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Email warm up : why is it important to warm up emails before and while sending

Damien Breneliere - MailReach

Damien Brenelière

Co-Founder @ MailReach & Email Deliverability Expert

Email warm up is a practice which is becoming more and more known and popular in the email world as it’s directly linked to deliverability which is getting more complex. Let’s explore what is email warm up, why it’s important and how to do it the best way.
Email warm up : the way to make your company take off like a rocket

What is email warm up?

Email warm up is the process of preparing an email address, domain and / or IP to build a positive email sending reputation with email providers and spam filters. 

The goal behind email warm up is to maximize the results of your email campaigns with an optimized deliverability that will lead to higher open rates and in turn improve reply, lead, click rates.

Years ago, email warm up consisted only in gradually increasing the volume of emails sent until reaching your daily volume goal. It was enough at that time as deliverability was a lot easier.  

Today, in order to be really effective, a proper email warm up is done by gradually increasing the volume AND having a high engagement rate on your emails to show the email providers that you’re a legit, interesting sender who deserves to land in inbox. 

In concrete terms, email warm up is the process to gradually ramp up your email sending and having an important part of these emails opened, replied, marked as important, removed from spam if needed.

When doing an email warm up, it teaches the big inbox providers such as Google and Microsoft to put your emails in inbox instead of the spam folders or Gmail categories. 

How to do email warm up?

There are two ways to do an email warm up : automatically using an email warm up tool like MailReach or manually using your time and your friends, colleagues or family.

The advantages of the automated email warm up are the following :

  • You have nothing to do since it’s automated.
  • The effectiveness of the email warm up is maximized (provided you use the right tool) with a smart algorithm, a network of high reputation inboxes, meaningful warm up emails, etc.
  • An email warm up tool helps you follow and measure your deliverability day after day.
  • It’s a powerful solution to raise and maintain your deliverability even during your email campaigns.

To do a proper automated email warm up (let’s take the example of using MailReach) you basically have to connect your email address (the sending address) to MailReach and let it run for you in the back. 

Once you have connected your sending address to MailReach, it will start email conversations with high reputation inboxes of MailReach’s network following a smart behavior. 

The ramp up is gradual, the emails conversations are meaningful (which is important) and the most part of the sent emails are automatically opened, replied, marked as important, removed from spam if needed. 

The engagement rate generated by all these positive interactions will raise your sending reputation to maximize your deliverability. Isn’t that awesome? 😎

Email warm up

Can we do it manually?

If you’re not ready to pay for an email warm up service, you can decide to do it the manual way. Even if it’s less optimized and time consuming, it can do the job.

What you need to do a manual email warm up

  • A list of email addresses you own with a good reputation and aged domains on various providers (Gmail, Outlook, etc).
  • If not, a group of friends, colleagues and/or family ready to reply to your emails.

Doing a manual email warm up : the theory

Here’s what you need to know about doing a manual email warm up. 

Basically, as said before, to raise your email reputation when your domain is new, you need to show the the big email providers that you’re a legit, interesting person who has “a lot of friends” with great reputation. You need to be the great Gatsby.

As explained before, to demonstrate this, the best way to do an email warm up is to gradually send emails to high reputation inboxes and get engagement from them.

Again, by engagement we mean getting your emails opened, replied, marked as important and removed from spam (if you landed in spam, which usually happens sometimes when your domain is new and “on probation”). That’s email warm up.

A high reputation inbox can be :

  • A professional inbox on an aged domain (2 years+) that manually sends normal emails (no or very few campaigns) and get a lot of replies.
  • An aged personal inbox used to send normal emails and get a lot of replies. Typically, your old personal gmail or hotmail inbox or the ones of your friends and family are good examples of high reputation inboxes.

Voilà, it was the theory about manual email warm up, now let’s see the concrete steps.

Doing a manual email warm up : the concrete steps

Enough theory, now let’s see how to concretely do a manual email warm up. 

Start by manually sending around 5 emails to high reputation inboxes you own or owned by people you know and ask them to open the email, reply positively, mark as important and remove from spam if needed.

The next day, send 10 emails following the same process.

The following days add 10 more emails per day until you reach 100 daily.

Depending on the daily volume you plan to send, ramp up by adding 30% more emails daily until you reach your goal.

Keep in mind there’s no exact number on email warm up volumes. The main goal is to have a linear growth curve. Avoid spikes.

Email warm up

How long it takes to warm up an email?

When using an email warm up tool, it usually takes between 14 and 21 days to warm up an inbox without sending emails.

Once you reach 14 / 21 days of email warm up, you can start sending emails on your side and gradually increase the volume each day until reaching your daily goal.

When doing the email warm up manually, as it’s less efficient, it requires between 21 days and 28 days.

Keep in mind that warming an email account is important before sending but also during your campaigns.

Warming up only before sending is not enough.

You can warm up for 21 days, then stop the warm up, start sending and land in spam 1 month after. Warming up only before sending does not immunize you against spam.

Maintaining a high engagement rate (getting your emails opened, read, marked as important, removed from spam) is what helps you stay away from spam during your campaigns.

