Drip Marketing Campaigns for Student Success
  • 10 Jun 2024
  • 7 minute read
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Drip Marketing Campaigns for Student Success

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  • PDF

Article summary

☑️ Prerequisite Skills

In addition to building ongoing and one-time mailings with the Deliver tool, you can also create automated drip marketing campaigns. This article will instruct you how to use populations, rules, and filters to efficiently configure drip marketing campaigns in Deliver.

 Four steps to creating a drip marketing campaign:

  1. Creating a population

  2. Creating a population rule, to add & remove records from the population automatically

  3. Building the campaign, curating the recipient list, and scheduling for delivery

  4. Activating the population rule and running a retroactive refresh

When you've completed these steps, consult the last section in this article to test your campaign. To ensure that everything is functioning as intended, read through all steps, including information about testing, before activating any mailings or rules.

Step 1: Create a Population

To create a population:

  1. On the main navigation, click Database.

  2. Under Automations, click Population.

  3. Click Insert. A pop-up appears.

  1. Configure the following settings:

    • Status: Active

    • Folder: Keep populations organized by adding to an existing folder, or selecting Other to create a new folder.

    • Name: Give your population a name. This article uses "International" student population.

    • Scope: Person or Application (in this case, Person). Note: This scope must match in several locations going forward: Population, Population Rule, Recipient List, and Recipient List filter.

  2. Click Save.


Why use populations for drip marketing campaigns?

Your records must belong in a population to use them in your drip marketing campaign efforts. Populations can be built in a perennial way, where the population itself doesn't change over time, but the students within do. Student records can be added and removed from a population based on specific filter criteria within the rule used to set the population.


Step 2: Create a Population Rule

To create a rule to add records to the population we've just created:

  1. On the main navigation, click Database.

  2. Under Automations, click Rules.

  3. Click New Rule. A pop-up appears.

  1. Configure the following settings:

    • Name: Give your rule a descriptive name, usually based on the action the rule takes.

    • Base: Configurable Joins - Person.

      Note: If using an Application population, the base should also be set to Applications; however, it's typically best to start with a person-scoped population when building a drip marketing campaign because a person-scoped population can include both applicants and non-applicants.

    • Type: Person Population

    • Folder: Keep rules organized by adding to an existing folder, or selecting Other to create a new folder.

    • Exclusivity Group: Leave blank

    • Status: Preview


  1. Click Save

  1. Choose the filter criteria for your rule to determine the students who should be in this population. Some examples include "Student Type = International," "Constituency Group(s) = International," or upcoming entry term prompts.

  2. Set Action to the population created previously.

  3. Click Save.


🔔 Important!

At this point it is important that you DO NOT yet make your rule active. You’ll learn more about this when we configure the Deliver mailings that will be sent to this population.

What about an exclusivity group?

Since a student may meet the criteria of multiple populations at any given time, exclusivity groups aren't appropriate for those populations that steer drip marketing campaigns. Knowing that students likely will reside in multiple populations at once, design campaigns conscientiously to avoid inundating them with emails.

Step 3: Build a Campaign

Create the campaign

To create the series of campaign messages:

  1. On the main navigation, click Deliver.

  2. At right, click Campaigns. The Campaigns page displays all of your populations, as well as the number of mailings associated with those populations.

  3. Select the population you would like use to build a campaign. This page will ultimately show all of the mailings associated with this particular population, as well as the statistics for the campaign overall. 

  4. Select New Mailing. A pop-up appears.
    (Note: By default, creating a new mailing from within a campaign will create a person-scoped recipient list. If the scope of the population and the population rule is set to a scope beside person, create the mailing by clicking New Mailing on the main Deliver page).

  1. Configure the following settings:

    • Name: Give the mailing a descriptive internal name.

    • Folder: Keep mailings organized by adding to an existing folder, or selecting Other to create a new folder.

    • User: Select a user.

    • Method: Select the delivery method, whether email, SMS, print, etc. In this example, email.

    • Time Interval Type: Select the desired time interval option, then enter the appropriate value for Number of Days or Start/End Date.

  2. Click Save.


Create the recipient list

Identify the criteria for your recipient list, or the records who will receive your message. The recipient list in this example will have been partially pre-configured by the filters Population Timestamp Days or Population Timestamp.

