Congratulations! You clearly understand that Email Marketing is very different from sending mailers to any and every list you can lay your hands on, and the MailDirect Team is completely aligned to support you in your effort to use email as an effective marketing tool.
This article will guide you in getting your email marketing activity started on the right foundation – by getting the reputation of your originating IP clean.
MailDirect classifies its customers into three broad categories:
1) Clients who have data transfer volumes less than 25GB per month,
2) Clients who have data transfer which are more than 25GB per month – we call them high volume customers.
3) And finally, clients who have been with us for long and have built reputation with us – we call them trusted customers.
For (2) and (3) above, we recommend a dedicated setup. Whether you are new to the email game or an accomplished vet, you have probably run across the idea of warming up an IP (Internet Protocol) address to improve delivery performance.
So, what does IP warming really mean? IP warming is a gradual process that happens over time, with the goal of establishing a reputation as a legitimate email sender in the eyes of ISPs (Internet Service Providers). When an ISP observes email suddenly coming from a new or “cold” (ie, recently dormant) IP address, they will take notice of it and immediately begin evaluating the traffic coming from that IP. Since volume is perhaps the most telling factor in the view of ISP SPAM filters, it is best to begin sending with a low to moderate volume (up to 1 million emails/month), eventually working your way up to larger volumes (over 1 million emails/month). This gives the “gate-keepers” a chance to closely observe your sending habits and the way your customers treat the emails they receive from you.
While IP warming is imperative to get off to a smooth start, it certainly doesn’t guarantee smooth sailing forever. It is still very important to follow best practices related to email delivery.
I have much less data transfer, or rather, a lower count of emails, so do I too need IP warming ?
In the event that you’re sending a very low volume (e.g., < 10,000 emails/month) of email, you will likely stay off the ISPs’ radars for the most part. However, if you are exceeding this approximate threshold, you should make the warmup process a priority in order to start off on the right foot. One may even argue that a warmup period is useful regardless of volume. Also, don’t forget, the history of your IP is also an important determinant of an ISPs initial evaluation. Here’s where you can check the overall reputation of your provider – SenderScore.org.
How do I go about the IP warming process?
The calculation is very simple. Estimate your total monthly email volume and divide that number by 30 and then try to spread your sending evenly over the first 30 days, based on that calculation.
Example: if you will send 90,000 emails/month, you should start off sending 3,000 per day over the first month.
You might be thinking, “why haven’t I encountered this whole warmup issue at other ESPs?” The answer is simple: many of them, especially those focused on marketing email tools, do not offer dedicated IP addresses to their customers. Most often, ESPs simply place everyone on a shared cluster by default. While it may be less cost effective and more technically complicated, we think it is important to empower our users by allowing them to earn their own reputation on their own IP.