Cold outreach is part and parcel of the life of a sales rep. That is how it all begins and moves towards closing a deal. Sending cold emails is one effective way of reaching out to the target audience. It helps in getting them to know about new products or services. Cold emailing is how you can connect with prospects and move the sales process ahead. But, before going ahead with this, you need to warm up an email for cold outreach.
Email marketing has a lot of potential. By 2023, there will be 4.3 billion email users worldwide, and you can’t miss out on this opportunity. You need to up your email marketing game so that you can leverage the power of the email.
However, what do you do when your cold email campaign just started, and the new email account from which you are sending cold emails gets blocked? Has this happened to you before? Have you ever wondered why that happens? Well, this is chiefly because you did not warm up your email account before you started with cold emailing. So, what is an email warmup about?
Let’s get going and find out more about how to warm up an email for cold outreach.
When you have created a new domain for sending cold emails to prospects, it doesn’t have a reputation of its own because it is new. The way you use the email account will determine its reputation, and it is in your hands.
If you happen to start sending cold emails in bulk right from day one, the email service provider will see you as a spammer, and all your future emails will end up in the recipient’s spam folder. That is why most cold emails don’t reach the inbox of recipients. They tend to get marked as spam or get deleted. Emails not landing in the inbox can leave you in the soup as it is a huge risk for your business. You should not take it lightly.
It is, therefore, important to warm up the new email account before you move ahead with the campaign in full throttle for cold outreach.
The process of email warm-up involves building the reputation and credibility of a new email account. It involves sending emails from your new email account, beginning with a smaller count and slowly increasing the number with each passing day.
Your email service provider has a limit on the number of emails you can send per day. On the first day, the limit will be even smaller. That is why you need to do a warm-up.
The aim of warming up your email is to establish your presence to the target audience strategically. Your new email address is unknown to the prospect as well as their inbox. Therefore, your first impression matters a lot. The higher credibility of your email account increases the chances of emails reaching the inbox of prospects.
Email warm-up is similar to how you warm up your body before actually starting your work out. That is, you prepare yourself before moving ahead with full force. You would not pick up heavyweights as soon as you enter the gym. You will first get your body ready for it. That is exactly how you have to build your email account’s reputation before moving ahead with cold emailing.
An email account warms up in about 8 to 12 weeks. It can be longer when the engagement is not enough, i.e., the inflow, outflow, and responses to emails are not sufficient. Waiting for a minimum of 12 weeks before actually using the email account the way you want to is advised.
When you don’t warm up your email address and domain and send a huge volume of cold sales emails, the following will happen,
a. The cold emails will end up in the spam folder
b. Recipients will mark your emails as spam
c. Recipients will delete your email without even opening it.
You would not want the above to happen to you, and that is why it is essential to warm up your email address and domain before sending cold emails in bulk.
Let’s look at it in greater detail below.
It is essential to warm up your new email account to have a good impression and a higher delivery rate and in turn a better cold outreach. Your email has to land in the inbox and not in the spam folder.
Email warm-up has to be your priority when you start a cold email campaign wherein you will send a massive volume of emails from a new account. Only then can you make sure that the emails will reach the inbox of recipients.
With a warm-up, you will be able to distinguish yourself from spammers and make your emails seem genuine to the email service provider. When you have a good reputation and higher credibility, the emails will land in the prospects’ inbox and have a higher open rate. Their chances of getting filtered as spam are less.
Warm-up even decides how your future email campaigns are going to perform. And that has a direct effect on your business. This indicates that without warming up your email, you can’t achieve your sales goals and targets.
Here are the steps that you must follow to warm up your email for better cold outreach.
Firstly, set your email account up by choosing your custom domain to look more professional. While selecting a domain name, try choosing the one that describes your business in the best possible way. It can be something like [email protected] It would look more genuine to recipients than an email from an @gmail.com account
Moving on to the personalization of your emails, you must try to add as much information as you can so that the recipient does not doubt the authenticity of your account. The recipient should feel that it is from a human. Add a profile picture to make it look like it belongs to a person and not a robot. Add an email signature with details like your name, position, company name, address, contact number, email address, and website.
For a new email account, you require authentication. This helps in guarding it against spam filters and delivers emails to the inbox of recipients.
Here are the leading email authentication techniques,
1. SPF – SPF or Sender Policy Framework is an authentication method that lets you define IP addresses that can send emails on behalf of your domain. When the recipient’s email service provider comes across an SPF authentication, the sender’s domain gets approval.
2. DKIM – DKIM or Domain Keys Identified Mail provides a digital signature and encryption key that proves that the email is not forged. It helps in validating the email’s authenticity and makes it reach the intended destination.
3. DMARC – This stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance. DMARC protects your domain from email forging. It uses the SPF and DKIM records to tell the recipient’s email service provider that the email is not spoofed.
4. Custom Domain – With a custom domain, your emails look more genuine. The email service provider finds who the actual sender is and makes sure that the email is from an authentic source.
You can begin the email warm-up by sending emails manually to known individuals. They can be your existing clients, colleagues, or friends.
Make sure that the content in these initial emails is not related to sales. Keep the content limited to casual conversations. The emails you send in the beginning must have steady engagement that will help in increasing the email volume. The email service provider will find your account authentic and prepare it for email campaigns.
Try sending emails to different service providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and others. It will help in building a good reputation in the spam filters of email service providers. However, don’t end up emailing strangers in your excitement to reach out to unique domains.
