Email is one of the most widely used forms of communication today. However, email is also one of the most abused forms of communication. Most people have probably had an email get bounced or marked as spam. This is because email providers in a bid to protect their users, have become more stringent on what goes into the user's inbox.

Emails from new domains or mailboxes are almost sure to land in spam, especially when sent in large numbers. This is because email providers place a restriction, based on specific criteria, on the number of emails a particular mailbox can send per day. This is a great impediment to any business looking to send email campaigns to capture leads and drive sales. Email warmup, also known as email warming, is the solution.

Introduction: What is Email Warming?

Email warming (also known as email warmup or email warm up or email warm-up) is a technique that can be used to increase your sender reputation score and email deliverability.

The email warming product started as a simple tool to replicate what mail providers consider good user interaction. This entails allowing warmup software to engage with your emails by doing things like pulling mails out of spam and placing them in your primary inbox, opening them and taking a glance, marking emails as favorite, etc. Of course, one shouldn't overdo it.

As mentioned above, new email addresses are the most likely to face deliverability issues as Email Service Providers (ESPs) do not trust emails from such categories and will almost certainly send them to spam. For such fresh email accounts, the email warmup process is a means to establish credibility and remove these email sending restrictions. It enables the new domain or mailbox to develop a good reputation by simulating positive email sending and receiving behavior long before the actual email campaign begins.

The email warm up process usually begins by sending a few emails from the newly created mailbox or domain to existing reputable inboxes, then gradually increasing the sending volume with each passing day. Sending emails alone is not enough. To complete the warmup process, the newbie has to receive emails too, and not only that; it equally needs to get replies to the emails it sent, and then reply to the emails it received, and so on. In the process, if an email lands in spam, it must be manually or automatically removed and placed in the recipient's inbox. Emails could also be marked as important to give the new domain more credibility.

Email warmup is, therefore, a way of mimicking positive email engagement in an attempt to make the ESPs believe genuine activity is taking place on your mailbox or domain without any flags or spam reports. The ultimate goal is that when you finally launch actual outbound campaigns, you must have earned a good sender reputation in the heart of ESPs, who will let your emails land in your prospects' primary inboxes rather than their spam bins. That is how email warmup improves your deliverability.

No business can underestimate the importance of having emails land in prospects' inboxes. This offers the perfect opportunity to sell your brand, drive sales and grow revenue through cost-effective methods such as email marketing or cold emailing.

How to Implement Email Warming

How Email Warming Works
How Email Warming Works

Email warming can be manual or automated. As we have mentioned, warming simply involves sending out emails in increasing numbers from a new domain or mailbox and simulating other positive email engagements to get ESPs to trust you. Manual warmup can be a daunting and time-consuming task. There are many email warm up tools out there that can do the job for you, free and paid.

Most of these email warming tools are AI-powered and fully automated, with impressive results. Such software warms up your email account for you on autopilot. They usually have extensive networks of trustworthy domains and mailboxes that warm up any new email accounts you add to their system. In addition, the content of the warmup emails, though AI-generated, seems natural and trustworthy enough that no ESP can suspect foul play. Some warmup tools go as far as personalizing the warmup emails. This enables you to earn the ESPs' trust and convince them that you deserve to get into your prospect's primary inbox.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) are the means of connection for most email warmup software. They, therefore, require that your ESPs support both, or at least SMTP, to be able to use their mailbox warming services. SMTP is the means by which the warmup tools send emails on your behalf. IMAP, on the other hand, is where you will receive warmup emails and replies.

SMTP is the most important, and you can use the IMAP of another provider if your ESP does not support IMAP. The likes of AWS SES, SendGrid, and SendinBlue do not provide IMAP. So you will need the IMAP of another mail provider like Google, Zoho, AWS WorkMail, Microsoft365, etc. A general rule is to use the IMAP of where you will receive replies to your emails.

Why Would You Need an Email Warmer? Benefits of Email Warming

Email warming leads to more sales conversions with email thanks to improved deliverability.

The main objective of inbox warmup is to evade spam filters and improve deliverability, thereby maximizing the output of your cold email outreach campaigns. You improve your sender reputation when your domain warms up, increasing the likelihood that your emails will land in your recipients' principal inboxes instead of spam bins. This directly leads to a higher open, reply, and click-through rates resulting in better conversions and sales.

Benefits of Email Warming are Huge

Email warmup undoubtedly has many benefits such as :

  • The ultimate benefit of email warming is higher email deliverability. A warmed-up domain will provide your optimum delivery rate and minimize bounce and spam rates. When your emails are delivered to the primary inbox of your target audience, this allows you to make more sales and obtain a higher return on investment (ROI).
  • One important email warm up feature is that it simulates positive email interaction leading to reasonable engagement rates, which are fundamental in sender reputation assessments by ESPs.
  • The email warmup tool automatically sends emails from your domain and gradually ramps up sending volumes. This allows your reputation to grow naturally as ESPs assess the trustworthiness of your domain.
  • A premium email warmup service can provide features such as opening, reading, and replying to emails, removing emails from spam, marking emails as important, spam monitoring and reporting, blacklist monitoring, etc.
  • If your email warmup provider has these features, you can monitor your sender reputation and deliverability when warming up your inbox.
  • Open rates automatically rise as soon as you start your marketing campaigns because your warmed-up domain makes you more visible.
  • Email warmup software is usually automated, improving efficiency and allowing you to spend your time on more productive ventures.

