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Best B2B Email Drip Campaigns

Drip campaigns are a way to stay in touch with your prospects and clients by sending a series of well-timed emails automatically over time. B2B email drip campaigns are an invaluable part of any well-rounded marketing automation platform and can help educate, inform and cultivate new leads. Including call to action buttons in drip emails can also lead directly to sales.

When you plan the best drip campaigns, and push them out through reliable email platforms, B2B marketing can be efficient and effective. Your success depends less on getting your audience to take immediate action and more on getting them to remember your name for when they’re ready to buy.

What is a drip campaign?

An email drip campaign is a form of automated sales outreach. It’s composed of a series of emails automatically sent to a specific audience after they take a specific action. For example, if a lead downloads a whitepaper on recruiting best practices, they might be placed in a drip campaign sharing relevant recruiting content. The final email might include a CTA to request a demo for your recruiting software.

You can make a drip campaign for anything: to nurture a freemium customer, to convert a blog subscriber, or to deliver relevant content to leads from a certain industry. There are no limits to the type of campaign you can create, although there are a few common types. I go over them below.

Types of Drip Campaigns

Let’s take a look at some of the drip campaigns you can create to nurture prospects and leads.

Onboarding Drip Campaign

After a lead submits their email through a form, it’s time to welcome them to the business by sending them content that would interest them. An onboarding email sequence should provide value, entice leads to keep engaging, and prompt them to speak to your sales team.

In an onboarding drip campaign, you can send leads:

  • A list of blog posts and case studies that would interest someone in their niche
  • A unique welcome coupon they can use for a limited time
  • A curation of products that they’ve already looked at (signaling purchase intent)

Retargeting Drip Campaign

A retargeting campaign targets users who’ve engaged meaningfully with your content. They downloaded a white paper, visited the same page multiple times, or downloaded an ebook.

To bring them back, you serve them even more specific content that can help them make a purchasing decision. You can also find out what they thought about the resources they accessed.

In your lead nurturing emails, you can send your prospects:

  • A fillable workbook for the recent guide or ebook they downloaded
  • An email directly from a sales rep asking to set up some time to chat
  • A feedback request about the resource they downloaded

Post-Demo Campaign

This would apply mainly to the tech industry, where sales reps often provide product demos to prospects and leads. But if you offer any product that can be demonstrated live, this type of drip campaign would work for you, too.

After a demo, it’s important to re-emphasize the value of your product and bring in success stories from other companies. You can also send guides on how to get higher-ups to buy in.

Here are some content ideas for a post-demo campaign:

  • A list of video testimonials from past clients
  • A list of tutorials on a feature that the lead was specifically interested in
  • Access to an exclusive free trial offer that you extended while on the phone

In B2C sales, you can also create an abandoned cart email campaign.

I started chatting with a few of my friends in sales to learn more about their best secrets and corresponding open rates, and David Sneider, Sendbloom’s former head of growth and current CEO of Expand, provided the following quote:

“Introductory email messaging is the ‘tip of the spear’ for starting business relationships. The copy you write needs to be sharp yet sincere, showing that you can provide value without inundating them. Ultimately the recipient should feel as if all you want is to improve their day and their business.”

This made sense to me. If I’m more authentic, then the engagement and longevity of my relationships should strengthen. I prodded David further, and soon uncovered his top tips and best practices for creating a drip campaign — plus his three most successful email templates.

The 5 types of email drip campaigns

Email is a highly personal and effective means of communication — but only if the message you are communicating is relevant and valuable. Use these five types of email drip campaigns to target your prospects and customers with the right message at the right time.

Welcome campaign

When someone subscribes to your email newsletter, that action of signing up should trigger a series of emails that introduces them to your company. Also known as an indoctrination campaign, it should set expectations on the value they’ll get from your newsletter. Welcome them in and make them feel good about joining. They’re investing their time with you, so celebrate the start of a great relationship.

Information and actions that this drip campaign should contain:

  1. Begin with welcoming new subscribers and introducing them to your brand.
  2. State in a few bullet points the benefits they’ll receive as a subscriber.
  3. Tell them what to expect from your newsletter, including what you’ll provide and any action steps you want them to take.
  4. Ask them to add your email address to their address book to avoid having your newsletter diverted to their junk mail folder or marked as spam. Use language like, “Don’t miss out on this valuable information…”.
  5. Send a recap of your most popular content, such as link to past versions of your newsletter, videos, articles or social posts.

Stage of buyer’s journey: Awareness

Engagement campaign

This email drip campaign targets people who’ve engaged with your company but did not complete the next step in your funnel. For example, they downloaded a white paper but didn’t request a demo. This series of emails should help turn them into buyers by presenting the next logical step based on what you know about what they’re interested in.

Information and actions that this drip campaign should contain:

  1. Acknowledge the action they just took.
  2. Overcome any objections they may be experiencing. Push on the pain. Talk about the emotions of their decisions, not just the tactical features.
  3. Clearly spell out the benefits of the next step they should take.
  4. Directly ask them to take that action step (i.e., schedule a call or request a demo).

Stage of buyer’s journey: Consideration

Ascension campaign

This campaign delivers a relevant offer to drive a buying decision. A sequence of emails is designed to make the offer, provide incentives to purchase and overcome objections. This technique can also be used to upsell or encourage a buyer to become a repeat customer.

Note that your offer must be relevant to where they are in the buyer’s journey. Push too hard or try to sell too soon and you’ll sabotage your efforts. Nurture your prospects and customers until they’re ready for a compelling offer.

Information and actions that this drip campaign should contain:

  1. Reference the action they took that triggered the email.
  2. Congratulate them on taking action and recap the benefits they’ll receive.
  3. Introduce the next action you want them take and describe the additional benefits.
  4. Overcome any objections.
  5. Clearly ask them to take the next action step.

Stage of buyer’s journey: Consideration and Decision

Segmentation campaign

Instead of being triggered by an action that an individual takes, this campaign is sent to your entire list or a large portion of it. The goal is to divide or segment your audience by interest. In other words, you want the right people to raise their hands and identify themselves by taking the requested action.

Pro tip: Be sure to have an engagement campaign ready to follow up with each new segment of your audience.

Ideas for segmentation campaigns:

  • Promote an event such as a workshop, demo or webinar. After they register and attend, send a follow-up engagement campaign about the topic of the event.
  • Send a special offer or discount for a product or service that is relevant only to one of your buyer personas or a particular industry.
  • Feature content that is focused on a particular niche. By clicking to engage with that content, subscribers indicate they are interested in additional information or offers related to that niche.

Stage of buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration or Decision

Re-engagement campaign

This series of emails targets inactive subscribers to encourage them to open, read and engage with your emails again.

Information and actions that this drip campaign should contain:

  1. Identify inactive subscribers; typically, anyone who hasn’t clicked on an email in the prior 30 to 60 days.
  2. Give them a fresh reason to engage.
  3. Remind them of the benefits of your emails that they’ve been missing out on.
  4. Resend some of your most popular content (similar to a welcome campaign).
  5. Subscribers who do not engage should be removed from your list. (Inactive subscribers raise your costs and hurt your metrics.)

Stage of buyer’s journey: Awareness and Consideration

These five types of drip email campaigns are proven to expedite the buyer’s journey. However, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Experiment to learn what content and offers perform best in different types of drip campaigns for each of your buyer personas.


With email drip campaigns you can send a series of timed emails to people who visit your website or interact with your brand in some way. These are great for educating and nurturing leads to move them further down the sales funnel.

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