Successful email marketing isn’t just about great email design, personalised messaging, and advanced automation techniques.
Email marketing can also be very technical.
Behind the scenes, there are lots of elements to consider, ISPs, sender domains, GDPR, data management, and IP addresses.
In this blog post, we are going to talk about the latter. Because warming up a dedicated IP is paramount to email marketing success. It has a significant influence on your sender reputation, which determines if your emails actually land in the inbox.
So, read on to learn about what a dedicated IP is, and how you can warm it up.
What is a dedicated IP?
A dedicated IP refers to an IP address that a service, such as a hosting site or VPN provider, assigns to you for your use only.
And unlike a shared IP, which is assigned to different users and businesses, a dedicated IP is unique to your account only, and cannot be used by anyone else.
There are pros and cons to shared and dedicated IPs, neither one is necessarily better, and what is best for you is dependent on your needs and requirements.
Consequences of not warming up our dedicated IP
Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as Hotmail and Gmail, use the IP address which you send from as one of the determining factors as to whether your email will land in an inbox, a junk folder, or whether to deny and reject your email entirely.
If you are using a new dedicated IP, ISPs will have no record of you as a sender. This means if you start off sending large volumes of emails, the ISP may become suspicious of your behaviour. Consequently, your emails may start being rejected.
How to warm your dedicated IP
IP warming can help you overcome this challenge.
It is the process of slowly increasing the number of emails you send from your new dedicated IP address. This offers ISPs time to monitor your behaviour and consider you a trusted sender. Whilst you also build up your sender reputation.
Bear in mind the amount of time it takes to warm up a dedicated IP can differ between ISPs. To give you a rough idea of timescales, for some ISPs it may be as quick as two weeks, for others, it may be two months. And of course, any issues with engagement along the way could further delay this process.
So remain patient.
This may seem like a slow process, especially if you are eager to get your email campaigns up and running. But, remember that it is a much more straightforward process to build up a positive IP reputation than it is to salvage a damaged IP reputation later on.
Therefore, we would always recommend practicing caution.
IP warming tips
IP warming can be a new process for marketers, so to help you out, here are some of our top tips:
ISPs like Gmail and Hotmail place importance on consistency from email senders. So avoid any sudden spikes of volume and any significant gaps in send. All of this could impact your sender reputation and cause suspicion.
When warming an IP, always begin by targeting your most engaged and active recipients. They are more likely to open and click, meaning that your engagement rates will be high. Which is key to building IP reputation.
Make sure you regularly monitor the results of your campaigns when warming your IP. Particularly bounce and spam rates directly after each send. If you find these rates are over 3% for any particular campaign, we would always recommend avoiding increasing the volume for your next send.
This is because your campaign has produced some negative engagement metrics. So any further increase in sending volume could have a particularly negative impact on your IP reputation.
In a nutshell, play it safe.
Use an expert
If all of the above seems daunting, then use an expert to help you with the process.
For instance, as Pure360, our Customer Success Team can provide you with a tailored IP ramp-up plan, based on your specific requirements. We can help you to monitor results, and ensure you have the best chance of IP success.
Rescuing a dedicated IP
If despite your best efforts your results start to decline at any stage, then avoid sending any campaigns for a few days.
Following this, send a campaign to a small set of data. Ideally, one that is already established and has high engagement rates, to help ensure better results.
This will give you the best possible chance of building up the ISPs trust with your sends, to avoid any further negative consequences.
After you have warmed up your dedicated IP
Congratulations! You’ve finished warming up your dedicated IP.
But the hard work doesn’t stop there.
You need to continue monitoring your IP reputation so that it remains as strong as possible.
To ensure this, always follow email best practice and maintain positive deliverability rates. This includes keeping your database healthy. Segmenting your audiences. Ensuring your messages are as tailored and personalised as possible. And of course, continuously monitoring your results.