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Warming Up Email Domain

Warm up email domain to boost deliverability in 2023!

Key Takeaways
  • Without proper domain warm up, your emails could end up in the spam folder, harming the sender's reputation and leading to poor deliverability rates.
  • Warming the domain is gradually building trust with email service providers (ESPs) by increasing your email volume for sending.
  • Warming up your domain over 4-6 weeks is best.

Every day, over 347 billion emails are sent and received. And nearly 20.4% of them go to spam or remain undelivered. 

There can be various influential factors leading to this poor deliverability… 

  • Poor service provider 
  • Quality of email list 
  • Sending frequency 
  • Sender’s domain 
  • IP & sender’s overall reputation  

While some factors might be tough to fix instantly, domain-related issues are workable! 

And today’s discussion is all about this- Warming up the email domain 

Without proper email domain warming, your emails could end up in the spam folder or blocked altogether, harming your reputation and negatively impacting your deliverability rates. 

Let’s dive into lessons on what domain warming is, its necessity in email marketing, and best practices. 

What is an email domain warm up? 

Email domain warming is a process of gradually increasing your email sending volume and thus building trust with email service providers (ESPs).

It can be compared to earning a new colleague’s or client’s trust by starting with small talk and gradually working your way up to more serious topics.

Imagine you’re a marketer at a fast-growing startup. You’re eager to launch your latest email campaign and see the numbers soar.

However, without a proper domain warm up strategy, you may be left wondering why your messages are going straight to spam.  

By warming up your domain/IP, you can establish a positive domain reputation with ESPs and avoid the spam folder altogether. 

Wonder? In what situation do you need to warm up the domain? 

Well, do domain warming if… 

  • You have a new domain or dedicated IP address
  • You want to increase sending emails volume
  • Your emails are landing in the spam 

If you’re still unaware of why you need to warm up your domain, the next discussion will help you understand better.

Why do you need to warm up your domain?

Without proper domain warming, your emails may be flagged as spam or blocked altogether. So, the domain warm up process is essential because it improves deliverability rates.

This will eventually harm your domain’s reputation, reduce the effectiveness of your campaigns, and prevent you from reaching your business goals

See the below image to better understand how warming up the domain can make a difference in results.

Warm up email domain

Often businesses keep sending bulk outbound emails to customers. And customers receiving these emails from the same source will likely flag them as spam.

This can harm the effectiveness of your campaigns and their reputation and hinder your business’s performance. Moreover, it will also reduce the business’s credibility.  

Warming up the email domain has some key benefits, such as:

  • Increase sending limits 

When you warm up your email, you get to maximize your daily sending limit.  

Every ESP offers a specific number of emails that can be sent daily from an account. For example, you can send around 2000 emails daily using Google Workspace.

When you create a new account on Google thinking that you could send 2000 emails per day, it won’t permit you.  

Furthermore, the ESP will verify the impact that the small number of emails you’ve sent has had on the recipients. 

Depending on the impact you create, you can send emails in more significant amounts.  

If you want to send a maximum number of emails per day from your account, it is important to warm it up.  

Warming up the email account will allow you to build a positive reputation with your ESP. Hence, you may get to send a huge bulk of emails later.  

  • Better open rates 

Warming up your email domain can significantly impact your email marketing success, and one of the key benefits is better open rates.  

When you gradually increase your email sending volume, you establish a positive reputation with ESPs and improve your sender score.  

This, in turn, increases the likelihood that your emails will make it to your subscribers’ inboxes rather than being marked as spam or blocked altogether.

With better inbox placement rates, your emails are more likely to be seen by your subscribers, leading to better open rates.  

This is because when your subscribers see your emails in their primary inbox, they’re more likely to engage with them.  

  • Avoid email throttling 

Email throttling refers to controlling the number of emails sent to one remote server or ISP at a particular time.  

When you send emails to your target audience without the domain warm up, the ISP will likely mark your content as spam and send it to the spam folder.  

Rather than sticking to the controlled method, it is advisable to keep changing the domain.  

The email domain warm up process will play an essential role in helping to get rid of email throttling.  

Remember that email throttling can have a negative impact on your business.  

It is advisable to have a domain warm up schedule from time to time.  

Once you feel that the marketing strategies are becoming obsolete and need more response, you should complete the domain warmup process.  

  • Saves from grey-listing 

A grey list is a list that a spam filter uses. In this list, all the emails and domain names that are considered spammy or malicious are provided.  

If an email is received from any of these addresses, it will be blocked temporarily.  

Once you land on the grey list, it will lead to your business marketing efforts being flagged negatively.  

Therefore, you will need more time to generate significant results in your business. Warming up the domain will help to keep the domain out of the grey list.  

Including the email domain warmup process will help prevent the risk of being on the grey list.  

It will ensure the growth of the marketing strategy, thereby boosting email marketing efforts.  How long does it take to warm up the email domain? 

Warming up your email domain is a process that takes time and patience.  

The amount of time it takes to warm up your email domain properly can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of your email list, the frequency of your email sends, and the quality of your email content. 

Generally, it’s recommended to warm up your domain over 4-6 weeks.  

