people with a customer service agent.

No matter what type they are, strong nurturing emails include:

  • The customer’s name or other personal touches
  • Calls to action, such as website links or sales notifications
  • Brief messages that can be read quickly

Here’s an example of a lead nurturing email from a skincare company:

Subject: Take care of your skin with SkinUreIn + Get 10% off our new SPF!

Dear [Name],

Are you ready to have some fun in the sun? At SkinUreIn, we believe self-care starts with quality skin care. This spring, be sure to take some time out of your day to nurture your skin with our natural and effective products. 

We’re excited to introduce SkinUreIn’s first SPF product line, perfect for protecting your skin from harmful UV rays while locking in moisture with natural oils for a non-greasy feel. To celebrate the launch, we’re offering you an exclusive 10% discount on any purchase from our new SPF line with the code SUNPROTECT10. 

As always, our sustainable packaging is made from recycled plastic, glass, and cardboard. Get the SPF you need while keeping the world brighter! The flowers are blooming and sunnier days are in your future. With the new SkinUreIn SPF for the face and body, practice safe sun all season long!

We can’t wait to see you,

The SkinUreInTeam

Onboarding Email

After a customer signs up for an email, discount code, or other lead, send them an onboarding email, also known as a welcome email. These messages help customers feel seen by recognizing their transactions. They also engage them in your other products, services, and content that might interest them. 

Make sure you have different emails prepared for any action a customer might take. For instance, discount code recipients may be interested in emails on upcoming sales. Newsletter sign-ups may be interested in emails with blog posts or brand interviews. 

Effective on-boarding emails should include:

  • Content that applies to the target audience
  • A call to action or information about another brand initiative to increase engagement
  • Personalization to acknowledge the consumer’s action

Here’s an example of an onboarding email from SkinUreIn:

Subject: Thanks for joining the SkinUreIn Community

Dear [Name],

Thank you for signing up for the SkinUreIn newsletter. We’re thrilled to have you as a part of our community of natural, sustainable skincare lovers. 

As a subscriber, you can expect interviews with skincare experts, podcast links, and exclusive offers on your favorite SkinUreIn products. Community members also gain early access to SkinUreIn product launches, including our exciting SPF line. 

We’re committed to providing you the best possible content and skincare products. So stay tuned for updates and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions or feedback. Use this link to find a SkinUreIn location near to you or shop online 24/7 on 

Shine Bright,

The SkinUreIn Team

5 Tips for Effective Drip Email Campaigns

The next step is applying the best practices for email drip campaigns to build brand trust amongst consumers. After all, email campaigns are only successful if customers are reading their emails. 

1. Define (and Segment) Your Target Audience

All digital marketing requires defining your target audience. Developing target audiences helps to make sure your content reaches the right consumers. Ask customers to sign up for newsletters, discounts, or loyalty programs to help define their interests. 

Segmenting these customer groups is also a good idea. Segmenting means sending different drip email campaigns to each group based on their interests. Brands that segment their drip email campaigns increase sales by an incredible 760 percent.

2. Pay Attention to the Data

How do you know if your email campaign is working? You follow the data. Using an email campaign platform like Omnisend, Hubspot, or Mailchimp makes it easy to note the numbers. These platforms collect data automatically about how your emails perform. 

Though not all data is ironclad, it’s the most precise way to determine how well your drip marketing campaigns are performing.

Pay specific attention to open rates. An open rate is the percentage of successfully delivered emails opened by a customer. The higher your open rate percentage, the more customers are actually reading your emails. Depending on your industry, a good open rate is between 17-24%. Increase your open rates by defining a target audience and sending info that the customer is really interested in.

Similarly, click rates track the percentage of customers who click a link included in an email. Click rate percentages are a good way to track how effective your calls to action are. 

Not sure which sales promotion was the most effective? Most email campaign platforms allow for some type of A/B testing. This means you can send different emails with similar content and compare their performance. 

3. Make Emails Easy to Read

All email marketing should be easy to read. Think graphics, bulleted lists, and lots of white space. This is a good opportunity for design consistency across marketing platforms. Is there a font, color, or brand rep featured on your social media? Use them in email campaigns. 

Don’t forget to keep written campaigns accessible. For example, some designer fonts are difficult for vision-impaired people to see. For consumers who speak multiple languages or have limited literacy, more imagery makes it easier to engage. 

4. Timing is Everything

Sending a random series of emails is a no-go. Part of an intentional email campaign is creating a sending schedule that considers the consumer. Email campaign platforms can help streamline your scheduling process. Here’s how to build an effective email schedule:

  • Define and segment your target audiences
  • Choose a campaign goal (increased sales, newsletter sign-ups, etc.)
  • Decide the number of emails to be sent in each campaign
  • Cross-reference other forms of outreach to avoid burnout

This last one is important. To build relationships with consumers, brands should avoid spamming them with emails or related content. An intentional schedule with targeted content helps avoid those pitfalls. 

5. Give the Customer Options

Consumers always have the option to opt-in to marketing emails. Yet choosing which forms of email marketing they receive and how often helps build brand trust. Customers are more likely to engage when they know they have control. To do this, keep email setting options easy to find and navigate.

Drip Your Way to Success

Ready to put best practices for email drip campaigns to work? College Marketing Group (CMG) makes it easy. With years of marketing experience, our team knows how to create email marketing to boost sales and build long-lasting relationships with consumers.

The Tub Thumper


Get curated college student marketing content directly to your inbox every month.

Your Name(Required)