Skip to main content
Lead NurturingRamblings

When to Use a Drip Campaign vs. Lead Nurturing

By March 23, 2016July 11th, 2022No Comments

drip email campaigns

When to Use a Drip Campaign vs. Lead Nurturing

Drip email campaigns and lead nurturing are both marketing strategies that are considered to be extremely useful and are incorporated into many successful campaigns. While they both have many advantages, it’s important to be able to differentiate between the two. Do they share similarities? Certainly – but there are important differences and which if they are not taken into consideration, can limit their effectiveness or result in them working against you. Here is a brief explanation of the two techniques and advice on when to deploy each strategy.

Email Drip Campaign

An email drip campaign is a far more straightforward technique. Emails are automatically sent out to sales leads, most often at a pre-decided rate or ‘cadence.’ The content at each stage of the campaign is exactly the same regardless of the lead and are delivered in the same order, with the time between emails decided on by estimating the likely movement of the lead through the sales cycle. It is important that the content of each email is carefully thought out. While they should make sense and be effective on their own, an effective email drip campaign builds on itself in order to win over a lead. Also, remember that the time between emails does not have to be a static number. Often, a drip campaign will send out emails more regularly in the beginning then, having built a strong foundation, become less frequent but offer content designed to close the sale. Since this style of campaign does not take into account the behavior of the lead, it is best used when that information is not available. Email drip campaigns can be considered a subset of lead nurturing, which is a far more involved and multi-faceted technique.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is a marketing technique that utilizes the lead’s behavior to provide information on how to proceed. To do so, it is necessary to gather accurate information on your lead’s behavior. Lead nurturing is far more personalized. To succeed it must be highly adaptive to suit different behaviors. While it is certainly more challenging to build and execute, the rewards are potentially greater as well. With detailed information on a lead’s behavior, you can deliver precisely the content desired at the time. In addition, this sort of personalized attention builds powerful brand loyalty and often results in recipients sharing your content. This should be used when reliable information is available on leads’ behavior or when actions (e.g. downloading an e-book or repeatedly visiting one of your product’s pages) clearly show their level of interest.

Which is Best?

Without a doubt, the best overall strategy is using a combination of both! Very few techniques provide personalized engagement and build brand loyalty like effective lead nurturing.  A well-planned drip campaign will ensure you remain on the top of their list and will often result in them taking those actions which allow you to engage them in lead nurturing. A full-service marketing firm has the expertise and the experience to create a lead nurturing and drip campaign strategy that balances the two perfectly, resulting in more qualified leads for your sales funnel.


Shannon Prager

Shannon Prager

Shannon Prager is a recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. At Leadit, she is responsible for partnerships, business development and the strategic direction of the company. A marketing leader with 25 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy from marketing automation to end-to-end marketing operations. Follow her on LinkedIn (@ShannonPrager) for her take on the latest and greatest in B2B SaaS marketing.