IP warming is a prerequisite to sending out bulk emails, and missing on it during the initial days can sabotage your email marketing campaigns. Adding a new IP address to your account should always be followed up by an IP warm-up. In simple words, IP warming or warm-up is the process of systematically increasing the number of emails sent from your new IP address with time and gradually establishing a sender reputation. In this article, we will have a quick look at the need and methods of IP warming along with tips on warming up your IP address for better deliverability.
The Need Of IP Warming
If you have not sent any mail for 30 consecutive days or adding a new dedicated IP address, you will need to familiarize yourself with the ISPs (Inbox Service Providers) so that you don’t end up in the spam folders. You can also take help of email developers if you are not familiar with these technicalities. ISPs are vigilant when it comes to targeting unknown senders shooting bulk emails as a form of cold calling. To get accepted by ISPs, you need to develop a concrete sender reputation to minimize the deliverability issues. Mailbox providers recognize you based on their previous interactions with you, which happens to be your IP. Healthy email marketing metrics mean that you are trustworthy and inbox providers can trust you with their clients.
Wait no more, here’s the quick guide on IP warming:
Methods To Warm Up Your IP Address
There are two ways to warm up your dedicated IP address, and you can apply these methods regardless of whether you have a completely new IP address or adding a new one. In this section, we will have a look at both methods.
Manual IP Warm-Up
Going by the manual method, you will have to send emails in small batches and constantly increase sending frequency over predefined time intervals. While there is no fixed rule, it is advisable to double the number of emails sent with each new batch. This is a tedious method, and it isn’t very popular in the industry.
API-Based IP Warming Automation
API-based automation tools use an existing IP address and couple it with the new one to send out scheduled emails. Automation smartly uses the warm and cold IPs for sending out emails. It also manages the batch size with respect to the schedule and redistributes the emails in case of limit expiration. Automated throttling gives you complete control over the hourly limits and builds a predictable pattern for the mailbox providers to familiarise your IP.
Step By Step Instructions For IP Warming
- Create a hygienic email list that keeps the most engaged recipients at the top priority.
- Set up PTR records in your reverse DNS, register your IP address with DKIM, DMARC, and SPF for authentication. Also, register for complaints with all ISPs.
- Place a “click to unsubscribe” link in all your HTML email templates.
- Register yourself on the Return Path platform for every new IP address added.
- Start with 2000-4000 subscribers with the most engaged ones first.
- Double your sending frequency with each passing day or on alternate days.
According to Get Response,
- Average CTR is 3.43%
- Average open rate is 22.15%
- Average unsubscribe rate lies at 0.20%
- Average spam rate is merely 0.02%
Tips For Conducting IP Warming
- If you are starting afresh, select contacts you know personally to get good open rates.
- Get a dedicated tool to manage and measure your sender reputation.
- In case the engagement rates drop midway, reduce the number of emails sent, and even stop it if necessary.
- To ensure high deliverability, stick to organic email lists and avoid using paid email lists under any conditions.
- Optimize your warm-up schedule with proportionate recipients from each ISP.
- Use A/B Split Testing to understand what works best for your subscribers. It helps in choosing the best email template and content structures for better results.
- Consider stopping whenever you face poor email metrics. Sometimes ISPs deliberately put you in the spam folder to check if people are marking you “not spam.” This can improve your sender reputation by leaps and bounds. On the other hand, it saves you from hitting spam traps.
It is highly advisable to seek professional help before running an IP warm-up plan. If done improperly, you might end up getting blacklisted by ISPs. One piece of advice for our readers is that they should not waste more time and effort on an IP address that has an existing negative reputation. Restarting the process with a new address is always easier and more affordable. It also saves you from risking your warmed IP addresses.
Over To You
Despite your best efforts, the initial phases will be made by troubles. We recommend sticking with your plan and set up a bounce processing protocol to identify any major issues. In most of the cases, you will be required to change your strategy from time to time, but following the steps as mentioned above with an organic email list will surely give you good results. We hope that you find this quick guide to IP warming helpful for getting better email deliverability.
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing PSD to Email coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, custom Mailchimp email templates design and coding 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.