How to Warm Up an Email Address List

| Updated on February 13, 2024

Tired of cold results from your email marketing campaigns? Then, it may be time to warm up your email. In this guide, we’ll explore what email warm-up is, why it’s important, and how you can do it yourself — or enlist the help of professional email warm-up solutions.

What is Email Warm-Up?

Email warm-up refers to the process of fabrication of your email reputation with Email Service Providers (ESPs) and mailbox systems. The procedure is followed by sending emails to small groups, slowly motoring your email send volumes, and engaging with your subscribers to ensure they’re receiving messages. This contrasts with using a cold domain that hasn’t established itself with ESPs and sending large volumes of emails right away.

The process is performed to ensure ESPs recognize your domain as legitimate, identify your messages as wanted, and deliver them to the inbox instead of the spam folder. ISPs look at a variety of factors when evaluating an email domain for deliverability, including the quality of email content and the reputations of domains sending those messages.

Why Should I Care About Email Warm-Up?

It is an essential practice if you plan on using your domain for marketing motives. Today’s ESPs and online servers actively seek to block unwanted content like promotional messages and spam. If your domain isn’t recognized as legitimate, or if you send too many emails at once, they won’t make it to the inbox, and your efforts will go to waste.

Cold domains are also more likely to get blacklisted, which can seriously damage your sender’s reputation and make it difficult or impossible to deliver emails in the future. Email warm-up helps you avert this scenario by slowly building your reputation and engaging with your subscribers to ensure they’re happy with the messages they receive.

How to Warm Up Your Email Address List

Unfortunately, warming up your emails isn’t as easy as throwing a blanket on your server or putting it by a cozy fire. The process is very methodological, requiring both foreplanning and patience in order to work effectively. Read the following sections for a breakdown of what warming up an email address list involves.

Configuring Your Domain for Warm-Up

The first step to warming up an email is by establishing your domain with an email service provider and configuring it properly. This involves setting up an SPF and DKIM record, as well as adding an unsubscribe link to your messages. You’ll also want to make sure your messages follow the guidelines outlined in the CAN-SPAM Act. Doing so will ensure that your first messages make it through to serve as a base upon which you can gradually increase your email send volumes.

Segmenting Your Email List

Once your domain is set up for warm-up, the next step is segmenting your list. This refers to breaking down your entire list into smaller, more manageable chunks that can be sent in a controlled manner. Depending on the size of your list, you may have to segment it multiple times in order to send messages to the entire list without overwhelming your ISP or mailbox.

Starting the Conversation

The next step in the warm-up process is engaging with your subscribers for the first time.  This is where you’ll start building relationships and trust with your recipients. Use your first message as an opportunity to introduce yourself and the type of content you’ll be sending. Be sure to structure your emails in a way that is non-intrusive and friendly, while also providing users with a means of opting in or out of receiving future messages.

Remember, starting small here is key. While ideal volume can depend on what type of email you’re sending and who your recipients are, a safe rule of thumb is to start with no more than a few per day. It’s best to write these messages by hand and choose recipients that you know are likely to open and engage with them.

Gradually Increasing Your Send Volumes

Once you’ve established a base of subscribers who have opened your messages, you can begin to gradually increase the number of emails that you send. This step is one of the most important parts of email warm-up and should be done cautiously. Start by ramping up send volumes by no more than 10-20% per day until you reach your desired volume. Doing so will ensure that your messages make it to the inbox and won’t be flagged as spam.

Maintaining  Your Reputation

Knowing that the email warm-up process can take multiple months is essential. You’ll need to commit to maintaining these practices to see results. This means sending relevant and engaging content, monitoring your open rates, and adjusting your strategies if necessary. 

Sound Like a Lot of Work? Try Email Warm-Up Services 

Many outbound marketers need more time – or patience – to plan and implement an email warm-up strategy. And that’s okay! 

In most cases, it’s better to use a dedicated email warming-up tool to automate this process. You only need to connect your email account to the warm-up service and watch how your sender reputation grows. Nowadays, the respective services provide an all-in-one solution that includes the following:

  • Setting up your domain with an email service provider 
  • Segmenting and sending your emails in a controlled manner 
  • Monitoring open rates, engagement, and deliverability

Ready to get started? Growbots offers a comprehensive email warm-up service that can get you up and running in no time.

Kanika Singh

Webmail and Internet Expert

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