3 Unconventional Drip Campaigns That Drive eCommerce Sales


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Social media is great, advertising is a quick fix, and direct mail is… cute? But email is still one of the best strategies eCommerce marketers can use to increase sales, and drip campaigns are an essential component of your email toolbox.

Usually when we think about drip email campaigns, we think about new nurturing subscribers or cold contacts and getting them to make that first purchase. However, we should re-imagine drip campaigns as not only a tool to drive the first sale, but also a way to cross-sell, up-sell, and retain your customers.

In this post we’ll dive into the role of drip campaigns for these three use cases, plus provide some basic tips for setting your drip campaigns up.

What Are Drip Campaigns?

Drip campaigns, also sometimes known as lead nurturing, are typically a series of emails delivered on a set schedule with the goal of educating subscribers and moving them down the sales funnel toward conversion. To do this, you segment your email lists based on when people joined your email lists and what activities they have taken with your company.

The one key benefit of drip campaigns is obvious: you boost sales! But there are less tangible advantages to using drip campaigns in your email marketing strategy:

  • Drip campaigns keep your brand top of mind.
  • Drip campaigns educate people about your product, increasing the chances they will tell others about it if it comes up in conversation.
  • Drip campaigns make your company more visible to potential customers, even when they’re not on your site. This increases the overall likelihood these subscribers will buy, even if it’s not directly through email campaigns.
  • Drip campaigns are easy to measure. You can track opens, clicks, and unsubscribes. Using an email marketing solution likely Klaviyo, you can dial down individual actions from specific subscribers and see how each drip campaign impacted that subscriber’s choice to make a purchase. Drip campaigns provide a lot of intelligence that you can use to fine tune your marketing and increase sales later on.

What to Consider When Setting up a Drip Campaign

Before you set up your drip campaigns, you need to keep a few things in mind:

Get your content in line

Everything is integrated these days, from your social media creative to your blog posts to your email marketing. You should coordinate with your content teams about what content you need for each audience so you have the right site content, product guides, videos, and blog posts to link to in your drip campaigns. A good drip email provides something more than a 20% discount to the recipient. It educates or entertains in some way, so you’ll need the right assets in order to do that. Plan ahead and think this part through.

Send emails on the right schedule

A general rule of thumb is that you should start with a higher frequency when someone first subscribes because that is when someone is most engaged with you. This way you are in their inbox as a reminder every day and you start the relationship off right. Once that baseline level of trust, brand identity, and credibility has been established, you can take it down a notch to every other day or once a week. From there, you’ll want to optimize things like the time of day and day of week you send your emails.

Start with these customer segments

You should set up your subscriber segments based on on-site actions. Some good segments to start with would be subscribers who have made a purchase before and those who haven’t. Then, to get more granular, you want to segment even further and separate subscribers who have made a purchase recently (like in the past six months) and subscribers who have not made a purchase recently. While these are a good starting point, your business model may lend itself to some other segments – like in-store customers vs. online purchasers.

3 Drip Campaign Ideas

As mentioned, usually drip campaigns are only thought of as ways to engage new subscribers and warm them up until they are ready to purchase. In the eCommerce world, this typically translates to hitting up fresh subscriber lists with discount offers until they finally break down and buy something one day. Drip nurturing can go beyond that, as exemplified in these three strategies:

1) Use drip campaigns to up-sell

Create a drip nurturing track that will get your current customers thinking about a more advanced version of your product. In terms of content, you can share case studies, customer stories, or examples that show off advanced use cases. Buyer’s guides or videos may also work well as content that will allow you to educate your customers about the product and help them see the value of a more sophisticated model. This type of drip campaign is best to share with engaged customer who buy from you frequently.

2) Use drip campaigns to cross-sell

Cross-selling simply means to recommend products to current customers that complement the products they have already purchased from you. Amazon is a master of the cross-sell, as they constantly feature related items in every possible area of their site. To achieve an effective cross-selling drip campaign, dive up your customers into cohorts based on past purchases and try to identify patterns – did many customers that bought X also buy Y? If so, target customers that bought X but did not buy Y with a recommendation to purchase Y – be that a buyer’s guide, product video, customer testimonial, or a simple product recommendation email.

3) Use drip campaigns to improve customer retention

Don’t let your customers get comfortable. A few weeks or months after a customer has purchased your product, they’ve probably gotten comfortable with the basic functionality. They may stop looking for ways to get more out of it or even forget they own it. Don’t let this happen. Roll your customers into drip campaigns that educate them on the advanced uses of your product and keep them wanting more.

Wrapping Up

Good drip campaigns vary from industry to industry, but one truth remains: good content sent at the right time to the right person with the intention of reinforcing the right message is what works.

What the best drip campaign you’ve ever seen? Please share in the comments!


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