Warming up is the gradual process of establishing a reputation as a legitimate email sender in the eyes of ISPs (Internet Service Providers). When an ISP observes email suddenly coming from a new or “cold” (recently dormant) IP address, they will take notice and immediately begin evaluating the traffic coming from that IP.
ISP spam filters look at volume as a significant factor when determining whether or not you are sending spam. Because of this, we recommend that you begin sending a low to moderate volume ( up to 1 million emails/month), eventually working your way up to larger volumes (over 1 million emails/month). This gives the receiving email providers a chance to closely observe your sending habits and the way your customers treat the emails they receive from you.
How to ramp up email without spammingI
While the warmup process can seem slow and tedious, it’s vital if you want to avoid the dreaded spam folder. Otherwise, you’ll start to experience other issues like throttling, grey listing, or outright blocking of your messages.
If you try to push too much email volume through your dedicated IP before the reputation is solid, you’re gonna have all sorts of delivery issues. In fact, you might get mislabeled as a spammer with ESPs and not even know. They can even decide to drop or filter your messages without telling you that it’s happening.
The email warm up is a way you establish a reputation for a new email account and increase the email sending limit. The warmup process includes sending emails from a new email account, starting with a smaller number, and gradually increasing the number of emails each day.
When a user creates a new IP address, the email service provider gives daily sending limits. However, a fresh account can’t use it entirely. For Example, AWS provides 20k emails/day. But from day one, you can’t send it all; you get a smaller limit. To use it to full potential, you have to build a good reputation, this process is called warming up
This is where IP warmup comes in: a new dedicated IP will be “cold.” In other words, the IP hasn’t seen traffic for a certain amount of time, and will not have a reputation attached to it. To build up this reputation, you need to warm up the IP
When determining whether to accept or reject a message, email service providers consider the reputation of the IP address that sent it. One of the factors that contributes to the reputation of an IP address is whether the address has a history of sending high-quality email. Email providers are less likely to accept mail from new IP addresses that have little or no history. Email sent from IP addresses with little or no history may end up in recipients' junk mail folders or may be blocked altogether.
The amount of time required to warm up an IP address varies between email providers. For some email providers, you can establish a positive reputation in around two weeks, while for others it may take up to six weeks. When warming up a new IP address, you should send emails to your most active users to ensure that your complaint rate remains low. You should also carefully examine your bounce messages and send less email if you receive a high number of blocking or throttling notifications.
When starting to send from a new domain or IP configuration, you will probably want to warm up that configuration first.
You can do this by selecting appropriately engaged customers and sending to them first before sending to less engaged customers.
Use a strategy where you will select a number per ISP you are targeting and limit to that number. Each day, review how successful the opens and interactions are for that IP and if your rates are good, then double the sends to that ISP for the next day. If it doesn't go well, then you need to go back to a lower level. Monitor each day until you are sending the total you are aiming for. You will need to start with a low daily limit (e.g., 100).
Avoid spammy content
Including spam contents in your emails make your account more vulnerable to the SPAM filters. Avoid using words like FREE, GRAB, 50%, etc. in your emails, which attracts the attention of SPAM filters.
Avoid content that creates an adverse effect on your sender reputation. Keep the content clean, simple and plain with limited numbers of links to get the best delivery.
Even though you are sending a test campaign to a small list, it’s advisable to include an unsubscribe link in your email. While warming up your email account, you should limit every possibility that the recipient gets to spam your emails. Even a single spam report against a new account can negatively affect your reputation.
Adding an unsubscribe link in your emails allows your recipients to choose if they want to receive your emails or not. This feature not only makes your recipients happy but also keeps your emails away from SPAM filters.
Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognise, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, colour, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
Knowing your unsubscribe rate can tell you a lot about your email marketing efforts. It helps you keep a pulse on your email cadence (are you emailing subscribers too often?) and whether or not your email content is relevant (is this campaign interesting to subscribers?).
Calculating your email unsubscribe rate for a given campaign is relatively simple. Start with the total number of unsubscribes that a campaign received, then take that number and divide it by the total number of emails that were delivered. Take the total and multiply it by 100 to provide the actual percentage.
Unsubscribe rate = (Total # of Unsubscribes / Total # of delivered emails) x 100
- 5 unsubscribes/100 delivered emails = 0.05
- 0.05 x 100 = 5
- Unsubscribed rate = 5%
Monitoring Open Rate
Each email provider has its own algorithm and handle your email differently. So, ensure to check your open rate daily, the higher the open rate the more successful you are at delivering your emails.
If you are finding that a particular email provider has a low open rate, remove them from your send until you build up the open rate separately from the higher rate open email providers.
Each day you will need to plan to send to the most engaged customers on each domain. Check how well you are doing by checking your open and click rates before making a decision on how to update you daily and hourly limits.
To do this, click on Campaigns to display the Campaign overview page.
Next click on the Domain Reporting arrow on the far right
This will drop down to show you the delivery rate, open rate, click rate and bounce rate of your campaigns. You can then review the campaign further by clicking on report.
This then shows you the success of the campaign. The numbers beneath the circles can be clicked on for you to drill down further.
As you can see from below of there are 3 emails which bounced. By clicking on the number, it will show you which customer’s these are.
And if you scroll further down on this page it will show you the Link Report which states how many times the email was clicked on.
Increasing Amazon SES sending quotas
To avoid being blacklisted across SES, you need to ensure that you’re sending high-quality production email. Providing you send high-quality and low volumes you AWS may automatically increase your quota.
To qualify for automatic rate increases, all of the following statements have to be true:
- You send high-quality content that your recipients want to receive –Send content that recipients want and expect. Stop sending email to customers who don't open your email.
- You send actual production content – Sending test messages to fake email addresses can have a negative effect on your bounce and complaint rates. Also, sending messages only to internal recipients makes it difficult to determine if you're sending content that customers want to receive. However, when you send your production messages to non-internal recipients, we can accurately assess your email-sending practices.
- You send near your current quota – To qualify for an automatic quota increase, your daily email volume should regularly approach the daily maximum for your account without exceeding it.
- You have low bounce and complaint rates – Minimise the number of bounces and complaints that you receive. Having a high number of bounces and complaints can have a negative impact on your sending quotas.
As an example
If we are to assume your limit is 200K / day you can…
- Send 1000 on day 1, and check that they get a good delivery, open and click rate across all mailbox providers
- providing all was good... send 2000 on day 2, repeat checks
- providing all was good… send 4000 on day 3, repeat checks
- providing all was good… send 8000 on day 4, repeat checks
- providing all was good … send 16000 on day 5, repeat checks – at this point Intilery will request increase if AWS automation has not commenced. For the purpose of this example, we have got up to 100K on the next increase)
- Send 20000 on day 6, repeat checks …
- providing all was good … send 40K on day 7, repeat checks
- providing all was good … send 80K on day 8, repeat checks, ask for increase (looking at up to 1M / day)
- providing all was good … send 100K on day 9, repeat check
- providing all was good … send 200K on day 10 and going forward
If any checks are poor quality, then your quota will resume to your previous high quality send volume. You will need to address the issues, which has caused your quota to be reduced, before AWS will increase your quota again.
- Don’t hit the same customers too often - must keep complaints below 0.1% and bounces below 5% or Amazon will pause your sends. You can get your bounce/complaint rates from the reporting built into our platform.
- Produce high quality emails
- Only send to engaged customers
- Exclude domains that are responding badly and do a separate ramp up for different domains
- We use AWS SES for sending, but you won't have direct access to the account. Health, limits and rates will come eventually in a health dashboard.