Stats (and my experience) say that it’s one of the most effective methods for customer acquisition in the B2B industry.
You’ve probably heard that cold emailing is a thing of the past and that it will send your emails directly to the spam folder and annoy your recipients, and I won’t tell you that this is impossible.
As a matter of fact, 21% of opt-in emails never reach their destination – that is your recipients’ inbox.
However, if you want to avoid such a scenario, you have to prepare everything in advance and warm up both your email address and your domain for this kind of activity.
By doing so, you’ll
- Improve deliverability of your emails
- Make sure that your open rates are good
- Protect your online reputation.
As you can see, some pretty serious things are at stake here and it’s essential that you know how to break in your email address as well as your new domain in order to achieve the best results and make the most of your email marketing.
A Word of Caution
Before we go on and discuss the reasons and methods for warming up your domain and email address, I’d first like to suggest something that will save you from a lot of trouble in the future:
Use a separate domain for your outbound campaigns!
In other words, it’s a good idea to have a domain other than your own company domain when you’re sending cold email campaign.
This practice will save your company domain from being blacklisted or suffering some other consequences and interrupting your regular emailing activities that have nothing to do with your outreach.
This particularly applies to fast-growing companies whose sales teams are expanding. Namely, if you’re onboarding a number of new sales reps on a regular basis, that means they will get new email accounts that haven’t been properly warmed up.
Now imagine what can happen when every one of them starts cold outreach at the same time. Your ISP will notice unusual activity and boom! Your entire company domain is blacklisted and marked as spammy.
By setting up a different domain, all these risks are eliminated, and all you have to do is make sure that your outbound domain has been warmed up too so that you can use it for cold outreach campaigns.
Actually, there’s one more word of caution:
Keep the name of your new domain consistent with your main one. So, for example, if your main domain is Company.com, use Company.co as your additional domain for cold outreach as that way you won’t confuse your recipients.
Why Is It Important to Warm Up Your Domain?
You can probably guess the reason for this.
Namely, if your domain hasn’t been properly warmed up, you’ll end up with poor deliverability rates, which means that your emails won’t reach your recipients’ inboxes.
Moreover, it’s even possible to burn your domain and render it practically useless for any email outreach.
ISPs are pretty strict about spamming people and they’ll do everything to protect their users from those who flood other people’s inboxes with tons of irrelevant emails.
And unless you warm up your domain, you’ll be mistaken for a spammer.
And all your email marketing efforts will go down the drain.
While it’s true that there are other culprits behind poor deliverability, such as the email copy, subject lines, your emailing list, or your email address configuration.
We’ve discussed the importance of subject lines on numerous occasions, so check out how to craft them properly in this blog post.
Also, when we’re talking about your email list, it’s worth mentioning that Autoklose offers access to a huge list of scrubbed, relevant, complete, and regularly updated B2B leads, that you can tap into and make sure that your every message reaches its intended recipient. So, no defunct, obsolete, or incomplete data in our database.
But, it’s your domain reputation that carries the most weight.
So, What’s Domain Reputation?
And more importantly, how do you maintain a good domain reputation?
The answer is pretty straightforward: don’t spam people!
Other factors which affect your domain reputation include:
- Personalization. Make sure that your emails are highly personalized to avoid that staged, artificial feel of generic, bland messages.
- Relevance. Tailor your emails so that they’re relevant to your recipients, which means that your list should be properly segmented.
- Authentication. Your domain has to be authenticated before you engage in any cold outreach activities.
Basically, your cold email outreach should be as if a real human sent it and not an automation tool. So, try to be as natural as possible.
Would you blast all people on your personal email list with the same message? Of course not. So, avoid that approach in your cold outreach too.
This also means that you shouldn’t send out all your emails at once – using a tool to help you schedule your cold outreach is essential.
The better your domain reputation is, the better deliverability and open/click-through rates you can expect.
You should know that there’s very little you can do if your domain has been burned as it’s practically impossible to fix its reputation.
How to Authenticate Your Domain?
This is one of the most important steps of your entire cold outreach strategy.
Otherwise, your emails won’t get access to your recipients’ emails.
In order to get the green light from email providers, you first need to set up SPF and DKIM.
These two acronyms stand for
- Sender Policy Framework or a validation system which is used to prevent spam by verifying the email sender’s email address.
- DomainKeys Identified Mail is a standard has the purpose of indicating that a particular email has been sent by you and not somebody who’s only impersonating you. That’s an additional layer of protection from spam.
OK, But How to Warm Up Your Domain?
Now that you’ve authenticated your domain you can start warming it up.
As I’ve said, the trick is being as natural as possible and acting as if you are reaching out to your friends – you probably don’t send them 10 emails a day.
Bear in mind that the warm-up process can take three months or even more.
The first thing you should know is that before your domain has been warmed up, it’s recommended to set up no more than one email account. After approximately two months, you can add another one. This way, the warm-up process will be smooth and you won’t raise any red flags which would lead to undesirable consequences.
Another important factor is the number of emails that you send per day.
But, before we discuss the limits, it’s crucial to mention that you shouldn’t start sending emails right after you register your domain – wait for two or three weeks before you initiate any activity.
Now, here’s how to play it safe when warming up your domain:
- Start manually. Send out a couple of emails every day. If you want the exact numbers, I’d say that the best timeline should be sending no more than 20 emails per day during the first week, between 20 and 40 during the second week, and between 40 and 80 during the third week. As you can see, it’s best to gradually increase the number and do it consistently. While this approach is time-consuming, it’s pretty safe and can help you make sure that your domain and email address have been warmed up properly. But, don’t despair because, with Autoklose’s scheduling feature, you can stay on the safe side and automate your initial outreach while mimicking natural, human behavior.
- Personalize and tailor your outreach. It’s important to prove that you’re not a spammer who sends irrelevant emails that nobody reads. So, make sure to invest your time and energy into creating a really meaningful message and subject line.
- Reach out to your friends. Another factor plays an important role in the process of warming up your domain – your reply rate. So, if you send your emails and nobody actually opens them and replies, then your outreach will come off as irrelevant, and you’re in trouble. But, if you message your friends and get a decent reply rate, then it’s a good sign, and Gmail, in particular, pays great attention to that metric. Here are some tips on how to create emails that elicit replies.
- Send your emails to business addresses. This is also important, particularly if you’ll use cold outreach in the B2B industry. So, if you interact with business addresses belonging to some strong and reputable domains, and if you get responses, then it will be a clear sign to email providers that you’re not a spammer and that your emails are valuable.
As you can see, just like in real life, your online, domain reputation matters big time and it takes time to establish and cement it.
So, don’t rush things, which means that you should be very careful and particular when it comes to warming up your domain and email address. Use these simple steps, and generally speaking, try to make your outreach as natural and conversational as possible as that way you’ll get the best results both in terms of deliverability and a response rate.