Warming Up Your Dedicated IP Address With a New ESP

Choosing to have a dedicated IP address is often preferred by businesses who want full control of their brand send reputation. By choosing a dedicated IP with your (new) Email Service provider, you can ensure the reputation and delivery of your emails are not impacted by the actions of other marketers, which could happen if you share ESPs mailing IPs.

Shared or dedicated IP address ?

The difference between shared and dedicated mailing IP addresses is quite simple. A shared IP address is used by multiple ESP customers at the same time. Having a Dedicated IP address means that your company has its very own IP address.

Warming Your Dedicated IPs

If you’ve invested in a dedicated IP address, warming that IP address is critical. If you begin sending emails from a new or “cold” IP address. Steep increases in email marketing volume to major ISPs can damage your new mailing IP’s reputation. That defeats the purpose. So you need to warm your IP address gradually over time to establish your new IP address as a legitimate email sender among the major Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Properly warming up your IP address is a crucial step in building your email sending reputation and improving email delivery performance.

How do ESPs help with Dedicated IP Addresses and IP Address Warming?

Most credible ESPs can provide dedicated IP addresses, mostly for an additional fee. The configuration typically requires up to two days. ESPs should also be prepared to assist you with the IP warming process with a combination of guidance, platform features and professional services.

The following guide provides the steps involved to warm up your IP address and establish a positive reputation. Note that you cannot shortcut the process! It will take a minimum of 4 weeks to build towards your targeted volume.

If your database has less than 10,000 prospects you do not need to warm your IP address. And if you are conducting B2B email marketing the warming is less of an issue because your emails are distributed over multiple ISPs, but is still advised.

Process To Warm Up Your IP Address For B2C Email Marketing To Major ISPs:

  • Step 1: Three Things You Need To Confirm For Warming Up Your IP Address
  • Step 2: Warming Up Your IP Address
  • Step 3: Begin Increasing Your Email Volume

Step 1: Three Things You Need To Do Before Warming Your IP Address

Make sure that your SPF record is appropriately verified and authentication settings are correct.

Confirm your ESP is able to support throttling required to limit your send. There are a few common methods that ESPs use to throttle your daily email volume. The ESP will allow you to set a max number of emails sent in a day or have a tool to create segments that match your ideal send volumes. (reference sample tables in under Step 2 below)

Segment and send to your best and most active contacts first. Don’t start your IP warming with only old and unresponsive contacts! Having high deliverability and email delivery rates with your initial campaigns will help build your IP’s reputation.

Step 2: Warming Up Your IP Address

The key to warming your IP address is to spread out your initial sends over multiple days.

For example, if you plan on sending 50,000 emails a week, we recommend that you split your lists into at least five groups of no more than 10,000 recipients in each list. Email only one group per day over the first five days.

A rule of thumb for larger volume B2C email marketing ramp-ups is to start your sending at 10,000 prospects per day. If your bounce rate stays below 10% and your spam complaint rate stays below 0.1% on those sends, you can safely double your send volume per day over the next few weeks until your target sending volume is reached.

For example, if you want to send 1,000,000 emails a week, you should ramp up like this:

Week
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Emails Per Day
10k per day x 5 days
20k per day x 5 days
40k per day x 5 days
80k/day x 4 days
160 k per day x 4 days
250k per day x 4 days
333k per day x 3 days
500k per day x 2 days
1M per day x 1 day*
Total Per Week
50k
100k
200k
240k
640k
1M
1M
1M
1M

*We recommend keeping your sending schedule at 250k/4 days to avoid having your emails bounced by recipient ISPs due to spikes. Consistent daily send volume is better than having a large volume spike on one day of the week and no email sent on remaining days of the week.

Throughout the process monitor the bounce rates of your lists and stop mailing if the bounce rates of your first one or two targets exceeds 10%. This is a sure sign that your list needs maintenance! Clean up the list, and then resume sending to the remainder of the targets.

Step 3: Increasing Established Monthly Email Marketing Volume

Say you’ve already established your sending volume at 100,000 messages per week. What if you want to send to 200,000 a week now?

We recommend that you increase your sending gradually over a month. See the below table for how to ramp email sending over a month from 100,000 emails per week to 200,000 emails per week.

If Established Mail Volume is already at 100,000 messages/week:

Week
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Emails per Week
125k
150k
175k
200k

Note

  • It is not recommended attempting to more than double your mail volume in a month on an active IP.
  • If your mailing patterns are infrequent — for example, only one mail campaign per month — avoid sending more than 100,000 messages per day.
Jay Adams

About Jay Adams


Jay is Founder and CEO of Makesbridge, where he focuses on platform innovation and education for the company’s global subscriber base. Prior to founding Makesbridge, Jay was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Audiohighway.com; where his teams grew the company’s database from 5,000 to 2.4 million in under 2 years and promoted their music streaming and e-commerce websites.

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