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According to statistics, 46% of emails landed in spam in 2022. And the reason is more than just impersonal subject lines and email content.
The issue is sender reputation.
Email providers consider “previous engagement’ a serious factor in sender reputation. A new email domain with little to no activity (no reply rates) is more likely to land in junk, promotions, or update folders than the “primary inbox”.
This is where email warm-up enters to save the day.
If you don't want get into technical mumbo-jumbo, warm up using an AI-based automation tool. The AI will do everything for you—starting from sending emails to getting 30% reply rate.
For instance, Smartlead’s unique algorithm has a human-like sending behavior. It gradually increases the number of sent emails, therefore, consistently improving your sender reputation.
Amazing, huh? Keep reading!
This article is all about warming-up an email address, its benefits, and how to do it.
Marketers send small numbers of emails (with or without using a tool) from a new sender’s address to build a good reputation with ESPs before sending out bulk emails. This process is called email warm-up. The goal is to avoid spam filters by starting small.
You should warm up an email before starting an email campaign or sending mass emails for any purpose at all.
If you want to use a new sender’s address for cold email campaigns, warm it up for 2 weeks.
You should warm-up an email for a minimum of 2 weeks. Start with as small as 40 marketing emails per mail address.
If you have just begun your business with a new domain, take at least a month to begin outbound campaigns. It’s essential to build a domain reputation. And the ideal warm-up period before starting cold emailing is 2 to 3 months.
Want to know how warming-up emails can benefit you? Here are some of its benefits.
If you send a huge volume of emails from a new email address without any cold email warm up process, you might end up being marked as spam by ESPs (Email Service Providers) such as Gmail, Outlook.
As a result, your emails will automatically go to recipients' spam folders or get blocked entirely, eventually making the whole campaign useless. The best way to avoid this is to warm the address before starting your campaigns. It’s a proven way of reducing spam rates.
The warmup process helps to build your sender reputation. How?
Instead of sending bulk messages at once, it gradually increases the volume of emails sent and also the frequency. This tells the ESPs that you are not another “Nigerian Prince” spamming the users’ inboxes.
You are a legitimate domain, and your messages are trustworthy.
If you are entirely new to cold emailing, begin by sending a small volume of emails to your existing customers. You can even send it to your friends and family.
If you build a reputation with the email providers before starting a cold outreach, it’s more likely that your emails will land in the primary inbox.
This is because email providers will begin to recognize your sender address and reputation and will prioritize you over those from unknown senders.
A warm-up process is all about sending a few testing mails. Let’s say you are planning to launch a cold email campaign to promote a new product or service. So, you will begin by sending a small volume of emails to your most engaged subscribers and gradually increase the volume and frequency over a period of weeks.
This allows you to test different content and subject lines and send times before launching a full-scale campaign to see what resonates best with your audience. By the time you launch your full-scale campaign, you have a higher chance of your emails being delivered to your intended recipients' inboxes.
Dear fellow marketers, it’s a great opportunity to do A/B testing. This can help to optimize your approach and increase customer engagement rates.
Check out this article to read more about A/B testing.
Yes, Google banned any automated email warming service.
It wasn’t always like this. Email marketers throughout the industry used various cold email warm up tools like Gmass and Woodpecker to warm up senders' addresses. But, Google banned this feature in February 2023.
Why did Google do that?
Google considers this trick—warming up—as an “attempt” to bypass Gmail account limitations, spam filters, and other restrictions. In simpler words, they consider it a VIOLATION OF THEIR USER DATA POLICY.
This BAN means you can’t use any AI-based automated email warmup tool for Google accounts. But does it mean you don’t warm up email accounts at all?
Nope. To learn how to warm up email accounts despite Google’s ban, read the next section.
Like almost everything in the world, there are two ways of warming up an email account.
Manually, as you have already guessed, you will be gathering contacts, writing email content, and sending them all by yourself.
In automated warm-ups, you will need to subscribe to a cold emailing tool with this feature. The AI will do all the work on your behalf of you. In 2023, it’s the most recommended way of warming up before a campaign.
First things first, create an email list. As this is a manual process, you are going to do it by yourself.
