Email Marketing

Easy Way to Stop Your Mailings: Blacklisted

Easy Way to Stop Your Mailings: Blacklisted

Your list is Blacklisted! Your legitimate email is blocked by several ISP’s because you picked up a “Spam Trap” address – That address is now part of your subscriber list.

spam trapWhat should you do, what can you do?  Where did this Spam Trap come from?

Spam traps are used by many different organizations and can originate from anywhere.  They can be created or designed as needed: frequently made from a no longer used email account or an inactive domain.  To be effective, the address in question must be inactive for a considerable amount of time.

Frequently spam traps are emails that have been abandoned by the original user and recycled just for this purpose.  Another source comes from email addresses that had once functioned as a role account that is no longer in use, such as webmaster@ and president@.  In other cases, they are created specifically as spam traps, by an ISP, Blacklist provider or other organizations.

Essentially a spam trap is an email address that is not opted-in to receive mail, used to trap malicious senders.  It could be an unused older email address or one that’s newly created just for this purpose.  A spam trap is not created to function as a communication tool.

Who Uses Spam Traps?

Many organizations use spam traps, including large ISP’s like AOL, industries that offer spam filters and organizations that specialize in email reputation.   For instance, SpamCop  ( an email spam reporting service) has spam trap creation rules for these entities:

Traps must consist of email addresses which have never been used for legitimate email. They should not be “recycled user accounts. They should not be well-known email addresses, however fake. Spammers and other users should not be aware what the addresses are and you should try to keep them as confidential as is reasonably possible.  SpamCop will also keep them secret. We never reveal trap messages. Web-poison addresses and the like are acceptable sources.”

Void of rules or regulations, organizations interpret spam trap information with charts, formulas and WAGs to block incoming emails based on their own understanding and methodology.

Creating a Spam Trap (simple example)

Your company purchased a list, one address on your newly acquired list has been inactive for a year.  When your company emails to the list, the inactive address can’t be delivered to, as the in-inbox no longer exists.  In this case, your company, the sender, receives a hard bounce notification basically signaling the sender to remove that address from their member’s lists.  Most senders do remove these addresses, but those that do not will continue to send to this inactive account.

Eventually, this abandoned email address will cease returning a hard bounce to the sender becoming ripe for the ISP to turn it into a Spam Trap as a response to the irresponsible sender, in this case, your company.

Spam Traps – The Blacklist Guaranty

The Blacklist Guaranty – send an email campaign with a “Spam Trap” and you will be blocked or blacklisted in no time.  This block may take the form of a permanent block on your sending IP Address; your future messages will not be delivered until you remove the spam trap address.  With your tarnished reputation and spammer label, no doubt you will become familiar with Blacklist reporting agencies like Spamhaus and the Passive Spam Block List who will continue to keep you on their Blacklist until you resolve the spam trap issue.

Who put a Spam Trap in My Permission Based Email List?

A spam trap added to your list unknowingly by:

  1. Not using confirmed opted-in and other permission-based maintenance
  2. Harvesting addresses
  3. Purchasing email addresses
  4. Renting email addresses
  5. Using an email Append service
  6. Deliberately added to your list
  7. Using an old list

How to Remove Spam Traps

Avoid spam traps.  Not too long ago, spam traps were near to impossible to remove and the reporting ISP, unlikely to tell you which address to remove to get yourself off their Blacklist.  

You could reconfirm your list of subscribers and once again.  require all list members to confirm their subscription to your email newsletter.  You will lose subscribers because the process required action they must take.

If reconfirming all your subscribers seems a little daunting, you may be able to identify clean, spam trap free addresses by mailing in segments. Start with small groups, (i.e. join date for example) until the entire list is used. Eventually, if everything goes right you may be able to isolate the offending email address and avoid most of the reconfirm process.

You may possibly avoid spam traps altogether by using a verification service.  Email verification is one way to make sure the addresses on your list are associated with an actual inbox.  In other words, it’s making sure that the messages you’re sending have somewhere to go.

