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How To Warm Up Your Email Account In 8 Comprehensive Steps

How To Warm Up Your Email Account In 8 Comprehensive Steps

 

As an email marketer, there’s one place you definitely don’t want your carefully crafted emails to end up: the spam folder. It can be frustrating, disheartening, and even detrimental to your marketing efforts.

 

If you’re among the 0.1% of emails to land in the spam folder, there’s probably a strong reason for it – you haven’t warmed up your email.

 

Email warm up is the pre-game warm up routine for your emails. Just like athletes stretch and limber up before a match, your emails need some warming up before hitting the inbox.

 

Email providers are super vigilant when it comes to filtering out spammy messages, and without proper warm up, your well-intentioned emails might get caught in the crossfire.

 

In this article, we’ll dive into

 

  • What email warm up is,
  • Why it is a must-do practice before you start your email outreach,
  • How to warm up your email account, and
  • When you can stop email warm up, if it ever comes down to that.

 

Alright then. Let’s get right to it!

 

Table of Contents

What is email warm up?

 

Email warm up is all about gradually sending more and more emails from your fresh account to establish a positive reputation with email providers and avoid those spam filters.

 

The ultimate goal? Boosting your email deliverability and reaping the rewards in higher open rates, better replies, and increased sales.

 

Back in the day, you could warm up an email account simply by sending a reasonable number of emails without raising any eyebrows. But things have changed.

 

To be truly effective nowadays, email warm up requires a twofold approach: gradually increasing your email volume while also engaging your recipients.

 

This means having your emails opened, replied to, marked as important, and removed from the spam folder if you ever found yourself there.

 

The email warm up process typically takes around 8 to 12 weeks to reach its maximum potential. But that doesn’t mean you stop there.

 

Once you’ve warmed up your account, you should continue to keep it cozy and well-maintained to maintain that stellar email reputation in the long run.

 

Why is email warm up important?

 

Email warm up plays a vital role in any cold email outreach strategy.

 

Unfortunately, there are those who misuse email accounts to spread malicious or spammy content, which can be detrimental to other users’ email experience.

 

To ensure a safe and reliable email ecosystem, Email Service Providers (ESPs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must assess the trustworthiness of your email account based on its history and reputation.

 

They need to determine whether you’re a legitimate sender before granting you the ability to deliver a larger volume of emails to users.

 

Email warm up acts as a proof of your account’s credibility and trustworthiness. It’s a way to demonstrate that you’re not just another spammer or malicious sender, but someone who respects recipients’ inboxes and delivers valuable content.

 

It’s safe to say that email warm up isn’t an optional step. It’s a crucial process that can significantly impact your email deliverability, open rates, sender reputation, and even your sending limits.

 

Let’s explore the reasons why email warm up deserves your undivided attention.

 

Why email warm up is important

1. Helps you build and improve (and repair) your sender reputation

 

Sending cold emails without email warm up can lead to a decrease in your sender reputation over time.

 

Even if you follow best practices and send relevant emails, without warming up your account, you risk landing in the dreaded junk folder.

 

Email warm up is crucial for building a positive reputation with email service providers (ESPs) like Gmail and Outlook.

 

When you initially set up an email account, it starts with a neutral reputation. Every action you and your recipients take is evaluated and contributes to your reputation score.

 

Engagement rate plays a significant role in scoring your sender reputation, especially in 2023. ESPs analyze the engagement received on your emails to determine if you’re a reputable sender or a spammer.

 

Email warm up generates optimal sending activity with high engagement, establishing you as a trustworthy sender.

 

Not only does email warm up help build a positive reputation, but it also assists in restoring a damaged one.

 

A bad sender reputation results from a lack of positive interactions and an abundance of negative ones, such as spam complaints.

 

To restore your reputation, you need to receive as much positive engagement as possible, demonstrating improved practices and becoming a respected sender.

 

By demonstrating consistent positive sending behavior, you can win back the trust of email providers and regain your position as a reputable sender.

 

2. Improves email deliverability and open rates

 

The main goal of email warm up is to ensure your emails land directly in recipients’ inboxes. When you send an email, ESPs and ISPs check your history and user engagement with your previous emails.

 

If you’re using a new or inactive email account, it’s crucial to warm it up before launching a large-scale cold email campaign, or else your emails might get caught in spam filters.

