Creating a drip campaign

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2017 12:00PM EDT

How to create a drip campaign

Before you set up your campaign, you'll need to create the Email Templates you want to use. To create Templates, click the Templates tab at the top of your Contactually account and then Create Email Template at the top right. Be sure to number or name your Templates so that you can easily identify which is which when ordering them in your drip campaign.

Once you've created all the Templates you need, click the Programs tab.

1. Click Create Program at the top right. Name the Program and describe the goal or audience of the drip campaign.

2. If you want to automate drip campaign enrollment, attach the Program to a Bucket by clicking "+ Add Bucket" underneath Triggers. This ensures that, going forward, any contact added to that Bucket will automatically be enrolled in this Program. It does not enroll contacts currently in that Bucket.

3. Schedule the Email Templates you want to send out by clicking "+ Add step" underneath Steps. Under the column titled Delay (Days), type the number of days you want to wait before sending the email. Under the column titled Action, select Send Message.

4. Once you select Send Message, the Options column will expand. Select the Email Template you want to send, choose a time to send the message (optional), choose the email address from which to send the message, and activate any tracking options desired. It's recommended that you always track open rates but only track click rates if the message includes a link. Track replies only if you want to be notified when the recipient doesn't respond.

5. The last two checkboxes under the Options column are "Require approval before executing" and "Reset delay if we interact."

If you want your emails to send automatically, don't tick the checkbox to "Require approval before executing." If you want to approve the emails and have the chance to make edits before they send, tick the checkbox.

If you want the emails to always follow the exact schedule you've set in the Delay (Days) column (for example, if you set it up so the emails send every 30 days, if you always want the emails to go out every 30 days, regardless of any other communications you may have had with those contacts), don't tick the checkbox to "Reset delay if we interact." If you want the email to delay, similar to how Follow-Up Reminders delay, if you've had an interaction with the email recipient, tick the checkbox.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for as many emails as you want to send as part of your campaign.

7. Click Save.

Adding contacts to the campaign

Automatic enrollment of contacts and leads

If you attached a Bucket to the Program under Triggers, all contacts added to that Bucket (manually or automatically) will be automatically enrolled in the campaign. You can attach multiple Buckets to a Program.

To automatically add contacts to the Bucket attached to the Program, set up lead capture via the Integrations or Lead Capture page in Settings. Be sure to indicate the Bucket you want the leads to go to once captured. On the Integrations page, this option appears as a small blue Settings link once the integrated tool shows as connected.

On the Lead Capture page, tick the checkbox at the top of the page to indicate that "I want Contactually to automatically bucket and remind me to follow up with leads from sources." To the right of the source in the list, use the dropdown menu to select the Bucket. Click Save at the bottom of the page.

Manual enrollment of contacts

To enroll contacts that were in the Bucket prior to it being attached to the Program, use the bulk add feature on the Contacts tab. Once on the Contacts tab, use the filters on the left hand side to narrow to the specific Bucket. Then tick the checkboxes of the contacts you want to add to the campaign. A bar will appear at the bottom of the screen. Click "More..." and then Programs. Tick the checkbox of the Program you want to enroll in the contacts in. Then click Save. For visual instructions, see here.

Attaching a Bucket to an existing Program

To attach a Bucket to an existing Program, go to the Programs tab, click the Program you want to edit, and click Edit at the top right. Then click "+ Add Bucket" underneath Triggers. This ensures that, going forwardany contact added to that Bucket will automatically be enrolled in this Program. It does not enroll contacts currently in that Bucket. To enroll contacts currently in that Bucket, see Manual enrollment of contacts above.


Can I set up the campaign so that it runs indefinitely?

No, the campaign can't run on a continual basis. Over time, you can add Templates to the Program as additional steps, but any contacts who have already completed the Program will not receive the additional emails. Only contacts who haven't yet received what was previously the last email (step) of the Program will receive the additional emails.

Can I use a Program to send a monthly newsletter?

Because a program doesn't run indefinitely, it's recommended to use MailChimp or Mad Mimi for newsletters. Both MailChimp and Mad Mimi directly integrate with Contactually. You can automatically add a contact to MailChimp or Mad Mimi via a Sync To Program step.

Can I schedule emails to send on specific dates?

You can schedule individual Follow-Ups or ScaleMail emails to send on specific dates but not Program emails.

Why are my scheduled emails sending at the wrong times?

Emails send based on your time zone. Make sure your computer's time zone is correct. You can change it if necessary. Here's how.

Where can I see which contacts opened my emails?

You can view your tracked messages by clicking the Messages button on your Dashboard.

Can I use HTML and put images in my Templates?

Yes. See here for how.

Related articles

How to add contacts to a Program
Mass adding contacts to a Program
How to send a handwritten card through Contactually
Overview of Email Templates (how-to)
Tracking email engagement rates

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