What is IP warming?
What Is IP Warming?
Internet protocol (IP) warming is a process that involves increasing email volume for a new dedicated IP address using a specific schedule. In doing so, you'll be able to improve the IP's reputation among ISPs, establishing the IP as a valid sender. This is crucial in a world where email spam is more prevalent than ever, and ISPs work to combat potentially dangerous senders.
A good IP warming strategy will ensure that ISPs trust your IP over time and don't prevent you from reaching audiences with your emails. The process will take somewhere between several days and weeks before you develop a positive reputation among ISPs, but these efforts will be worth it in the long run.
Why Do We Need IP warming?
Warming up an IP address is necessary today because of the skepticism among ISPs. All ISPs look at email volume as a key indicator of spam attempts and will block IPs that engage in suspicious activity, including sending high volumes of emails. Spammers often engage in the following practice: They obtain a new IP address and send emails to large numbers of recipients on a list. They will keep doing so until the ISP becomes privy to these attempts and blocks the IP address. After blocking, spammers will simply acquire another IP and repeat the process in the hopes that enough recipients will respond to their emails before ISPs block them.
Because of this, if you begin sending large quantities of emails to recipients on your contact list with a new IP, ISPs will immediately take notice. If this IP develops a negative reputation, this could severely limit deliverability. Combined with other best practices when sending emails, you'll be able to optimize your email campaigns through IP warming as you establish your IP as a legitimate sender.
How Does IP Warming Work?
IP address warming works using a specific process. The first step is to begin sending emails through the new IP in small volumes. Over time, you can increase the volume of emails you send in increments based on a strict schedule that takes place across multiple days or weeks. As you increase email volume, you'll build trust among email providers, which will eventually increase the chances of all of your emails reaching the right people. At the same time, you'll be able to avoid spam folders.
Using the right approach, you'll be able to build a solid reputation among ISPs, which will help you avoid inadvertently limiting your email campaigns.
IP Warming Best Practices
If you want to get started with IP warming, there are certain best practices you can implement. Keep in mind that not adhering to various guidelines could seriously compromise your IP and, subsequently, your email marketing efforts. However, you can successfully avoid these issues by taking the following steps:
Start Small and Grow Over Time
When you begin your IP warming strategy, start sending emails out in small volumes. If you send a ton of emails all at once from the start, this will be a huge red flag to ISPs and encourage them to block your IP.
As you begin sending more emails daily, you can increase the volume of emails sent each day in increments. Eventually, you'll be able to send emails at the volume you want to in order to achieve your marketing and sales goals.
Push High-Quality Content That Recipients Enjoy
To get the best results from your IP warming strategy, you should also promote top-quality content that increases the likelihood that people will engage with your emails. You can do so by carefully crafting your subject lines and email copy to entice recipients to open and read your emails. You should also effectively target your emails to ensure they go to the right people with personalized messages.
Otherwise, simply sending low-quality emails to just anybody on your contact list could hurt your chances of connecting.
Use a Specific Timeframe to Schedule Your Emails
Make sure you're only sending emails in increments based on a set timeframe. For example, you might gradually increase your email volume over the course of several days. On the first day, you would start with around 50 emails, send 50 more the next day to total 100, followed by sending 100 more on the next day, 200 on the day after that, 400 the next, and so on. Map out your schedule well beforehand to determine how many emails you'll need to send each day or week until you reach the ideal volume.
Also, send your emails at the right time to maximize the chances of people opening them. You can do so by using email features to time your emails based on recipients' time zones. For example, you might find that it's best to send emails to one segment in a particular location in the afternoons, while another might benefit from emails sent in the morning before work.
Keep Your Email Lists Clean and Compliant
You should also ensure your email lists comprise valid emails from people who've opted into your campaigns. If you're sending emails to people who aren't actively interested in your business or to un-verified emails, this could look bad to you. You may also be non-compliant with spam regulations, including CAN-SPAM, GDPR, and CASL laws.
Keep Track of Your Reputation Over Time
To prevent your IP address from suffering from a bad reputation and eventual blocking, you must monitor it throughout your IP warming campaigns. You can avoid potential issues by keeping track of the following metrics:
- Spam Reports — Don't let your emails get past a certain SPAM rate, or your emails may not be compliant with spam laws. You'll want to reassess your campaigns and optimize accordingly if you have a SPAM rate exceeding 0.1%, which is the maximum that industry experts recommend. For instance, if you're sending an email to 500 recipients, you'll want to ensure that fewer than 50 mark the email as spam.
- Bounce Rates — Your emails should also have a low bounce rate, which is the rate at which emails fail to reach recipients. Your bounce rate should be less than 2%, according to industry experts. If it's any higher, you should consider adjusting your email list to minimize your bounce rate, which could involve getting rid of unverified and inactive emails.
- Sender Reputation Scores — You should also check your Sender Reputation Score or Sender Score. This functions as a kind of credit score for your emails, as SenderScore explains it. With the help of this score, you can monitor the health of your email campaigns. A Sender Score below 70 indicates that your reputation is bad. A score of 70 to 80 is better but still indicates that your campaigns need some work. If your score is above 80, you officially have a solid reputation among ISPs. When your score is high enough, you can get a certification that further establishes you as a reliable sender.
Succeed with Email Campaigns Through IP Warming
With the right IP warming strategy, you'll be able to get the results you want with your email marketing campaigns over time. Building your reputation among ISPs will help you succeed in the long term as you avoid IP blocking.
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