Make a list of mail addresses that might be willing to help you out. The list can contain your ex-co-workers, subordinates, business partners, friends, and even family.
If you are active on LinkedIn, you can even ask a few of your connections to help you out. Try to include as many business owners as you can. Their addresses are mostly with their domain names, such as email@example.com.
The more unique the domain name is, the better.
Now, keep all the business owners and decision-makers in a section. Keep your personal contacts—friends and family—in one section. And make another section/list for your existing customers.
MX record or the mail exchange record is a resource record in the DNS (Domain Name System). It says that the emails should be redirected to a specified mail server that accepts emails on behalf of a domain or users.
You can set routing priorities (which mail server will be used) within an MX record by using preference if there are multiple servers. Before beginning with any kind of mailing from a new domain, it's important to set this up.
This step is crucial for a new sender’s address. It will provide protection from spam filters.
SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, is an email authentication method. It creates a record of all the authorized email servers in your DNS (Domain Name System). These servers send mails on your domain’s behalf and authenticate it.
DKIM or Domain Keys Identified Mail adds a digital signature to your domain and DMARC provides domain-level protection.
DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance.
You are a genuine marketer (a human), so create content that wouldn’t sound like spam or robots. Here’s a checklist for you to sound like real people (as you are):
Write the content that you can envision your recipients opening. If you are confused, you can do manual A/B testing.
Just create two versions of the same email and send it to two different groups of recipients. Compare the results to see which one performed better.
You are doing it by yourself, so send no more than 20 emails per day. Use different segments of your contacts to do that.
Continue this process for at least 14 days before increasing the number of mails. From 20, increase it to 50, and then 100, and so on.
Don’t send all the mails at once. Divide them into smaller batches, even if you are sending the same content.
You can customize the send time. This feature is available on almost all platforms. So, don’t forget to send messages at different times.
Ask your closest contacts to respond to your emails. If possible, then forward them as well.
Try to continue the conversation and create email threads.
Ask your recipients to add your new mail address to their contact list. This tells their email client that they know you, the sender, and they want to keep receiving your mails.
This process is called whitelisting. Request your known contacts, family, and friends to whitelist your new address during the warming-up period.
To warm up an address, receiving emails is as important as sending emails. It’s always better if you can subscribe to emails from known brands.
You can also subscribe to newsletters. Receiving emails regularly shows that you are a genuine user. The goal is to validate your existence as an email user.
You will need an AI-based cold emailing tool to automate warm-ups. Let me take you through how to warm up an email with Smartlead.
FYI, Smartlead “manually” moves emails landed in spam to the primary inbox, marks them as important.
Let's get started.
Sign in to the Smartlead app and click on the “Email Accounts” tab.
Next, click on the “Add Account” box on the top right of the page.
On clicking on “Add account” there will be a pop-up box on your screen.
You can click on Gmail, SMTP, Outlook, or Zoho based on the email address you want to use. Click on this link for technical assistance on setting up your email account.
SPF - Sender Policy Framework
DKIM - Domain Keys Identified Mail
DMARC - Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance.
MX - Mail Exchange Record
Next, complete these set-ups before starting the automated warm-up process. If you are using Smartlead, checkout this article for this step.
Once you are done with the SPF, DKIM, DMARC & MX set up, open the Smartlead app (or whichever app you are using).
Go to the “Email Accounts” tab. Select the email account you want to enable warm up for.
Fill in the details, as shown on the below page.
Keep this things in mind while filling up the configuration settings:
👉Total number of warm-up emails per day shouldn’t be more than 40
👉 If you are using a new domain, turn “Daily Rampup”. It will naturally progress the number of emails you send each day, instead of jumpscaring ESPs with bulk messages. This prevents Email Service Provides (Gmail, Zoho etc…) from flagging your account for unusual activity.
👉 To look more human, randomize the number of emails sent everyday.
👉 Set the reply rate between 30-40% to boost deliverability and reputation.
👉 The Custom Warmup Identifier Tag helps to filter out any warm up emails from your inbox.
Once you are done with this, click on “save” on the bottom right and you are done. If you have warmed up the email in the past, it will show an “update” option.
