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How to Train Your Emails: IP Warming 101

Built To Run Seaside

Personally, I hate running long distances. I like to think I’m a pretty athletic person,  but the idea of running more than 5k or even 10k races just makes me cringe. So, last year, I ran a virtual marathon for the first time ever to challenge myself. I created a schedule based on how many miles I wanted to complete per day. At first, the ramp-up was slow and arduous. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with my training and I would never finish the race. But, gradually, my pace improved and my endurance increased. Needless to say, I’m now proud to admit I am a marathon runner. The process of Email IP Warming is like running a marathon.

Begin with the End in Mind

Essentially, you’re training your system’s email deliverability through strategic send exercises based on volume, engagement, and domains. Why is this important? Because as you adopt a new marketing automation platform, the goal of warming up is to ramp up your sending volume to anticipated “normal” levels. Ultimately, this will reduce your soft and hard bounce rate as well as avoid spam lists. 

Getting Started with IP Warming

Throughout my career, I’ve seen many clients and companies skip this step as part of an implementation. My advice: Don’t do it. Your email warm-up is a way to establish your sender’s reputation. It’s hard to undo any fallouts as a result of not taking this action. Again, going back to marathons, would you run a race without training for it first?  

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as part of this exercise: 

  • Start your first to second week of IP Warming by sending to your most engaged audiences first 
  • Monitor your blacklists throughout this process 
  • Use a clear and instant link for unsubscribing
  • Make sure you have a branded sending domain along with a reply-to address 

As part of our engagement with clients, we always consider IP Warming during initial implementation, if you are curious to learn more about our processes and strategies related to Marketo, contact us today.

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Andrea Walker

Andrea Walker, MCE, is currently Perficient's Marketo Architect for the Adobe Business Unit. She has spent many years in digital marketing, marketing technology, and marketing ops for both in-house SaaS companies and working with clients in multiple sectors, including healthcare, financial services, and technology.

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