During this time, you should gradually increase your email sending volume and follow best practices for domain warm ups, such as sending to engaged subscribers, using a consistent sending pattern, and monitoring your deliverability rates. 

A step-by-step guide to email domain warm-up 

If you feel that the email marketing campaigns aren’t performing well, it is probably because of burnout.  

You should know how to warm up your domain to keep reaching out to your audience. As suggested above, warming up the email domain can bring credibility to the business. 

Hence, follow the steps given below for the domain warm up process. 

1. Authenticate the account 

Email authentication plays a vital role in securing email accounts. Authentication refers to the set of methods that will prevent the email from landing in the spam folder or spoofing.  

The three methods that are crucial for email authentication include: 

  • Sender policy framework 
  • Domain keys identified mail 
  • Domain-based message authentication reporting and conformance 

These three methods will help secure the email, increasing the domain’s reputation. It will also help to make the domain trustworthy.  

If you have a dedicated IP address, you can have more control over your domain sender’s reputation and boost deliverability of your emails.

Dedicated IP addresses are quite flexible for email authentication and deliverability.

For instance, you can set up a double opt-in confirmation for new email subscribers. Once prospects sign up for your email list, they will receive a validating email with a link for further actions.

This improves email deliverability and ensures you only receive emails from potential customers from your campaigns.

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2. Use a custom domain 

Custom domain often tells your email recipients and ESPs that the email is authentic and trustworthy.  

Moreover, it also helps to show that the content is from a relevant source. Compared to generic domains, people are likely to trust custom domains.  

The recipients usually flag the generic domains as spam (for malicious content).  

Having a custom domain will help you to establish a good email reputation. In addition, you can be consistent with your domain even if you switch the ESP when you have a custom domain.

You can implement it across your email campaigns and reach a larger audience.  

3. Build a domain warm-up schedule 

Creating a prominent and effective domain warm up schedule is advisable, depending on your past performances.  

Send out daily emails continuously for 8-13 weeks of operation. When you start generating a positive response, it hints to your ESP that you’re a credible source.  

It would help if you were consistent with the warm up schedule. You must send emails at a fixed time and only up to 1.5x emails from the previous day.  

Every 4-5 days, you must try switching the content and sending it to the recipient. If you keep sending the same type of content, the customer may not like it and flag you as spam.  

Also, monitoring the right email metrics, such as email deliverability and engagement rate, can help you track your success.

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4. Personalize the content 

According to Accenture, around 91% of customers prefer contacting brands that provide personalized offers. Personalizing the content of your email helps your customers feel valued.  

As a result, they become more inclined towards doing business with you.  

You must ensure that the mail content isn’t too bland or salesy. Instead, it must be personalized and attractive.

If you are involved in sending EDMs, you must send similar content that has a good reputation among the recipients.  

If you send any content at risk of getting spammed, it will negatively impact you. Refrain from using the content’s title, map tags, or even alt tags.  

Optimize the preheaders and do not include generic links.  

5. Do not use spammy words 

Email deliverability is essential for any business looking to succeed in its email marketing efforts. 

However, one thing that can seriously affect your email’s deliverability is the use of spammy words, such as “limited time offer,” “make money fast,” “free trial,” and many others. 

If you send too many emails with spammy words during the warm-up domain period, it could trigger spam filters, and your emails may end up in the spam folder instead of the inbox.  

This will harm your email deliverability, and your emails will reach fewer people, leading to a lower engagement rate. 

To avoid this, you must ensure your emails avoid spammy words.  

You can start by segmenting your email list into smaller groups and gradually increasing your email volume and frequency over time.  

Related read: Email best practices to boost email deliverability! 

5. Maintain consistency in conversation 

Maintaining consistency in conversation by receiving a response from your recipients ensures that you’re a trustworthy source.  

During the warmup process, it is best to maintain consistency in conversation. Also, make sure to maintain the mail threads that you receive.  

Maintaining this consistency for around 8-12 weeks will help boost the warm-up process.  

As a result, you will be able to gain a higher deliverability rate while improving the open rates for the campaigns too.  

6. Provide the unsubscribe button 

The unsubscribe button is an essential aspect of email marketing, and it’s required by law to include it in all commercial emails. 

During the domain warm-up period, you’re trying to establish a good reputation with email service providers (ESPs) such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.  

Providing an unsubscribe button in your emails is an effective way to do so. 

By making it easy for subscribers to unsubscribe, you show that you respect their preferences and are not trying to force them to receive unwanted emails.  

This can help you avoid being flagged as spam, which can harm your deliverability.  

Final thoughts: Domain warm up protects your business reputation online 

Domain/IP warm up becomes necessary for better deliverability. Moreover, even if you have an entirely new domain without any bad reputation, warming up will remain necessary.

You are little constraint when you have a shared IP address; however, dedicated IP is better in terms of performance and speed.

Ensure to configure your MX (mail exchange record); without this, your emails will more likely be tagged as spam and thus will not land in the inboxes.

If possible, it would be best if you could have multiple email providers like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.

By warming up your email domain, you can build a strong foundation for successful email marketing campaigns and ensure your messages effectively reach your target audience.  

So, invest the time and effort needed to get it right, and your business will reap the benefits in the years ahead. 


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