Whether it’s promotional or informative, the goal of any email is to reach the inbox of the intended audience. Unfortunately, this does not always happen as there are several factors that affect email deliverability and can prevent it from making it to the desired destination.
If your emails stop reaching the user inbox or end up being ignored, you might blame it on your copy. However, improving the content and layout of the message is unlikely to have any significant impact unless you improve your IP and domain reputation first.
The process of improving or ‘warming up’ an IP address and domain reputation is pretty much like having a barbeque on an outdoor trip. You set up a fire in the middle of the woods, friends and family members gather around, and before you know it, the party is in full swing.
When it comes to emailing to increase your business’s outreach, expand your customer base and drive up sales, your IP address and domain are the logs of wood – unless they are warm and lit with fire, you cannot roll out those hot and sizzling steaks (read: emails) that get the party going (read: bring returns for your business).
Maybe you have started a new business, are restructuring the existing one or adding new services to the stream. Whatever the case might be, if you have obtained a new IP address or updated your domain to reflect the changes in your practice, you need to warm it up so that email deliverability remains high. Failing to do so might lead Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to reject your email marketing campaigns or flag your messages as spam.
So, how do you ensure that your content gets delivered to the appropriate users and you avail the maximum benefits that email marketing offers?
Let’s take a deeper look.
Plan A – Create Your Own Warm-up Plan
Hiring an email reputation service is one way, but the simplest way to warm-up your IP and domain for better emailing is to create and implement your own plan for IP warm-up. This means that you need to analyze, plan, execute and then critically monitor the obtained results.
Start by developing an IP segmentation plan. Determine the number of IP addresses that you require as well as the purpose for which they are required. For instance, certain IP addresses can be used for marketing purposes whereas others can be reserved for sending confirmation or transactional messages.
Once you are completely sure of what you need, contact the relevant authority to obtain the IP address(es) for your business. Make sure that whatever IPs you receive from the provider are not blacklisted.
The next step is to establish whitelists and feedback loops as well as update the authentication records. Identify your best and most active subscribers that are more likely to subscribe or engage via email. Keep track of your delivery metrics and then slowly start increasing the volume of emails sent over a specific period of time.
Plan B – Contact a Deliverability Specialist
If you are new to the field of email marketing or are unsure about IP warm-up practices and how to implement them effectively, then contacting a deliverability specialist is your best bet.
A deliverability consultant can boost your email deliverability by using a set of specialized software packages, analytical tools, and their own expertise to draft an IP warm-up plan that works best in your interest. Not only will they monitor the email campaigns but also evaluate inbox placement and various other parameters to create the best proposal and then put it to action.
Deliverability specialists work with their clients to identify the problems that they might be encountering with their email campaigns and then search for its root cause. If your emails are being blocked or not reaching the inbox due to any other reason, the skilled consultants will study the data accordingly. They are quick to identify patterns and can easily find out the elements holding back your email campaigns. Email reputation service providers will collaborate with the ISPs and also give you suggestions to overcome the obstacles.
In simple words, employing a reputable deliverability specialist to warm up your IP address and the domain is a foolproof method that is guaranteed to give you visible results.
Plan C – Use a Shared IP Pool
Using a shared IP pool to enhance email deliverability is the go-to option for businesses that only need to send emails once in a while and are, therefore, unable to maintain a good reputation on a dedicated IP address.
The reason why using a shared pool of IP addresses works for better emailing is quite simple. It is based on one of the models of buyer behavior highlighted in the book, The History of Marketing Science. The model is, in turn, based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 19th Century observation that while it is difficult to predict the behavior of an individual, it is relatively easy to predict the behavior of a sufficiently large group of people.
In the emailing domain, this implies that while the credibility of a dedicated IP address having short, unpredictable ‘bursts’ of activity cannot be verified, considering a pool of IPs with appropriate activity can be authenticated on a valid ground.
In other words, infrequent sending patterns (say, less than once a week) can lead to deliverability issues for dedicated IPs. However, if you combine such email senders in a group (i.e. put them in a shared IP pool), the sending pattern tends to become more consistent. This benefits all the senders within the shared pool.
Warming up your IP address and domain reputation takes a lot of time and consistent effort. Despite employing best practices, it is something that cannot yield returns overnight. Just like it might take multiple attempts to light a matchstick and get the coals burning, it might take several attempts to warm up your IP address and domain reputation. Therefore, once you start executing a warm-up plan, keep a vigilant eye on progress so you can take any corrective measures in time.