Common Challenges with Email Warming and Proposed Solutions

Email warmup, even when automated, is not without challenges. However, there is always a way out, and we will discuss these below:

1. Frequency

One challenge is determining the right automatic sending volume and cadence. The goal is to ensure your messages appear natural and are seen as regular and expected by ESPs, not as a trick. Too few emails can lead to disengagement and poor reputation growth, while too many can get your domain banned or end up in spam. Now that isn't good! Imagine emails intended to keep you out of spam landing in spam folders themselves.

Solution: The solution is to ensure that your warmup follows an ascending pattern. This means that your sending numbers gradually ramp up each day.

At ClosersHQ, for example, when you add a new mailbox into the warmup network, it sends 2 emails on the first day, then after 24 hours, it sends 4 emails; the next day, it sends 6 emails; then 8 emails the following day. The pattern continues until it reaches 40 emails daily, maintaining this maximum figure. You can configure the daily increase up to 4 and the maximum daily sending volume to 50 if your domain is older and can warm up faster. Note that these are optimized values based on research and experience.

Warmup Analytics on ClosersHQ Showing Steady Ramping of Sending Volumes
Warmup Analytics on ClosersHQ Showing Steady Ramping of Sending Volumes

2. Warmup emails occupy space

It is expected that with the influx of such vast numbers of warming emails into your inbox daily, space can become an issue of concern. Even while you are running email campaigns, it is recommended that you continue to warm up your domain. This leads to a more significant problem as your inbox could become full, causing new incoming emails to bounce. This can make you miss important emails, jeopardizing your reputation and harming your return on investment (ROI).

Solution: You can delete warmup emails a few days after receiving them. This can help free up space to take in more emails and prevent your inbox from experiencing space issues.

N/B: Do not delete warmup emails immediately after receiving them, as this is counter-productive vis-a-vis the positive warming interactions you are trying to emulate.

3. Warmup emails can cloud your inbox

At its peak, the auto warmer will send about 40-50 emails daily and receive a significant volume too. Luckily, emails sent through SMTP are generally only saved if you set them to do.

For the received emails, however, there is no walkaround; they land in your inbox, which is the intended behavior. That implies you will get hundreds or even thousands of emails in your inbox monthly. This can easily cloud your inbox, making it difficult to distinguish business emails from warmup emails and ultimately missing out on important contacts or sales opportunities.

Solution: The solution to this is easy. You can create a filter to automatically archive incoming emails and keep your inbox productive. The process involves creating a separate folder where warmup emails will be automatically channeled instead of landing in your primary inbox.

But how will your inbox distinguish between warmup and normal emails? To facilitate this process, most email warmers attach specific keywords to their warmup email subjects, making them unique and easily identifiable.

At ClosersHQ, for example, the keyword 'clx' can be used to identify all warmup emails within their network.

Image Showing Keywords in Warmup Emails from ClosersHQ
Image Showing Keywords in Warmup Emails from ClosersHQ

4. Bounces are inevitable:

In a network of thousands of mailboxes where users are constantly adding new ones and where neither you nor your warmup provider have direct control, any mailbox could bounce anytime.

What Causes Sudden Email Bounces?

Several scenarios can cause a previously normal functioning email to bounce suddenly. An incorrect or outdated email address is the most common cause of email bouncing. This could also be due to an issue with the recipient's email server. If the email server's security settings are changed, the mail may not be delivered correctly, causing it to bounce. Additionally, emails sent to the old address will bounce if the recipient's email address has been changed.

Furthermore, if your recipient's inbox is full and unable to accept more emails, the message will bounce, as most email providers set storage limits on email accounts. Another common cause of email bouncing is when an email contains a virus or a malicious link. If a recipient's email server identifies a virus in the email, it will automatically reject the message and cause it to bounce.

Whatever the cause of a bounce might be, it is detrimental to the network and needs to be handled immediately. A few bounces in a network of thousands of mailboxes shouldn't be a big issue, but if the bounce source is not traced and stopped on time, the problem could escalate very quickly, which can jeopardize the health score of the senders who received the bounce notification.

If your domain gets notorious for sending mails to invalid addresses leading to bounces, this can affect your mailbox or domain health score. This harms your reputation leading to poor email deliverability. On average, bounce rates shouldn't exceed 1-2%. That means you must always ensure you are sending emails that won't bounce.

Solution: Most email warmup services have implemented a monitoring system to detect when a bounce occurs within the network. It is important to note that a bounce may be due to either the recipient or the sender's mailbox. A mailbox notorious for causing bounces is suspended or banned immediately to avoid further bounces until the problem is resolved.

To learn more about what could cause emails to malfunction, read this article :

Best Email Warming Practices

How long does it take to warmup an email ?

According to ClosersHQ, a premium multi-channel cold sales engagement solution with email warming capabilities, it generally takes 30 days (1 month) of warming with no spam report in the last 7 days for a domain or mailbox to be considered warmed up. It is recommended to continue warming one's domain for as long as it is in use (i.e. even when you start sending actual email campaigns).

A domain or mailbox should be at least 3months old before you can start sending campaigns from it. Although it takes just a month to warm up a domain, you must only begin sending outbound campaigns if it has clocked some 90 days. You can either warm for 3 months straight or warm for a month after 2 months of creation. Of course, the older the domain, the better.

Conclusion: Why Your Business Needs Email Warmup to Drive Results!

Email is the new mode of communication that every business wants to leverage to get more leads and sales these days. To connect with your prospects through email, the least you can do is ensure that your message lands in their primary inbox, i.e. where they are most likely to see, open and read. As this blog post has explained, email warming is the way to go.

Because the warming up process makes use of clever algorithms, a network of trustworthy inboxes, and valuable warmup email exchanges, email warmup is incredibly effective. It enables your domain to maintain optimal deliverability during email outreach, thereby setting you up for success. To give email warmup a go at a fair cost, try it out at ClosersHQ!