Sometimes, the most perfect campaigns don’t bring the results they should be bringing. All those amazing personalized templates, compelling CTAs, exclusive lists of leads, and all that hard work just seems to do nothing to elicit a response from your recipients.
Why does it happen? Did you do something wrong? Are you targeting the wrong people? Is cold email marketing dead?
Deliverability issues like this are a hard blow to your email marketing morale. Nobody likes seeing their efforts go down the drain.
As a rule, the root of the problem for low deliverability lies in domain reputation. This is something that often slips the senders’ mind. They can excel at every other component of email marketing, from templates to mailing lists, but if they start sending large volumes of emails from a freshly registered domain, they risk sabotaging their own email marketing work.
Why is it bad to send from a new domain?
While you technically can send email from a recently registered domain, you can’t expect to send 2000 emails at once. There are sending limits to follow (for example, you can send only 200 per day from a new Gmail domain). These limits were imposed by email service providers, so they could easily locate and intercept spammers who are known for assaulting the recipients’ inboxes with massive email campaigns and having little care for rules and regulations. This is a necessary safety measure that stands between innocent recipients and groups of ill-intentioned senders.
Therefore, the sender that registers a new domain and then abuses its limits by sending large numbers of emails is instantly labeled as a spammer. Their reputation instantly goes down, preventing them from accessing users’ inboxes, and, ultimately, the compromised domain is banned from sending emails altogether.
If you want your perfect campaigns to land in your recipients’ inboxes instead of spam folders, you have to build up your domain reputation before you start your email marketing campaigns. However, you need to send emails to increase domain reputation - but how do you make it happen with sending limits in place?
Email warm-up is your way out of this conundrum.
How does email warm-up work?
Email warm-up can be compared to driving a steam locomotive - if you want it to go steady, you must provide it with a steady supply of coal to burn. Accordingly, if you want your new domain reputation to go up, you must continuously send an allowed number of emails and land them directly into your recipients’ inboxes.
So, an email warm-up is a practice that is aimed at expanding your sending limits by delivering a number of emails and ensuring your recipients respond to them.
Is there a difference between an email account warm-up and a domain warm-up?
At least 45% of our customers came to us after making the mistake of warming up a domain, but not doing the same for their newly created email account, which led to lower performance and even deliverability issues.
Every newly registered domain or email account is unfamiliar territory to your email service providers. It will instantly draw their attention and they will monitor it closely for any signs of suspicious activity. Your task is to go from suspicious to trustworthy - and you can achieve that by establishing a healthy behavior pattern for both your domain and your mailboxes. You can expect your newly created mailbox has the same level of trust as your warmed-up domain has - you must introduce it to your email service providers as well. This rule applies to all email accounts you create for your domain.
Aside from the fact that email account warm-up takes less time than a domain warm-up, the process is the same for both domains and mailboxes.
How does an email account/domain warm-up process look like?
- Building a sending schedule. Mapping the exact hours for sending emails, determining the intervals between each message, and creating a routine to follow. The goal of an email schedule is to organize your email-sending process, make it steady and easy to track by email service providers.
- Creating a list. Building the list of verified contacts that are willing to engage with your messages i.e. open them, mark them as Important, and reply to them. The more interactions you receive at the initial stages of your domain activity, the easier it would be for you to gain trust and increase your reputation.
- Sending emails. Delivering emails to the selected contacts according to the schedule. This is the most monotonous part of the entire outreach process because you need to repeat the same sending routine every day while keeping an eye on your metrics to make sure there are no setbacks.
- Monitoring. Observing your KPIs, your inbox placement rates, your reply rate growth, and running domain health checks. Once your estimated Sender Score grows, you can try adding 10 emails to your daily norm - if your metrics won’t change after that, your warm-up is working and email service providers became more accepting towards you.
As you can see, email warm-up isn’t complicated, it’s just somewhat tedious and time-consuming when you have to do it all on your own. Additionally, beginning senders often get it wrong, which results in them making a tiny step forward only to take seven steps back in the end.
Why do senders struggle with email warm-ups?
Many people end up not making the most of their email warm-up or just messing it up entirely due to believing in one or several of such myths as:
- You only need to warm up your domain once, then you can do everything you want. That’s the cruelest lie to believe in. Even when you increase your Sender Score, it doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook. You’re still monitored by email service providers and spam filters for any suspicious behavior. Therefore, when you decide to add a subdomain or a mailbox, or want to run more campaigns, you must prepare accordingly. Otherwise, your hard-won sender reputation will start deteriorating quickly. If you want your campaigns to be successful, you must keep in mind that domain warm-up means forever.
