Before sending bulk emails it is a crucial point to “warm up” your email account. Otherwise, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may treat your emails as spam. This could happen if you send an email to lots of contacts that have never received an email from you before when your account is still very new and doesn’t have much of a sending history.
So, how to avoid being blacklisted? Warm up your email account!
Here are the steps on how to do it:
Step 1: Keep your recipient list verified
Get ready for the actual warm-up first. Make sure your sending list contains valid emails only. We do not recommend sending to unverified and Unverifiable (Risky) emails. If some of them are invalid, you will end up with a high bounce rate, and this lowers your email account credibility in the eyes of the ISPs. Here’s how to verify your email addresses for safe bulk sending.
Step 2: Check your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records
SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are the three security mechanisms that protect you from hackers, phishers, and help to avoid spam. ISPs treat these seriously, so before you start using your new email account for campaign sending, you need to set them up.
Their set-up will differ in each provider’s email account settings. You can find help materials on your provider’s page, or check these guides from Google:
- Learn how to create an SPF record for your domain here.
- Read how to set up DKIM here.
- Read how to set up DMARC here.
Step 3: Warm up your account step-by-step
Start with a smaller number of emails per day and gradually increase the number. If you have a brand new account, you will need at least 2 weeks of preparation before beginning bulk mailings.
Send manual emails to your friends and acquaintances at first to be sure they get opened and answered. Ask your friends to open your emails, mark them “not spam” in case the email was delivered to their Spam folder, and reply to you. Try to send to different email hosting providers, such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.
Now get ready to send the emails out to your list in small batches, increasing the number of emails each time. Take the new contacts you have, divide them into lists, and send them emails over time.
At first, your sending schedule should look something like this:
Week 1: 25 emails/day
Week 2: 50 emails/day
Week 3: 75 emails/day
Week 4: 100 emails/day
The numbers may differ depending on who you’re emailing. If there are fewer opens or more blocks, be patient and slower with your email volume growth, allowing your reputation to improve. Even though this may cause a delay to your email campaigns, the risk of getting blacklisted will be way lower, helping your future bulk mailings.
During the warm-up process, keep an eye on your recipient engagement. The lower your engagement, the harder the ISPs will be on your account. If this continues, take a good look at your content and analyze whether it is valuable for your recipients or if something needs changing. If your initial batch of recipients doesn’t think it’s good, your entire list probably won’t either.
Consider the email sending limits. Every email service provider has their own email sending limits per day/month. Set as big as possible delay between sendings, considering that the recommended delay is 30-120 seconds between each email.
Personalize your email as much as you can. Personalization is a key when bulk emailing. The more variables you use, the more your emails differ, the less are your chances to be suspected as a spammer, etc.
Watch our video guide on how to warm up an email account and find out an easy domain warm-up strategy: