How a New IP Address Can Break Into the World of Big Email Campaigns: Warming Up a Newbie

Sending bulk emails from a newly registered IP address is an immediate reason email systems interest you. You need to make sure there are no real complaints and to do this, you need to warm up a new IP address. What do you need? A new IP address, a sender email with a company domain, and a clean list of subscribers.

The email addresses must be honestly obtained, not bought, stolen, or exchanged. This is also important. Now, let's focus on how to send emails safely and avoid penalties.

What types of IP addresses are there?

An Internet service provider has its own system of accounting for computers to identify them on the network. There are shared IP addresses and dedicated IP addresses. Shared addresses are for multiple devices, and dedicated addresses are for one. 

A shared address may be necessary if you have several computers in your office, and it is also easier to warm up. The advantage here is the number of senders. However, with a dedicated IP, the user can closely monitor how their IP address is speeding up and warming up.

Why you need to warm up your IP address

It's a gradual process of building your reputation as a sender. The way you send emails creates a positive or negative background. An IP address is gradually prepared to send thousands or tens of thousands of emails regularly. You have to earn that right. Google Mail recommends sending only 10-20 emails in your first batch.

In addition, the open rate of emails and clicks on active buttons are tracked. It is undesirable to receive spam complaints. The email delivery rate increases as the IP address warms up, meaning more subscribers see your emails.

Providers will suspect spam if 10,000 emails are sent from a new IP simultaneously. This is due to the lack of a previous reputation and the inability to assess the quality of the emails the new IP delivers to users. Everything is suspect: where does the newcomer's database come from, and what is the quality of the addresses? In this case, the provider can undoubtedly mark the campaign as spam.

Warming up: four important steps

Take time and care with each step to ensure that you are doing everything according to your email provider's rules. This is the key to ensuring that your future email campaigns are delivered without suspicion.

Step 1. Preparation

First, check the settings:

  1. Set the DKIM and SPF identity parameters. This will show the mail service that you are the real owner of the domain. Sometimes, fraudulent entities gain access to the domain, so the system is re-insured. Contact your email provider to find out how to do this.
  2. Create a feedback loop (FBL) to record complaints about your emails. This lets you know if you need to continue the campaign or make urgent adjustments. In most cases, you will need to work with the postmaster. Your provider will probably already have an article or video on how to do this.
  3. Set up the IP address to be associated with your site's domain. This can be done by specifying a PTR (reverse DNS) record.

Step 2. Planning the warm-up

Plan how many emails you'll send and when you'll send them. This depends on the following factors:

  • database hygiene;
  • IP reputation;
  • domain and website reputation.

If everything is fine and there are no problems, move on to sending letters. How to do it properly?

  1. Select active subscribers and send them the first batch of emails. In the first stage, you must make the experience as positive as possible.
  2. For the first few weeks, you can send emails to those who have been active for the last month.
  3. For the next two weeks, add inactive users to your recipient list. The period of inactivity is 1-2 months.
  4. Remove those who have ignored emails for 2-4 months. You can delete dormant subscribers more often, by the way. 
  5. If you don't have any activity data, start with recent signups on the site.
  6. Don't pause the campaign for more than a month. The reputation system only stores data about your IP address for one month. If you take a break longer than that, you will have to start again.
  7. Send a small number of emails to start with so that you can increase or decrease activity based on user response active reads or spam complaints. If you are sending to a database of more than 20,000 email addresses, start with 200 emails. Towards the end of the first week, gradually increase to 2-3 thousand, then you can increase to 1000 per day and so on to the maximum.
  8. Warming up can take 1-4 weeks. Don't rush, but don't delay, either.

Step 3. Starting the warm-up

You already have a strategy, but force majeure may occur. These are the two most common situations:

  1. The "Email not delivered" status. It can appear when you send from Google or Yahoo email services. But it's not a verdict. The system may need time to verify the IP address. If this is the case, try sending the email the next day.
  2. ISP block due to low open rate or CTR. This is an indication that recipients are not engaged with the campaign. Blocking can also occur because you have exceeded your email-sending limit. You will need to segment your recipients, clean up your list, or reduce the number of emails you send daily and monitor the ISP's actual response to your campaign.

Step 4. Record the warm-up indicators

  1. From start to finish, the activity of your subscribers will determine the scenario of your further actions in the warm-up process. If the response is sluggish, wait to add new recipients until your initial audience becomes more active. Read our article on key email campaign metrics.
  2. Check if your IP address is blacklisted. Spamhaus and similar services will help you with this. The MXToolbox domain database can also show your reputation.
  3. Don't ignore the IP address warm-up because you need it to send emails to thousands of people. Getting off the blacklist is even harder than not getting on it in the first place.

Read more about email marketing in our blog:

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