Ensure that you are sending emails and receiving them in your new account’s inbox. You have to create engagement. One way out is sending emails from other email accounts and replying to them using your new account. Things work well when you have regular conversations.
Your email activities will look authentic to the service provider, and with continuous email conversation, the email sending quota will increase. Your email account will be eligible for sending vast volumes of emails at once.
Here’s how you can get started,
Start by sending emails to 10 people and double it in a week. After you begin getting responses, try sending 20 to 25 emails a day, leaving a gap of 1 minute between them. You can then increase the count to 45-50 a day after a few days and so on.
Some algorithms keep track of the emails sent and received. If you want the algorithm to understand that you are not a bot, you shouldn’t send a massive volume of emails together. If you send many at once, your domain’s reputation can suffer. Therefore, you must keep a time gap between two emails when you are warming your account up.
You can start sending ten emails to different people and double the number in a week. You can aim to send more than 20 emails per day with a minute gap between each and so on. That is how you must progress steadily and patiently. You cannot afford to show frustration here.
For someone in sales, it is not surprising to have loads of websites sending you newsletters. You can choose to subscribe to at least 10-20 newsletters from your new email account. You will get a confirmation email for each subscription. Doing so will help validate your account and increase the inflow of emails which is also essential to warm up your new email account.
After increasing your outbound emails steadily, you have to wait for it to get warmed up, but you can utilize that time to do some research for your content. After that is over, you must send them to at least 20-30 genuine email addresses. It would be the first test campaign. This step will help you know how not to look like a spammer and validate your account’s credibility. After this, you will be able to use your email for a full-fledged cold email campaign.
Post the test campaign, get prepared by replying the right way to the accumulated mails in the mailbox. Don’t reply to all of them at the same time, or else you may tarnish your image. You have to be careful. It doesn’t mean that once your email is all set, you can go easy with it. After putting in so much effort to warm up your email, you can’t afford to go back to where you started from. All the hard work shouldn’t go down the drain.
It will help if you keep a few things in mind while your mailbox is in the warm-up phase. By being a little careful, you can earn a good reputation for your mailbox to help you in your future campaigns.
1. When there are requests for response in your inbox, don’t reply to everyone at once. This can tarnish your credibility. Ensure that there is a gap in between.
2. Pose as a human and personalize content so that recipients take an interest in your email campaign. Nobody would want to interact with robots. We haven’t reached that stage yet! If the prospect feels that they are receiving messages from a robot, it will turn them off instantly.
3. Make use of limited links in the body of your email. Too many links can make your email look like a phishing or fraud attack landing it into the spam folder.
4. Your ESP (email service provider) should match your needs. So, choose one that meets your requirements.
5. Don’t use too many images, GIFs, and videos in your email. It throws off the text and visual content balance and may not look appealing to the recipient. It also affects your reputation.
6. Keep content clean by steering clear of words like ‘Free,’ ‘offer,’ ‘discount’ in the email body and subject line. Such terms draw spam filters’ attention, and your emails are likely to get into the spam folder.
7. Add an unsubscribe link to your email even when you create a test campaign so that you negate every possibility of the recipient reporting you as spam.
8. Say no to using automated outreach tools when you are in the warm-up phase. If the email service provider gets the slightest hint that you are trying to bombard prospects with cold emails, you will get penalized.
As already mentioned above, once your warm-up is done, you can’t have a laid-back attitude. Indeed, your email address can now send cold emails without any interruption, but it isn’t over yet. There are few other factors that you have to keep a tab on, and they include the following:
a. Your email content’s quality
b. The volume of the campaign
c. The prospects you are reaching out to
d. The delivery time
As a matter of fact, even after the warm phase is over, you have to take care of the above factors. The main reason for being careful is that even after the warm-up, your mailbox is under the scanner all the time. The email service provider checks on your mailbox, and you can’t afford to take any risk. Any discrepancy may lead to a penalty and tarnish your image. As a result that, your emails may not hit the inbox of prospects. Do you know what that means? All your efforts in planning the email campaign and creating content will run down the drain. When prospects cannot see your emails in their inbox, there is absolutely no point in you sending them.
In this age of automation, when you can automate almost anything, you can use a tool for email warm-up for cold outreach. Though there are many available, you have to be careful while choosing one for you. Most tools use a multi-layer algorithm but try to choose a reliable email warm-up tool that has the following features,
1. Improves your sender reputation
2. Maintains a high email deliverability
3. Makes sure that the emails look as though they are from a human
4. Doesn’t use fake email addresses, or else it will put you in trouble
5. Sends and receives emails with real people
6. Has a good reputation in the industry and has an impressive list of clients
7. Has an algorithm that makes use of several parameters
8. Is easy to set up and use so that you don’t have to face any trouble
9. Is easy to integrate with other tools to avoid moving back and forth between different platforms
These are a few features that you must look for in your email warm-up tool.
In conclusion, as an email marketer, you need to work towards warming up your new email. Only then can you expect some benefit from your cold email campaign. Your attempts will get wasted if your emails never make it to the inbox of recipients, and you won’t be able to achieve your sales target.
The main reason behind the need to warm up an email account is the algorithm restriction of email service providers. That is why you have to make the algorithm know that you are a human and not a robot. By being genuine in your actions and focusing on engagement, you can build your email account’s reputation, and the algorithm will understand that you are not a spammer.
Once your email is ready to be used, you can start your cold outreach campaign with full vigor. Till that happens, you have to be patient. To get the desired outcome, you need to put in efforts from your side. That is why you have to focus on warming up your email account and prevent spam filters from filtering the emails.