Create A Weekly Drip/Waterfall Campaign Using Automated Message Rules

About this task

In order to create a drip campaign, you should be comfortable with creating messages, segmentation, and automated message rules.

To create a drip campaign:


  1. Go to Messages > All Messages.
  2. Click Create New Message.
  3. Create four different messages corresponding to each week of your drip campaign.

    For this example, we will name them Week 1 Content, Week 2 Content, etc.

  4. Go to Contacts > Fields.
  5. Click Create New Field.
  6. Create a field with a Type of date.

    This field will hold a date which your campaign is relative to (for this example, that is a contact's subscription renewal date). Fill in the rest of the information required to create the field (Name, Label, and Visibility). For this example, we will name the field renewaldate.

    For this example, we will talk about a date in the future. If you want to use a date in the past (Sign-up date, etc.), you can do this simply by changing which operators you use to build your segments in the coming steps.

    Tip: If you are using the API to automatically update the data in the field used by your campaign, then contacts will automatically move in and out of the segments you create below. For example, when a contact renews their subscription, you automatically update their old renewal date with their new renewal date via the API. However, let's say you manually import the renewal date field data for your contacts. You never change this date, but rather create an additional field to hold data indicating whether or not a contact has renewed their subscription (for example a field called renewed that holds the value true for renewed and false for not renewed). In this scenario, you would need to create a separate segment for the drip campaign to handle whether or not a contact has renewed their subscription. See "Handling Renewed Contact Subscriptions" below to learn how to create this segment and tie in into the drip campaign.
  7. Click Save.
  8. You now need to build 4 (or however many is required) segments to look out up to 4 weeks in the future. In your first segment, add a new rule filtering contacts whose renewaldate field (which you created earlier) value is within the next week. Save it as Drip Campaign Week 1. To build the Drip Campaign Week 1 segment:
    1. Go to Contacts > Segments.
    2. Click Create New Segment.
    3. Give the segment a name in the Name text box.
      For this example, we will be calling this first segment Drip Campaign Week 1.
    4. Choose Field from the first pull-down menu.
    5. Choose renewaldate from the second pull-down menu.
      By default it displays Select a field.
    6. Choose is within the next from the third pull-down menu.
    7. In the text box next to the third pull-down menu, add the value.

      For this example, use 1 week.

      Drip Segment 1
    8. Click Save Segment.
      You will be returned to the All Segments page.
  9. From the All Segments page, find the row associated with the Drip Campaign Week 1 segment you just created.
  10. Click the Copy Segment icon Copy Segment Icon.
    1. Change the name of the segment to Drip Campaign Week 2.
    2. Change the value of the segment from 1 week to 2 weeks.
    3. Click the Select contacts who match one or more of the rules described below radio button at the top of the page.
    4. Click Add additional criteria.
    5. Choose Field from the first pull-down menu.
    6. Choose renewaldate from the second pull-down menu.
    7. Choose is not within the next from the third pull-down menu.
    8. In the text box next to the third pull-down menu, you will add the value.
      For this criteria, you will type in 1 week. This will bracket people between the end of week 1 and the end of week 2. Drip Segment 2
    9. Click Save Segment.
  11. Repeat the previous step (and it's sub-steps) for however many weeks out you need your campaign to run.
    Drip Segment 3 Drip Segment 4
    Note: If you were making this a backward looking campaign, your first segment would be "within the last 1 week, etc".
  12. Go to Automation > Automated Message Rules.
  13. Click Create.
  14. Name the first automated message rule Drip Campaign Week 1.
  15. Choose Scheduled Recurring as the type.
  16. From the Type Settings section, choose Weekly from the Messages Repeats pull-down menu.
  17. Choose the lists and or segments you want this automated message rule to send to.

    For this particular rule, choose Drip Campaign Week 1 segment.

    Drip Campaign Automated Message Rule
  18. Click Next Step.
  19. Fill out the Sending Options (from name, from address, reply address, etc.).
  20. Choose the message that will be sent for this automated message rule.
    For this particular rule, you would pick the message Week 1 Content.
  21. Choose the Timing Options for sending the message sent via this automated message rule.
    This example assumes you will be sending on the first day of each week (Sunday). If you want to choose another day, you can do so on the first page of the automated message rule wizard by choosing "On selected days" instead of "Weekly", and then choosing Monday for instance.
    Warning: Make sure you only choose a single day for all your automated message rules, or you may have overlapping segments during a single week.
  22. Click Verify Settings.
  23. Review your selections and click Save As Draft.
    You can activate the automated message rule now if you wish, but it is probably better to make all the automated message rules and then activate them as a group.
  24. Repeat the process of creating automated message rules for the other weeks in your campaign, being sure to select the appropriate message to be sent to the appropriate segment.
  25. After each automated message rule is created, go to Automation > Automated Message Rules.
  26. On the All Automated Message Rules page, find the rows that correspond to the automated message rules you just created and click the Activate Rule icon Activate Message Rule Icon.

What to do next

To learn about handling renewed contact subscriptions see Manage Renewed Contact Subscriptions.