Interested in creating a drip campaign or nurture series, but not sure where to start? Depending on your business goals, there are endless ways an email drip campaign can add value as one of your marketing strategies. You may be looking to help new customers onboard to your product, drive attendance to an upcoming event, or encourage contacts to upgrade from a free version.

What is a drip campaign?

Email drip campaigns are a series of automated emails sent to recipients based on an action. For example, if a new customer buys your product, you might start sending them emails explaining how to get the most out of their purchase. 

Instead of overloading them with all this information at once, drip marketing campaigns let you slowly trickle (or drip) the information over time. You might send them an email the day after their purchase and then another in a week. After a month, you might want to check in with another email and see how their product adoption is going.

You could also use drip campaigns for abandoned carts. For example, if customers leave items in their digital shopping cart without checking out, you might want to periodically send them reminders about their unfinished purchases.

Drip campaign template

Below, we’ll walk you through how to create drip campaigns with Marketing Campaigns. We provide you with drip campaign templates and examples to make it easy for you to get started.

With Marketing Campaigns, drip campaigns are within reach

Creating a drip series using Twilio SendGrid Marketing Campaigns is as simple as identifying the flow of emails you want to send, who to send to, and at what cadence. This post will show how you can build a nurture series in Marketing Campaigns today.

Marketing Campaigns features you’ll use include:

  • Custom fields: To import data about your recipients into Marketing Campaigns
  • Segmentation: To define who will receive your emails based on details about your recipients at the moment each email sends
  • Best-in-class editor: To design beautiful emails with targeted content
  • Campaign scheduling: To decide the cadence of each email send in your series and send automatically

Example business objective: Encourage contacts to upgrade

We’ll walk through how to create a drip campaign to drive upgrades, but the workflow will be similar for any type of nurture series you use as part of your marketing strategy.

To get started, we’ll outline our strategy by deciding: What emails we want to send, who to send to, and at what cadence.

Using Marketing Campaigns to execute

With our drip campaign strategy outlined, we’re ready to dive into building the series in Marketing Campaigns.

Step 1: Create a segment of contacts on the free plan. For this series, we’ll use custom fields to import data into Marketing Campaigns about what plan our contacts are on.

From there, we can create a segment of all free plan contacts. Once saved, this segment will dynamically update as contacts meet the criteria “plan type is free.”

Tip: In this example, we’ve also added criteria to ensure contacts in this segment have opened an email in the last 120 days. Sending to engaged recipients is always a great way to protect our reputation and deliverability. Want to learn more about maintaining an engaged email list? Check out How to Create and Implement a Sunset Policy.

Step 2: Craft campaign content. Using the flexible campaign editing tools in Marketing Campaigns, we’ll design each of the emails to deliver on the main message for each.

For the internal-facing Campaign Name (found under Settings), we’ll use a common naming convention across each email in our series: “June Upgrade Nurture–Email 1,” “June Upgrade Nurture–Email 2,” etc.

Step 3: Schedule each email. In the Settings tab for each email, we’ll schedule the date and time for each message in our series. Scheduling means our emails will automatically send to the right contacts without our having to log in and click “Send.”

Once each email is complete, we can see our scheduled drip campaign on the Campaigns summary page.

An option to uplevel

To create an even more tailored experience, we can set up our drip series to automatically branch based on whether contacts have opened the preceding email or not.

In our example, here’s how this would evolve in Email 2:

As well as how the segment would change for Email 2_Opened:

Send email drip campaigns with Twilio SendGrid

Email drip campaigns are a great way to craft a cohesive experience for your recipients and support your marketing strategies. Using Marketing Campaigns segmentation and scheduling tools, you can save time by automating your recipient selection and sending according to the parameters you’ve chosen in advance.

Log into your account to create your first series today! Plus, learn how to use automation in Marketing Campaigns.



Molly Friederich is a part of the Product Marketing Team at SendGrid. As a passionate customer advocate, her goal is to help understand and represent the user voice across everything SendGrid does.