The Skinny on Drip Content

Developing content gets users to your site. Dripping content keeps them there.

Dripping content is a method of releasing content to your site users. Users receive content bit by bit, perhaps over the course of a few months, until they have access to the full library. You can also drip specific menu items or posts, requiring a user to view them in a certain order. Even requiring a user to provide an email before being allowed to see more of your site could be considered content dripping.

One popular reason for implementing content drip is when you are creating an online course and you want the course to be completed within a certain time frame.

Here’s the skinny on why you may want to use drip content for your site and how to get it set up:

Why Drip Content May Be Right for Your Site

Drip content keeps people coming back.

Drip content often requires users to interact more frequently with your site. Since they don’t get all the information at once, they need to come back.

Let’s say you publish a course. It’s designed to take twenty hours over a five-week period, but someone sits down and completes the whole course in two days. Since they’re done, they no longer return to your site. That can hurt business.

If users must take the course over time, however, they’ll need to visit your site multiple times. This gives you more views, more opportunities to advertise, and more opportunities to engage with the user.

It’s similar to watering your tomato plant with drip irrigation. Providing all of your content up front to a consumer is like drenching your plant with a fire hose. Though the plant receives the same amount of water in both situations, the one doused with a hose will quickly die, whereas the one slowly watered over time thrives.

Drip content helps users stay committed.

Dripping content keeps things manageable for the user.

For example, sometimes users may sign up for an online course without any idea of what they’re getting into as far as assimilating the information. After completing a few sections, they may become bored or overwhelmed and decide to move on. If you drip content over a period of time, it gives the user bite-sized opportunities to complete a section. In essence, it sets completion dates for them. Small assignments given over time often feel less daunting than an entire course. Content dripping allows users time to mull the information over and makes it easier for them to retain it.

If you choose to drip content by revealing new information after a user subscribes or pays for a special membership, it also helps build commitment. A user is likely to come back because they have invested time, or at least their emails, in it.

Caution: Be smart about how you drip content.

The downside of all this is that there are those who’ll want to complete a course or go through a series of related content immediately. They may have a skill they want to master or information they need and can’t wait a few months. There may be a project that needs to be done tomorrow or a certification that could be beneficial immediately. If you’re worried about this, you may consider using a different method for dripping, which could be as simple as asking your user to provide an email address before they can read the rest of a blog article. You can investigate how effective dripping is for you by experimenting with different methods on your site.

How to Set Up Drip Content on Your Site

If you decide to drip content, how do you do it?

It all depends on your website, but there are a few plugins out there that allow you to drip content for various sites. If you have WordPress, MemberPress is a great option. “MemberPress has all the features you'd expect from a great membership site plugin . . . . and this includes content dripping (a.k.a. timed release of content) and content access expiration.”

To use the MemberPress drip feature, follow these basic steps (you can also check out our FAQs):

  1. Go to WordPress Dashboard> MemberPress> Rules
  2. Create a new rule by clicking Add New.
  3. Under the rule, select Drip/Expiration.
  4. Checkmark Enable button to drip content.

You will find a menu of options that trigger content dripping. You can allow users to access new content right after they register for your site, on a specific date, after they purchase a product from your site, or when they subscribe a particular membership from this menu.

In Summary

Drip content is a great way to keep users coming back for more of the awesome product you have to offer them.

Remember:

  • Drip content can help a user stay on track and boost your site views.
  • It can also help users to feel engaged instead of bored or overwhelmed.
  • Not everyone likes dripping and being on a schedule. Consider your audience and how you want to drip content.
  • Drip content by using a plugin like MemberPress.

Don’t kill your users with a fire hose. Drip the content they need in a way that allows them—and you—to flourish.

Have you found success using the drip-content method? Do you have other questions on when to drip content? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Categories: Add Ons How To
About Michelle Carpenter

Amy Michelle Carpenter co-owns a 3D printing business called STEM Garage. She is a national blogger, a YA editor, and a professional marketer. She also teaches children in China at 4AM in the morning because she thinks its fun.

2 Comments

    Patrick Uijlen

    October 27, 2019

    Hi, I'd like to drip content for my members, but i have this question. When i drop content content on, for example on january 1 2020 and a new member signs up on the july 1, will the content from january 1 be available for this new member? If so, can this be changed? Because i want that new members don't have acces to the content that have been released before the date they have been signing up. I'll hope for a quick response.... Regards, Patrick Uijlen

      Michelle Carpenter

      October 28, 2019

      Hi Patrick! Great question. There are different ways to drip content. With the Memberpress plugin, you can choose to drip content based on when the users signed up or on a fixed date (so that members who sign up later will receive the same content when others do). You can also choose to expire content, so you could expire content you no longer wish users to see. Here's a great link that explains it all in more depth: https://docs.memberpress.com/article/186-dripping-and-expiring-content. Best of luck to you! Please let me know if you need any more help.