Despite the across-the-board advent of various state-of-the-art communications means, email remains an essential element in the lion’s share of digitally-driven marketing strategies. However, the efficiency of this instrument can be considerably hamstrung by substandard email deliverability. As often as not, quite a few workmanlike messages (20% on average) end up in spam bins without being read by addressees.
Of course, you may leverage first-rate email deliverability software like Folderly or conduct deliverability tests that cover all four WARP areas:
But all these or any other measures may turn out to be inadequate, especially if the majority of letters you send from your account are cold emails. To combat the problem, you should resort to email domain warmup.
Email Warmup Made Plain
Who likes spam? Correct, no one. Mailbox owners go to all lengths to minimize unsolicited and annoying letters by harnessing elaborately designed email test tools that conduct meticulous spam email tests of all incoming letters. In the face of the spread of malicious bots honed to exploit spam sign-ups, Google lends a helping hand by regularly releasing spam updates that mark many messages as spam, thus handicapping the deliverability of emails without even testing them. Email warmup is a system of measures called to mitigate the effects of all these anti-spam solutions and win a positive reputation for your email account.
When you create a new account, the email service provider establishes a sending limit that you can’t exceed daily (for instance, 2,000 emails for a G Suite account). But this maximum number can’t be used starting from day one. Your real initial limit will be much smaller, and its extension depends on the reputation you develop while using the account. This process of building a solid reputation that is poised to reach the full potential of the sending limit is what is known as email warmup.
Is this endeavor important? It is mission-critical when you have a massive cold email campaign in mind. Without the preliminary warming up, the majority of your messages will display a low email deliverability rate since they will never be able to bypass spam filters and consequently will be left unopened by inbox owners.
How can you warm up your email account? You can achieve it via manual or automated efforts.
Zooming in on Manual Email Warmup
There are several tactics to be employed to warm up your email account manually.
1. Authenticating the Account
This is what you should start with when you obtain a new account since authentication is a safeguard against spam filters. It can be performed in four ways.
- Sender Policy Framework. The SPF technique boils down to creating a record in the domain name system (DNS) where all servers that are allowed to send letters on behalf of a domain are listed. Thus, the email service provider (ESP) of a recipient gets a clean chit to the sender’s domain.
As an alternative, you can leverage SendGrid domain authentication when the vendor’s SMTP enables you to make use of SendGrid servers (instead of your own) to send emails.
- Domain Keys Identified Mail. You add a digital signature to your domain to prevent email spoofing and ensure the letters’ deliverability.
- Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, & Conformance. These records convince the addressee’s ESP that the message is associated with no scammy activities (for instance, spam sign-ups).
- Custom domain. In case it is added to your emails, it makes documents look more authentic.
2. Sending Individual Letters
The first practical warming-up step consists in sending a couple of dozen manual emails with a personalized subject line to your colleagues and friends. Once you succeed in engaging the recipients, the ESP will recognize your authentic activities and will gradually increase the message limit. And if these letters are addressed to a range of reliable email services (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, etc.), the chances of driving a good reputation grow manifold.
3. Keeping Conversation Threads
Just sending letters isn’t enough. You must have responses and build a consistent conversation. In this respect, a good kick-off idea is to exchange letters between your new account and the already existing ones. Robust communication with prompt replies is one more proof to the ESP that your activity is genuine.
4. Subscribing to Newsletters
In certain industries (sales, recruitment, marketing), most publications dispatch periodic bulletins which require confirmation of subscription. This is an opportunity you just can’t miss. If you subscribe to as many of them as possible and confirm all subscriptions from your inbox, it will validate your new account and attract a regular influx of emails to it.
5. Give Emails a Break
In case you dispatch messages to the same inbox too often, ESP algorithms are likely to perceive you as a robot. So allow for some seconds between two letters and never send emails in bunches. Otherwise, spam filters will be alerted, and your domain reputation will take a dive.
6. Launch a Testing Campaign
After a couple of months of this warming-up enterprise, you can run a pilot cold email campaign. It can be done with 20 or 30 people you know to make sure they will open your letters and respond to them. All these messages should be personalized, have a unique subject line, contain no spam words (free, 50% off, grab, etc.), have simple and clean content with images, videos, or GIFs, and a minimal number of links, one of which should necessarily be an unsubscribe link.
Such life hacks will rule out any chances of triggering spam reports, which have a harmful impact on your reputation, even if it is just a single one.
As you see, email warmup is a multi-aspect process that requires continuous focus and consistent engagement. And this is what machines excel at.
Introducing Automated Email Warmup
Automated email warmup is conducted along the same lines as the manual procedure, but here specialized email warmup software tackles every action on your behalf. All you have to do to start the automatic process is to onboard such a solution and enable the warmup feature (given you have already set up all authentication factors).
The best software in this niche also allows for certain customization (like adjusting the number of messages sent each day, the increment of this number, senders’ names, and reply rate). Besides, you can get reports, check the number of emails dispatched and received within a month, switch between accounts, and run deliverability tests to calculate the percentage of emails that reach the targeted inbox.
Whether you opt for the manual or automated approach, it is important not to overdo it with any and not to turn the warmup into a simmer. To avoid overreaching your goal when ESP starts to suspect spamming activities from your account, it is recommended to stop the process after 12 weeks at most.
With anti-spam mechanisms on the alert, it is no wonder that dozens of email accounts are blocked in the middle of cold email campaigns. To prevent it, you should thoroughly warm up your account before launching such an operation.
About the Author
Boris Dzhingarov is a university graduate, SEO expert, and experienced blogger. Boris has founded numerous websites and thanks to a passion for technology, he has a special interest in IT, which he frequently writes about in blogs and online magazine articles.