Browse Definitions:

drip marketing

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Drip marketing is a marketing method involving periodic and scheduled small releases of promotional materials over time. The most common method is through direct email marketing and is usually automated.

The goal of drip marketing is to keep a company in the mind of a prospective customer until they make their purchase decision without being overly intrusive and creating aversion. Drip marketing also helps ensure customers are more aware of a business' offerings by showing what is available in digestible pieces rather than overwhelming them with too much information at any given time.

Planning for drip marketing can be done up to a year in advance of a campaign. The release of materials can both electronic and automated, with preplanned content or in response to user actions. Often, the recipients of drip marketing campaigns are identified as promising sales leads to be nurtured over time. The methods used to deliver drip marketing include email, brochures, flyers, postcards, newsletters and through social media.

Drip marketing has a number of benefits, including:

  • Ensure consistent marketing efforts through the year by releasing material according to a preset plan.
  • Nourish leads through the continual contact.                              
  • Build trust and respect for the brand as an authority in the businesses field through consistent messaging.
  • Even out production and sales so that the company does not fall behind on one to catch up on the other.
  • Level the flow of customers to keep work manageable instead of being either too busy or quiet.

The term drip marketing was derived from the agriculture term drip irrigation, in which water is released just enough at a time to keep the plants healthy. Drip marketing similarly aims not to drown but nurture sales leads and existing clients.

This was last updated in October 2017

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