Email marketing terms

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Drip Campaigns

Drip campaigns are pre-written, on-going campaigns that move email subscribers toward a final conversion point. They are often used to provide on-going value to subscribers, while also helping keep the brand top-of-mind. Oftentimes, these emails slowly “drip” helpful information, products or tips over days, weeks or months.

If you’re new to sending emails, drip campaigns can feel daunting, but through email automation, they can be fairly simple. Automated emails, or autoresponders, are triggered by timelines or subscriber behavior. For instance, you might launch a welcome series when someone subscribes to your list.

There are several types of drip campaigns, so let’s go over a few common ones:

Welcome campaign – As mentioned above, a welcome campaign would be generated by a new customer or sign up to an email list. The purpose of this drip cycle would be to welcome new subscribers, familiarize them with the brand, and funnel them into making a purchase or exploring the site.

Onboarding campaign – New B2B customers are often onboarded with a drip series. The goal here is to garner retention, familiarize customers with the brand, and teach them how to use the product.

Class or e-course – When someone signs up for a course on your site, they will automatically receive a course email at a set cadence. This is an example of a drip-style email that increases brand awareness and (hopefully) drives subscribers further down the sales funnel.

Re-engagement campaign – This type of campaign is designed to pull inactive subscribers back into your marketing communications.

There are numerous types of drip email campaigns, all of which you can send using email campaign software like Campaign Monitor.


Mary Marketer starts every new email subscriber on a 10-week automated drip campaign where she shares her best free tips that have helped her make money in 2016. On week 11, she introduces an offer to attend her limited-seat online course for $199. Starting subscribers with the drip campaign rather than making a sales pitch right away makes it more likely that they’ll be interested in her offer.

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