Now, you can sit back and relax. Keep a track of the warming-up process from the Smartlead (or whatever app you are using) dashboard.
This was the process of automating email warming up process. Looks easy, right? It's effective too.
Now that you know what is email warmup, why should you do it, and how to do it; it’s time to summarize all the points in one section.
I have listed down all the necessary points. Take a look at the (below) DOs & DON’Ts of the email warm-up.
First, let me tell you what you must do while warming up a mail address.
Here’s a list of points you must keep in mind while warming up. Make sure you NEVER do these.
Google banned email warm-ups for Gmail users but does it mean it’s the end of this process?
No, it’s not. Warming up was and still is a crucial process before launching an outreach campaign. For Gmail users, you can warm up manually. It’s a time taking process, I know. But if you send messages to only a handful of contacts, then you can do it.
Other than that, automated warming-up is the best way to do it. You can gradually increase the volume–from 40 mails per day to 1000 mails/per day. All it needs is to configure the warm-up setting.
If you are new to cold email marketing, don’t hesitate. Go through this process. It will bring amazing results from your upcoming outreach campaigns.
You can manually warm up an email address by sending fifteen to twenty messages every day. Send value-adding content to an active mail list.
Keep doing this for five to six days then gradually increase the number of sent mails. Ask your contacts to write back to you on the same thread. This will pace up the warming up.
Also, don’t use the same contacts to send mails every day. Use new contacts, please.
There is no fastest way to warm up a domain. Take at least a month to begin your outreach campaigns full-fledged. If you are adding a new address to your domain, then take fourteen to twenty days to warm it up.
The fastest way to do this is obviously by using an automated warming-up tool. But you can’t do that for Gmail users. For Gmail accounts, the only way is to send a handful of emails to people you know–manually.
It takes at least 2 weeks of warming email with gradual increasing numbers of sent emails. Start with 40 emails per email account and gradually ramp up the sending volume.
Warming up an email account and warming up a domain are pretty much the same and follow the same steps. However, if you are using a newly-created domain, it will take longer than an warming up an individual email account.
Your domain reputation will get hampered and eventually a large number of your emails will either bounce back or land in the spam folders.
To help ensure a human-like email sending pattern, Smartlead recommends 8 minutes gap between sending emails.
You can speed up the warming email process, but it's not advisable, as ISPs monitor your email activity all the time and you may get flagged as spam when you launch email campaigns.
The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.
A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!
Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
Active leads are the contacts you upload in Smartlead, similar to contacts in HubSpot; if you upload 1000 leads to a campaign, they are considered 1000 active leads. If you upload similar leads to a new campaign, they are not considered a “new active lead” as they already exist in our system.
We don’t offer mailboxes yet. You need to get your own dedicated list of mailboxes using popular providers like Gmail, Outlook, Zoho, and others that exist in the market. Once you get them, follow our detailed guides to connect them quickly.
Absolutely, one of our most popular guides can be found right here. It's been used by a large percentage of users to go from zero to cold emailing experts. Covering all topics from email infrastructure to copywriting and lead sourcing.
No, Smartlead has over 200,000 highly reputed mailboxes connected. The advantage you get along with naturalized AI conversations is access to aged domains you will never find in any warmup tool.
It is used popularly by agencies to automate their entire lead generation process as well as to connect Smartlead to external tools to push and pull data from. You can also connect to 1000s of apps using Zapier.
Anyone that can close deals from demos will succeed with Smartlead. It works for Sales companies, Marketing agencies, SaaS businesses, Recruitment, and offline companies (like construction).
We do not provide you with leads. You will need to use other data providers. These leads can be automatically added to Smartlead using our API or bulk uploaded via our CSV upload system.
We're building native integrations with Hubspot, Salesforce, Close, Pipedrive, and many more. The best part, due to our open API and Webhook infrastructure, you can connect to any CRM in the world without an issue.
You can add an unlimited number of team members, as well as assign them roles and authority access.
Yes, it's common for many people to move to Custom plans after a few weeks. You can view all the options for up to 10M leads on the subscription page once you sign up for free.