Measuring And Improving Drip Campaign Performance

Author: Ashton Oldham

Hey there, I'm Ashton, the Content Ninja with a penchant for creativity! I'm all about crafting killer customer-focused content and sprinkling it with that special sauce that makes brands pop. Teaching, strategising, organising (people and projects), and spicing up collaborations? That's my jam!

Are you tired of watching your email marketing efforts slip away without any significant impact? In a digital landscape overflowing with content, standing out is more critical than ever. Enter the drip campaign - your secret weapon in the battle for attention and engagement.

Drip campaigns are a series of targeted emails, each one strategically designed to resonate with your audience at different stages of their journey. These emails don't just land in inboxes randomly; they are a meticulously orchestrated sequence of messages that unfold over time, guiding prospects from initial interest to conversion.

But here's the kicker: not all drip campaigns are created equal. In fact, recent statistics reveal that a staggering 80% of marketers believe their drip campaigns are ineffective (HubSpot, 2023). Yet, when executed with precision, drip campaigns have the power to nurture leads, drive conversions, and turn casual browsers into loyal customers.

So, how do you measure and improve the performance of your drip campaigns? That's precisely what we're here to uncover. Welcome to the ultimate guide on Measuring and Improving Drip Campaign Performance - where we'll dive deep into the strategies, tools, and insights you need to supercharge your email marketing game.

Ready to turn those drips into a downpour of success? Let's dive in.

5 Common Drip Campaign Pitfalls

Pitfall 1: Tracking Open Rates

Figuring out which metrics really matter is like navigating the Bermuda Triangle. Too many, and you'll be lost. To stay afloat, focus on the vital ones, like conversion rates and engagement.

Open rates are no longer a reliable metric for us marketing folk. Let’s explore why:

Email systems determine an email as ‘opened’ by retrieving an imperceptible image sized at 1 pixel. Platforms such as Gmail allow users to choose whether to download images. Opting not to download them permits users to read the email without notifying the tracking mechanism.

Many recipients swiftly navigate from one email to another, skimming through their inboxes. If their email platform is configured to fetch email images, merely scrolling past a message can be perceived as an open, even if the content hasn't been read. Additionally, automated opens by bots or spam filters may contribute to an inflated open rate.

Annoying, huh?!

But, if you really think about it, email opens provide no insight into actual engagement or the recipient's actions anyway.

Pitfall 2: An Uncleansed List

If your list is full of Zombies, those so-called subscribers who are as responsive as a rock, your campaign performance numbers are mostly likely going to make you wince. 

Keeping your list clean is crucial. Regularly weed out the undead subscribers to boost engagement and keep your campaign lively.

Pitfall 3: Ignoring the Journey

It's not just about the final destination; it's the journey, man. Ignoring the customer journey is like driving with blacked-out sunglasses - you’ll probably crash and burn.

Map the path your subscribers and new leads take, figure out what move you want them to make next and create a clear route to that point. Creating an email strategy without a robust customer journey in place is like a bad Tinder date – it won't end well.

Pitfall 4: Ghosting Personalisation

Personalisation is the secret sauce, but half-baked attempts can backfire. "Hello [First Name]" won't cut it. Though it’s important and far better than “Dear Valued Subscriber”, ick.

Dive deeper – use behavioural data. Make it personal or prepare for rejection.

Pitfall 5: Quantity Over Quality

Sending emails daily doesn't make you Casanova; it makes you annoying. Quality beats quantity every time! 

Bombarding your audience is a one-way ticket to the unsubscribe zone. Respect their inbox – it's not a dumpster for your emails.

Get Your Engage Playbook now

Want to get your engagement into excellent shape? Download our FREE Engage Playbook so you can get your strategy for awesome engagement nailed!

Key Metrics to Track in Your Drip Email Campaigns

Open Rates:

Now I know what you are thinking, “you just said open rates aren’t a reliable metric.” Yes, I did say that. HOWEVER. If you are the sort of business that likes to do AB Testing to see which subject lines resonate better with your audience, then you will need to track open rates. But, remember to keep in mind all those points I mentioned in the first common pitfall.

Click-Through Rates (CTR):

Your CTR is like a high-five when it comes to your email engagement. It measures the percentage of people who actually click on a link compared to the total number who ‘opened’ the email. Imagine you're fishing—CTR is how many fish actually bite your bait.

Consider click-through rates (CTR) as the litmus test for engagement. High CTR means people dig what you're offering and want more. It’s such an important behavioural action to track. Plus, if you’re savvy (you should be) you can add actions to relevant links that tell you more about the person clicking!

You can learn about their interests, problems and challenges, goals and motivations, what awareness stage they are in, and where they are in the customer journey. All of this allows you to better cater to them as individuals and ensure you show up in the right way, at the right time, with the right message

Have a low CTR? It means it's time to tweak things—maybe your bait isn't as tasty as you thought.

Conversion Rates:

Conversion rates go a step further than CTR. It's all about tracking how many folks took the bait and did the thing you were hoping for, like signing up for a lead magnet, newsletter, or buying your awesome stuff.

Essentially, it's the measure of how effective your email campaign is at getting people to do what you want them to do.

