Business, Marketing, Tech

How To Warm Up Your IP Addresses For Email Marketing

It’s very simple. Remove all packaging from the IP and place it into a heatproof dish. Preheat a fan oven to 170 centigrade and warm the IP for 25 minutes until it is piping hot. Stand for one minute then serve as desired. Not suitable for microwave cooking.

On second thoughts, don’t do that, not with the price of electricity right now. Instead, follow these simple hints below to help with your email marketing success!

What is an IP address?

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Before we can answer the question ‘what is IP warming?’ – first it’s important to define an IP address. IP stands for Internet Protocol. It’s nothing other than a numerical way of internet connected devices recognizing where a website is based or the server from which an email is being sent. IP addresses are in numerical form when ‘seen’ by an email client or a web browser. Their mathematical source using hexadecimals is extremely complex but suffice to say that a typical IP address might look like this: 127.255.326.754.

In the case of a web address, that might translate to a browser client (e.g. Google Chrome) as, or if Joe was sending an email from his email server, the mail client receiving the email would look up Joe’s IP and show the email as being from joe@ example domain.

So if an IP address is nothing more than a numerical presence on the internet, similar to a telephone number, why on earth would we need to ‘warm it up’? The answer is, in short, to satisfy the email recipients’ Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that the sending IP address is of good standing. The IP address needs to be verified as not being a source for sending unwanted ‘spam’ emails, or worse still, potentially a bunch of virus-laden messages to install ransomware and the like.

What is IP warming?

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Warming up an IP address is like building a relationship with a person who might be your heart’s desire. Think of this as a typical boy meets girl situation, where boy is the email-sending IP address and girl is the receiving ISP.

So, if Boy were to meet Girl in a coffee shop for the very first time and shout at her “OMG, you’re the most attractive woman I’ve ever seen in my life. Marry me now!” – then rush around to a florist and purchase 12 bunches of 12 red roses, the girl in question is likely to run a mile, albeit perhaps feeling quite pleased with herself.  Girl is frightened because the boy is probably insane, or at the very least, an unbalanced, socially inept idiot. Likewise, an ISP suddenly receiving a deluge of unexpected emails from a stranger’s IP address is likely to bounce them all immediately.

However, if Boy notices a free space at Girl’s table and politely asks if he might take the vacant seat, she is much more likely to agree. Boy then opens with ‘I’ve not seen you here before, are you new to town?’ – a conversation is more likely to start off at a polite level. As the days, weeks and maybe months go by, eventually boy and girl are together happily ever after. It’s the happily ever after part that an email marketer wants to reach with the email recipient’s ISP. It’s that simple.

So how do you carry out this warming?

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The wooing, or warming in this case, is a gradual procedure.

  • First you need to ensure that Boy is of good standing. If he has a criminal record (i.e. on an ISP’s list of bad IP addresses), that’s a non-starter. Boy should use a dedicated IP address from a good quality ISP himself and purchase a domain security certificate (much like a police check document) otherwise Girl’s parents are going to refuse Boy access to Girl’s house. Even though some girls love bad boys, ISPs don’t!
  • At first, Boy should only reveal that he has one address, that he lives with his parents in a well to do part of town. But as the relationship flourishes, he can introduce his brother and his buddies to Girl’s sister and her friends, maybe even using Facebook friend requests – that’s moving up to multiple IP addresses once a single IP address has passed muster. Multiple IP addresses are essential once email sending volume becomes high, simply because one IP server can’t process thousands of email sends at once.
  • ISPs tend to block traffic from IP addresses that have no sender history, unless the recipient moves messages from that email address to their safe list or marking the mail as ‘not spam’. That’s like Boy introducing his best friend to Girl’s cousin. He’s then a known quantity, so the cousin might feel comfortable going on a date.

Is there another way?

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Leaving aside the boy and girl analogy and returning to the boring techie bit, IP warming is really nothing other than ensuring marketing email deliverability, by slowly building up a reputation for email sending from given addresses.

However, the way to get around the process entirely is to use the paid services of a bulk email sending platform. Such very established providers use artificial intelligence (AI) that powers internet behemoths like Google Bard and Chat GPT. The AI’s algorithms use measures to ensure that any emails sent via their platform are sent only to double-opt in recipients, with clear and easy one-click unsubscribe links at the footer of the messages.

Always provided that the sender of the emails has built their subscriber list from opt-in forms or offline marketing, ISPs recognize the IP address of the bulk mail sender and knows it won’t jeopardize its reputation by allowing spam or phishing emails via its servers.

Yes, it’s cheaper to warm up your IP addresses over months and months, but time is money. The services of a professional email sending client are probably well worth the monthly subscriptions, which are usually based on the amount of traffic you wish to send. In the final analysis, you get what you pay for.

Or as Mom might say to daughter: ‘don’t stay out late, and don’t trust boys!’

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