It’s no secret that email marketing is an important instrument that allows businesses to effectively connect with their potential and existing customers. And it’s in a business's best interest that their email marketing campaigns reach as many people as possible when they create email outreach. If you want to send your marketing campaigns via a new domain or IP address, and you want to ensure that your subscribers receive your emails, domain and IP warm-up will come in handy.
Domain and IP warm-up is the process of steadily increasing your email sending volume over a few weeks creating a favorable email reputation for your new domain until it's fully "warmed up" and ready for the volume you need for your marketing campaign without being flagged by spam filters.
It's crucial to start slowly and gradually increase the number of emails you send. A recommended schedule might be to begin with 10 emails per day in the first week and then progressively increase the volume over the period of 4-6 weeks, maintaining consistency in both email quantity and the sending schedule.
Deviating from such a schedule can result in being flagged by spam filters, so you may adapt it as needed while keeping the gradual approach in mind.
Every day about 14.5 billion emails are marked as spam worldwide, accounting for nearly half of all emails sent daily. Spam is often filtered before the recipient even sees it. As a business sending big mail outs to your subscribers, the last thing you want is to be classified as spam by the email service providers.
At the same time, accomplishing this task has become increasingly challenging over time due to the fact that major email providers have significantly enhanced their spam detection capabilities, making their spam filters stricter. In addition, if emails are sent from a new (or ‘cold’) sending domain/IP address, there is a higher risk that messages will be rejected or filtered into spam folders, and users will never see them. This happens because IPSs (Internet Service Providers) and Email Service Providers (like Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, etc) tend to view new domains and IP addresses with suspicion because they have no sending reputation yet. As your domain and/or IP address gain historical data and email activity record, email service providers will gradually allow you to send more emails without getting blocked.
In cases when you just registered a domain name and acquired a new dedicated IP address for your email service, it’s clear that you will need to warm up both of them to ensure good email deliverability since they’re both considered ‘cold’ at this point. Let’s look at other possible scenarios.
If you're assigned a new IP address (e.g. when you switch email hosting providers or you just have a new dedicated IP assigned to your email service), but your sending domain remains the same – you still might encounter mail deliverability issues during your email outreach.
It’s worth noting that warm-ups are only required for dedicated IPs. If you’re using a service like Namecheap Private Email or Shared Hosting - that use shared IP addresses - the IP addresses are already warmed-up and you will only need to make sure that your domain is also warmed-up.
Or the opposite can be true — you might be pairing a newly registered domain with an already-warm IP address. Be aware that, in these cases, email service providers treat new domains with even more caution than new IP addresses.
There are two types of warm-up processes: manual and automated. At Namecheap, we don’t provide an automated process, so we’ll only look at the manual option here.
First things first, you will need to purchase an email service (like Namecheap Private Email or Shared Hosting) and create a mailbox. Then you will need to make sure that DNS for your email domain is set up properly. Besides MX records, that are necessary for the proper function of email services, you will need to set up SPF and DKIM records (you can also set up a DMARC record for maximum efficiency). They’re email authentication mechanisms designed to help prevent email spoofing and phishing attacks, and are essential for email security. These DNS records are used by mail servers to verify the authenticity of incoming email messages. In 2023, many email service providers will simply reject emails sent from domains that don’t have these aren’t set up properly, so it’s worth double checking that everything is in order before you begin the process.
If SPF/DKIM/DMARC records are missing, it may be one of the reasons that:
NOTE: Email spoofing is a forging of an email address to make it seem like the message has been sent from you to trick people into opening it.
It’s important that your emails look authentic to recipients, that’s why you should personalize your email address by adding your name, as well as a signature. For best results, include the following details in your email signature:
If you want to use a signature that includes your photo, company logo, etc, rather than a plain-text signature, feel free to include that as well. However, take into account that if the footer’s HTML is messy and is larger than the body of your message, it may actually trigger anti-spam filters, resulting in your emails being rejected.
TIP: When setting up your email account, you may want to ensure that your email address is associated with a real website to add to its credibility. The specific website you link to your account is not critical at this stage though, and can be modified later if needed.
As we mentioned earlier, newly registered domains are often marked as suspicious by spam filters because they assess the age of a domain. If it is less than 30 days, the domain is automatically flagged. This is done specifically to ensure that users don’t receive spam or malicious emails from senders who try to get around restrictions by frequently switching through multiple domains.
It’s known that large numbers of emails from unknown IP addresses usually originate from spammers. They often use the same pattern: the purchase of a new domain or email plan followed by mass spam sending before the new address is blocked by the email service provider.
Consequently, any emails sent from domains like this are also treated as suspicious. It's advisable, then, to wait thirty days before beginning your warmup process, to avoid facing deliverability issues or possible rejections of your emails.
Writing a relevant and quality email copy is a must if you want to create high engagement with customers. If your email content appears scammy, or lacks relevance, users may choose not to click any promotional links, leading to a diminished chance of future email openings. There are several strategies to enhance your content:
Once you've set up your email account, DNS records, and begun creating content for your campaigns, you can start gradually sending emails from your fresh mailbox. Here are a few points to pay attention to:
Week 1: 10 emails
Week 2: 30 emails
Week 3: 80 emails
Week 4: 100 emails
Week 5: 150 emails
Week 6: 200 emails
Please take into account that this is just an approximate scheme and you may not follow it strictly.
Now you know how to warm up your email, let’s take a look at some other factors that can influence your email reputation score during your email outreach:
It’s important to note that every email service provider defines what factors they rely on when calculating a sender’s reputation. So your reputation score may differ slightly with every provider. But you can check your general reputation score using one of these external resources:
As an aside, it’s worth noting that it's much easier to establish a good new email sending reputation than to fix it if it goes bad, so warming up is likely to start your domain and IP address on the right footing for the longevity they need.the bad one. That’s why the initial warm-up process is crucial for your domain or IP address.
Be ready when you start warming up your domain (or IP address) for blockings, delays in delivery, and bounce-backs on the side of the email providers. Stay flexible. What should you do when this happens?
On the sender’s side: proceed with sending out emails following the recommendations in this guide. At the same time, refrain from increasing email volumes for some period of time On the recipient’s side: make sure that all the emails delivered to the Spam folder are moved to Inbox and replied to. Alternatively, recipients can add the sender to the acceptlist on the side of their email provider so that future emails are delivered as normal.
Over the time of the warm-up process, though, these issues should disappear, and your should be delivered as you'd expect to its recipients. That’s when you can start freely sending messages to the subscribers for your email marketing campaign.