A Complete Guide To IP Warming

  • Lalitha Shukla
  • |
  • 2 March , 2022
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    • 4 min read

A good email marketing strategy can help retain customers and engage with them in a productive way. However, a prerequisite to building an email marketing strategy is building a credible reputation for the IP address that will be used to send the emails out. Have you noticed that a huge chunk of emails that are delivered to you end up in your junk or spam folder while some make it to your inbox? The reason why those emails land up in your spam folder is because of a bad IP reputation. 

In today’s day and age when data privacy is so important, brands across the world are taking measures to ensure that they don’t spam their customers and if you are a brand that is new to email marketing, you need to ensure the same. IP warming is a very important activity that every brand new to email marketing must undertake to increase their email deliverability and customer engagement. Sending large volumes of emails to your subscribers without establishing a good reputation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will hamper your chances of reaching your customers. 

Do you need it?

Whether you need to warm your IP address depends on two key factors-

The volume of Emails - If you are sending less than 10,000 emails a month, then you may not require an IP warming exercise. ISPs usually target brands that send large volumes of emails every month to their customers. However, it is a good practice to warm up your IP address even if the volumes are low as it helps build credibility for your business. 

Dedicated IP Address - IP warming is required only if a brand is using a dedicated IP address. There are tools in the market that send emails via shared IP addresses and in those cases, brands don’t need to warm the IP address up. It is advisable for brands who send large email volumes to get their own IP address as the reputation depends solely on them. Using shared IPs can prove to be detrimental depending on the previous campaigns and reputation of the IP.

What is IP Warmup?

IP Warmup or IP Warming is the process of establishing credibility for a new IP Address or an IP that hasn’t been used in a while. The process includes sending emails from the new IP Address linked to the email account in small volumes and gradually increasing the number of emails each day or week depending on the schedule. The idea is to build credibility amongst ISPs ( Internet Service Providers) and ensure that the email is getting delivered to the subscribers’ inboxes.

Data shows that most connections from new IP addresses are attempts to deliver unsolicited spam or unwanted email. It’s important to build history when sending from a new IP Address to avoid landing in the SPAM folders of your subscribers. It’s highly recommended to gradually increase your volume of desirable mail to your subscribers to build a good reputation for your IP. Once a solid reputation has been built for your brand, you can start sending large volumes of emails to your subscribers.

How can IP Warmup help brands using email marketing?

Let’s look at how the IP Warmup exercise can help brands indulge in email marketing to engage with their customers. 

  1. Email Deliverability - Every brand’s major concern when it comes to email marketing is whether my email will reach my customer’s inbox or not. IP warming helps do that. Brands can determine the probability of emails reaching your subscribers’ inboxes and adjust the email volumes accordingly. 
  2. Optimise content for campaigns- During IP warming, when a limited volume of emails are sent, it’s easier for brands to understand what kind of content works best and optimise their future email campaigns for the entire database of subscribers.
  3. Campaign Effectiveness - IP warming helps emails get whitelisted and once that happens, brands don’t have to worry about deliverability. They can instead shift their focus to campaign effectiveness - understanding their customers better, creating retention marketing emails and focusing on customer engagement by looking at metrics like Open Rate, Click-through-rate (CTR) instead of the Deliverability rate.

IP warmup - Best Practices 

  • It takes a minimum of 3-4 weeks to establish an identity and build a credible reputation with the Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
  • The main factors that influence this are - Send Cadence, Volume of emails, Complaints, Bounces and Engagement
  • Brands should set specific volume thresholds per domain for each day of each week to follow, which building volume steadily week on week
  • Send cadence should usually be set at a minimum of 3 days a week to establish proper cadence and sending patterns
  • Brands should focus on the most engaged subscribers as it helps in limited bounces and complaints

Email Template Design for IP Warmup - Best practices 

Here are some best practices to follow while designing an email template for an IP warming exercise -

  • Subject line with maximum 60 characters & doesn’t contain SPAM words (eg. offer/buy now etc.)
  • Pre-header content should be maximum of 40-130 characters which give the subscriber snippet of overall communication
  •  Maintain a healthy Text to Image ratio – more than 60% of the overall design should be text.
  •  Single CTA button with “Non-Selling” action – (e.g. Knowmore) and should be on the first fold.
  •  Minimal use of external links in the email body

If you are a brand that is looking to build an email marketing strategy to engage with your subscribers and need support in IP warming, reach out to us. Our team of experts have over 15 years of experience in creating robust email marketing strategies and have handled IP warm-ups for over 300 brands.