5 IP Warm Up Tips That Will Get You To The Inbox


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IP_Warm_UpWe’ve talked a lot about why it’s important to warm up your IP, tips on warm up timelines and sending volume, and top questions you should ask your ESP before getting started. At this point, you may be asking yourself…why not just jump in head first and see what happens?

While it may be tempting to fast track your IP warm up process, remember, patience is a virtue. Recovering from a bad move can be more costly than taking the time to build a good reputation. If you keep these 5 tips in mind, you’ll be off to a great start:

1) Starting cautious is good. It’s very hard to repair a bad reputation. Oftentimes, senders need to be more aggressive in order to get their emails out the door. However, you must also consider how much time it may take to fix your reputation. Since sending reputation is tracked every 30 days, it could take 4 or more weeks to rebuild it, and every day you get blocked can cost you.

2) IP rotation is bad business. You don’t need dozens of IPs. If you do, and the ISPs get wind of it, they will block the whole IP range. You can send millions of messages per day from a single IP if you warm up properly and continue to follow best practices.

Need proof? Here’s a true life case of too many IPS…

A daily deal site was being blocked by Hotmail, but was unsure why. Prior to coming to SendGrid, they were sending anywhere from thousands to millions of emails per day off of 17 different IP addresses.

Why? In order to maximize delivery, they would cherry pick the IP with the best reputation and deploy mail through that IP. This process is called snowshoeing and represents bot-net behavior which ISPs red flag. While ISPs use your IP address to determine reputation, they can also see the sending domain. To remedy this problem, SendGrid moved all of their email streams to 2 IPs and developed a customized sending schedule. Their warm up period topped out at 15 days when they reached full volume and maximum delivery. Success!

3) Use the data to educate you. This is a great opportunity to optimize your email program, even if you are experiencing delivery failures. ISPs like to see that you are being responsive. It’s a small community and word gets around, so doing the right thing will always work in your favor.

4) Marketing email is still a challenge. Be more careful and scrupulous with marketing email.  Since transactional email is viewed as “wanted” email in the eyes of the ISPs, it’s generally granted a little more leeway. This is why we recommend getting at least two dedicated IPs—one for marketing email and the other for transactional.

5) Best practices will get you everywhere. Monitoring user engagement, personalization, and ultimately removing inactives while you are warming up your IP and after is key to maximum email deliverability for the life of your email program.

The Bottom Line of IP Warm Up

Warming up your IP is a vital part of creating a healthy email program. With the right tools and information you can ensure your email gets inboxed with each deployment. At SendGrid, we work with customers to provide the best strategies and advice to help make their IP warm up successful. We have detailed reporting by ISP which helps give our customers an inside look at how their email is being received and our 24/7 support team is always on call if you need.

For an extensive overview of the IP warm up process, download our free How To Warm Up and IP guide here.


Carly Brantz is a veteran in the email deliverability space working to make email simple and easy for developers by regularly writing whitepapers, research briefs and blog posts about email, technology and industry trends.

Carly Brantz on Twitter

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