Drift’s “Human” Email Marketing Strategy

Logo for Drift, a provider of website chat software messaging app

This week’s digital marketing success story is about Drift…they provide a messaging app so businesses can chat with website visitors.

What Can We Learn From Drift: Automated emails can be effective.

Example: The first email I got from Dave Gerhardt at Drift after signing up for their blog:

Drift's first email when you sign up for their social media marketing blog

This email is the exact opposite of most “thanks for signing up, we are now going to fill your inbox with spam” welcome emails.

Why Was This Automated Email Effective?

  • It was bright, brief and gone.
  • Line 1: Acknowledged intro / automated emails can be somewhat boring.
  • Lines 2–3: Did not pretend automated emails are not automated.
  • Lines 4–5: Made me feel welcomed.
  • Lines 6–7: Showed they respect my inbox.
  • Lines 8–9: Gave clear call to action for engagement.
  • Most important: A human wrote it!

The Bigger Picture: Drift Connects with Customers on a Human Level

I want to break my phone every time I hear a robot on the other line:

“Attention… This is not a sales call.”

Emails are no different. I want to read emails where an actual human pushed the keys.

The human touch with any type of automation, whether email, social media, website copy or otherwise, is critical (I wrote about that here).

We naturally gravitate to content that makes us feel like we are connecting with other humans.

With Drift, I do not feel like a number to them.

Want access to all of Drift’s automated emails? Find them here:


Other Thoughts

Businesses Have Work To Do

Research shows businesses are not very good at sending automated emails:

  • The average open rate is less than 40% (some have reported it was almost 90% in the late 90's).
  • The average Click-Through-Rate is less than 10% (someone clicked on the offer or call to action in the email).

Good Email Marketing Can Make a Lot of Money

For every $1 spent on email marketing, it can earn a business $38. Also, 72% of people prefer promotional content through email and 17% prefer social media.

Drift’s example can help any business be more effective (and make more money) with email marketing.


tips from the trenches by ERP 101 small business resource center logo

Find Me Here:


I share social media basics and success stories, press the heart button if you agree with Drift’s “human” email strategy.

Even though I write this on every post, thanks for reading.