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Marketing automation in practice, part 3: Drip campaigns - closer to your goal

Illustrated image of drops falling on a woman, reflecting a drip email automation campaign.

In the third part of our series on marketing automation in practice, we take a look at drip campaigns. A drip campaign, or automation chain, is a series of messages sent at the right time, triggered by a specific event or moment.

This event could be, for example, a hotel reservation, a sign-up to a loyalty program, an eCommerce order or any other point of contact with a customer. Similarly, an automation chain can be time-based and triggered, for example, 6 months after a specific event such as an online purchase. This article presents practical tips for implementing drip automation campaigns.

How to use drip campaigns for effective email automation?

Depending on the company, the target group for a drip campaign can be prospects, existing customers, employees, partners, readers, or, for example, new customers for an online store. The chain doesn't have to be limited to automated emails but can be supplemented by SMS messages, WhatsApp messages, and the use of social networks.

What all drip campaigns have in common is precise targeting and the ability to model and translate customer behavior into messages. The more carefully the various stages are studied the better the result. It is also possible to build several versions of the chain, which progress the customer in different ways according to their behavior. To help you visualize these chains, we've put together four concrete ways of using drip campaigns in practice:

  1. Guide to purchase
  2. Teach
  3. Capture again
  4. Sell more

At the end of the article, you'll find a list of other ways to get the most out of drip campaigns.

1. Guide to purchase

The most traditional way of using drip campaigns is to guide the customer step by step toward a purchase using email automation. Here's an example of a chain activated by a newsletter subscription:

  1. A welcome message to subscribe and a presentation of the company's services.
  2. Download the latest guide to marketing automation - would you like to book a consultation?
  3. We hope you enjoyed our newsletter - can we introduce you to our latest product?
  4. Invitation to a trade show - and meet our experts.

Create an automation chain from newsletter sign-up that supports your email marketing objectives. That's how you'll create email automations that best serve your business.

2. Teach

Because people learn best when they learn gradually, drip campaigns are particularly useful for training. For example, a new customer can learn how to use the system they have purchased by learning more about it once a month. Example of an email automation campaign activated when a product is purchased:

  1. Welcome as a user - here are five steps to help you get started.
  2. We hope you enjoy our product - download the quick guide to get the most out of it.
  3. Having problems? Here are the most common questions and solutions (P.S. Did you know you can also purchase additional training?).
  4. Our customers talk to us: case studies of how they use the system.

The image shows an example of a drip campaign providing additional information on services, which is launched when a potential customer expresses interest in the company's content.

3. Capture again

Drip campaigns are often used to wake up passive customers - and sometimes to say goodbye. Here's an example of a campaign activated when a customer hasn't bought anything in a year:

  1. Sorry, we haven't heard from you in a while - welcome to the store with 30% off!
  2. You still have 24 hours to redeem your coupon.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the next promotion.
  4. We're sorry you haven't shopped in our online store for a while. But we won't bother you again! You're now off our mailing list, but you can re-register here if you'd like to come back.

Wake up a passive customer with a drip campaign. First, offer a benefit to tempt the customer back, then remind them of that benefit within a few days if it hasn't yet been activated.

4. Sell more

Drip campaigns can be used to recommend other products or services to a customer who has already made a purchase. Once a customer has made a purchase, such as a hotel night, marketing automation can be used to propose other services related to the purchase. Example of a thread on an accommodation booking site:

  1. Thank you for your booking - would you like to change your room category?
  2. Your vacation is coming up - here's some advice on what to do in your destination city.
  3. We'll see you in a week - have you booked everything?
  4. See you tomorrow! Would you like to order something to wait in your room?
  5. Thanks for visiting - book your next stay with us at a 20% discount direct from the hotel.

These are just a few examples of message chains. In practice, drip campaigns can be used for anything that requires customer recall or a step-by-step approach. A cleverly designed message is the best way to save resources, keep your business top of mind and make the sales team's job easier.

Download our free guide to read how marketers use marketing automation: The State of Marketing Automation 2023.

Other examples of drip campaigns :

  • Promotional campaigns (pre-marketing, offers during the campaign, last-minute reminders, advertising for the next promotion)
  • Welcome campaigns for new customers.
  • Reminders - regular invitations to events, product launches, etc.
  • Event marketing: from "save the date" pre-marketing to event information and satisfaction surveys.
  • Reminders for regular purchases - for example, as a contract renewal date or regular product order date approaches.

Automation chains don't have to be complex, because even very simple ones can help keep your company and your service in the minds of your target audience. They don't have to be carried out all at once but can be adjusted and adapted according to experience and feedback. A/B testing also works for email automation. It's important to choose an automation tool that can be used to create new automation chains and agilely modify old ones to find the best model for your business.

Would you like to create drip campaigns?

We'll help you get started, and we'll be happy to discuss in more detail how to use feeds in your industry. LianaAutomation is a versatile marketing automation tool that makes it easy to implement simple automations and multiple message chains.

Find out more about marketing automation!

Read previous articles and other content on this topic on our blog:



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