 

To achieve optimal deliverability, you need a strong sender reputation at the inbox, domain, and IP levels.

 

Your emails should be free from spam elements, and your sending setup should be reputable and preferred by major providers like Google and Microsoft.

 

Warming up your mailbox helps build, maintain, and restore a stellar sender reputation, resulting in improved email deliverability, higher open rates, and increased engagement.

 

In essence, by properly warming up your email account, you can maximize the number of people reached in your email list while avoiding spam filters.

 

This, in turn, leads to higher open rates, click-through rates (CTR), and click-to-open rates (CTOR).

 

When your messages safely reach inboxes, you have the best chance of achieving the maximum possible open rate for your email campaigns.

 

When you think about it, that makes absolute sense!

 

3. Increases your sending limit

 

Email warm up is key to unlocking the full potential of your daily sending limits. When you create a new email account, you’re not immediately granted access to the maximum capacity offered by your email service provider (ESP).

 

For instance, if you have a GSuite account, the Google Workspace offers a daily limit of 2000 emails. However, you can’t utilize this full capacity right from the start.

 

Your ESP needs to observe the impact of a smaller volume of emails on recipients before allowing you to send larger quantities.

 

To reach the maximum sending limit, you must begin by warming up your account. By gradually establishing a positive reputation with your ESP, you gain the ability to send a higher number of emails per day.

 

How to warm up your email account

 

When it comes to warming up your email account, you have two options: manual and automated processes.

 

Manual warm up involves a more hands-on approach, where you personally manage and monitor your email activities to gradually build your sender reputation.

 

Automated warm up involves the use of tools or AI to warm up your email, but with the new Google guidelines against automated warm up services, it is nowhere near as effective as the manual method.

 

Besides, manual warm up allows a tailored approach that aligns with your specific needs and goals.

 

Each method has its own merits, but for the purpose of this blog, we’ll be focusing on manual warm up techniques.

 

With that said, let’s explore the process of manually warming up your email account.

 

  • Authenticate your email account
  • Choose a dedicated IP over a shared IP
  • Establish your brand with a custom domain
  • Send individual emails
  • Start and maintain conversations
  • Set up a personalized test campaign
  • Make sure to include unsubscribe links
  • Regularly clean your email lists

 

1. Authenticate your email account

 

Collaborate closely with your product and sales teams to identify marketing campaigns that align with your business goals.

 

Understand the products or services you want tAs with anything, it’s essential to lay the foundation by authenticating your email account.

 

Authentication protocols, including SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and BIMI play a crucial role in establishing your credibility as a sender.

 

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework) allows you to specify which servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain. It verifies that the sending server is legitimate, reducing the chances of your emails being marked as spam.

 

  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) adds a digital signature to your email headers, ensuring that the content hasn’t been altered in transit. It provides an additional layer of security and proves the authenticity of your emails.

 

  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) builds upon SPF and DKIM by providing a policy framework. It allows you to specify how email receivers should handle messages that fail authentication, further protecting your brand and domain reputation.

 

  • BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) enhances email deliverability and brand recognition. It allows you to display your brand logo next to authenticated emails in supported email clients, increasing recipient trust and engagement.

 

Implementing these authentication protocols demonstrates to ESPs and ISPs that you’re a legitimate sender, committed to ensuring secure and trustworthy email communication.

 

This step is particularly important in the email warm up process because it sets the stage for building a positive sender reputation.

 

Additionally, authentication helps protect your brand identity by preventing unauthorized parties from sending emails on your behalf. It establishes a level of trust with your recipients, reducing the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam or phishing attempts.

 

2. Choose a dedicated IP over a shared IP

 

When it comes to email warm up, opting for a dedicated IP instead of a shared IP is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your email deliverability.

 

While shared IPs may seem convenient and cost-effective, choosing a dedicated IP offers distinct advantages.

 

With a shared IP, you share the reputation of the IP address with other senders. If one sender engages in spammy or questionable practices, it can tarnish the reputation of the entire IP, including your emails.

 

In contrast, a dedicated IP is exclusively assigned to you, providing greater control over your sender reputation.

 

By using a dedicated IP, you can build a clean sending history and establish a positive reputation from the beginning of your warm up process.

 

It allows you to avoid negative impacts from other senders and ensures that your emails are associated solely with your trusted sender identity.