How to Prevent Spam Traps

Review the age of your lists.  How often was it used?  Email lists are considered stale when they are over 3 months old without use.   Lists with several stale addresses can lead to high rates of bounces, spam complaints, and unsubscribes.

Do not buy a list, know how your list member email addresses are collected.

Manage your list sign-up the process: confirm, validate all new sign-ups.

In summary, removing a spam trap is a challenging task, and you may not be successful unless you reconfirm your list.  The better solution: make sure these offending addresses stay off your mailing lists altogether by following Safe Mailing Practices and not following the Worse Email Practices for List Management.

Interesting Email Marketing Facts that even the Black Panther® may not know.

Interesting Email Marketing Facts that even the Black Panther® may not know.

People are motivated to Read an Email with a Subject Line that is trendy, has a song lyric or a Movie Title.  Didn’t you just read this because of the title of this Blog?


Research on the web, shows that email marketing will produce:cat

  • Conversion Rates 3 times higher than marketing to prospects and customers using Social Media.
  • Consumers that like to receive relevant email messages.
  • 300 times more revenue with a Welcome Letter rather than a bulk email.
  • Committed customers and positive business growth.
  • Brand recognition for most people when a company logo is consistently used.
And that most people:
  • Do not download the images you spent hours selecting.
  • Will click on a red link before a blue link.
  • Respond to over-mailing, by unsubscribing.
  • Like to receive marketing emails less than three times a month.
  • May think you’re a spammer if the recipient doesn’t like or recognize your FROM address.
  • Open more pet and animals services email marketing messages than any other.
And Email Marketing messages: 
  • Are 5 times more likely to be seen that a message on a social media channel.
  • Have a higher open and click rate, about 6 times more when the email marketer uses Transactional emails.
  • Are read on mobile phones more and more.
And Mobile Users:
  • Usually, do not open/read messages with big images.
  • Email Messages opened on a mobile device may cut off characters or the text will wrap around to the next line.
  • Respond better to short personalized Subject lines, less than 50 characters.
  • Use their mobile devices more often to reopen a marketing email a second time.
  • People respond better to multiple topics in a single subject line.

And SPAM filters, a topic in itself are very anal.  If your recipient, for example, filters out the word CIALIS they will end up filtering out the word specialist –  and SPAM filters are bad news for Nonprofits who lose about $15,000 a year in donations.

Inactive subscribers may be lurkers.  Researched by another ESP, their published findings indicate, over 30% of inactive list members, are in fact, not inactive.  This class or subscribers may only be reading the Subject Line of your message.   When the Subject is something they are interested in, they go directly to your website or Facebook page: in the meantime, your email stats do not record an open.

Additionally, these inactive subscribers purchased more and are less likely to leave your list.   So is everything you know about inactive subscribers wrong?  A great blog subject for next month.

Who Really Engages With Your Email Messages?

Who Really Engages With Your Email Messages?

Who Really Engages With Your Email Messages?

You want your customers to engage with your email messages, increasing your ROI. What could stop them?  Email automation, (or in this case the program your list subscribers use to block out that unwanted email – the SPAM FiLTER), is only as smart as the programmer. – And limited by the instructions that come with it.  That and the fact that successful email campaigns have a time limit and a lifecycle, you might wonder which is a bigger menace to your ROI, email automation or over-emailing?       penguin

In an ideal world, all your subscribers will engage with your messages,  SPAM filters are perfect and there is no such thing as over-emailing. This is not a perfect world. Over-email, you lose subscribers.  if you continue to over-email you might be considered a SPAMMER, your messages are just deleted or filtered into oblivion.   Over-emailing can lead to lower engagement, lower conversion rates, and definitely lower ROI.

Lower ROI is not the goal.

