Before you send your first email campaigns we need to rebuild your sender reputation. We do this via a special IP warm-up program. Please follow the instructions below and help us to get your inbox delivery rates back up to your previous levels (and higher) in the shortest time possible.


Why is this necessary?

When switching ESP provider, you sadly cannot take your previous reputation with you. This is due to the fact that reputations are not just measured by recipient response (though this is the most important factor for modern ISPs), but also:

  • DNS Settings – Your sending IP, sender domain, sender email address or even brand and link domains.
  • Infrastructure and sender authentication (technical setup).
  • Compliance and list hygiene – Your content and permission process (opt-in for marketing emails), as well as hard bounce rate and spam traps.
  • Complaints (the ‘Mark as Spam’ button).

When your Emarsys onboarding has reached the stage where all the necessary DNS settings have been applied and your account is ready to send, we will warm up your new IP group together. This is done by sending small, targeted campaigns to your most engaged contacts to get the highest possible response rates in the shortest time. Since every business has different ways of measuring engagement it is vital that you follow these guidelines and apply them to your business strategy and customer base.

Please note that in different parts of the world, different legislation relating to deliverability may apply. Emarsys will check all the legal regulations, requirements regarding whitelisting and necessary certification that apply to your business model and incorporate them into your warmup strategy.

A good warm-up strategy should help you to enjoy low complaint and hard bounce rates, high engagement rates and low spam traps hits right from the start.

Preparing for the warm-up

Help us to identify your KPIs

We can measure the success of your warm-up campaigns by comparing your response rates with us against a set of benchmarks based on your objectives and your past performance. In order to get the benchmark data for these factors you must send us the following information:

  • What is your sending frequency?
  • What is your maximum daily sending volume?
  • What is your maximum monthly sending volume?
  • What was your average bounce rate over the previous 30 days of sending?
  • What was your average complaint rate over the previous 30 days of sending?
  • What was your average open rate over the previous 30 days of sending?

After you identified the target KPIs Emarsys experts will help you create a precise sending strategy for your warm-up campaigns.

Identify your most active contacts

Your most loyal customers are already engaged and are the most likely to respond, therefore we need to base our initial launch lists on them. You can identify them by:

  • VIP program – If you have one, this is the most obvious place to start.
  • Customer intelligence – If you are using a customer intelligence or business intelligence tool it should be fairly easy to build targeted segments based on previous purchase data.
  • Website – If you have a website you can deploy an incentive-driven campaign to identify responsive contacts (this is not a newsletter sign-up campaign – you only need to know who they are).

When you have identified your most likely segments, start sending small-scale campaigns to them and monitor the responses immediately. You can then follow up the responders with further engagement-based campaigns.

Note: As a rule of thumb, we regard active customers as those who have registered, opened, clicked, logged in, or purchased within the last 3-6 months.

Update your segments as you go

During this whole process you should be using the behavior filters such as Responded to none of the following emails to collect the less responsive contacts. You can then use the Exclude on send feature to filter these contacts out of subsequent campaigns (as you send more campaigns, you can either extend one segment or use a combined segment and keep adding to it). This will make a big difference to your response rates and cut the risk of complaints.

More importantly, remove all hard bounced contacts immediately from your database (or at least delete their invalid email address). This will significantly reduce the risk of sending to spam traps.

Sending the warm-up campaigns

Once we have prepared your launch lists and decided on a strategy, your warm-up campaigns fall into three stages.

Stage 1 – The first send-out

Your first warm-up campaign will be to a sample of 10,000 active contacts (and including a seed list) and will help us to assess the overall quality of your database, the level of contact engagement and the quality of your content. In particular, we will be looking at:

  • The age and quality of your lists.
  • Hard and soft bounces.
  • Spam traps and honey pots.
  • The engagement levels of your recipients.
  • Your registration process and the expectations of your recipients.
  • Your legal and ISP policy compliance.

Based on the results of the first test, we will suggest improvements and launch another two or three such campaigns. The first send-out should take no longer than one week.

Stage 2 – The second send-out

Once we are satisfied with the initial launches, you can extend your launch list to 20,000-50,000, depending on the size of your database. You can do this by including all active customers, customers who have recently become active, new registrations and also some less active customers.

If there are no issues, and you have come from another ESP with good results, we will aim to get you back to sending at your previous frequency within another two to three weeks.

Stage 3

If all has gone well in the first two stages, we will complete the warm-up with some large-scale mailings to test your reputation and then you can then move on to more complex scenarios such as retargeting or welcome programs.

If not, we will reduce the sending volume and focus on specific areas of best practice until we have identified and corrected the issues that caused the problem.