What are drip campaigns? How much do they cost?

What are drip campaigns? How much do they cost?

18 times as effective as non-personalised, sent-once-to-all emails, drip marketing can hugely improve your marketing’s effectiveness. Let us repeat that – 18 times as effective. They can be less intrusive, low-cost, and an effective way to remind customers about your business.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a drip campaign?
  2. Why should you use them?
  3. Personalization
  4. How much do they cost?
  5. Key takeaway

What is a drip campaign?

Automated marketing, automated email campaigns, lifecycle emails, drip campaigns; they all refer to the same thing. Drip campaigns are automated email campaigns which will deliver your communication over time – primarily through email and SMS but drip marketing can be used with other mediums - instead of sending them all at once. These automated campaigns can be useful for building relationships with your readers while ensuring each gets an optimal experience.

A drip campaign typically consists of emails or posts, but can include other messages as well, such as video or audio. The content of each message depends on the marketer's goals and the nature of the customer relationship. For example, a drip campaign might send information about new products or features, or may simply offer discount or coupon codes.

Drip campaigns are usually automated, and based on the information collected from marketers' first interactions with customers. For example, a drip campaign might begin when a customer signs up for a newsletter or fills out a form. The marketer then collects information about that customer, and uses that information to send relevant messages over time or following certain actions.

They may encourage those who’ve abandoned their shopping cart, send more serious materials to those who are consistently opening all of the information they are receiving, and decrease the frequency you contact the least interested parties to avoid them unsubscribing.

Why should you use them?

In one word: results. It’s all about getting more sales and converting more users.

Importantly, they give you much better control over the user journey. If a user signs up for your mailing list, they only get the emails that are written after the fact. They may have missed out on great previous content, or be missing the necessary context for new emails. At the same time, long-time readers do have it. So, do you repeat yourself to older prospects or do you risk new ones only getting half of the picture?

The main difference of drip campaigns is that each individual receives them at a different time, in their own timeline, and the communication they receive can vary based on their actions – have they just signed up, opened an email, clicked on a link?

Thus, you can better gauge your readers’ personal level of interest, and slowly guide and hand-hold them through the journey from first hearing about your product, being informed, persuaded, and finally, making a purchase.

Drip campaigns also differ from traditional marketing campaigns, which focus on a single product or service. Drip campaigns often follow a more drip-like pattern: each one builds on the last.


Apart from being able to deliver your communication at the right time, to the right people, you can personalise it. Even something as basic as including somebody’s name makes a big difference.

Drip campaigns differ from personalized emails, which send each customer a message based on information about their past purchases. Personalized emails work well if you have a lot of information about each customer, and can tailor each message to them. Drip campaigns, by contrast, let marketers focus their messages on the customers most likely to buy, and ignore the rest.

A drip campaign can use certain triggers to send messages. If, in an email, a user has downloaded your eBook, then you may send them a whitepaper in 2 days’ time. If they’ve opened the email but have not clicked on the whitepaper, you may have a rule that sends them an easier to digest video. Abandoned their shopping cart? Remind them, or offer a discount 5 days later.

On the flip side, you may also stop emailing those that are not opening your emails. You can avoid annoying leads and even improve your domain’s spam score. And instead of driving a subscriber to unsubscribe, you may set a rule to get in touch after 3 weeks, 2 months, etc; often your product might be right but the timing might not.

You can find an example of a very complicated drip campaign flowchart here. We advise against such a complicated system, but we hope it can spark a couple of ideas.

For even better, more effective personalisation and higher sales, read How to integrate your CRM and automated marketing systems.

How much do they cost?

An agency that takes care of everything from the content creation, segmentation, testing, and automation will charge between $2,500 and $6,000 a month. The price will vary depending on the number of email/SMS contacts you have.  Some agencies claim 70x returns or being able to capture 20-25% more revenue vs. doing no email marketing at all.

You may also have a go at doing it in-house, creating and executing the strategy yourself. You may choose to use an off-the-shelf tool, or you may hire an automations and integrations expert (that’s us) to build a tool custom to your exact needs while staying flexible.

Klaviyo is a tool that automates scheduled and triggered sending of emails and has tools for A/B testing, integrations, and reporting. Prices range from free up to 250 contacts all the way up to $1,700/month for contact lists of up to 150,000, with a maximum of 1.5 million emails sent. Check out their calculator here.

On the other hand, if you choose to have someone build a tool for you, it can cost a one-time fee of less than $1,000, only requiring the much lower ongoing costs of a server vs. a subscription fee. This gives you much more flexibility but requires more effort than simply outsourcing the entire endeavour.

Moreover, you can integrate your drip campaign with other information banks, such as your CRM system or any other software that contains information about your subscribers. This way, you can provide not only timely content, but make sure that it is heavily personalised, targeted and maximise the odds of it being valuable. Thus, maximise conversion rates.

Key takeaway

They are a series of automated emails to conduct a conversation with customers. They are used in marketing and sales to nurture leads and prospects, and can be sent on individual schedules or following certain triggers or actions.

A well-executed drip campaign or automated email marketing strategy can help you generate leads and close more deals. 

They can be much more effective and can deliver better, targeted information at the right time, especially in comparison to regular email marketing.

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