You want members to engage with your messages, therefore view email as the best marketing tool since the traveling salesman; same personal one on one communication delivered right to the door. (or inbox in the case)  However, unlike the salesman, email is easy to exploit and squander. Email does not give you the opportunity to overcome objections or dazzle them with your personality and charm. And it does not engage your subscriber in an ongoing conversation.   In most cases, you’ll never need to see or talk to your list member: the impression you leave with your subscriber is limited to the email you send to them.  It then becomes important to understand the type of person who engages with your messages.

How do you determine who your subscriber really is  – collect the general demographics, age, and gender and expand the data to include the type of content your subscriber engages with, the links they click on, the day and time they read your email to the hat they purchased and the friend they referred.   Use this knowledge to send triggered, targeted email – if you know, for example, a customer purchases an oversized shirt and funny shoes every October, you expect they will be purchasing this October. Be proactive; leading up to October send them an image of oversized shirts and offer a discount on another purchase if they refer a friend.

Use your collected demographics to target people who live in NYC in the dead of winter, by offering wool gloves and warm hat combinations while in warmer climates, the offer is changed to straw hats and cotton gloves.  It’s so easy to personalize each message as you’re targeting a specific group at a specific time.  Segmenting your list with essential personal content will yield higher ROI as deliverability improves with list engagement.  How do you know it’s working, measure your success!

Just how do you measure success?

Measure any metric you deem important, such as how did the customer engage with your message, what time was it, where are they, did they click on all links or just open the email and delete it.  Did they forward your message to a friend or save it for themselves to open later?

Barring the subject line, which you have tested with segment emailing, is your only measurement, email opens and website visitors – is that really enough?   What other factors can you measure to let you know your email campaigns are more or could be more successful than you think?

  1. Confirmation email, did they confirm? If they did not confirm, should you rewrite the synopsis of the signup URL, or should you rethink your offer in exchange for their email address?
  2. Have you lost subscribers after your initial Welcome letter? The most important email you’ll ever send hasn’t changed, it’s still the Welcome Letter.  Whether you are offering a service, selling retail or running a nonprofit organization, the goals are all the same.  Increase the customer, client or member base and keep them happy and interested.
  3. Format: you changed the number of images and people unsubscribe. Are the images optimized for mobile and PC?  How many people did not like that change?  Test any changes first.
  4. Do you track your customers from the day they joined your list, to their first purchase to the time it took for their first purchase to the number of emails to get their next purchase? When did they lose interest in your messages, what did you change?
  5. Do you know what device they use to read your messages? Is your email readable and configured correctly for the mobile crowd, the IPad user and laptop?  Does it render well in all browsers for all devices, if not, people may leave?
  6. What time of day are your messages read and just where are your list members? Are your emails being neglected because you are in the grass seed business, emailing people who live in downtown Chicago? Do you send Monday Emails to people who work at night?  A profile page and some analyzing may reveal a better time to send out that weekly newsletter and correct the mailing to target homeowners instead of city dwellers
  7. Are you sending a book instead of a newsletter? Is there an ideal limit on content, longer or shorter? When you run tests, which one has better results?
  8. What is unique about your company, do you capitalize on your customer service, fast delivery, speedy checkout and money back guarantee? All these are measurable, and if you don’t know the answers, send them a survey.

And don’t forget to continue to use the same metrics you always have: Delivery rates, bounce rates, click-throughs and open rates.  They are all important measurements to be successful.

Key Information For Email Marketers

Key Information For Email Marketers

As 2017 comes to an end, are you happy with how well your company performed? Are you concerned about 2018, and what will it bring to the table?

Your monthly profit analysis may project the overall health of your business at year end. It really doesn’t tell you what you are doing right or doing wrong.

The best way to find out about your company’s successes and failures:  turn to those who use your product or service, your customers.  Don’t rely on Social Media, some people may love your product, but their mother doesn’t, so they give you a negative review to keep the peace.  Does that really happen – you never know.  Send email surveys, the perfect way to allow your customers to give the feedback you need.  Allow them to remain anonymous and post their answers online to a specific URL or let them tell you who they are when they submit their answers by email.  Either way here’s the top 5 reasons you should include a survey in your email marketing program.

