Email drip campaigns, or autoresponder sequences, or trigger emails are all ways of describing a series of emails that are sent over a period of time.  These emails are triggered by a specific event, typically a purchase, or opting into a list. Some examples of email drip campaigns could be:

  • A welcome series after your first purchase
  • A 7 day course delivered by email
  • Weekly tips delivered by email
  • Training tips sent at specific intervals

These types of email series can be very effective at helping your business but there are a few things I see too often that tells me that these drip campaigns are failing.

4 Reasons Your Email Drip Campaigns Are Failing:

You create a drip campaign for a reason. And often that reason is ignored as soon as you set up the campaign and start to create the emails.  After awhile you forget about the series because you don’t see any results from them… and that’s where you’re at.

Here’s where your probably going wrong:

1. No relationship is planned

In order for your email drip campaign to work you have to consider the relationship. Like any good relationship there is give and take. Think about what this relationship is going to be like.  Yes, we know you’ll be sending emails but what do YOU think they will do when they receive them? Will they be tired of you? Will they look forward to receiving your email? Will they want to take the action you want them to take?  Think this through BEFORE you start to design your campaign.

2. You are pitching your product right away

The BIGGEST mistake I see is the desire to pitch product right away. The series goes like this… “Buy my product!” “Buy my product!” “Buy my product!” “Buy my product!” “Buy my product!” “Buy my product!” “Buy my product!” “Buy my product!” “Buy my product!”

After a few of those, your readers know what to expect from you and it doesn’t take them long to realize that’s all you have to offer. Soon they unsubscribe because they know where to find you when they want to. As if.

3. You don’t give

The best marketing advice I got about these email series is you have to give before you get. What can you send your readers that they will appreciate you for?  What can you GIVE them? What will they think is relevant to why they signed up. What do they value? What can you offer they can’t get elsewhere?

Start thinking like this and your subscribers will be very responsive to your emails… because they are worth it.

4. You’re Too Impatient

See point #3. If you do give, you are in a rush to get. You want to see results yesterday… as we all do. Relationship building can take time. Trust can take time. I read a study recently that stated if you build a solid welcome series of emails, your readers reward you with higher clicks and opens for your future mailings. I totally agree.

Here are some pointers to make the best email drip campaigns you can:

  • Start with a Welcome message that is sent immediately. Show your appreciation.
  • Send the series personally. Show you are real and care. (see above)
  • Make sure your series is not connected to an event, season, date, or time. A proper drip campaign could go out in January, July, or September and the reader would never know you didn’t write it personally.
  • Run a survey. Just asking for feedback shows you are helpful and interested.
  • Send a special coupon.
  • Offer a customer service tip or how to.
  • Tell a story about how customers are successful with your products/services
  • Test out different time sequences. One every day. One every 3 days. One every week. You’ll see when you send too many.
  • Keep each message focused on ONE idea.
  • If you’re going to send them a newsletter, let them know.
  • Be real.


You can spend a lot of time trying to build a killer, winning email drip campaign right out of the gate… OR you can do what the professionals do.  Create a good starter series and watch your statistics to see what your readers do with your messages.

Do they open them all at the same rate?  Do they open the first one and ignore the rest?  Does your open rate drop over time (most common)?

Once you have some data, you can go back to the drawing board. Recently a client and I introduced a new email (one linking to an exciting video) in the middle of their series. We didn’t know how it would behave but we wanted to prop us a sagging middle bit. We were actually a bit surprised to see a SPIKE in interest. This video was exactly the right message and the right medium at the right time. It’s ok to test and tweak your series once you have it to get better results.

If you’re using the drip campaigns effectively, you’ll have more than one to work on and improve.

email campaign