IP warming is about keeping the mail flowing. You want to make sure your emails reach their destination, and IP warming is the way to do it.
What Is IP Warming?
Sometimes, if you’ve not used your IP address for a while or if you’re setting up a new IP, email providers will be wary about accepting emails from you and end up sending them into the spam box. It’s a safety measure that’s needed, after all, spam and malware are often sent from fresh IP addresses when providers catch on to who’s sending emails in bad faith.
If you just start sending emails en masse from a new IP address, they’re probably going to refuse them simply out of principle. Having emails refused hurts your reputation and can get your emails flagged with a “potentially harmful” warning, so you should definitely think before you rush into things.
How To Warm Up Your IP
IP warming consists of a few easy-to-follow steps, and luckily for you, we’ve laid out the steps below that you can follow. Remember, taking it slow is crucial so as to avoid being caught by the spam filter.
Authenticate Your Domain
If you’ve got authentication protocols on, any ISP will know who you are and where the mail is coming from. They’re designed to make sure senders are trustworthy, so setting them up will signal your intention to send emails in good faith. It’ll up your sender reputation and help trust in your brand overall
There are two bare minimum protocols you should set up, Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM).
SPF checks that you are who you say you are. I’m sure you’ve seen “Official Government” emails that have an email address that looks like someone tripped over the keyboard, those are the kinds of messages that won’t pass those checks.
DKIM makes your emails more secure by encoding their headers so that only the person it was sent to can open it. After all, people don’t want someone else reading their mail, no matter what it contains.
Create Smart Segments
In order to up your reputation, you should start by sending emails to those who would engage with them the most. Your trustworthiness will go up with the proportion of people who reply, making you less likely to be flagged as irrelevant or spam.
You can figure out who is most likely to reply by checking the data you have for factors such as last login date, last contact, etc.
Pick A Warmup Method
There are two strategies which you can use for IP warming. You’ll want to slowly increase the number of emails each day regardless until you’ve finally messaged every contact on your list.
- Send emails only once to each contact on your list, going through the list bit by bit.
- Send a different email every day to every email address messaged so far, plus another group of them.
Which one you pick will depend on your brand’s style, so if you send few but in-depth emails, pick the first, and if you send lots of short ones, the second.
Execute And Track Your Strategy
Once you’ve picked which plan you’re going to follow, you need to figure out how to keep track of it. Software can help, as can spreadsheets or similar. The key is to track who’s been sent what within the time period you’ve chosen and factor that in.
If you’re doing a one-off email, you need to ensure you don’t send them it again. If you’ve decided to go for a higher volume? Make sure that they’re included on the next list of recipients.
After every email is sent you should check to see how it’s doing. Email analytics tools can help, with plenty of software suites being available to monitor such things. There are also tools such as Google Postmaster and Microsoft SNDS which will give you insight into how trustworthy they think your IP address is – keep an eye on that.
Once you’ve completed your run, everything is stable and it looks like your IP address is trusted, it’s time to expand.
You simply need to increase the number of emails you send per day, but be sure that you send them to people you think will engage with you or your reputation is likely to go down! You might have to scale back and repeat a few times when you’re getting the hang of it, so don’t be afraid to decrease your volume and remove email addresses from your lists if they respond negatively.
That’s about it! All that’s left to do is take the latter two steps and repeat them over until you’re reaching as many people as possible. You’re likely to find new users engaging with you as your trustworthiness increases – these are among the most likely to engage with you so be sure to put them high up on your lists.