Whether you are new to email automation or are a seasoned pro, this article will give you a better understanding of how the Campaigns feature, and the Automation features in your Drip account differ.

If you are migrating from another email service provider, you might find that Drip’s Campaign and Automation features will differ in some ways from the various ESPs you might have used in the past.

There are additional resources for these features at the bottom of this article.

In this article


In Drip, Campaigns are where you will configure your email series, email timing delays, and an optional opt-in form to display on your website.

Terms such as “autoresponder,” “email series,” and “drip email sequence,” are all commonly used by email marketing professionals when describing the automatic delivery of multiple emails spread-out over a period of days, hours, or minutes.

Campaigns are most commonly used for:

  • maintaining a specific set, or series of emails
  • automatic send of a new email after a certain amount of  days, hours, or minutes
  • sending out mini-course type content, or educational type content
  • sending autoresponders/drip-style email campaigns

Email sequences are usually triggered by an event, such as, a new subscriber requesting your content by submitting their email address through an opt-in form on your website. This practice is often referred to as a “lead magnet.”

Aside from the specific lead magnet use case, it is important to note that your Campaign emails are reusable. You will find that you can access a specific Campaign, then fire off its emails when certain automations are triggered throughout your account.

Before learning how to reuse your Campaigns, let’s take a look at how Drip’s Automation features differ from the Campaigns feature.



Drip’s Workflow and Rules features are accessible under your account’s Automation tab.

They allow you to take your automation efforts beyond just sending simple autoresponders and email sequences.

These features are where you will define your automation triggers and actions. They tell your Drip account the appropriate actions to perform on your subscribers when an automation is triggered.

Rules vs. Workflows

Rules are global, meaning, the automations outlined in your Rules become accessible to any active subscriber in your account.

Rules are made up of 2 criteria: triggers and actions.

A Rule’s action step will get performed immediately when a subscriber sets off its trigger.

For example, if you wanted to instantaneously apply a tag to any subscriber that clicks a specific trigger link in one of your emails, using a Rule will make that automation available to all subscribers that click the link defined in its trigger step.global-rule-example

When should I use a Rule?

  • If you want specific automations to be accessible for all of your subscribers.
  • If you want an automation to happen instantaneously.
  • If you need to access event properties (advanced).

In Workflows, you can restrict automation sequences to only those subscribers that have successfully entered the workflow through its entry point trigger.

As you will notice in the Workflow below, subscribers can only enter when its entry point is triggered. And since the Clicked a trigger link automation trigger is now contained here, it is no longer available on a global level, as it was in a Rule.


Tip: In Workflows, these triggers are called goals.

With Workflows, you can utilize other Drip features, like Forms and Campaigns.

In this example, the Workflow begins when an opt-in form is submitted, then it sends out an automated series of emails (Campaign). If the subscriber replies to an email (goal), a notification email can be sent to someone on your sales team, for example.


Let’s break that Workflow down:

  1. a new subscriber submits a form and enters into the workflow’s point of entry (trigger)
  2. a tag is applied to the new lead (action)
  3. an email series begins (action)
  4. If the subscriber replies to an email in your campaign series, they have achieved the goal and will be removed from the “Marketing Campaign” by default. They will now be active in the section below the goal. (goal)
  5. a tag is applied to subscribers that achieve the goal (action)
  6. a notification email is sent to someone on your team (action)
  7. the subscriber exits the workflow (exit)

As you can see, the Workflow allows you to visualize the exact steps your subscribers will take.

When should I use a Workflow?

Use Workflows to restrict certain automation triggers and action to subscribers that have triggered the Workflow’s entry point. Workflows allow you to produce more complex automations.

Use Workflows if you want to incorporate any of the following criteria into your automations:


Reusing Campaigns in your Automation

As mentioned above, Campaigns are reusable and accessible from within your Rules and Workflow features.

In your Rule or Workflow, you can use the Send a campaign action to deliver any of your existing Campaigns when the automation is triggered.

Send a Campaign using a Rule

Under the What actions should we perform? step of the rule, select the Send a campaign action from the drop-down selector.

Then select the Campaign you would like to send to any subscriber that triggers the automation Rule.


Then, select the individual Campaign you would like to send as a result of the automation being triggered. You will find all of your previously created Campaigns under the Which campaign? drop-down selector.


Once you activate your Rule, any subscriber that sets off the Rule’s trigger will automatically be sent the email series you have created in that particular Campaign.

Send a Campaign using a Workflow

In your Workflow, click on the “+” button.


Select the Action step in the What kind of step would you like to add? pop-up modal.select-action-workflow

Now you will be able to select the Send a campaign action from the drop-down.select-send-campaign-workflow-action

Then, select the Campaign you would like to send to subscribers that set off a particular automation in your Workflow. particular-campaign-send-workflow

As you can see, any Campaigns you have created in your Drip account can be used throughout your various automations.

For instance, if you have multiple opt-in forms on different pages of your website for capturing email leads, but want to use a generalized email series to welcome your new subscribers and keep them engaged until further action is taken, you can create a single Campaign to serve that purpose and deliver it throughout your automations.


Additional Resources

Campaign resources:


Automation resources:


Migration resources:

Check these out if you are considering migrating to Drip from another email service platform like MailChimp or Aweber.


General resources: