How to Warm Up Your Email Address Before Cold Emailing

How to Warm Up Your Email Address Before Cold Emailing

When sending cold emails it is important to “warm up” your email address first. Warming up an email address involves sending small batches of emails over a period of time whilst gradually increasing the volume to build a good reputation with spam filters. This will prevent your email domain from being blacklisted, and allow you to gradually send out higher email volume without being flagged as spam.

To warm up your email address, follow these steps

Why You Need to Warm Up Your Email Address

Email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, & Outlook use reputation scoring to rank the likelihood that an email is spam. Reputation scoring involves analysing the domain name and email address that an email is sent from to see if it has sent spam in the past. Email providers will also factor in the age of a domain, with more recently created domains being penalised. Most spam filters will classify emails sent from a domain that is less than 14 days as suspicious (according to Apache SpamAssassin).

Domains which have a good reputation over a long period of time are given more lee-way by email providers when filtering spam. This includes a higher volume allowance, i.e. good domains are allowed to send more emails per day compared to bad domains, who will be flagged as spam if they send too many emails in a short period of time.

Since cold emailing often requires sending a large number of emails on a consistent basis, it’s important that you warm up your domain to prevent being flagged as spam.

5 Steps to Warm Up Your Email Adress

1. Use a separate domain for sending cold emails

For the safety of your pirmary domain (the one used by your company for your website & to send business emails that are not cold emails), you should send cold emails from a separate domain. If not, you risk having your primary domain & email addresses being flagged as spam when you send daily (non-cold email) emails.

To do this, buy a new domain that looks similar to your primary domain but differs slightly in spelling or top level domain (.com, .net, .io, etc.). For example, our primary domain is actionable.me, so we would buy a separate domain for sending cold emails like:

  • actionableme.com
  • getactionable.me
  • actionableme.email

2. Setup SPF and DKIM records

SPF (Send Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) are two email settings that allow spam filters to verify that an email came from you, rather than someone impersonating you. Both these settings help to increase your sending reputation and prevent your emails from being flagged as spam.

Setting up SPF and DKIM records differs depending on your email provider. We’ve provided links to step by step instructions for some of the most popular email providers below:

3. Start by sending 25 emails/day for the first week

After setting up your new domain, SPF, and DKIM records, start by sending a small batch of emails in your first week. Only sending 25 emails/day for the first week will begin the warming up process with spam filters.

Aim for high deliverability in the first few weeks by:

  • Only sending emails to people that you already know (rather than cold prospects, who have email addresses that you have not yet verified and may bounce). A great way to do this is to send emails to your friends and family.
  • Try to get your recipients to reply to your emails as this will boost your reputation
  • Incorporate a list of recipients that has a good mixture of email providers, e.g. a mix of Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo recipients
  • Spread your emails out over the day
  • Send your emails at different times each day

The above measures will lead to spam filters recognising that a real person is sending emails from your email address, rather than an automated spammer.

4. Increase volume by 25 emails each week (for 3 weeks)

Sudden increases in sending volume will trip spam filters. To avoid this, slowly increase your volume by 25 emails each week. Your sending schedule would look like:

  • Week 1: 25 emails/day
  • Week 2: 50 emails/day
  • Week 3: 75 emails/day
  • Week 4: 100 emails/day

5. Increase volume by 100 emails each week (for 4 weeks)

After your first month, increase the volume of emails sent each week by 100 emails/week until you hit 500 emails/day. Your sending schedule would look like:

  • Week 1: 25 emails/day
  • Week 2: 50 emails/day
  • Week 3: 75 emails/day
  • Week 4: 100 emails/day
  • Week 5: 200 emails/day
  • Week 6: 300 emails/day
  • Week 7: 400 emails/day
  • Week 8: 500 emails/day
  • Week 9 & onwards: 500 emails/day

We recommend capping your email sending at 500 emails/day to avoid hitting the email sending limits of your Email Provider. For example, personal Gmail accounts can send a maximum of 500 emails/day, whilst GSuite accounts can send 2000 emails/day. Limits will vary per provider, so check with their documentation to make sure that you don’t exceed them.

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