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Email is one of the most powerful and effective communication tools. However, the effectiveness of your email campaigns heavily depends on email deliverability—ensuring your emails reach the intended recipients’ inboxes. One crucial aspect of optimal email deliverability is the IP warm-up.
IP warm-up is similar to a runner stretching before a marathon—it prepares the email system for optimal performance. Just as a runner cannot start straight into a full sprint without risking injury, sending a large volume of emails suddenly from a new or cold IP address can raise red flags with inbox service providers (ISPs) and email service providers (ESPs).
These entities are on the lookout for suspicious email activity that often resembles spammer behavior. By gradually increasing the volume of emails sent from a new IP address, your business can establish a reputation as a legitimate email sender to ISPs and improve your email deliverability.
Below, we’ll dive into what IP warm-up is, why it’s essential, and how you can successfully execute it to have the best email deliverability possible.
IP warm-up refers to gradually establishing a positive sender reputation for a new or underused IP address by incrementally increasing the volume of email sent over that IP address. It’s like a trust-building exercise with ISPs to prove your sending practices are legitimate and your emails aren’t spam.
When an IP address has a solid sender reputation, ISPs are more likely to deliver your emails to the recipients’ inboxes rather than sending them to the spam folder.
When executing a successful IP warm-up, the SendGrid platform offers a range of tools and features to guide you through the process. Here, we’ll delve into expert tips for warming up on the SendGrid platform.
Use the SendGrid Event Webhook or Email Activity Feed to understand your email deliverability performance. Understanding how your emails perform at each inbox provider will be critical in understanding your email deliverability performance over time, but it’s especially crucial to understand performance during warm-up to ensure you have the best warm-up possible.
Segment your transactional emails by using a subdomain. For example, for our transactional emails, we may use t.sendgrid.com. This lets ESPs know that these emails may look differently than our marketing emails on m.sendgrid.com. Based on user interactions and engagement levels that differ between marketing and transactional emails, you’ll likely want to warm these up differently and segment them between different IPs and subaccounts on the SendGrid platform.
When warming up transactional emails, consider increasing sending hourly between your current platform and the new setup on SendGrid. Each day, increase how long you keep the sending between each platform until you get to your typical volume. Trigger-based messages, like receipts or password resets, can naturally warm up over time, whereas marketing blasts will need warming up gradually.
Craft emails that encourage recipients to interact with your content during the warm-up phase. Personalized welcome emails and valuable information are excellent choices to use during warm-up.
The more you personalize sending to how people engage with your brand, the better we see emails perform, and that’s no different during warm-up. High engagement rates contribute positively to your sender reputation, which you establish during this warm-up phase. So keep positive interactions high and negative ones low.
Leverage SendGrid’s reporting and analytics tools to monitor critical engagement metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints. These insights provide a clear picture of how recipients respond to your emails and help you adjust your strategy accordingly.
If you see high spam rates over 0.08% on a campaign or low engagement with unique open rates below 5% at a single inbox provider, try to understand what caused it and slow down, warm up, and focus on sending to those you know will engage with your emails.
Ensure your emails are compliant with SendGrid’s policies and industry standards, as it’s crucial to your sending reputation that you send wanted and timely emails.
That includes avoiding misleading subject lines or deceptive content. Transparent, legitimate sending practices contribute to a positive sender reputation. Also, implement proper authentication, such as SPF and DKIM.
IP warm-up is a critical step in maintaining strong email deliverability rates and ensuring your messages reach the intended recipients’ inboxes. By following these expert tips and utilizing Twilio SendGrid’s powerful features, you can effectively warm up both your transactional and marketing emails, establish a positive sender reputation, and set yourself up for successful email campaigns that engage your audience and drive results.
As you navigate the warm-up process on the SendGrid platform, remember that patience, diligence, and a commitment to best practices will lead to improved email deliverability and stronger customer relationships.
For a guided warm-up experience and to better understand email deliverability, contact our Expert Services team.