- You warmup only one email account. The more mailboxes from your domain are warmed up, the better the overall domain health will be. That's why we at Folderly have made it possible to add an unlimited number of mailboxes for one price. Add all the mailboxes of your team, business, organization, and use email warmup tool not only as a warmup service, but also as a monitoring tool. The dashboard with statistics will help you track which mailboxes have issues with email deliverability, and have emails trapped in the spam folder. Thanks to the identification of the problem, you will be able to promptly improve deliverability by paying attention to the needed mailbox.
- Email warm-up takes far too long and it never pays off. Patience is the key to a successful email warm-up. Sometimes, senders grow impatient and start expanding their sending limits by themselves before they receive a thumbs up from ESPs - this ends up badly and so, in their frustration, they start believing that email warm-up is just a waste of time. However, as time-consuming as it is, email warm-up actually accelerates your outreach process. When you manage to prove that you’re a credible sender and your content (images, links, attachments) is safe to show, you get more visibility - meaning that ESPs give you priority over other less trusted senders and put you in front of your recipients. Therefore, that increases the chances of them interacting with your emails and responding to you.
Parting with those myths and embracing the reality of the constant, versatile, and absolutely necessary process that email outreach is means making the first step towards boosting your email marketing performance.
What types of email warm-up you should know about?
While email warm-up isn’t different for both domains and email accounts, it can be divided into two types:
- Manual warm-up. The warm-up anyone can do, free of charge. It doesn’t require any tools aside from your domain health monitoring software. In addition, you only need your mailbox and a list of friendly contacts to get started. Your goal is to engage accounts that are ready to interact with you (it can be your colleagues writing from the email accounts that don’t belong to your domain network, your relatives, your friends, or your existing loyal customers). You must also engage accounts from different email services to grow your reputation for every ESP you intend to work with (Google, Yahoo!, Outlook, etc.)
Aside from your time and energy, manual warm-up doesn’t require investments. However, it alone won’t be able to satisfy your growing pains - you will end up needing to send more emails and reach out to more contacts. That means, that you will need your fellow colleagues to help you out with finding new contact data and adjusting your number of templates - given that, as a business owner, you already have a lot on your play, it’s not the most productive strategy.
- Automated warm-up. When you feel like you can’t invest your time into a manual warm-up, you can always leave it to tools capable of automating your warm-up routine. After you add your email account to such a service, it will do the rest for you, sending emails according to your chosen schedule and sending canned responses.
Automated warm-up tools are a good way to skip the monotony of warm-up and focus on your email marketing campaigns. However, you still need to be very attentive when choosing the right tool.
What should you look for when choosing an automated warm-up tool?
- It should send real, hand-crafted messages, not empty templates or gibberish. Email spam filters have evolved to the point they can read your body text and determine its purpose. If they see that you’re sending nonsense, your Sender Score will suffer the consequences.
- It should use real accounts for building sender's reputation. Some tools use dud email accounts to send messages to, which isn’t very helpful. Your recipients must be real human beings that would interact with your messages.
- It should register your engagement rate. Since the number of interactions defines your reputation growth, you would want a tool that keeps track of opens, responses, clicks, and replies.
A good automated warm-up tool does more than relieves you of the routine of sending emails. It gives you insights into your performance, lets you know how email service providers perceive you, and helps you monitor the way your recipients interact with your messages.
How to get the best of both warm-up types?
So, as you can see, manual warm-up gives you more control, while automated warm-up gives you better time and resource management. Your choice should depend on your opportunities, goals, and people that can assist you…or you don’t have to choose at all.
With Folderly warm-up, you can run warm-up campaigns for your domain, sub-domain, and email accounts - and stay available for other tasks that require your attention.
How does Folderly Warm-up work?
Folderly Warm-up tool lets you hand your warm-up campaigns over to competent experts who would go through all necessary steps, send automated campaigns to verified contacts and report to you on your domain’s progress.
Folderly Warm-up In a Nutshell
You add your domain name or your email account to Folderly dashboard.
We build a fitting sending schedule and start sending warm-up emails to list of active email addresses (you can provide your list of contacts as well)
You can track our progress and performance each day by accessing your dashboard and viewing the latest warm-up reports.
You know when to roll out your main campaigns because we constantly stay in touch with you, informing you on your growth.
Folderly Warm-up is easy to implement, monitor, and use for your email marketing campaigns.
The question is, how to get started?
Using Folderly warm-up, our customers were able to avoid the most common pitfalls of email outreach, achieved first campaign results faster, and found them much more productive and satisfying than any campaign results prior to the active use of warm-up. Getting their new domains or email accounts ready for intense outreach has never been easier! We've prepared a video, to make your onboarding process a piece of cake.
We hope this blog post gave you some perspective on email warm-up and you’re no longer intimidated by its most challenging aspects. If you want to keep your email warm-up simple and free of pitfalls, don’t hesitate to give our warm-up tool a try. You’re more than welcome to give it a shot and let us know what you think.