Iterable provides the option for clients to use dedicated IPs and shared IPs. If you prefer to use a dedicated IP, this means only your company is responsible for your IP reputation. It also means that you will need to warm up your new, cold IPs over a period of four to eight weeks by gradually adding email volume to a new IP address.
Think of IP reputation like a credit score. A good reputation is achieved over time after you've proven to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that you're a good sender that sends quality, engaging, non-spam emails.
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Take your time
Never try to rush through an IP warm-up. When ISPs see email volume spikes from a new IP address, they will assume that you are a spammer who jumps from IP to IP. Sending too many emails through a new IP too quickly will result in being marked as an unknown sender, getting rate limited, and being blocked from the inbox. Your sender reputation will be damaged forever.
It is crucial to gradually build up your email volume on a new IP address over a period of four to eight weeks. A slow and steady ramp up will help you develop a good reputation, which will prevent your emails from getting blocked, filtered, and rate limited.
Begin with most active and engaged users
Start your warm-up by sending to your most engaged subscribers, typically new signups or those who have opened or clicked an email in the past 30 days. These subscribers will be more likely to engage with your emails, signaling to ISPs that you're a sender who sends emails that people want to receive. Add in older segments gradually in chunks 10-25% of your total send. The purpose of your warm-up period is to send to subscribers who are least likely to bounce or mark your emails as spam.
Consistency is key
The more consistent you can be with your sending frequency and volume, the faster you will be able to warm up your IP and establish a positive sending reputation. Do not start and stop the warm-up process. This will make the IP warm-up process longer.
What to expect during IP warm-up
Bulking is when an ISP accepts your email but places it in the bulk or spam folder. This can occur during IP warm-up, especially if you're sending to AOL, Yahoo, or Gmail. Bulking should clear up within a couple sends with positive engagement metrics. The key is to keep sending emails on the new IP.
Blocking may also occur if your subscribers are not engaging with your emails or if you are going over the daily volume caps recommended in the warm-up plan. Try segmenting your list and sending to the most engaged users and scaling back on volume. Slowly ramp back up on the ISPs that are blocking your emails. The key here is to continue sending.
Want to learn more?
For more information about some of the topics in this article, check out these Iterable Academy courses. Iterable Academy is open to everyone — you don't need to be an Iterable customer!