Drip Marketing, Marketing Automation, ActiveCampaign, Zoho

Checklist: How To Start a Drip Marketing Campaign – Part 1

By in Drip Marketing | 2 comments

Most businesses don’t communicate with their customer base enough, and miss sales because of their inability to “clone” their salespeople. So it’s not hard to see the benefits of adding drip marketing to your marketing plan, which automates the follow-up process and identifies the *hot* prospects from the ones who are only “half-baked.”

The roadblock to implementing is the execution. Drip marketing is inherently overwhelming, with its multiple steps, if/then processes and prolific copywriting requirements. It can morph into a never-ending project.

Can, but doesn’t have to.

I’ve compiled a 7-point checklist to help you overcome your roadblock. The checklist works if you don’t skip ahead or jump around the list. To complete your first successful drip marketing campaign, you don’t move to the next step until you’ve completed the first–even if a single step takes a month to complete. This checklist is the process I teach in my DripMarketingCamp, and I’m sharing the process with you to remove some of its mystery.

This post contains checklist steps 1-4. In my next post I cover checklist steps 5-7.

Drip Marketing Campaign Checklist

  1. Pick one “trigger event” in your business where  you have the worst follow up. (It’s probably on my list of the “7 must-have drip marketing campaigns.”) Plug up that black hole first. It may be hard to focus on only one campaign. It may feel like that one “blends” into another one you struggle with. If you can’t decide which one to start with because they’re each problem areas for you, no worries. Just pick one. Eventually you’ll complete them all.
  2. Define your target audience for this campaign. This will be a lot easier now that you’ve focused on your starter campaign. Code the contacts in your database that qualify to receive this drip campaign, so you have an easy way to group them. (This is called list segmentation, which is the first step in having more meaningful conversations with your contacts.)
  3. Determine which messages you want to send, and the sequence you want to send them in. The easiest way to do this is to select a contact you actually know from the target list. Where is this person in your sales process? What does he or she need to know at this stage of your relationship in order to take the next step with you? What “call to action” is appropriate: Asking them to join a webinar? Read a white paper? Offering a special promotion? Join a demo?  What’s the next logical step you want them to take with you? Plot it out. Now that you know who you’re engaging and what you want to say to them, you’ll know how to space out the messages. Is one a day too frequent? One message a week? Following up on a proposal has a different pace than following up on a website lead. Knowing who you’re focused on in a drip marketing campaign makes sequencing a common-sense decision.
  4. Write each message, including a subject line for each email message in the drip. Hot tip: Revisit the history of your last 5 big sales. Research what you did to move them through the sales process, in the order you did it. Check your email “sent” folder for message ideas. That’s a rich “library” of information you tend to repeat with each of your contacts, and these messages typically have a logical progression to them. Won’t it be nice to have a relevant templated response for all future prospects in your pipeline?

Read the second part of this drip marketing campaign checklist in my next post. In the meantime, feel free to ask me a question about drip marketing or share your ideas for your own drip marketing campaigns.


  1. Thanks for a nice webinar and your checklist. Would I be right in assuming you need a qualified list of a jillion leads or 1/4 jillion leads from on line opt ins or the like before exploring such campaigns? That of course presupposes you can attract enough inquiries in the website to build the list which in turn presupposes you can spend all kinds of speculativce funds on SEO, landing pages, etc. that take months to take hold. Sorry if I sound jaded, but I’m a bit battered, and marketing is the only endeavor I know where you have to experience great success with one tactic before moving on to the next in a chain of them. I have other questions about the “pre-conversion” steps of how more personal contact is established with prospects, but I’ll withhold them for now. Again, your presentation was the best I’ve seen on nurture marketing.

    • Kent, thanks for the compliment…I think! No, you don’t need a big list to be successful with drip…just a list of peeps who like what you do, respect what you know and believe you can help them. Drip is a marathon, not a sprint, because everyone’s first instinct is to search for answers on their own. Only when they can’t figure it out, yet remain motivated to learn or to acquire the thing you know/have will you get a response. I’ve helped companies with a list of 200 names on up. You can get a great response if you know your USP and what problems your recipients want to solve. – Lori

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