How to Warm Up Email Address Before Cold Outreach

Created On:
February 1, 2024
Updated On:
February 1, 2024
how to warm up an email addresses before cold outreach

What would you do if a total stranger tried to barge into your house?

Shut the door, right? 

Well, that’s what spam filters and algorithms employed by ESPs do—they block (shut) the email account. 

However, if your neighbors know the “stranger” and he had been in the area before, you would more likely welcome them to your house. 

Something similar happens in the case of cold emails, too. If you’ve warmed up an email account by sending a limited amount of emails, and built a good sender reputation, emails sent from it are more likely to land in the primary inbox. 

This is why email warm-up is such an important step in outbound campaigns. 

In this article, I have provided a detailed step-by-step process of how to warm up email address before cold outreach.

What is Email Warm-Up

Email warm-up is the process of sending smaller email volumes gradually to build a better sender reputation for a new email account, preventing it from being marked as spam by email service providers (ESPs) and internet service providers (ISPs) when sending large volumes of emails. 

For cold emails, people use cold email tools with a built-in AI warm-up feature to warm up bulk email accounts (that are necessary for sending mass cold emails). 

When Should You Warm UP

The ideal time to warm up an email account is right after adding it to the cold email software before launching a cold email campaign. It's crucial to complete technical setups like SPF, DMARC, DKIM, and MX records beforehand. This way, if there are any deliverability issues showing in the metric of sent warm-up emails, you will at least know it’s not from a lack of technical setup.

This approach allows for a smoother and more effective cold email campaign, as the email account has already built a positive reputation with email service providers, reducing the risk of being flagged as spam.

How Long Should You Warm Up an Email Address?

The ideal duration to warm up an email address typically ranges from two to four weeks. During this time, gradually increase the volume of emails sent while monitoring recipient engagement. This gradual approach helps establish trust with ISPs and improve email deliverability.

Why Warm Up an Email Account Before Cold Emailing

The benefits of email warm-ups are not limited to enhanced deliverability. From improving your sender reputation to increasing sales conversions, warm-ups can benefit your outbound channel in many ways. 

Keep reading to learn about it in detail. 

Better Sender Reputation

Email warm-up is essential for building a better sender reputation by strategically shaping the perception of your email domain among internet service providers (ISPs). When you create a new email account, it initially possesses a neutral reputation. ISPs meticulously assess sender reputations to ensure their users receive quality email content. Every interaction with your email recipients, such as sending and receiving emails, contributes to your sender reputation.

For a new domain, sending and receiving a low volume of emails leads to a positive sender reputation. Conversely, sending a high volume of emails without a gradual increase and frequently being marked as spam results in a lower sender reputation. 

Email warm-up plays a crucial role in this process. It mimics human-like sending behaviors, gradually scaling up the volume of emails sent. By doing so, it establishes a positive sender reputation, indicating to ISPs that your emails are trustworthy and legitimate. This enhanced reputation not only improves email deliverability but also increases the likelihood of your email messages landing in recipients' inboxes rather than their spam folders, ultimately benefiting your email marketing efforts.

Enhanced Email Deliverability

Email warm-up enhances email deliverability by establishing trust with ISPs and improving sender reputation. When you send emails from a new or inactive address, ISPs lack historical data to gauge your legitimacy. Gradually increasing email volume and maintaining a consistent sending pattern during warm-up demonstrates sender reliability. Positive engagement metrics, like opens and clicks, signal that your emails provide value and are not spam. This, in turn, boosts the likelihood of your emails reaching recipients' inboxes rather than being relegated to spam folders.

Throughout the warm-up process, ISPs closely monitor your sending behavior and the quality of your emails. If they observe consistent positive engagement, your sender reputation improves, ultimately resulting in better email deliverability. By following email deliverability best practices, such as sending plain-text emails, warm-up complements these efforts, ensuring that your email messages have a higher chance of reaching the intended recipients and not getting caught in spam filters.

Land Mass Emails in the Primary Inbox

Email warmup may seem time-consuming, but it drastically reduces the time to build your sender reputation. If you directly start sending emails without warming up your inbox, it may take months to make a positive sender reputation. 

On the other hand, warming up your email account will take around two to three weeks (while gradually increasing the number of cold emails sent), and you have a good sender reputation to run your email campaigns. 

Improve Outbound Sales

Bulk sales emails can trigger spam triggers for ESPs. Sending shortened URLs and images also triggers spam filters, as most spammers use this method to send phishing emails. Of course, you can bypass spam traps by sending plain text emails and full links to domains with high DA (Domain Authority). Email warmups can automate the process of sending, opening, and replying to your emails to build trust among ESPs and improve deliverability for your inbox.

