How to Warm Up Your Cold Emails [Benefits, Tools, and Metrics]
There’s more to a sales outbound strategy than just audience research and personalization.
Email deliverability is another critical factor that impacts how your audience sees you and perceives your brand. Since email service providers have gotten smarter and are introducing stricter guidelines (read Google’s spam filters), anything spammy, malicious, or suspicious is often flagged and blocked.
Warming-up emails will help ensure that you’re in the good books of your recipients’ service provider and that your emails actually land in their inboxes and not in the junk folder.
What Is Email Warmup?
Email warm-up is the process of getting a new email account ready to send multiple email campaigns at scale while ensuring some best practices. The aim is to build a positive reputation with the email service provider, so it doesn’t mark your domain as ‘spam.’
An effective warm-up approach helps in:
- Ensuring your emails land in the recipient’s inboxes.
- Marking your email address and domain as ‘authentic’ and ‘legitimate’ to your service provider.
- Increasing the visibility of your outreach campaigns, offering better reach.
- Forming a positive first impression on your leads, which influences the open rates.
How Long Does the Warm-up Take?
A warm-up process usually involves sending out a few test emails and gradually increasing the sending volume within 10-12 weeks—that’s how long it usually takes to warm up a new email address if you’re following the right approach.
This duration depends on the following factors:
- The volume of emails you’re sending each day—shouldn’t be more than 10-15 in the beginning, which you can gradually increase as you go.
- The amount of engagement you’re getting in the beginning. If fewer recipients are opening your emails or responding to them, you still have a lot of warming up to do!
- How ‘spam-free’ your content is. Even in test campaigns, using spam-triggering words like ‘free,’ ‘buy,’ or ‘make money’ will only attract the attention of spam filters of email service providers.
How to Warm-up Emails?
There are two ways to warm up a new email address:
1. Manual approach
2. Using an outbound automation tool
While the manual route takes more effort to warm up an email, automation auto-pilots your warming-up efforts with one simple step. Just set up your domain and email address properly and enable the warmup feature while adding a sender’s address, and you’re done!
Method 1: Warming up Emails Manually
Step 1: Pre Warm-up
New email account setup
This is not the usual company inbox you send business emails from. You need to create a new email address dedicated to cold outreach.
Make sure you choose a service provider with ample daily sending limits.
Either set up the new email account on a domain with a strong reputation or create a brand new domain to build up a reputation from scratch.
Configure the email account
To ensure your recipient’s email provider recognizes your domain and doesn’t mark it ‘spam,’ you must set up your SPF and DKIM.
This helps your recipient’s server’s IP recognize your server’s IP and let your email pass through to your recipient.
Configure your email account and add a signature to make your emails look more legitimate, coming from a real person.
Step 2: Send Emails to Friends, Colleagues, and Acquaintances
Like we said, start very small when warming up a new email address and limit the emails to 15-20 initially.
- Send those first batches to people likelier to open your emails and engage with them.
- Cover more ground by sending emails to addresses from multiple service providers, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Zoho, Outlook, etc. This helps in building a good reputation with multiple providers.
- Do not send all emails at once—send them one by one with a few seconds (or minutes) gap and maintain the time gap initially.
Step 3: Subscribe to Newsletters
In the initial days, your email provider needs assurance that you’re actually using the new account to connect with multiple businesses and not spam people.
Assure them by actively subscribing to newsletters you might benefit from and confirming the subscriptions from your account.
Step 4: Send Test Campaigns
Create a small group of trusted recipients (who would open your emails and engage with them) and send actual campaign sequences to them. Do this as the last step of the email warmup and preferably after 12 weeks of warming up.
Personalize them, and refrain from using spammy language even in these test campaigns, and you’ll rarely face a deliverability issue with your actual campaigns.
Method 2: Using Automation to Warm up Emails
Now, you might find the steps mentioned above cumbersome, especially if you’re a small team with a limited budget for the outbound sales process. An outbound automation tool automates the warm-up process, which means you can skip the stages after pre-warm-up.
All you need to do is enable the warm-up feature and set the sending limit per day and the number by which you wish to increase the sending limit each day.
Best Email Warm-up Tools
LemList has been a sales team’s favorite due to its abundance of features that help support a sales outreach process and make the job easier for the team. However, it’s costlier than many of its alternatives when looking at the features it offers. Moreover, users have to pay extra to get their email warm-up feature, which can be a deal breaker.
Super Send is a fantastic LemList alternative primarily designed to help bootstrapped founders get their first 100 customers. It pretty much offers everything LemList offers, but at an affordable price (from $20/mo). It’s packed with high-demand features and offers email warmup functionality at no extra cost!
Saleshandy’s email warmup feature is also included with its subscription plan for complete automation. Though it offers everything Super Send offers, its basic plans are a bit costlier.
How to Warm up Emails Using Super Send
The very first step you need to take is to integrate your email account with Super Send to ensure emails are sent from your business domain.
Follow these steps to set up your email account with Super Send:
Step 1: Turn on 2FA for Google Workspace on the admin portal as well as your email account.
Step 2: Enable IMAP on your email account.
Step 3: Create an app password on your email account.
Step 4: Create a new team and a new test campaign.
Step 5: Enable warm-up for a sender account.
- Input the number of emails you’ll send per day and enable the warm-up option.
- Set a maximum limit to warm emails.
- Set a number to increment the warm email count daily.
Step 6: Filter warm emails and set up a filter for emails starting with __spr__ in your inbox. Also, encourage your team and your recipients to do so. This way, they won’t miss any of your emails.
Outbound Email Metrics to Track
Due to restrictions from Google, it’s not easy to track the number of emails that land in spam folders. However, by tracking a few metrics, you can estimate whether email warm-up is working for you.
1. Location of the Emails
Super Send gives you direct insight into the total count of emails that are sent during the warm-up phase and the locations where they landed—inbox, important, spam, etc.
As an example, check out these insights we gathered for a new email address we just started warming up. There have been 41 total email warming emails sent so far, and all 41 were marked as important by the recipient.
This indicates this email address has no spam issues. However, we would not consider this email address totally warmed up, considering we haven’t completed 10-12 weeks of consistent warming up yet.
2. Open Rate
This metric is mainly deduced from your email strategy—how intriguing, relevant, and ‘spam-free’ your subject lines are to convince your audience to open your emails.
Depending on how good or bad the numbers are, you can pivot your strategy and provide more valuable content to increase engagement in your emails.
This is how Super Send presents these metrics for each sequence you send for a campaign.
3. Bounce Rate
You need to track two kinds of bounce rates—hard bounce and soft bounce. The former indicates that your emails aren’t reaching a recipient’s email server, and perhaps their information isn’t correct.
The latter metric means that your email did reach the recipient’s email server, but it didn’t get through. Perhaps the server didn’t trust your domain or your email had spam-triggering content that your recipient has blocked via spam filters.
4. Number of Unsubscribes
It indicates that your content isn’t relevant to your subscribers or you need to refine your email list to include warmer leads.
Warm-up Your Emails for Outbound Success
Deliverability is often considered an after-thought—only when the sales team experience low open rates and engagement do they start taking it seriously.
While it may seem like a tough nut to crack, you can spruce up the numbers and maintain an excellent sender reputation with the right warm-up approach.
Include Super Send in your outbound campaign toolkit and reach your leads right in their inboxes.
Sign up for a free trial today!