Lessons You Can Learn From a PROPER Warm Up
More and more, we see new clients wanting to do their own thing when it comes to warming up their domains and IPs. The problem with this is that it essentially sets you up for failure from the get-go. When this happens, it incurs extra fees, extra time, and poorer results.
However, even as seasoned marketers with long standing domain and IP reputations, there are things that we recommend with new clients and the warm up that can help you with your email program.
1. Mail to most engaged subscribers first.
They are least likely to complain and most likely to open your messages, both of which impact overall reputation and inbox placement rates for the long term. (Your warm up emails should have less than a handful of complaints, if any)
Even if you've been mailing for years, you may want to consider mailing to your recent opens and clicks first and sending the rest of the mail out behind them.
NOTE: If you're warming up, this is NOT the time to run a re-engagement campaign. You can essentially guarantee that you will have inbox placement issues once the warm up is complete.
Always test the content before "blasting" it out to your list. We've gone over items to test multiple times. To recap: Always check all domains (from email addresses, URLs in the copy, etc.), check HTML formatting to ensure it's correct for EMAIL, test your unsubscribe link, test your content, and always make sure you have your mailing address in your messages (this is not only a best practice, it's the law).
3. Use a good image to text ratio.
Too many images without enough text is going to cause your messages to go to the junk folder. After a few of these types of messages, the ISPs will essentially put all of your mail in the junk folder, deeming mail from your IPs and/or domains to be junk. ALWAYS be conscious of the amount of text and ratio of images in your messages.
TIP: Take a look in your junk folder and see what types of messages wind up there. Many will have very little text at all and/or a lot of images.
4. Send consistently.
With the warm up, we recommend starting very slow (about 1000 per day per ISP) and ramping up daily until you get to your full list size.
Once you've warmed up, it's important to send consistently. In other words, if you mail 50,000 day for 7 days, then nothing for 30, you're essentially going to have to go back to a "light" warm up schedule. Likewise, if you typically mail 20,000 a day and then jump to 100,000 with no gradual increase, you're going to have delivery problems and inbox placement problems. Use common sense here.
5. Keep complaint as low as possible.
Client often come to us and tell us their complaint rates are below the "thresholds" the ISPs state. The truth is, you should stay WAY below these guidelines. PERIOD. Any campaign or email that generates more than a couple of complaints bears some looking into.
Additionally, when you look at your statistics, you're seeing a campaign total. But, the ISPs get complaint immediately. They have no idea how many messages are ultimately in your list. For instance, if the first 100 messages to Yahoo generate 5 complaints, they're going to throttle your mail - or reject it - after that point for the remainder of that campaign as they see 5% complaints at the beginning of the campaign.
So... even long after the proper warm up, you should be paying attention to each of these items every time you send a campaign.
For over a decade Heather Seitz used email marketing to build successful companies and had to solve the biggest barrier to consistent profitability: deliverability. Today she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Email Delivered.
To know what lessons you can learn from doing a proper warm up for your IPs and domains, visit http://www.emaildelivered.com/proper-warm-up/. Remember to sign up for the FREE Email Delivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources for email marketers.
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