Ultimate Guide to Email Playbooks

At Drift, we have the best way to turn your emails into engaging conversations that close leads faster. This doc is the ultimate resource for giving you the best insight on the product and walking you through the features. Here we go!

Starting out

To create a new email, navigate to Playbooks ---> New Playbook ---> Email Playbook (Emails & Sales Sequences)Once on the Choose a Playbook page, you can choose from four different types of emails.One-Time Email: This is the most popular email playbook, as it sends a single email to your specified segments. You choose your receiver, compose the email, select your audience, and hit send.

Triggered Email: This is an email that is automatically triggered by someone joining a segment. This function is great for blogs! For example, when someone gets added to a segment (blog page), you can trigger an email to be sent to them right away (Welcome to our blog!). This is where we can start to get technical and direct to your needs.

Marketing Drip Campaign (Automated): A multi-email campaign that will send as many emails as you set up in a certain segment. Once someone is added into this campaign playbook they will automatically get send emails over time. Key feature: Say someone unsubscribes from your segment, they will automatically be taken out of the campaign.

Sales Email Sequences with Gmail: Tool to help reach out to outbound sales leads with an email sequence. For sales, its paramount to follow up. This tool helps personalize options, letting the user know it is tailored to them. You are able to enroll contacts to Drift from GMAIL, Drift, or Salesforce. I would suggest downloading the Drift Chrome Extension.

Different Types of Playbooks:

After you create your email playbook, it gets stored in the Playbooks home page, and organized by the following states:

  • Automated Playbooks: Triggered or Campaign, contacts getting added in automatically once the segment is triggered, selected for an audience
  • Draft Playbooks: Emails that are made or in the making but have not been sent out yet
  • Sent Playbooks: Emails that were sent
  • Archived Playbooks: Triggered, Campaign, or unsent one time emails that are archived
  • Schedule Playbooks: One time emails that have been scheduled but not sent out yet


  • Each email playbook will have these attributes to help configure the final product. We'll go through each section to understand how to set up your emails.

Compose Your Emails

Set Template:

There are three different types of templates the user can create to catch the eye of the person on the other end.
  • Simple text is a plain-text option and highly recommended by the marketing team at Drift. It's our standard everyday layout and the default layout.
  • Logo styled will automatically take your company logo featured in your settings and place it at the top of your emails.
  • Banner styled is somewhat like logo, but this will let you set your own banner above your email body (width resizes automatically).
All three options automatically include a link to Unsubscribe. For both "Styled" options, we automatically format the email with a subtle template, and you'll find your company's address and social links in the footer.
If your company has Drift Branding turned off, then your emails will not include the "Email powered by Drift" link at the bottom.

Sending Test Emails:

  • Send Test Email might be the best feature of this whole email playbook. This allows the sender to see exactly what the email will look like on the receivers end.

Insert Options:

  • Personalization: We use Jinja templating for our personalization tokens. We recommend having a "fallback" word in case the user or account attribute isn't found at the time of the message, such as "Hey {{user.first_name or "there"}}!"
  • Email signature: This is a dynamic email signature token based on the sender of the email. All users can manage their email signature in their email settings.
  • Button: You can insert a custom CTA (call to action) button in order to catch the eye of your recipient for a specific link.
  • Vidyard: Drift integrates with Vidyard in our conversation view, and now in all emails! Use this to automatically insert a Vidyard thumbnail & link. Learn more here.
  • Calendar link: You can either insert a specific user's calendar (must be connected) or include a dynamic token to insert the calendar link based on the email sender. This is useful when utilizing Dynamic Sender, which you can learn about below.


  • This gives you the option to send from your personal account and a couple other cool choices to pick from. Clicking edit bring a window down where you can choose sender details.

Or, you can choose to dynamically send from the Account owner in Drift by clicking the dropdown next to "Drift User." You can customize the format of the send from line and choose a default value if there's no account owner for this company in Drift.

This particular feature is only available on company or enterprise plans because it requires Drift ABM.
Dynamic Sender-
Two Options:
  • Account based: If you have access to accounts in Drift, then you can have users mapped to those accounts.
For example: If Sarah owns the account, Colgate Toothpaste, and you are sending an email to somebody with an @colgate.com email address, then you can have it dynamically send from the Account Owner.
  • This gets even cooler when you can add custom properties to Accounts that also map to Drift users like Customer Success owners and you can have the custom properties sync from Salesforce. You can send emails to customers that dynamically send from the right CS owner. "Last Sales Contact": this is the dynamic sender that sends the email from the last Drift User who's calendar dropped for them. This is to power dynamic scheduling, but could probably be used for other cooler things :)
NOTE: You can always set a fallback sender so that the email gets sent. If a dynamic sender is not found, it will send from the fallback.


  • The Preview tab lets you be able to see what your email will look like to the receiver. You can preview the Template, click the Default button to see default values in place of any dynamic tokens, and click the Contact button to fill personalization tokens with information from a particular contact segment.

Advanced Options

  • Smart Sending- Because we're able to determine the recipient's timezone, Drift can send emails at the time when you know your prospect will open the email, keep in mind smart sending only applies to the second and subsequent emails in the campaign - the first email will be sent when the playbook is turned on or when the first email is scheduled to send
  • Send on Weekdays Only- Who wants emails during the weekend? Not I. We can schedule emails to be tailored for the days people are at work/weekdays. We event take into consideration for holidays. Europe that's six months for you :)
  • Unenroll Contacts on Reply- Once a customer replies, Drift can remove them from the sequence
  • Unenroll Same Domain Contacts on Reply- When someone from the same company replies to your email all the other contacts with the same domain will be un-enrolled.

    Build Your Audience

  • Who are you looking to target in these emails? In this window you can choose what segment to include and which to exclude from receiving your email(s). Click the check mark or the X to include or exclude.
  • Idea: Using dynamic segments is advised for Triggers and Campaign Playbooks. This will send ongoing emails depending on how users enter and leave the segment.
Smart Filters:
  • Smart filters work in conjunction with your audience inclusion and exclusion.


Now you are reading to send your email you configured.
You can either send it now or wait to schedule it at a later time.
Make sure you connect to your GMAIL account so we can track the replies.

Other Cool Features

Playbook Reporting-
Who doesn't love feedback. What are the results of your playbook? How well did I do?
  • Enrolls - How many people have been enrolled to receive the email(s)? How many have un-enrolled by exiting the segment, bouncing, unsubscribe?
  • Sends - How many emails have been sent?
  • Opens - How many opens have happened on these sent emails?
  • Clicks - How many clicks have occurred from the open emails?
  • Conversations - How many replies, chats, or meetings booked have happened from those emails?
  • Lost - How many bounces or unsubscribes happened from those emails?

The People tab gives you the insight into specific Contacts that have received an email. In this tab, you cannot only see the events above as they pertain to an individual, but you can also see:

  • Status (Currently enrolled, Completed, or Un-enrolled with the specific reason for un-enrollment)
  • Date enrolled
  • If they booked a meeting, you can see who it's booked with
  • When the last and next sends are
  • Who the last send was from
  • You can unsubscribe from emails at the bottom of any marketing email (it's the law).
  • You can also manually unsubscribe from the email address by going to any contact in your organization with that email address and clicking "unsubscribe."
  • GDPR: Request delete of data (EMEA countries only for GDPR)

Scheduling Emails-

  • You can set a delay on the first email in a triggered or campaign playbook. This is good if you are stringing playbooks together that fire an email based on another chat or email playbook. This is done right in the playbook editor above the first email.

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