How to Warm Up Email Address Before Cold Outreach

A marketer must send 1000s of outreach emails to make money from cold emailing. To achieve better email deliverability and avoid being marked as spam for sending mass emails, a cold email strategy requires bulk email accounts. 

For instance, you will need 20 email accounts from approximately 7 different domains to send 1000 emails, and you will need 200 email accounts and 70 domains to send 10,000 cold emails

This is where cold email tools with built-in warming-up features come into play. These tools help warm up bulk email accounts by gradually increasing their sending volume while maintaining sender reputation. This process establishes trust with email service providers, ensuring that your cold emails reach recipients' inboxes and improve the overall effectiveness of your outreach campaigns.

Not to forget, with AI-based cold email tools like Smartlead, you don’t have to go through the pain of adding email accounts one by one. With Smartlead, you can add bulk email accounts to the app in just a few clicks. 

Let’s dive into the step-by-step AI warm-up process. 

****If you’re trying to set up a warm-up setting, please complete the technical setup. It includes email authentication protocols, email forwarding, adding email accounts to your cold email tool, disabling email tracking, and switching on custom domain tracking. 

  • Open the Smartlead app or whichever cold email software you’re using, and go to the “Email Accounts” tab from the main menu.
Warm Up Process at Smartlead
  • Next, click on the email address you want to warm up.

Once you’ve opened the email account, go to the warm-up tab.

Now fill in the configuration details. Switch on the “email warm enabled”.

  • Fill in the “total number of warm-up emails per day”. If you’re just starting, I recommend starting with 4-8 warm-up emails per day. After two weeks, you can increase the warm-up volume to 20-30 emails per day per account.
  • Next, switch on the “Daily Rampup” button. This will naturally progress the number of emails you send each day and prevent you from jump-scaring the recipients' ESPs with bulk messages. 
  • Next, set the “Randomise number of warm up emails per day”. It’s the maximum number of emails that could be sent via this email account per day. Start with as small as 4-8 warm-up emails per day and increase gradually.
  • Set the reply rate for your warm-up emails. Start with a target reply rate of 30%. After two weeks, you can increase the warm-up volume to 20-30 emails per day per account, with a higher target reply rate of 70% when engaging in outreach.
  • Last step: set a custom warm-up identifier tag. 

****The warmup tag identifier in Smartlead is a unique 2-word phrase assigned to each mailbox in your account. This identifier helps to filter out warm-up emails effectively. Don’t forget to replace your warmup tag identifier once in 3 months to avoid tracking and redundancy.

  • Now, enable the auto-adjust warmup/sending ratio and click on the “Save”. That’s it, you are done with this step. If you have used the warmup service before, just click on the “Update” button.

Why Choose Smartlead for Email Warm-Ups

Smartlead streamlines the email warm-up process by offering a user-friendly interface, gradual warm-up options, randomization, and tracking features. It prioritizes technical setup and ensures a smooth warm-up process.

Let’s get into the details. 

Unlimited Warm-Ups

Unlike many cold email tools on the market, Smartlead doesn’t charge a dime for warm-ups. With your single subscription, you can add as many email accounts to Smartlead as you want to warm up.

Easy Configuration

Smartlead simplifies the configuration process for email warm-up. Users can easily navigate to the "Email Accounts" tab, select the desired email address, and access the warm-up settings within the Smartlead app.

Gradual Warm-up with Ramp-Up Feature

Smartlead enables users to set the number of warm-up emails per day. The platform also offers a "Daily Rampup" feature, progressively increasing email volume to avoid overwhelming recipients' ESPs with sudden bulk messages.

Human-like Email Sending Behavior 

Users can set the maximum number of warm-up emails per day and gradually increase it. This randomization feature helps mimic natural email sending behavior, enhancing the warm-up process's effectiveness.

Reply Rate Setting

Smartlead allows users to set target reply rates for warm-up emails. Monitoring and achieving these rates indicate engagement and sender legitimacy.

Custom Warm-up Identifier

Smartlead provides a unique two-word phrase as a warm-up tag identifier for each mailbox. This identifier aids in filtering warm-up emails efficiently. Smartlead recommends updating this identifier every three months to maintain tracking accuracy.

Auto-adjust Warmup/Sending Ratio

The platform offers an auto-adjustment feature for warm-up and sending ratios, ensuring adaptability based on warm-up progress. Users can easily enable this feature for seamless warm-up management.


Warming up is crucial. It will enhance email deliverability, reduce bounce and spam rates, and improve engagement rates. If you’re just starting with cold emailing, I recommend warming up your email accounts for at least 2 weeks. In case, you have the privilege of time, you can warm up as long as for 30 days. 

Smartlead offers unlimited email accounts along with unlimited warm-ups. Give it a try.

