How To Warm Up an Email for Your Marketing Campaign

Email warm-up

Imagine that you own a business and over the years you have built an email list with 30,000 emails. And now it’s time to use this list for the email marketing campaign. But if you send out emails to all of the 30,000 recipients at once, you’ll receive a lot of spam complaints, bounce emails, and even might get banned. Why?

A newly created domain does not yet have a reputation of its own. The reputation of the account depends on how you use it, and that decision is in your control. To avoid that, it is crucial to warm up the email domain, especially before beginning a cold email outreach campaign.

What is email warm-up and why it’s important

Warming up your email account before sending your first email campaign is a way to prevent your emails from getting into spam folders. It helps to decrease your inbox placement rates, as well as your delivery and open rates. Otherwise, it costs money and wastes time. With so many companies using email marketing on a daily basis, you can’t afford to have your emails go into spam. That is why there are many specialized email warming techniques that will increase the chances that your emails will reach your readers’ inboxes, help you get more responses, and make sales faster. 

At the present time, over 20% of emails are not delivered to the inbox, according to a SuperOffice report. So, it’s crucial to get the new account warmed up before launching the campaign for cold outreach. Moreover, if you start sending cold emails in bulk from the very first day the email service might tag you as a spammer and any messages from your domain will be delivered straight to the spam folder. This happens because email services know that newly created email domains can not have this many subscribers right away, so there’s a huge chance that it is a spammer. Or they might think you are using an old email list, which is not good either. 

Ways to warm up an email

Email warm-up means sending emails from your new address, initially fewer in number and then gradually increasing it with time. It can be warmed up in two different ways — manually or automatically. If you choose the manual way, you need to send out each email individually which takes time. Using an automated service enables you to treat cold prospects like someone who is interested in your offering without increasing your workload. The manual way is cheaper, but it will demand consistent effort from you. The automated way becomes more practical as the volume increases, but the choice is ultimately yours, there is no winner between these two.

Now, a bit more details.

Manual

Basically, manual warm-up is the process of manually setting up email campaigns. It helps to avoid bounce rates and deliverability problems. Gradually increase the number of addresses while following timing schedules and increasing the volume. If you will use this technique, you’ll avoid or minimize the deliverability problems that new domains and IPs face (poor reputation such as blocks, deferrals, or bounces).

The easiest way to start is to find a group of at least 20 recipients who are willing to receive messages from you and send some emails as a beginning step. Prepare your customers and peers for the sudden flow of new emails coming from you by showing them your new email address and explaining its purpose in a personalized way. Start with a small number of recipients because the total amount of emails you can send each day is capped by your email provider, and the limit will be even lower on day one. 

In the same way, the more distinctive domains you can uncover, the more trustworthy you’ll appear to email services. Even better if the email addresses of your receivers are hosted by companies such as Google, AWS, Yahoo, GoDaddy, Cloudflare, etc. Sending to different hosting companies shows that your audience is real.

After choosing your recipients, let them know that you’ll be emailing them soon and that you want them to do this after receiving your email:

  • If they are in spam, find them, open them, and mark them as “No spam”. 
  • Declare each email from you to be “Important”. 
  • Reply with a few sincere responses. 
  • Forward the email to a contact of theirs. 

Overall, don’t forget to work on an email copy. It should be just text, short and simple, with no spammy words in it. Create a schedule and follow it and soon you will start seeing results.

Automated

An alternative strategy is to automate the warm-up procedure. It’s helpful if you don’t have a lot of time to organize and carry out the schedule or if you’d prefer to use it in another way. Specialized platforms like WarmUpInbox, Mailwarm, or WarmBox can warm up your IP address for specific pricing, more on them later.

These tools obviously use different techniques to verify your email domain and make it appear to be a legitimate sender. They send emails to some of the addresses if you integrate your inbox with a warming tool, starting with a smaller amount of emails per day and then gradually raising the number of daily emails over time. A contact “shows interest” in your emails by opening them and clicking on links.

Although both approaches can be used at the same time, starting with a manual warm-up and then putting in an automation tool to complete the process might be the best way. Many businesses use both ways at the same time. Below in this article, you will find a list of great warm-up automation tools.

How to warm up your email step-by-step

Now, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for email warm-up, because it all depends on your company’s goals. However, some companies might only want to avoid being marked as spam at the beginning, while others might want to market their products and services properly from the very start. For the same reason, the more people you warm up with, the better your chances of achieving success with your new email address.

You’ll need a lot of your time and attention because warm-up requires a long-term commitment. But in the end, it’s worth it. Following a few simple steps will help you develop a positive reputation with spam filters:

Set up the domain and authenticate it

If your business doesn’t have a domain yet, purchase one. Some of the best domain name registrars include GoDaddy, Domain.com, and Bluehost.