Unlock success to email marketing with the right tools for the right results. praying cat

  1. Customer/member feedback: Looking for overall satisfaction, or why your customers visited your site only to abandon their shopping carts. A survey will allow you to ask those burning questions you really want to know.
  2. Measure Morale: Is your audience satisfied with the direction your company is moving? Or are they frustrated with your customer service? Use surveys as a tool, not just to find out the good, but also what your company can do to boost your consumer’s morale. Happy customers will pay off in REPEAT business.
  3. Surveys as Testimonials: When using a survey, it is important to leave a comment section. This section can be used to elaborate on an ongoing issue or to praise your company for its strengths. In turn, you can use these comments as a testimonial for prospective clients.  It may be just what you need to convert a prospective client into an active one.
  4. Fine-tune Pricing: There are many nuances on how to determine your pricing. However, this is the perfect venue to ask your customer what range of prices they may be willing to pay for your services. This may help your business stay competitively priced, may even help your future sales campaigns.
  5. Become Proactive: Once the data has been collected you can use this information to make changes within your company and to set goals for the upcoming year. For example, if your survey reflects that the customer wait times on support calls are too long, then a reasonable goal for the next year might be to hire more customer support to decrease wait times.

Adding a survey to your email campaigns can provide you with key information that can be used to make your customers happy, and in return result in repeat business. Just a little bit of effort to add a survey to your marketing can yield large returns.

Dundee Internet Mailing List hosting: Surveys are part of the package!

Email Privacy Changes On The Horizon, More Rules To Follow For Some Email Marketers

Email Privacy Changes On The Horizon, More Rules To Follow For Some Email Marketers

The European Privacy Law is coming on May 25, 2018. The title of picture of a card with GDPR and keythis act is officially known as The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); its all about the protection of the privacy rights of EU individuals, including email privacy.

Even though this is enacted in Europe this will require significant changes by organizations worldwide.

Essentially GDPR will gdprenact new rules on organizations that offer goods and services to the people who reside in the EU; specifically targeting organizations that collect and analyze data that involves EU residents, regardless of the location of that organization.  This includes email privacy rights

The GDPR proposes to do the following:

  • Improve the rights of individuals by giving them the ability to access the data that a company collects on them, the right to correct mistakes, to delete information, object to how the information is processed and to move their data.
  • Make companies responsible as to how individual information (data) is processed and handled
  • Require companies to report data breaches within a certain time frame, i.e 72 hours
  • Impose fines and sanctions on an organization who unintentionally failed to maintain data privacy, as well as those who intentionally failed compliance.

The bottom line, companies that deal with any EU residents information will be required to update their privacy statements, change the way they put data protection in place, and follow new procedure guidelines.

As a list owner, with subscribers worldwide, the General Data Protection Regulation will expect compliance to protect email privacy rights.

As a list owner or a list hosting company for that matter, if you collect, record, use, store, change and or erase any personal data from your customer list(s) or contacts for EU residents it must all fall under the GDPR guidelines.

To understand the guidelines here a brief definition of the terms in the regs., per the GDPR

Personal Data:  Any information that identifies an individual or can be used along with other data to identify an individual.  That includes the normal information such as social security numbers, house addresses, phone numbers, email address but this reg. indicates that other items we normally do not associate with an individual such as the IP of their computer and social data among other things is considered personal data.  Those collecting information on their subscribers, such as preferences in color, finances, to a login name can be considered personal data if such data can use this to identify an individual.

Process Data: Is defined as any action that affects the data, including but not limited to storing, retrieving, collecting, recording, copying, moving, alternating, restricting and erasing.  In summary, if your lists of subscribers contain any personal data of any EU citizens you and your list provider falls under the GDPR.

