IP warming is all about building a reputation for a new IP or an IP that has remained unused for some time. The process of IP warm-up involves sending small volumes of email from the new IP and gradually increasing the volume according to the planned schedule. You can increase the volume of email on a daily or weekly basis.
The main goal of IP warm-up is to create an identity for your brand and garner the trust of your Internet service provider (ISP). This, in turn, will help you get your emails delivered to the subscriber’s inbox seamlessly.
So, if you have a new dedicated IP or an old one that’s not been in much use, you must warm it up before sending emails as usual. Remember, ISPs suspect IPs that send emails with no reputation or an unfamiliar sending pattern. Their main aim is to protect its customer base from spam. Hence, they block new IPs sending a large volume of emails. This is the reason IP warm-up is critical before you start sending emails from your new IP. It will help you show your ISP that you come with a good IP reputation.
Importance of IP warming
The digital world today is filled with phishing and spam emails. Therefore, ISPs more often perceive emails from a new IP address unwanted. In the worst-case scenario, they might consider it dangerous and believe that the emails are coming from a sender who has been blacklisted earlier through a different IP.
Therefore, IP warm-up is important to let the ISPs know that you are one of those senders whose emails are useful, relevant, and welcomed in the subscriber’s inbox. Here’s a quick summary of how it helps:
- Improves email deliverability.
- Facilitates sending high volumes of emails.
- Helps your email stay out of the spam box.
- Lets the ISPs get accustomed to a high volume of emails coming from your IP address.
The IP warm-up process
Now, since you know what IP warm-up is all about, the next step is to understand its process.
As mentioned already, IP warm-up should start small. For instance, if you have an approximate of 20,000 email addresses in your database, your IP warm-up process should look something like this:
Day 1 = 100 emails
Day 2 = 200 emails
Day 3 = 450 emails
Day 4 = 1,000 emails
Day 5 = 2,500 emails
Day 6 = 6,000 emails
Day 7 = 12,000 emails
Day 8 = 20,000 emails
So, you see how the email sends increase slowly and gradually? The concept behind it is that you are warming up your IP address for the ISP. Simply put, you are showing them that you can send 100 good emails and get engagement from your subscribers.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that customer engagement is directly proportional to the send volume of emails. The larger is customer engagement, the higher will be your chances of sending more emails. While in the first step, you sent 100 emails, proper customer engagement will allow you to send 200 emails in the second step.
How to do IP warm-up right?
It is critical to warm-up your IP properly. Failing to do so can affect your sender reputation adversely. Here’s a look at 5 tips to help you proceed with your IP warm-up process like a pro.
- Synchronize your infrastructure and authentication pieces
The first step is to update your DNS records along with securing your system, passing SPF, and signing with DKIM. You can even go ahead and ask your ISP to set up a white label domain. This will help you prove yourself as a legitimate sender when you send email through them.
- Leverage feedback loops
The period of IP warming up is a critical time for you. So, you wouldn’t want to damage your IP reputation by sending emails to such customers who don’t want to see your emails. It might lead to a complaint against you. Hence, it is imperative to remove an email address from your database the first time they complain about you.
This is where feedback loops come in handy. It immediately removes any email addresses that have marked your email as spam. It will help you send emails only to such subscribers who are willing to hear from you, thereby improving your future IP warming up campaign
- Send your emails to the engaged customers
Sending warm-up emails to your most engaged user is a smart strategy. After all, the chances of them opening up, clicking through, and replying to your email are higher. Simply put, such users are less likely to mark your email as spam or delete your email without reading it.
In this context, you can set up a warm-up schedule. It facilitates sending emails to your most engaged and active subscribers first. It would help you in building a quick and good sender reputation. Further, it is also a great time to clean your email list. Make use of email validation services and remove such email addresses that are invalid and inactive.
- Send valuable and relevant email campaigns
Always send such an email campaign that is relevant and provides value to your customer base. Maybe there’s a weekly newsletter that your readers look forward to reading or you have a coupon code that has a tendency to always generate high engagement. So, make use of such campaigns that you are confident about working.
Avoid trying to adapt any new strategy during this period. Remember, if you send something new, there will be a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity around. Since you won’t know how your subscribers are going to react, it is better to stick to what works best with you and send valuable and relevant email campaigns.
- Keep a check on your metrics
It is critical to keep a check on various email metrics such as delivery rate, bounce rate, open rate, click rate, spam rate etc. It is a great way of analyzing and measuring the success of your email campaign. In addition, if at all you find an issue during the analysis, you can take corrective measures as and when needed.
IP warm-up is all about being able to send messages that get delivered and seen by your subscriber base by establishing a positive sender reputation with your ISP. In addition, it will also help you set up a base for delivering targeted and highly personalized emails to your subscribers, thereby enhancing your overall email marketing performance.
So, follow the above-mentioned tips and nail your IP warm-up strategy by making it top-notch.
For more details, you can go through the insightful infographic put together by Email Uplers.
P.S. The infographic also has an ebook along with it.
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.
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