Email Drip Campaigns

Email Drip Campaigns: Marketing Automation

If you’ve purchased anything online, chances are very high that you’ve received email drip campaigns. Email drip campaigns are series of emails that are sent in a pre-defined order at a pre-defined interval. Each email is a standalone unit that is connected to emails sent before and after. Email drip campaigns are the core of marketing automation and can be used to increase engagement, retain customers, close deals with new prospects, and onboard new clients.

With many low-cost marketing automation solutions now available, non-profit organizations and small business can also begin to set up email drip campaigns and marketing automation.

Here are a few types of email drip campaign examples to help you get started.

1. Welcome Series for Prospects

When someone opts into your email list or subscribes to your newsletter or blog, this is your chance to make a great first impression. They are not yet customers but they are interested in what you have to say and are on the path to becoming customers. We suggest including these three emails, in this order:

Email 1: The initial welcome note: This should just be a friendly greeting, welcoming them on board. You can use this opportunity to offer them a discount, coupon, or another offer. But don’t try to sell them anything yet. And don’t overload this email with information.

Email 2: Where to look for information: This email explains how to connect with you – on social media, by email, telephone, or any other contact method you offer. Encourage them to reach out and assure that you are always available to help.

Email 3: Getting to know them: You can ask them to tell you about themselves so you can better serve them. Ask for some information that’s helpful in your email marketing segmentation. This will help you gain insight into likes and dislikes and interests so you can better communicate to them in the future.

2. Onboarding Drip

When someone becomes a customer or client, you can plan a series of emails to make sure they are successful in using your product and stay satisfied. Here is an email drip campaign template for an onboarding drip:

Email 1: Welcome email: Use this email to simply welcome them as new customers and ask them to reach out with questions.

Email 2: Offer training and user guides: Point them towards any online training videos you offer, user guides, your knowledge base, FAQs, or any other information that’s helpful to new customers.

Email 3: Direct them to your blog, best practices, or eBooks: This could also be any content that is designed to educate new clients on industry trends. This shows that you are invested in their success.

3. Customer Retention Drip

This email drip campaign can trigger when someone displays behaviors that indicate they may leave, such as when a customer goes silent and doesn’t respond to your outreach, or unsubscribes from your email list. We recommend sending just one or two emails for this drip since you don’t want to hassle a potentially unhappy customer. The specifics of those emails depends on the action taken and your business model.  That said, here are two suggestions:

  • Offering a discount, promotion, or some type of freebie
  • Ask them to complete a survey to let you know what you can do to serve them better

If you have problems with customer retention, check out our informative post on keeping customer trust and building loyalty.

4. Renewal Drip

If your business is subscription-based or you have a non-profit and rely on annual dues, it helps to have email drip campaigns to increase renewals. The goal here is to remind existing subscribers to renew their subscriptions. We suggest three mails in this order:

Email 1: Initial Reminder: Send this email out at 3-4 weeks before their renewal date. Make it friendly – you’re writing to make sure they don’t miss their renewal because you’d hate for them to have their service interrupted.

Email 2: Two or Three Day Reminder: Now you can adopt a slightly more urgent tone because you’ll send it when there are just a few days left before their subscription expires. You should also take the opportunity here to remind them why your product or service or organization is so great.

Email 3: Overdue Notice: It’s a good idea to have a grace period. Do not immediately cancel a customer’s subscription the minute it expires. Build in a period of a week or a few days. You can let them know about this as well, by telling them you didn’t want to cut off their service so you gave them a few extra days in case they missed the deadline accidentally. Send this email two or three days after the expiration date and give them a few additional days to take action after the email is sent.


If you’re not currently using email drip campaigns and marketing automation, now is the time to start. The email drip campaign examples here should just be used as a starting point. It’s important to customize these for your own audience and product or service.

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