Tracking email conversion rates is crucial for a couple of reasons. First off, it tells you if your drip campaign emails are actually hitting the mark. If nobody's clicking through or taking action, then you're just shouting into the void. You might need to change the content itself, or just try out a new and improved Call to Action to get that click.

Secondly, it helps you understand your audience better. By analysing who's clicking and who's converting, you can get insights into what resonates with your subscribers. 

The more you learn about your subscribers, the better you can cater to them—meaningful personalisation and segmentation will always put you ahead of the game.

Bounce Rates: 

Email bounce rates act as the return-to-sender stickers on physical mail. When you send an email and it can't be delivered to the recipient's inbox for some reason, it "bounces" back to you. 

It's important to keep an eye on bounce rates because they give you a heads-up on the health of your email list and the effectiveness of your campaigns. High bounce rates can mess with your sender reputation, which affects whether your emails get through to people's inboxes at all.

By tracking bounce rates, you can clean up your email list, removing outdated or incorrect addresses, and improve your overall email deliverability.

Unsubscribe Rates:

Unsubscribe rates are basically the percentage of people who opt-out or unsubscribe from receiving your emails. Tracking them is super important because it gives you a pulse on how engaged your audience is with your content.

Keeping an eye on these rates helps you tweak your email strategy. If your rates are coming in high, maybe adjust the frequency, change up the content, or segment your audience better. Plus, it's a key metric for measuring the overall health of your email marketing efforts. So yeah, definitely worth keeping tabs on!

Measuring & Improving Drip Campaigns

Customising Metrics for Your Business

Customising drip campaign metrics for your business involves a strategic approach that aligns with your marketing objectives and caters to reader interests. Here’s a breakdown of how to do it effectively:

Align Metrics with Marketing Objectives:

  • SMART Goals: Start by setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals for your drip campaigns. For instance, if your objective is to increase sales, your metrics could focus on conversion rates, click-through rates, and revenue generated.

  • Segmentation: Tailor your metrics to different segments of your audience. For example, if you're sending a Welcome Campaign to your new subscribers, track engagement levels to gauge the effectiveness of that campaign.

PS. Want to learn more about welcome campaigns?Head over to this Ninja blog to get the nuts and bolts of what a welcome campaign is and why you MUST have one.

Consider Reader Interests:

  • Content Analysis: Analyse the content that resonates most with your audience. Monitor metrics like click-through rates and dwell time to identify popular topics and themes.

  • Personalisation: Use metrics to measure the impact of personalized content and recommendations. Track metrics such as conversion rates and engagement levels for personalised emails compared to generic ones.

  • Optimise Timing and Frequency: Consider your audience's time zone and behaviour patterns when scheduling emails. Avoid overwhelming them with too many messages.

Reporting on Marketing Activities Effectively:

  • Customer Journey Mapping: Map out the entire customer journey to identify touchpoints where drip campaigns can be optimized or expanded.

  • Data Visualization: Present your email metrics in visually appealing formats such as charts and graphs to make it easier for stakeholders to understand and interpret the data.

  • Key Insights: Highlight key insights from your email metrics that directly tie back to your marketing objectives. Focus on actionable takeaways and opportunities for improvement.

  • Integration: Integrate your drip campaign platform with analytics tools to gain deeper insights into user behaviour beyond email interactions.

  • Advanced Automation: Explore advanced automation features to create more sophisticated drip campaigns that adapt to individual customer behaviour.

Demonstrate Initiative to Improve Business:

  • Continuous Optimisation: Showcase your proactive approach to improving email performance by implementing A/B testing, optimising subject lines, and refining content based on audience feedback.

  • Experimentation: Report on the results of experiments and initiatives aimed at driving engagement and conversion. Share learnings and recommendations for future campaigns.

  • Feedback Loop: Establish a feedback loop with your audience to gather insights and preferences, then use these insights to inform your email marketing strategy and metrics. You can encourage recipients to provide feedback through surveys or direct communication to understand their preferences and expectations.


In the competitive world of digital marketing, standing out is essential, and drip campaigns offer a potent solution. But remember, not all drip campaigns are created equal, with a significant percentage deemed ineffective. To ensure your drip campaigns drive engagement and conversions, it's crucial to measure and optimise their performance on a regular basis.

Firstly, focus on meaningful metrics such as conversion rates and engagement, rather than solely relying on open rates, which can be misleading. 

Secondly, maintain a clean email list to enhance campaign effectiveness and engagement. 

Thirdly, map out the customer journey to create tailored content that guides subscribers towards conversion.

Pay attention to key indicators like click-through rates, conversion rates, bounce rates, and unsubscribe rates. These metrics provide insights into audience behavior and campaign effectiveness, allowing you to refine your strategies accordingly. 

To report on marketing activities effectively, leverage customer journey mapping, data visualisation, and integration with analytics tools. Demonstrate initiative by continuously optimising campaigns, experimenting with new approaches, and maintaining a feedback loop with your audience. 

Now it’s up to you! Go off and supercharge your email marketing game and achieve greater success with your drip campaigns.


Get Your Engage Playbook now

Want to get your engagement into excellent shape? Download our FREE Engage Playbook so you can get your strategy for awesome engagement nailed!