Drip marketing is a form of marketing automation allowing campaign managers to preload a set of emails and an email list into an automated system for scheduled dispersal. Each campaign within a drip marketing strategy usually follows a familiar theme or pattern designed to build interest and inspire consumer action.
Derived from a form of agricultural irrigation, the term drip irrigation refers to the concept of using small amounts of water to keep plants perfectly hydrated over a period, rather than saturating the ground with large quantities all at once. Plants and people respond better to noninvasive and consistent actions in small doses.
Marketing teams commonly send drip marketing messages via email, direct mail, social media, or text message. The campaign may cover an event, span a certain period of time, or deliver messages in response to certain consumer activities online. Using an email marketing tool, social media management tool, or another service, the team can preplan and schedule all activities and responses ahead of time.
Marketers must use caution when employing drip marketing campaigns. Sending messages out too frequently or failing to personalize the messages can turn it from a relationship-building exercise into a nuisance. To avoid blacklisting, businesses must comply with all digital opt-out requests.
Using analytics tools to manage response rates and actions, marketers can see the results of a campaign over time and adjust. Over time, businesses using data-driven metrics will gain a clear understanding of customer expectations, and develop campaigns that produce higher return rates and minimize negative and nonexistent reactions.
Drip marketing gives marketing teams the ability to let their campaign run its course while working on other value-added marketing activities. For small businesses and solo entrepreneurs, drip marketing facilitates customer communication without interfering with the daily workflow. Brands can use drip marketing to target cold and warm leads with relevant messages throughout the customer journey.