The next step is email authentication. It protects your account from spam filters and ensures that your emails arrive in the inbox. Four email authentication parameters are crucial:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is a method of authentication that adds a record to your DNS (Domain Name System) that identifies all the servers that are permitted to send emails on behalf of a domain. When the recipient’s email service discovers SPF on the sender’s end, it grants the sender’s domain a clean bill of health.
  • DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) is an authentication technique that encrypts your email and adds a digital signature with your domain, preventing email spoofing and ensuring that the email reaches the intended recipient.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) records make use of your SPF and DKIM records to guarantee the recipient’s email service that the email is not the subject of any dishonest activity.
  • Custom Domain. By including a custom domain, you increase the legitimacy of your links and documents. 

Perform a reputation and credibility check

Checking your account’s credibility and reputation is an important step before you begin sending emails. You may check the functionality of the records you added using online resources like mail-tester.com, dmarcian, and MXtoolbox. Given that all these tools offer you different ways to do it. 

For example, mail-tester.com asks you to send a test email first, then scores the spamminess of your email. Here’s how mail-tester.com scores your email:

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Send individual emails

Sending individual emails to the recipients from your email list is the next step in the warming process. Send 10-20 separate emails at first. As you raise the frequency, make sure that your subscribers engage with your email marketing campaign and either reply or hit the CTA button.

As the level of communication rises, email services become more confident in your sincere efforts and start building trust in your domain. Make sure to send emails to different email services. This will help you establish a solid reputation with the spam filters of all the leading email services.

Maintain a smart time gap

As a matter of fact, the algorithms used by each email service vary depending on how the emails are sent and received. Make those algorithms understand that you are not a spammer, don’t send out a large number of emails all at once. Your domain reputation will suffer if you consistently send a large volume of emails. The best approach is to take time between emails as you warm up your new account.

This will make you more credible, but also minimize the chance that your account will be regarded as empty, not authentic or even more — suspicious. In the next paragraph, you will find a warm-up schedule, which you can use as an example.

How long does the process usually take

To start cold outreach, first, establish the reputation of your email account. In general, it takes roughly 8 to 12 weeks for a new account to warm up. But if there is not enough engagement, it may take longer. So try to engage recipients in your warm-up to maximize email deliverability by adding a catchy CTA, offering a great deal, or sharing valuable content. 

Warm-up schedule example

For best results, send emails at a set time and avoid sending more emails than 1.5 times the number sent the day before. Additionally, avoid sending the same content for longer than 4-5 days in a row. This is how a typical warm-up schedule looks:

Week Number of recipients % of email list
1 2500 5
2 5000 10
3 10000 20
4 15000 30
5 20000 40
6 27500 55
7 35000 70
8 42500 85
9 50000 100

Best email warm-up tools

Here we’d like to tell about some of the warm-up automation tools we mentioned earlier:

Warmup Inbox

Warmup Inbox is a dedicated email warming software. When you sign up, your account will begin interacting with the 4,500+ inboxes that they claim to have.

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It works coupled with Yahoo Mail, Amazon SES, and custom inboxes in addition to the two primary service providers, Gmail and Outlook 365. To thoroughly warm up your inbox, they advise using the service for at least 45 to 90 days and a maximum of 1,500 emails per mailbox every month.

To help you understand how your account is doing, Warmup Inbox also offers statistics and reports. It is a good option, although pricey.

Warmbox

Another great software — Warmbox, a standalone email warming app you should learn about.

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It is a reliable warm-up tool that includes easy-to-understand deliverability reporting, connection with the major email service providers, and a wide network of inboxes. Various warm-up recipes that create custom sending schedules are one of their special features. For instance, you can decide to gradually increase the number of emails, set a random schedule, or develop your own unique rules.

Mailwarm

Mailwarm is a simple and efficient email warm-up service. The Mailwarm team has created hundreds of email accounts that will connect with your inbox according to a schedule that you specify.

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After you link your account, you can set a schedule for Mailwarm to send and reply to emails on your behalf, gradually warming up your account. You may set up an inbox rule to put all of your Mailwarm emails in a folder if you notice that they are taking up too much space in your inbox. Despite being a powerful warming tool, its premium pricing may deter many potential customers.

WarmUpYourEmail

WarmUpYourEmail is a solution that uses a real workforce to warm up cold email inboxes and increase engagement.

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Your emails are dealt with by their team by being opened, replied to, marked as important, and taken out of the spam folder (if they land there). They have a mid-to-high price range and, like other companies, charge by the number of emails.

Key takeaways

Email service providers continuously keep an eye on what happens in your mailbox. If you attempt to speed things or take any quick cuts, you risk receiving a bad sender reputation and consequently bad deliverability. Spend some time warming up your email address and creating a customized campaign so that you can send it confidently and without error to your prospects’ inboxes and leverage these tips for your next campaign:

  • Start warming up your new email manually, following the mentioned above time schedule. It’s an easy and cheap way to begin with for a newly created email domain.
  • After your email account has been warmed up by your manual approach for several weeks, start using a warm up automation tool to increase the volume and get the max out of your email campaign.

Hope this guide will help you, good luck with your new email account!

Would you prefer a manual or automated warm-up for your newly created email?

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