Suggestions for List Owners with EU subscribers:

  • Review your privacy and security policies
  • Continue to allow your subscribers to unsubscribe from your list anytime they want to leave
  • Always include an unsubscribe link in your mailings
  • Only add email addresses to your list that are lawfully obtained
  • Make sure your subscribers are opted-in or doubled opted-in to avoid  issues
  • Review your list member records for accuracy
  • Tell your subscribers how their personal data is being used
  • You may have to change the way you collect list subscribers.  If you collect an address by offering a white paper download, for example, according to the GDPR, their email address cannot be stored and used because they didn’t actively agree, at that point,  that’s its okay to use their data.

Things to consider:

  • You may use the subscribers’ data by emailing to them, for example, update your subscribers’ profile, make corrections and changes.
  • Individual subscribers may contact your ESP directly to make corrections, changes, and updates to their profile page.
  • Individuals may ask you or your ESP what personal data you have concerning them

Noncompliance: Why worry?

An EU marketer must be concerned with the stricter regulations and high penalties.   A list owner with EU based subscribers must be concerned as well   As for the ESP, it’s our job to know and act as needed in these cases.

You can read more about the GDPR:

Discover, manage, protect and report.

Are Email Feedback Loops Driving You Nuts

Are Email Feedback Loops Driving You Nuts

As an email marketer, you are responsible for sending hundreds, or maybe even tens of thousands of emails to those subscribed to your list. These are email campaigns you’ve worked on for weeks; testing to verify your campaigns will send the right message at the right time and bring in that expected ROI. However, some of the most significant feedback you need to make your campaign successful is what your recipients do with the emails you send them.

What your recipients do with your email once they receive it boils down to a few choices that include:

  1. Open
  2. Save for late
  3. Share with a friend
  4. Delete immediately
  5. Mark as Junk/Spam Mail
  6. Report you as a SPAMMER and complain to the ISP you’re hosting with.

As a marketer, we try to avoid them later, but it does happen,  so don’t let Feedback Loops drive you nuts!

When the recipient marks your mail as spam and complains to the internet service provider (ISP) they usually notify the sender of the complaint. Once notified, you should have unsubscribed the complainant from the list. One way to do this efficiently is the use of a feedback loop.

Feedback loops (FBL) are used by most ISP’s. Essentially, it’s a system that assists senders to keep their subscriber lists clean.  Some ESPs (Email Service Providers) set up FBLs for their customers, with those ISP’s that use them, Dundee is one of those providers.  A typical FBL format includes a button or link, which when clicked allows the email recipient to register a complaint about the received email.

(fig. 1). It is also advisable to ban the complainant’s email address so they cannot re-subscribe to the list and send another complaint.  This is important because an increase in spam complaints can influence the senders’ reputation.


Different ISP have their own feedback loops – some use the same provider – here

    • AOL
    • BlueTie – by Return Path
    • Comcast –by Return Path
    • Fastmail – by Return Path
    • Rackspace
    • Gmail
    • Time Warner Cable – by Return Path


Questions on Feedback Loops?  Just ask

Are You a Primary, Social or Promotional Email Marketer?

Are You a Primary, Social or Promotional Email Marketer?

As an email marketer, you’ve put effort into generating your email list to sell your services or products, but you’re not seeing a high response rate from your Gmail members.

It could be that Gmail, offers their user an option to deliver all emails into categorized tabs*. These tabs include Social, Promotions, and man with letterthe all-important Primary tab. What do these tabs mean to you, and how can you increase the deliverability and open rates of your emails?

Gmail has become one of the most popular” free” email systems available.  This means there is a good chance a large portion of your subscriber list are Gmail users, and Gmail has become their primary email source.  As your growing Gmail subscribers actively use this email client, Gmail tabs can become a concern and possibly affect your deliverability.

Emails in Gmail that are tagged Primary will alert the user’s phone when one is downloaded.  An alert increases the chance that your email will be seen and opened. However, if your email lands in the Promotion tab  no alert sent, and the email could be overlooked entirely. So how do you increase the deliverability to the Promotions tab?

Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Keep your member list up to date:

Your first few emails to Gmail clients have a good chance of ending up on the Primary tab. As you continue emailing, the interactions of your subscribers to your messages (do they read them, trash them?) is measured by Gmail.  If the interaction is poor, your emails are deleted as soon as received or never opened (for example) Gmail may start moving your incoming messages to the Promotion tab – lowering your overall deliverability.

By using an up-to-date list your email marketing will perform as expected, with high deliverability, opens and forwards. Including an increase ROI.  It’s worth the investment of time needed to build and maintain an engaged list of subscribers.

  1. Keep your subject line formal, and hello personal: 

When deciding on a subject line, try to shy away from using words like sales, free or discounts, as this can be viewed as Promotional and will affect the deliverability as such. Create messages that are personal instead of generic, thus increasing the likelihood that your email will be delivered into the Gmail’s Primary tab.

  1. Limit your images and links:

I’m sure you heard it before, limit the number of graphics you use in an email.  This also applies to Gmail.  As stated Gmail monitors incoming email, a message with several images and links will appear to be a marketing or spam email.  The Primary tab, because it is associated with personal communication, will less likely accept an image-laden message – if it’s not deemed spam it will most likely end up under the Promotional tab.   Personal correspondence usually contains just a few images or links, emails with a high text to image ratio, or high HTML usage will also be seen as promotional and moved accordingly.

  1. Send a Welcome Letter:

When you have a new subscriber, send them a welcome letter. “The most important email you’ll ever send hasn’t changed, it’s still the Welcome Letter.  Whether you are offering a service, selling retail or running a nonprofit organization, the goals are all the same.  Increase the customer, client or member base and keep them happy and interested.”  In the letter thank them for subscribing, and ask them to move your email to the Primary tab instead of the Promotional Tab. This only takes a few clicks on the subscriber’s part and this will inform Google that they want to interact with your emails.  If they do the sorting most likely any future emails will automatically be sent to the primary tab.

  1. Send a Test Email:

The best way to see if your content will end up where you want it is to do a test run. Generate your email and send it to a test account to see where it lands. From here you can make any needed corrections, or if you’re happy with the turnout, send it out.

The goal of all list owners is to grow your subscribers and get them to complete an action. To do so you must be effectively reaching your clients. It may take a little time and effort to guarantee your Gmail subscribers see your emails, but the result may just be worth it.

  • *Primary: personal conversations and messages.
  • *Social: social network messages and other services such as media-sharing sites and online dating services.
  • *Promotions: advertising, marketing, offers, deals, and sales.

How To Be An Inbox Expert

How To Be An Inbox Expert

It’s 2017, still using email marketing and still hoping to get in the inbox?

Whether you are a professional email marketer with 20 years and counting of experience, or just getting your feet wet; the number one issue you’re probably facing continues to be inbox delivery.  In fact, recent surveys indicate that there’s a decline in overall delivery rates.

Declining delivery rates, according to industry statistics, reveal that a modest estimate of those lost emails represents millions of dollars of lost revenue. And for some and even greater losses in specific industries.

When a company becomes dependent on email marketing revenue, declining inbox deliveries can be devastating to the bottom line. In fact, if you review all the available sending reports and perform due diligence audits on your deliverability results, you may have found that an increase in revenue with your email marketing campaigns is disproportionately lower to the monetary output you’re making.  This includes employing staff, time, testing procedures and the monthly investment the company is making in email technology that makes this all work.

Even with advance email technology and the rate of change in email hosting industry overall, delivery issues should be addressed in real time.  Real-time allows you to become proactive, allowing you to identify and address problems, avoid negative results, such as being rated with an unacceptable sending reputation and prevent that email from being trapped in the SPAM filter.mailbox

Keep in mind most deliverability issues come from old or poorly maintained email lists.  Old lists are notorious for having incorrect to inactive addresses, addresses that bounce or have become someone’s favorite SPAM trap, all contributing to a degrading sender reputation and lower inbox deliverability while fattening the spam folder.