 

A dedicated IP also offers flexibility and scalability. As you gradually increase your sending volume during warm up, you have the freedom to adjust and optimize your sending practices without being constrained by shared IP limitations.

 

3. Establish your brand with a custom domain

 

Using a custom domain is a crucial step to establishing your brand identity and strengthen your email deliverability.

 

By moving away from generic domains like @gmail.com or @yahoo.com and utilizing a domain that reflects your brand, you can significantly improve your email reputation and increase the chances of your messages landing in recipients’ inboxes.

 

Using a custom domain provides several benefits for your warm up process.

 

First and foremost, it adds a professional touch to your email communications, instilling trust and credibility among your recipients.

 

Custom domains create a cohesive brand experience and help differentiate your emails from spammy or suspicious messages.

 

Furthermore, custom domains offer better deliverability rates as they are less likely to be flagged as spam.

 

Email service providers (ESPs) and internet service providers (ISPs) tend to prioritize emails from custom domains, perceiving them as legitimate and trustworthy sources of communication.

 

Custom domains can include any of the following.

 

  • www.yourcompany.com
  • info@yourcompany.com
  • newsletter@yourcompany.com

 

By adopting a custom domain, you reinforce your brand’s presence and ensure that your emails align with your overall marketing strategy.

 

It allows for consistent branding across various touchpoints and increases the chances of engagement and conversions.

 

When implementing a custom domain, remember to properly set up domain authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, as discussed earlier.

 

These measures further enhance your email deliverability and protect your brand reputation.

 

4. Send individual emails

 

The email warm up process kicks off by initiating conversations with friends and colleagues through manual email outreach.

 

During the initial phase, it’s advised to send around 10-20 individual emails per day from your new email account.

 

Be sure to maintain consistent engagement with these initial emails, as it helps establish a positive reputation and gradually increase your email volume.

 

However, you have to avoid sending a large number of emails all at once. Email service providers (ESPs) may mistake such behavior as spam and subject your messages to spam filters or even blacklist your email domain.

 

To ensure a successful warm up, it’s recommended to start with a few emails per day and gradually increase the volume over several weeks.

 

Additionally, be cautious about sending a high number of emails simultaneously, as ESPs employ algorithms to distinguish between manually sent and automated emails.

 

To prevent triggering spam filters, maintain a brief pause of a few seconds or minutes between consecutive emails. This practice demonstrates a more organic sending pattern, reinforcing the authenticity of your email outreach.

 

5. Start and maintain conversations

Start and maintain conversations

 

Once you’ve initiated your email warm up process by sending individual emails, you need to go beyond mere email exchanges and focus on starting and maintaining meaningful conversations with your recipients.

 

Engaging in genuine interactions plays a pivotal role in building trust, establishing rapport, and enhancing your email deliverability.

 

During the early stages of warm up, prioritize quality conversations over quantity.

 

Rather than simply bombarding recipients with promotional content, aim to understand their pain points, offer helpful insights, and provide value through your emails.

 

This approach encourages recipients to engage, reply, and view your emails as relevant and meaningful.

 

This reinforces the authenticity of your warm up process. Consistent engagement and interaction shows ESPs that you are a legitimate sender focused on building genuine relationships, which positively impacts your sender reputation and email deliverability.

 

As you engage in ongoing email conversations, your email-sending capacity expands gradually, allowing your account to become eligible for sending mass emails over time.

 

6. Set up a personalized test campaign

 

Setting up a personalized test campaign is a pivotal step to evaluating and fine-tuning your email deliverability.

 

These targeted tests help you gain valuable insights into how your emails are being received and can make necessary adjustments to optimize your warm up strategy.

 

To begin, select a small segment of your recipient list or a test group and send them personalized emails. This allows you to gauge their response, including email opens, click-through rates, and engagement levels.

 

Monitor these metrics closely to assess the effectiveness of your warm up efforts.

 

During the test campaign, consider implementing the following tips.

 

  • Craft compelling subject lines: Grab your recipients’ attention and entice them to open your emails with engaging subject lines. However, do NOT use spammy words or phrases as that is a clear red flag to ESPs.

 

  • Optimize email content: Create relevant and valuable content that resonates with your audience, encouraging them to take action. Make them exciting to read with the help of a combination of elements such as images, videos, or any other relevant multimedia.

 

  • Monitor email engagement: Keep track of email opens, clicks, replies, and other interactions to gauge recipient interest and adjust your approach accordingly.

