IP Warming: What You Should Know and How to Do It Right
To prevent online fraud and protect the experience of netizens, internet services have created a way to filter out cybercriminals by requiring email marketers to do IP warming first. Because of this new system, internet services can easily distinguish legitimate email marketers from frauds and immediately impose a harsh punishment on those who send suspicious emails through different IP addresses.
IP warming is the process of increasing the number of customers you send campaigns to on an established schedule using a dedicated IP address. It improves your email marketing performance by increasing deliverability rates and helping you establish a good sender’s reputation. What are the benefits of IP warming, and how can you do it right? Read more below.
So, Why Do You Have To Do It?
1. Fewer unsubscribe rates
IP warming teaches you to be serious in how you conduct email marketing. Because of the rules on how to do email marketing right, such as sending relevant content, you’re forced to up your craft by creating campaigns that keep your subscribers interested. Subscribers who remain interesting turn into loyal customers thus, allowing you to take your business to the next level.
2. Helps your emails not end up in the spam folder
One of the greatest enemies of an email marketer is receiving low deliverability rates. Email marketers who find their campaigns being sent to the spam box can imply that they don’t have a good sender’s reputation yet.
Through IP warming, you can establish a trustworthy sender’s identity, which helps your campaigns avoid customer spam boxes. As a bonus, Your campaigns will also be less prone to being blocked, rejected, ignored, or bounced back.
3. Allows you to send large volumes of emails without repercussion
Sending large volumes of emails immediately using a new IP address and domain will get both of these tools blacklisted. In less serious but still costly cases, you could receive bad deliverability rates, as mentioned above.
If you do IP warming first, you’ll be able to send large volumes of campaigns without getting your IP and domain blacklisted. You’ll also avoid getting poor deliverability rates. Because of this, you can reach out to all of your customers on your mailing list.
Here’s the best part: You’ll have the freedom to reach out to more prospects, build your mailing list, gain more loyal customers, and earn a healthy return on investment (ROI) percentage. All of these are recipes for a successful online business.
Let’s Look At The Basic Steps Of Warming Up Your IP
Step 1: Set up your authentication protocols
Before anything else, you need to prove your credentials to internet and email service providers (ISPs and ESPs). Setting up your email authentication protocols will help ISPs know who you are as an email marketer.
Not only that but setting your authentication protocols will also improve your domain’s reputation making it easier for your future campaigns to reach your customers’ inboxes. If you don’t set your email authentication protocols first, your campaigns will have poor deliverability rates.
Step 2: Segment your most engaged subscribers
During the IP warming process, you must show ISPs and ESPs that your campaigns are wanted by your recipients. This is necessary if you want to get good scores and build your sender’s reputation fast. Segment these users into a special list so that you won’t have difficulties during the campaign sending process.
Look for subscribers with the highest open and click rates, those who recently logged in to your website, and users who just subscribed to your mailing list. These users are most likely to open your campaigns and boost your warming score.
Step 3: Determine the best way to warm up your IP
There are two different ways you can warm up your IP. The first is you only send one message to each user per campaign day and increase your total recipients every next campaign day. The other method is to send one message to each user in a group and choose another group of users for the next campaign day. The second user group size should be bigger than the former.
Both methods will still have the end result. But the method you’re going to choose should reflect your brand’s engagement, communication style, and mailing list size. You cannot start sending large volumes of emails to your subscribers if your overall mailing list size is small, as your IP warming efforts will end up half-baked.
Step 4: Monitor your metrics such as bounced rates, open rates, and spam complaints.
Even if you send campaigns to highly engaged users, that doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly. Some users will find your campaigns aggressive or irrelevant to their needs. As a result, your campaigns will receive complaints that render your entire IP warming efforts null.
By monitoring deliverability, engagement rates, and spam complaints, you can immediately adjust your campaign strategy that best suits the interests of your subscribers. You’ll also quickly fix deliverability issues to ensure that your customers receive your messages at the right time.
Best Practices to Boost IP Warming
1. Target your most engaged audiences first
As mentioned, letting your campaigns receive high engagement rates during IP warming is a quick and surefire way to build your sender’s reputation. That is why you should pay attention to subscribers who are actively opening your emails, clicking links, and making purchases.
After you’ve identified who these users are, put them into a special list segmentation. Then, choose how many users from this list you should send your campaigns to on day 1. Then, depending on which warming method you’ve chosen to use, give each user a schedule when they should receive your campaigns.
For example, the first batch should be 20 users. The next batch should be 40 users. Twenty of them are from the previous batch or are new contacts. Keep on doubling your recipient pool until you reach all highly engaged users in the special list.
2. Practice consistency in sending
It’s important to adhere to a definitive schedule when warming up your IP. Not only does it help your customers get used to your sending behavior, but it also makes it easy for ISPs and ESPs to calculate and monitor your sending patterns.
To be consistent in sending emails, choose a specific day or days you should send your emails and a specific hour of each day. For example, send your campaigns from Tuesday to Thursday within a 10 am to 1 pm time frame.
Then, follow that schedule without fail until you’re done warming up your IP. It’s one of the best practices to make your campaigns perform highly. You can also keep on using that schedule after IP warming for the best deliverability results.
3. Start by sending small volumes of emails
Do not send campaigns to all your segmented or overall subscribers from the get-go. You will get your domain and IP blacklisted by ISPs and ESPs. It’s a costly mistake because once you get blacklisted, it’s nigh impossible to reverse the blacklist.
If your list segmentation of engaged users is a total of 10,000, start by sending campaigns to a small number of subscribers. A healthy number of initial recipients would be 10 to 50. You can either double this number each day or follow a different schedule.
4. Make sure that the content you send is engaging
There is no guarantee that your IP warming process will go smoothly – unless you send campaigns that match the interests, preferences, and needs of your subscribers. To know what makes your subscribers tick, pay attention to their engagement metrics.
Find a specific topic or product your customers interact with mostly. You can assign your customers to other list segments depending on their interests. Then, create campaigns that mirror your customers’ needs.
It’s not all the time that one campaign category would spark the interest of all your customers. You must find the most popular topics and alternate sending new content of each to the different yet matching user lists.
5. Be patient – this whole process can take time
An entire IP warming process can take days to months depending on your initial mailing list size, its growth, and how fast you build your list using tools. At times, you’ll feel impatient because you’ll want to reach out to all your customers as soon as possible and earn profits.
If you divert from your plans, ISPs and ESPs will have a hard time calculating and evaluating your sending behavior. They would mark your domain and IP address as sketchy, lowering your deliverability rates. You must stick to your established campaign sending schedule.
IP warming is one of the most important things you should do as an email marketer before sending large volumes of campaigns. It helps reach all your customers without damaging your brand’s reputation, domain, and dedicated IP address. The best part of IP warming? It helps you become a better email marketer by following consistent campaign sending rules.