Whether or not emails go to spam folders depends on many factors that can include, but are not limited to the:

  • Reputation of the sending IP.
  • “Newness’ of the sending IP (if it is a new sending IP without an established reputation, then ISP’s usually treats it with caution until a reputation is established).
  • Actual content of the message; if it looks like spam then it will likely get treated like spam.  For confirmation requests, this usually means nothing in the confirmation request can be construed as anything other than a request to confirm that the user wants to be added to the list.  No other ‘call to action’ such as sales pitches, links to sales sites, etc., should be in a confirmation request.
  • IP’s Pointer (PTR), aka Reverse DNS (RDNS) status, i.e., does it match the A Record?
  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF) status, i.e., does the SPF record specify the IP as an allowed sender IP?
  • Use of DK/DKIM to authenticate the email as authorized by your domain.
  • Customer reaction to your email.  Are they deleting it without reading it?  Do they click on the confirmation links?  Did they file a complaint with the ISP that the email is spam?

Here are a few links to articles on the subject:

Delivery challenges can be addressed in different ways:

  • Hire someone to manage deliverability
  • Use an outside vendor to provide facts and figures for study and analysis
  • Pay someone for email certification
  • Measure your inbox rates with detail reports from your ESP
  • Send seed list and measure the results.

One thing you can be proactive about is to ask your users to add your address to their address book as many ISPs will always deliver those addresses to the inbox.  You can do this in a confirmation message, a hello message, or even on every production newsletter you send.  Repetition is good…if a user wants the newsletter, they will usually do something about it themselves to get it to the inbox if they know how.

Questions?  Comment below.

I Dedicate This IP Address To You, Warmly Your ESP

I Dedicate This IP Address To You, Warmly Your ESP

If you watch baseball, you know Baseball players’ warm-up prior to their game, in fact most athletes do warm-up exercises to get into the swing of things, to limber up and to ready themselves before the big event.

Google defines the warm-up as:warmth

One that prepare for physical exertion or a performance by exercising or practicing gently beforehand.  “The band was warming up”

Synonyms; limber up, loosen up, stretch, work-out, exercise, prepare, and rehearse:  “I run in place a bit to warm up.”

Can you Warm UP an IP Address?

Just like the athlete who warms up before the big event, you can warm up a dedicated IP address by progressively increasing the sending volume of email over time.  Notice the Google definition indicates warm-ups are a gentle exercise to prepare oneself for the run, the game or the contest to get the best results: analogues is the email marketer on a new dedicated IP who wants to gently prepare it before sending volumes or emails that may damage their reputation.

The process of warming up and IP address, helps establish your legitimacy among ISP’s as a reputable email sender.  Most, if not all ISP’s do not readily trust a new ‘kid on the block”, in this case a new IP address, sending huge volumes of email.  Their first thought: SPAMMER.

The better way to send on a new dedicated IP address: work your way up the volume ladder, start out by sending a low, reasonable amount of email, perhaps to 10,000 members, on a schedule, until you can send to your complete list of, for example 750,000, successfully while maintaining a good email reputation.

Does low volume sending always work in your favor, well, no.  Other factors always come into play such as sender’s reputation to the rules of email you’re following: Best Practices.  Low to high sending is not necessary if:

  • Your subscriber base is generally 10,000 members or less
  • You are on a shared IP address

Before you start to warm up your IP address make sure:

  • Your SPF record has been correctly confirmed
  • Plan: do not start with your oldest unresponsive list.  You want your best and most dynamic subscribers that bring you high delivery rates
  • Verify the domain name associated with your IP address using forward and reverse DNS lookup
  • Always have an existing website linked to your sender information
  • Have feedback loops in place
  • Set-up an easy to use unsubscribe link
  • Plan to send messages both formatted for html and text

And there is so much more to consider, such as using the best email practices, not hiding where your email is from to email rending and spam filter content.

In conclusion if you’re running on a dedicated IP address, take the time to maintain it by monitoring your sending reputation.  The better the reputation the higher the deliverability rate the happier you will be.