Email warm up

Why it is so important to warm up an email?

1. Today, inbox placement is much more based on engagement and email warm up creates engagement.

Email warm up is not only important, email warm up is a game changer to improve your email deliverability AND to maintain it in the long term

Let me explain you why email warm up is that important, that’s simple.

Today, to decide if you will land in inbox VS spam or Gmail’s categories, the big email providers check your engagement rate. 

That’s not surprising as it’s actually the same for social media. Let’s take LinkedIn as an example.

On LinkedIn, if you publish posts that nobody likes, comments or shares, your posts won’t be shown to other users. Or at best, very little visibility.

Having no engagement means your posts are not interesting to LinkedIn users. And LinkedIn has no interest in showing its users uninteresting content. 

This is why at the beginning on LinkedIn, you struggle a lot to get visibility. You start with no likes, then get a few and if you’re consistent and regular, you get more and more likes, more comments and a bigger visibility / reach. 

That’s more or less the same for inbox placement.

If you send emails and very few people open them, reply to them, marks them as important or worst, mark them as spam, it sends the signal to the big inbox providers that you send spam emails. 

This is exactly why email warm up is game changer. 

Because email warm up skyrockets your engagement rates. And you got it, high engagement means good deliverability.

Years before, email warm up was not as important as before as it was much easier to have a good deliverability without it. Now and even more for cold emailing, email warm up makes the difference, like, a lot. 

2. Email warm up helps you monitor your sending reputation and deliverability.

One of the many benefits of email warm up is to help you follow and measure your sending reputation and deliverability. That’s very useful to know where you stand.
Email warm up boosts your deliverability - graph
The above graph is what you see on your MailReach dashboard when doing your email warm up. This graph shows you the inbox placement of your warm up emails.

As it’s important to keep warming while you send your campaigns, this graph is a huge help since it helps you know how your sending reputationg is concretely doing.

If you land more and more in spam when sending, it means there’s something wrong with your campaign. It can be that you send too many emails, or you receive too many spam complaints, etc.

Email warm up

It’s better to get help

As said earlier, you can do the email warm up on your own without using an email warm up service.

It can do the job, but it can’t be as efficient as using a service dedicated to email warm up and maximizing your sending reputation and email deliverability.

As nowadays, email deliverability has become a science, that’s a complex set of skills, best practices and resources to master in order to land in inbox in the long term.

Sending emails is the easy part.

But sending emails that reach your recipients’ inbox is harder.

This is why using a deliverability solution such as an email warm up service is a precious help to get better results and also, get peace of mind.

For more information, you can read the following article : How email warming can help you improve email deliverability.

Email warm up

Why choose MailReach to warm up an email

There are several email warm up solutions on the market but unfortunately, most of them are too basic and lack intelligence to offer the best efficiency.

1. Unlike other email warm up tools, MailReach generates meaningful emails with positive replies

Most of the existing solutions use gibberish content in their email conversations. This content doesn’t make any sense.

The problem with that practice is that today, the big email providers such as Google and Microsoft can understand the emails or at least a big part of it.

It means that Google and Microsoft can easily understand that all these emails are fake.

In fact, Google and Microsoft are unable to suggest smart / quick replies on these “warm up emails”. 

On the contrary, MailReach emails are meaningful, human and emulate real cold email activity with positive replies to maximize the trust with the big inbox providers.

About this, Microsoft and Google are fully able to suggest smart replies on MailReach warm up emails (screenshot below).

A warm up email sent by Mailreach Email warm up service

2. MailReach uses a smart algorithm to maximize the email warm up efficiency.

We have spent dozens of thousands of dollars and A LOT of resources to understand and solve deliverability problems for more than 130 companies with R&D, engineering and sweat.

This strong experience and all the data we’ve gathered helped us build a smart and complex algorithm based on dozens of parameters to maximize the efficiency of the warming process. It gets better and better with time.

This is not the case of the most email warm up solutions which only send emails and get positive interactions following a very basic behavior.

3. MailReach is composed of passionate email experts, still practicing to offer the most efficient and up-to-date deliverability solution.
We come from 5 years of intensive cold emailing for 130+ companies in 40 different industries. 

We used cold emailing to :

  • Grow our previous company from 0 to 120k Monthly Recurring Revenue in 6 months.
  • Help raise €56M in funding for IPOs and seed rounds with cold emails.
  • Get 75% open rate on average on our email campaigns.

In short, we know the email and deliverability game very well. That helps a lot to develop a strong email warm up solution. 

4. MailReach includes a reliable spam checker to see where your emails land and optimize them.

Raise and maintain your sending reputation is really important as we’ve covered it in the article.

But you can have the perfect sending reputation, if the emails you send contain spam words, bad links, too much image content or a toxic tracking domain, you can still land in spam.

This is why, in addition to the email warm up, it’s also really important to test the emails you actually send during your campaigns to make sure your content and sending setup are valid. 

Given that, beside the email warm up, MailReach includes a reliable email spam checker tool that helps you improve your copy and sending setup. This can be a game changer for your deliverability and it’s included in the subscription.

Email warm up

MailReach is compatible with any provider

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