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5 Steps to Creating an Effective Email Drip Campaign

If you’re considering creating an email marketing plan or are looking to step up your current email marketing game, you’re in the right place! In this blog, we will detail the components of an email drip campaign, how they work and how to create your own.

Email marketing continues to hold the spotlight in the digital marketing world as one of the most effective direct marketing channels to reach your customers. Email gives you the power to completely customize your message and design to reach target audiences that are actively interested in what you have to offer. According to Statista, email currently garners higher click-through rates than online advertisements on social media, and the number of emails sent and received each day will continue to rise up to 376.4 billion by 2025.


A drip campaign is an automated email campaign that you create with specific goals in mind. By nature, they are a constant touchpoint for your targets. Ideally, it’s an automated process—meaning the constant manual labor of creating emails is significantly reduced. (Amen to that!) This makes it imperative that your data, segmentation and message are appropriate for the person who’s receiving it and speaks to their stage in the customer journey.


The process of creating a drip campaign is quite simple once you figure out all the bits and pieces (goals, audience, message hierarchy, etc. We’ll touch on that in a bit!) Let’s look at one example: 


Pictured above is a loyalty signup form that’s embedded in a website. Let’s say a user joins the program. They’ll automatically be placed into a “new subscriber” flow and trigger that first automated email, which is typically a welcome email. After that initial email, the user will funnel through the drip over the span of a few days or weeks, performing actions that you request, ultimately earning themselves a spot in a new audience. 



Now that you have a baseline of what a drip campaign is and how it works, let’s put it into action.

There are a few key elements to prepare before you create your drip campaign. But don’t worry—we’ve outlined the major players in these five easy-to-follow steps.  

Step 1: Define Your Audience

One of the main benefits of implementing a drip campaign into your marketing strategy is that it allows you to really hone in on your target audiences and send them customized messages. Nowadays, it’s all about personalization and creating content that’s enjoyable for the consumer. Because let’s be real, nobody (including you!) wants to read boring content. To mitigate an immediate DELETE, segment your audiences—as specific as possible—then tailor the messages to their wants and needs.

Pro tip: Landing pages with their own calls to action are a great way to segment and customize drip campaigns and know what that user is searching for.

Step 2: Identify Your Goals

Next ask yourself, “What am I looking to achieve in creating this drip?” Picking out measurable and attainable goals will direct you on the next steps in setting up an effective campaign. This is a critical part of tracking the effectiveness of your marketing and will lead to discussions on how to adjust down the road.  

Trust us… the ability to be adaptable and pivot is EVERYTHING.

Pro tip: Make your goals SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Step 3: Create Your Content

So, you’ve figured out your goals. Now, the fun part—it’s time to write! Your email should be engaging and provide value to your audience, as well as a Call to Action (CTA). Remember to think back to those goals you created.

  • What do you want the user to do after reading your email?
  • What content can you provide—through copy, images and other means—that will persuade them to take action?

Pro tip: Many readers don’t read, they scan. (And if they say they do, they’re probably lying.) Make sure your email is broken into digestible chunks of content with the most important info placed front and center.

Step 4: Set Up Your Campaign

We know it’s A LOT of upfront work, but the good news is that all the work you’ve done so far has prepared you to set up your drip campaign. There are plenty of tools out there to help you do this (we’ve loved using Mailchimp and Klaviyo for our clients).

There’s no one-size-fits-all for the frequency of these emails, but a general best practice is not to overwhelm your new audience with rapid-fire emails every week. Your drip schedule frequency should reflect the buying cycle of your product or service.

Pro tip: Timing is everything. Hitting your subscriber with the right message after a specific action is taken will increase the likelihood of conversion.

Step 5: Analyze and Retool

Using the KPIs you previously determined, track the progress of your campaign—both during and after its course. Open rate, click rate and activity are great ways to gauge if your content is resonating with the consumer. By using these analytics, you can figure out if users are taking the actions you wanted them to. If you find they’re not, that’s what the data is there for—to make necessary adjustments to become more effective. Email is a long game, after all!

Pro tip: Make sure to consistently track the analytics here. Making slight modifications every few days is MUCH more manageable than a complete overhaul months down the road.


Good news for you: The Image Shoppe has your back and will help you create an effective and manageable drip campaign! We’ve seen great success with our current clients and would be honored to do the same for you, too. Learn more about our advertising opportunities and request a quote! 

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