When you’re waiting in line at a nightclub, you know when you get to the front of the line, you will have to show your ID. When you introduce a new person into a group of friends, you vet them first, make sure they will gel with your group.
This is how you should think about IP warming.
It is about building trust with domain providers like Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook, who are effectively the bouncers at the aforementioned club. Unless you show them what they need to see, they can staunch your email marketing campaign efforts by not allowing your messages through the proverbial door. Whenever you activate a new account — whether because you’ve switched software or because you are just getting started — email providers view that new IP address like an unknown person joining their party.
Consequently, domain providers are skittish of any behavior that appears to be spamming. Whether it is Gmail, AOL or Yahoo or others, it is their job to give ne’er do wells the boot. Domain providers are in the business of ensuring their customers have a good experience. You need to prove to them that you have good intentions, that you are who you say.
You cannot simply jump into email marketing campaigns by sending messages en masse. You need to increase the quantity of email you send gradually over the course of 20 to 25 days, cementing the legitimacy of your new IP address in the eyes of domain providers. Having a successful email marketing campaign without IP warming is impossible.
When pivoting between automated email marketing tools, such as switching to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, re-doing IP warming becomes essential. Foregoing this step can have dire consequences. Most notably, failing to “warm” your account will likely result in your messages ending up in the spam folder. Even worse, your account could be quarantined or blacklisted, meaning any attempt to send an email will fail.
If your emails are not popping up in recipients inboxes, you can forget about converting them. Once you’ve been blacklisted, it will be very difficult for your email marketing efforts to resume successfully. The right partner can help make sure you don’t get blacklisted to begin with, or, if you have, can help you dig yourself out of that hole.
IP warming is not necessary unless you are sending more than 250,000 emails a month. Many businesses that aren’t sending that many monthly emails often use a shared IP address, lumping their company with four others. However, this too can have a drawback. In doing so, you are trusting the other businesses to avoid anything that might whittle your deliverability rate.
For this reason, many small businesses err on the side of caution, opting to do IP warming rather than trust other businesses because the cost of failure is high.
IP warming is all about improving your sender score, which differs from one domain provider to another. Much like a credit score, your sender score governs the level of trust you have with domain providers and will allow you to send larger quantities of emails just as a high credit score extends your line of credit.
While what exactly triggers each domain providers’ spam filters is a bit of a black box, there are some best practices to avoid getting caught in that net.
As already mentioned, it is first important to determine whether IP warming is necessary. While not strictly required — one could undertake learning how to warm an account on their own — having a partner saves time and makes sure the job is done right. It is likely that such a partner will already be there to ease the transition of your business to Salesforce. IP warming is just one component of that process.
Inquiring about IP warming specifically will allow you to understand whether the partner’s vision for your company aligns with yours, giving you insight into whether you and the consulting team think alike. After all, we are talking about software. There are many ways to accomplish the same goal, but the path to that goal can often make a big difference.
Next, you’ll want to establish an IP schedule. Knowing when your emails will go out, to whom and in what volume allows you to make important decisions about who sees those messages. Determine, by domain, which of your subscribers are most engaged. These are the subscribers you will want to target.
You will also need to determine the content of the messages to go out, something breezy and nonchalant like a newsletter-style. That way, if the message is lost in the customer’s inbox during IP warming, it does not affect critical business targets. The more conversational and less transactional the better.
Imagine you’ve just gotten a haircut. You have a new look — one with more polish and panache — but you don’t want to be a braggart by pointing it out. You’re too cool for that. And coolness works better in pairs: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Tango and Cash, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Be half of a dynamic duo by contacting our team.
With your new look, you can interact with customers with a newfound swagger that builds the trust you need to convert leads. By taking the time to do IP warming correctly — with the right partner — you can stand in the line of the club confident that when you get to the front of the line the bouncer won’t hesitate to open the door.