IPs that have never mailed before are considered cold. The process of sending a slow but steady stream of emails on those IPs to build a positive reputation with mail providers is called IP warm up.
Email-service providers (or ESPs) are skeptical of any messages that come from cold IPs until you form a good relationship with them as a sender. Most providers have limits on how much you can send to their addresses each day until they recognize you, your content, and your engagement.
Your relationship with ESPs is your key to the inbox, and it’s important to use right sending practices from the very beginning. That’s why we’ve compiled our list of the top five things we find the most important when warming up your IPs and making a good impression.
IP warm up takes time and patience. Messages from new IPs rarely see the inbox when they’re first starting out in the mailing game. For the same reason a bank won’t give a $5000 line of credit to someone applying for their very first card, ESPs aren’t going to hand the reins over to you until you prove you can be trusted. Take things one day at a time, stay consistent, and show them what you’re made of!
Email providers pay close attention to your patterns as they’re getting to know you. If you mail unpredictably instead of sending at regular intervals, they won’t know what to expect from you. This can mean a longer warm-up period if the provider decides they need more time to gauge your mailing habits.
If you want to earn the trust of ESPs, you need to start with your best creatives. If time and effort doesn’t go into the content you put out, your readers won’t want to put their time or effort into reading it. Catch your subscribers’ attention with a great header. Then, knock their socks off with an awesome campaign, and seal the deal with a fantastic footer. Take your time, flex those design muscles, and put together campaigns that you can be proud of.
Data lists are a dime a dozen, but sending mail to whatever data you can find isn’t the way to go. In fact, it can actually harm your reputation! Sure, you can send out an email blast to ten thousand subscribers and see what sticks, but how many of them open your message? How many of those openers click your link? ESPs notice these things, and concentrating on subscribers who engage with your content goes a long way.
No, we don’t mean where your subscribers are in the world—we’re talking about which ESP hosts their email account. How many of your subscribers have Gmail accounts? If you’re not sending to everyone, you’re not warming up with every provider. This doesn’t mean you need to get as big a list as possible—remember, active subscribers are your best subscribers! A small, well-picked list of diverse subscribers can be your ticket to success.