Ramping up your IP to maintain healthy deliverability
IP’s are delicate and fragile things, they require care and respect.
I am sorry to say if you have a brand new IP, your previous marketing schedule will need to be reviewed. Your boss might be breathing down your neck for all those sweet email conversions but you are not going to convert anything if you suddenly pile hundreds of thousands of emails through your new IP in one hit.
Your IP needs to be gradually introduced to the inbox and if it is cold and the volumes are wrong, then spam filters are going to stop your hard earned conversions in their tracks.
So how do you get your ice cold IP warmed up and friends with as many inboxes as possible?
By gradually introducing it to the world through your most active subscribers!
The key when first starting to send is to keep the volumes a low as possible. In our experience, any more than a few thousand emails on your first send and you are pushing your luck. Now with that in mind, you may be falling over at thinking of the amount of time that would get you to send your contact list in one go… but everything might not be a terrifying as it seems…
Every day you ramp up your volumes increase so over the month you may find you are on track with your sending volume, just spread out thinly over multiple days. This could take a couple of weeks to a few months to truly reach your email volume goal.
Now you may be thinking you can just split your all data into bit size chunks and hope for the best, but as always, life (or email) is not always that simple.
Now is a great time to reflect on the data you hold on your customers. It would be better to plan your ramp up schedule a week or two at a time instead of just scheduling all your campaigns for each day at once.
In your first month you shouldn’t be emailing anyone who has not engaged in the last 3 months. First off, start with your click data and start asking yourself questions like:
Who has clicked in the last 3 months? How long can I live off my click data?
If the answer is not long, do not fear! You still have your open data to fill in the gaps. Setting yourself the same time period with your open data and asking the same questions as before, I am sure your data is really starting to shape up.
If you do not have enough open data within that time to complete your ramp up plan, move to clicked in the last 6 months, then to opens in the last 6 months and apply the same logic until you have everyone you need. Ideally, the furthest you should be going back is 9 months and you should not be emailing anyone who has not engaged in over a year.
Every day of sending, you should be reviewing your results.
IP score is important at this time and you are right to check it, but the trade secret is checking your campaign reports. Checking to see if there is any correlation in any of your blocks or bounces and checking if there is a particular inbox that is not engaging at all. If you feel the need, revisit your data selection and re-choose your most engaged. The way you interpret your data will be the key to success.
Patience is a virtue here. If, for example, you notice a large amount of a certain ISP bounces/lack of engagement, it might be time to filter these guys out and start their own personal ramp up on the side.
On the subject of patience, limiting the speed of your send over multiple hours is always recommended.
This way if something untoward was going to happen you could stop your campaign and investigate it fully. Start at 1000 per hour and as your volumes increase, increase your hourly throttle with it.
Once you are warm, you may want to start re-engagement programs.
While we don’t recommend emailing to data that has not opened in over a year, if you are desperate to try it ramp these up in a similar way, but keep the list separate. Ideally, you would start with anyone who has opened 6 to 9 months ago and apply all of the same logic.
On the more extreme end of the spectrum if you are emailing people who have not engaged in a year, anyone in this segment who bounces or does not engage at all, get them out your list as soon as you can. It is always worth using a List Healthcheck tool on these subscribers before you even think about sending to any of them.
Further reading: How to improve your email deliverability
One more thing…
Once your IP is warm, don’t let it cool off! Sporadic sending schedules can spell disaster for deliverability. Keep your volumes at least 50,000 per week to keep your IP nice and snug.
If you miss a send or two (or more), do not play catch up with any old data, choose your most engaged subscribers for the send and check the results. If worse than expected, do your own mini ramp up and get that IP back to its good old warm self.