What is warmup and why you need it
June 8, 2017
Warmup is the second most frequently used word by any Email Service Provider with their customers
In case you wondered, the first is Inbox delivery 😉
Every marketer and developer who has invested a fair amount of time in the email game knows that warming up domain and IPs is important for email delivery, but not many fully understand the process. It’s a good idea to understand about warmup in depth so when you switch ESPs or start on a dedicated new IP, your email deliverability isn’t impacted.
Here’s everything you need to know about warmup.
You learnt about it when you were in School
As kids, we’ve all played sports and games in school. Do you remember how your coach made you run the length of the ground and do some stretching for 10 minutes before actual play began?
Ah, the dreaded warmup. We all hated doing it, eager to dive into the game but the coach always insisted on a proper warm up.
It pumps oxygenated blood to your muscles, prepares them for the strenuous physical activity and prevents injuries.
IP warmup is no different.
I’m a veteran in emails, I don’t need warmup… or do I?
I’ve often heard this, especially from genuine veterans in the industry. I’m sure we all have used email channel significantly in our work life. Nonetheless, when shifting ESPs or starting on new IP, warmup is mandatory if you do not want to be branded as spammer and risk emails landing in Spam.
You may be a good, legitimate sender but you have to prove yourself on a new IP. When ISPs like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail see your email coming from a new IP, it’s a change they don’t accept easily. You’ve been sending emails every day from one set of IPs. Suddenly when you make a switch to another ESP, you mustn’t shift the entire email volume on day 1. ISP’s suspicion filter gets alerted when you do that. It is highly recommended that you start slow with low volumes and consistently scale up. This will help build your reputation and win the trust of ISPs, make them understand that you are not a spammer with a purchased list.
It’s like hitting gym for the first time. You don’t scale the weights on your very first day, your body can’t take it. You slowly ramp up for injury less start and a healthy end.
5 Fundamentals for warming up your domain and IPs:
Send emails daily and scale gradually
It is important to scale your emails gradually. At Pepipost we look at sending emails for new prospects in a small chunk with a warm up process spread across 2 weeks:
Depending on the success of your email program, you move up the slab.
Send to the most active/engaged email addresses
Put your best foot forward when starting with new IPs. Start by sending emails to your most engaged users or the loyal ones who interact regularly on emails you send them. Most ISPs rate reputation on interaction with email. Your most engaged or active users will open and click your emails more hence the chances of you reaching the higher slab soon is promising.
Send your most loved content
“It is not who you are underneath, it’s what you write that defines you”
– a batman fan
Send your best and most engaging content. Consider emails like welcome emails, account notification emails and other transactional triggered emails that draw the highest open rates.
Ensure suppression is real time
Unsubscribes, hard bounces and abuse complaints should be suppressed immediately. While Can Spam Act 2003 says unsubscribe should be honoured in 10 business days but its 2017 and today if we still take 10 days to suppress an unsubscribed user, then be ready fellas to get a massive storm of abuse complaints.
Monitor and act
Carefully monitor email spikes and performance like a stock market. Decide in accordance whether it is a good time to go to next slab or continue with current email volume till performance is better. Ensure during this process that your email bounce rate is less than 1% and abuse complaints are close to 0.
While all the above fundamentally lay a good foundation for warm up, one has to also ensure that they have authenticated their domain via SPF, TXT, and DKIM.
Remember warming up IPs is a long process and requires lot of monitoring. Like Narrator says in Star Wars “The first step to correcting a mistake is Patience”. Ensure you have it enough to continue till it makes you stable and stronger. Good luck!