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Author’s Details

Rajnish Das

Rajnish Das is an in-house writer at SmartWriter and SmartLead. She writes product-oriented, data-driven content for B2B SaaS audiences and educates them on marketing and sales topics. Her expertise includes outbound marketing techniques like cold emailing and LinkedIn outreach.


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Frequently asked questions

General Questions

What is Smartlead's cold email outreach software?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead's cold email outreach tool helps businesses scale their outreach efforts seamlessly. With unlimited mailboxes, fully automated email warmup functionality, a multi-channel infrastructure, and a user-friendly unibox, it empowers users to manage their entire revenue cycle in one place. Whether you're looking to streamline cold email campaigns with automated email warmups, personalization fields, automated mailbox rotation, easy integrations, and spintax, improve productivity, or enhance scalability with subsequences based on lead’s intentions, automated replies, and full white-label experience, our cold email tool implifies it in a single solution.

How does the "unlimited mailboxes" feature benefit me?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Our "unlimited mailboxes" feature allows you to expand your email communications without restrictions imposed by a mailbox limit. This means you won't be constrained by artificial caps on the number of mailboxes you can connect and use. This feature makes Smartlead the best cold email software and empowers you to reach a wider audience, engage with more potential customers, and manage diverse email campaigns effectively.

What do you mean by "unibox to handle your entire revenue cycle"?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

The "unibox" is one of the unique features of Smartlead cold email outreach tool, and it's a game-changer when it comes to managing your revenue cycle. The master inbox or the unibox consolidates all your outreach channels, responses, sales follow-ups, and conversions into one centralized, user-friendly mailbox.

With the "unibox," you gain the ability to:
1. Focus on closing deals: You can now say goodbye to the hassle of logging into multiple mailboxes to search for replies. The "unibox" streamlines your sales communication, allowing you to focus on what matters most—closing deals.

2. Centralized lead management: All your leads are managed from one central location, simplifying lead tracking and response management. This ensures you take advantage of every opportunity and efficiently engage with your prospects.

3. Maintain context: The "unibox" provides a 360-degree view of all your customer messages, allowing you to maintain context and deliver more personalized and effective responses.

How does Smartlead ensure my emails don't land in the spam folder?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder. 

Here's how it works:
1. Our "unlimited warmups" feature is designed to build and maintain a healthy sending reputation for your cold email outreach. Instead of sending a large volume of emails all at once, which can trigger spam filters, we gradually ramp up your sending volume. This gradual approach, combined with positive email interactions, helps boost your email deliverability rates.

2. We deploy high-deliverability IP servers specific to each campaign. 

3. The ‘Warmup’ feature replicates humanized email sending patterns, spintax, and smart replies.
4. By establishing a positive sender reputation and gradually increasing the number of sent emails, Smartlead minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. This way, you can be confident that your messages will consistently land in the primary inbox, increasing the likelihood of engagement and successful communication with your recipients.

Can I integrate Smartlead with other tools I'm using?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Certainly, Smartlead is designed for seamless integration with a wide range of tools and platforms. Smartlead offers integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Clay, Listkit, and more. You can leverage webhooks and APIs to integrate the tools you use. Try Now!

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

No, there are no limitations on the number of channels you can utilize with Smartlead. Our multi-channel infrastructure is designed to be limitless, allowing you to reach potential customers through multiple avenues without constraints.

This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Do you provide me with lead sources?

Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:

1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.

2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out. 

3. Sender Reputation Protection: Smartlead protects your sender reputation by auto-moving emails from spam folders to the primary inbox. This tool uses unique identifiers to cloak all warmup emails from being recognized by automation parsers. 

4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanized email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume. 

5. Multi-Channel Emphasis: Smartlead places a strong emphasis on multi-channel outreach. You can reach your prospects where they are with the LinkedIn outreach feature.   With Smartlead’s cold email automation software, you're always one step ahead in your outreach efforts, enjoying the freedom to scale your initiatives and seamlessly integrate with other tools—all while maintaining a focus on maximizing the impact of your outreach.

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

How secure is my data with Smartlead?

Ensuring the security of your data is Smartlead's utmost priority. We implement robust encryption methods and stringent security measures to guarantee the continuous protection of your information. Your data's safety is paramount to us, and we are always dedicated to upholding the highest standards of security.

How can I get started with Smartlead?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Getting started with Smartlead is straightforward! Just head over to our sign-up page and follow our easy step-by-step guide. If you ever have any questions or need assistance, our round-the-clock support team is ready to help, standing by to provide you with any assistance you may require. Sign Up Now!

How can I reach the Smartlead team?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

We're here to assist you! You can easily get in touch with our dedicated support team on chat. We strive to provide a response within 24 hours to address any inquiries or concerns you may have.

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