Advance warning: warming up a domain won’t require a heating pad, a warm mug of tea, or wool socks–we promise.
It will, however, require some preparation, patience, and forethought.
Similar to warming up your muscles before a workout to avoid injury, warming up a domain essentially means starting slowly when sending out emails from a fresh domain. If you send out too many emails too soon without building a reputation, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will flag you as a spam-producing domain and send all your emails to the spam folder. Your deliverability rates will tank and your reputation will take a serious hit.
Recipients won’t receive your communications, sure…but more seriously, you risk burning your domain and rendering it useless for any future email campaigns. That’s a quick death for your outreach efforts.
By warming up your domain, you reduce the likelihood of tipping of ISPs and your delivery rates will soar. It’s a slow and sometimes tedious process, there’s no getting around that, but it will help you avoid being relegated to the dreaded spam folder.
Read on to find out how to go about warming up your domain for maximum reach and effectiveness.
Set Up Your First Email Account
The initial step is to create an email address that you’ll use for outreach purposes. Because email service providers have varied sending limits, double-check how many emails you can send each day from a single email account. This number might be 500 or 1,000, but keep in mind that it relates to domains that have been warmed up.
Don’t worry if this appears a little underwhelming and doesn’t seem to meet your ambitious email outreach strategy.
The first thing you should know is that setting up more than one email account before your domain has been warmed up is not recommended. We suggest that you play it safe and add a second one after around two months. This will ensure that the warm-up procedure goes well and that you don’t raise any red flags. You’ll also need to set up the MX record (mail exchange record), which is used to send emails to a certain server. Set up the “from” field and a signature, as this will give your efforts more legitimacy.
Domain Authentication Time
This is one of the most important procedures because all of your previous efforts will fall by the wayside until you configure your email address and validate your domain.
In other words, if you don’t validate your new domain, your emails won’t reach your recipients’ inboxes after the warm-up period. And that’s the whole point of this exercise, right?
You must first set up SPF and DKIM in order to receive approval from email providers.
These two fancy acronyms stand for Sender Policy Framework, which is a validation method for preventing spam by confirming the email sender’s email address, and DomainKeys Identified Mail, which is a standard for indicating that an email was sent by you and not someone impersonating you. That’s an extra layer of defense against winding up in the spam folder.
Certain providers, such as Google or Microsoft, come with pre-configured domains; however, this isn’t always the case. So before you start warming up your domain, make sure SPF and DKIM are configured.
Let The Warm-Up Begin
You can start warming up your domain now that you’ve authenticated it, but remember–slow and steady wins the race.
The key is to be as natural as possible and appear as if you’re emailing your friends — after all, you probably don’t send them 100 emails a day (if you do, no judgment–but those aren’t the friends we’ve got in mind right now).
Keep in mind that the warm-up period can last up to three months. Another important consideration is the number of emails you send each day. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t start sending emails straight after registering your domain; instead, wait two or three weeks.
As in, don’t jump into Automation Station yet. Every day, send a handful of emails. If you want to boil it down to the nitty-gritty of numbers, the best timeline is:
- During the first week, send 20 emails every day
- Send between 20 and 40 emails during the second week
- Aim for between 40 and 80 emails during the third week.
As you can see, steadily increasing the number is the best way to go. While this method is time-consuming, it is the safe bet and will help you properly warm up your domain and email address.
The name of the game is to customize and personalize your outreach where possible. It’s the key to showing ISPs that you’re not a spammer who sends out irrelevant emails to which no one answers. So make sure to devote time and effort to crafting a truly significant message and subject line for every email that goes out.
Hit Up Friends
This advice might seem strange, but bear with us–it makes a lot of sense.
Since such an important component in the process of warming up your domain is the response rate, reaching out to your friends and family is a great tactic.
You see, if you send emails and no one reads them or responds, your outreach will appear irrelevant, and you’ll be in danger. But if you message your pals and receive a decent response rate, that’s a good sign, and Gmail, in particular, looks at that measure closely.
Target Business Addresses
This is especially critical if you’re going to use cold outreach in the B2B industry.
If you engage with business email addresses from powerful and respected domains and receive responses, email providers will know you’re not a spammer and that your emails are useful. Success!
For a successful cold emailing campaign and beat the deliverability odds, it’s critical to first warm up your domain. We can’t emphasize enough how critical it is to do things slowly and not rush the process. Follow these procedures and keep in mind that cold outreach is only effective if it appears spontaneous and genuine. Go slow…and get results.
Need a hand warming up your domain and managing your cold outreach? MKC Agency is a team of energetic, experienced, and devoted marketing experts who love what they do. Give us a shout to see how we can help you with your outreach and business goals today!