 

  • Evaluate spam folder placement: Check whether your emails are landing in the recipient’s spam folders and make adjustments to improve inbox placement.

 

  • Gradually increase sending volume: As you receive positive engagement and observe improved deliverability, gradually increase your sending volume while maintaining engagement and quality.

 

7. Make sure to include unsubscribe links

Make sure to include unsubscribe links

 

During the initial stages of email warm up, receiving spam reports from your recipients can be highly detrimental to your new email account.

 

While you cannot directly control whether or not your readers will flag your emails as spam, there are steps you can take to mitigate this risk.

 

One effective measure is to include an unsubscribe link or button prominently within your emails. By providing this option, you offer recipients a convenient alternative to reporting your emails as spam.

 

Instead of feeling compelled to mark your messages as unwanted, they can simply opt out of your email list.

 

Including an unsubscribe button benefits both parties involved. Your readers have the choice to discontinue receiving your emails, which respects their preferences and avoids any potential annoyance.

 

Simultaneously, your email reputation remains intact, as the number of spam reports decreases.

 

8. Regularly clean your email lists

 

Regularly cleaning your email lists is a crucial aspect of the email warm up process. It involves periodically reviewing and removing inactive or unengaged subscribers from your email lists.

 

This practice is essential for maintaining a healthy and responsive recipient base.

 

Firstly, it helps to improve your overall email deliverability. Removing inactive or unresponsive recipients reduces the chances of your emails being marked as spam or bouncing, ultimately enhancing your sender reputation.

 

Secondly, cleaning your email lists allows you to focus your efforts and resources on engaged and interested subscribers.

 

By targeting those who actively open and engage with your emails, you can optimize your email campaigns, leading to better open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

 

Regular list cleaning also helps you comply with anti-spam regulations and email service provider guidelines.

 

Keeping your lists up-to-date and free from invalid or outdated email addresses ensures that your email marketing practices remain in line with industry standards.

 

How long does it take to warm up an email? And when can you stop?

 

How long it takes to warm up an email account and when you can stop the warm up process depend on several factors, including the email service provider (ESP) you’re using, your sending practices, and the engagement levels of your recipients.

 

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all timeframe, it’s essential to understand the general guidelines and best practices for email warm up.

 

Typically, the initial warm up process can last anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks. During this period, you gradually increase the volume and frequency of your email sends while closely monitoring the engagement metrics.

 

This gradual approach allows you to establish a positive sender reputation and build trust with email providers.

 

To gauge your progress, pay attention to key engagement metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and response rates. If these metrics are steadily improving, it indicates that your warm up efforts are working effectively.

 

However, if you notice a decline in engagement or encounter deliverability issues, it may be necessary to adjust your warm up strategy or seek expert advice.

 

While the initial warm up phase typically lasts several weeks, it’s important to note that email warm up should be an ongoing process.

 

Even after reaching a stable sending volume and achieving satisfactory engagement, you should continue to maintain a consistent and healthy warm up routine.

 

Regularly monitoring engagement, removing inactive subscribers, and practicing good email hygiene will help sustain your sender reputation in the long run.

 

Warm up your email effectively with Scale It Right

 

Email warm-up is a crucial process for any email marketer aiming to achieve optimal deliverability and engagement rates.

 

By gradually increasing email volumes, establishing sender reputation, and engaging recipients, you can improve the chances of your emails reaching the inbox rather than being flagged as spam.

 

Following these steps discussed in this article helps you build a positive sender reputation, maximize email deliverability, and foster stronger connections with your audience.

 

At Scale It Right, we understand the importance of email warm-up in achieving successful email marketing campaigns.

 

With our expertise in demand generation and outbound marketing, we can assist you in implementing effective warm-up practices as part of a comprehensive email marketing strategy.

 

When you choose Scale It Right for your email marketing needs, email warm-up becomes a no-brainer.

 

Our team will guide you through the entire warm-up process, ensuring that your emails have the best chance of reaching your intended recipients’ inboxes.

 

Contact Scale It Right today to supercharge your email marketing efforts and experience the benefits of a well-executed warm-up strategy.

 

About Scale It Right

At Scale It Right, we offer hyper-focused demand generation as a service to help your startup or SMB scale and grow. Our approach is designed to help businesses generate high-quality leads and accelerate their growth through targeted marketing campaigns and personalized outreach.

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