ip address warm up guidelines
Email Deliverability

Strict guidelines to be followed to warm up your IP address

If you are going to send emails from a new IP address, sudden increase in email sending volumes can affect your IP’s reputation adversely. To prevent this, we need to warm the IP address up gradually over time to establish your IP address as a legitimate email sender among Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Properly warming up the IP address is a critical step in building the email sending reputation and improving deliverability. During the warm-up phase the more consistent you are with the volume, frequency, complaint and bounce levels, the faster you will establish a positive sending reputation. If you send infrequently, anything less than weekly it will take more time to build a positive sender reputation.

Some vital parameters to be checked before starting the warm-up process:

  1. Make sure that your technical configurations are in place.
    a. SPF-(Sender Policy Framework)
    b. DKIM -(Domain Key Identifier Message)
    c. DMARC- (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance)
    d. FBL configuration (Yahoo, Hotmail & others)
  2. Filter out your best and most active contacts using segmentation. Don’t start the IP warming process with older lists. This is because of the fact that having high delivery rates and hence good engagement with your initial campaigns will help build the IP’s reputation.
  3. It is mandatory to incorporate physical address of the company & a clear disclaimer saying that why this email has been sent to user. It gives the users/ISPs give the genuinity of the sender.
  4. Proper visible unsubscribe link is mandatory in every mailer, it gives a user to opt to exit from your newsletters. This reduces the risk of spam complaints with a unsubscribe link placed in the mailer.

The Process:
Warming up of IPs prevents your IP address to be eventually mistaken as a spammer. The process helps creating good reputation as the sender and also improves the deliverability of your emails. The ideal Database which can be used for starting the warming up process is multiple openers/clickers in last 45 days.

Warming up process timeline can vary depending on a number of factors including: List hygiene, spam complaints, user engagement, domain reputation, content and other factors. The data can be added more frequently if we can see effective response in terms of opens and clicks. ISPs trust metrics from their users, and what they observe therefore no Brand will get special treatment over another.

The following metrics to be followed in IP warming up process:

  1. Google Postmaster stats (Feedback, Domain reputation, IP reputation & Delivery stats)
  2. ISP Wise Trend
  3. General campaign stats (Open, Click, Unsubscribe, Bounce (hard/soft) & Spam complaints)
  4. Optimizing non-openers for certain users based on their less-activity on mailers would need to trim domain further to regain the open rates & domain reputation of any of the ISP.
  5. Monitoring IP score, blacklist & bounce report on daily basis is vital in the warming up process.
  6. Analyzing bounce report also throws a lot of data points on IP reputation. It gets to know if any blocking happens on B2B domains.

Data Addition in Each Phase

As you can see, a good plan is to start sending out small volumes say 7000 in this example. Assuming the bounce rate and spam rate stay below these thresholds, we can safely double the mailing volume for the subsequent days until the expected sending volume is reached. Attempting to increase the sending volume by more than double is not recommended on an active IP.

ISPs track how engaged subscribers are with an email and its sender, and the nature of the engagement. Positive actions may include opening a message, adding an email address to the contact list, clicking through links, clicking to enable images, and read rate such as scrolling through the message. Negative actions may include reporting the email as spam, deleting it, moving it to the junk folder, or ignoring it.

Muhamed Sabir J is an Email Deliverability Expert, at iCubesPro. He holds a Master's in Computer Science & Engineering. He loves watching Football. ManU is his favorite team.