📝 Note

If the mailing was created through the main Deliver page, the recipient list must be created with the scope that matches the population. By adding a population filter with the matching scope, the mailing will be associated with the selected population.  If the population is application-scoped, use a Population (Application) filter such as "Population (Application) Timestamp Days.")

  1. On the mailing page, click Edit Recipient Lists.

  2. Select Population Query.

  3. Click Edit Query.

  4. Add exports as needed for message merge fields. Be sure to add Email in addition to Preferred First Name and other desired exports.

  5. Configure additional filters as needed. The complete list of population filters includes:

    • Population: Identifies all records that are a part of a specific population at that moment in time

    • Population Timestamp: Identifies all records that joined the population on a specified date or within a defined date range

    • Population Timestamp Days: Identifies all records that have been in the specific population for a defined number of days


  6. If a different Number of Days interval is desired:

    1. Double-click the Population Restriction subquery filter.

    2. Double-click the nested Population / Timestamp Days filter.

    3. Enter a new number in the Numbers of days since record joined population field.

    4. Click Save until you've exited the subquery filter.


⭐ Best Practice

The earliest timestamp day that can be used for the Number of Days setting is 1. Setting a population timestamp days filter to 0 excludes records that may have entered the population after the latest delivery window selected.

Continue building all of the communications that are a part of this campaign. As you build each new email, your International campaign page will expand. 

Schedule the campaign

  1. Return to the mailing page.

  2. Click Send Mailing. A pop-up appears.

  3. Configure the following settings:

    • Weekdays: Schedule your mailing to run every day of the week

    • Ongoing: Continue running mailing indefinitely

    • Delivery Window: Select at least two delivery windows

  4. Configure other settings as needed.

  5. Click Send Mailing. The number of matching rows for your recipients list will be zero until you activate the population rule, which we'll get to soon.


🔔 Important!

The mailings must be activated and running before proceeding to the next step for the Number of Days interval, and for message delivery timing, to function as intended.

Step 4: Activate Population Rule and Run Retroactive Refresh

Only after the mailings in the drip marketing campaign are running, follow these steps to activate the population rule and place records into a population that will start receiving messages:

  1. On the main navigation, click Database.

  2. Under Automations, click Rules.

  3. Select the population rule we created initially from the list.

  4. At top right, click Edit. A pop-up appears.

  5. Change the status from Preview to Active.

  6. Click Save

  7. Click New Query. A pop-up appears.

  8. Add any exports (such as Name). The particular exports you choose here do not matter, however, in order to run a query, at least one export is required. 

  9. Click Run Query. You are presented with a preview of the records that are eligible for your new population rule.

  10. Under Output, select Retroactive Refresh.

  11. Click Export.

  12. Click Submit.

That's it! Since the mailings are already active, their queries will pick up these records now that they have been added to the desired population. Moving forward, newly eligible records will enter the population automatically (because the rule is active) and will be picked up by the mailing campaigns as appropriate. If a record is already in a population and is retroactively refreshed, Slate does not reset how long they were in that Population.

Testing Drip Marketing Campaigns

Sending emails from your Test Environment is disabled. While transactional communications such as form or event registration emails and one-time Deliver campaigns will post to the student timeline (as if an email had been sent), ongoing Deliver campaigns will not. Therefore, the best way to test a drip marketing campaign prior to going live is to do the following: 

  1. When building your population rule, add a filter for Tag and select Test Record as the value. Ensure that you have at least one test record that meets the population criteria. 

  2. Change the Timestamp Days filter to 1 for all the emails in the associated campaign. This step allows you to receive all of the emails at once, instead of waiting for the entire campaign to run before going live. You can also set the days interval to any value you like, if you want to wait the specified number of days. 

  3. Send the mailings, ensuring that their Status is now set to Scheduled/Running. 

  4. Activate the population rule, and run a retroactive refresh as in Step 3 above, to ensure that the desired test records enter the population and become eligible for the campaign mailings. 

  5. Once you are satisfied with how the campaign functions after testing:

    • Change the Timestamp Days interval on the emails used for testing back to their original/desired value.

    • Remove the Tag > Test Record filter from your rule.

    • Run a Retroactive Refresh via the rule again, to ensure all desired records are added to the newly created population.

    • Keep the mailing set to Scheduled/Running, which will allow it to pick up new records that meet the filter criteria during the next delivery window. 

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