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Home » How to Warm Up SMTP Server IP Quickly (2022)

How to Warm Up SMTP Server IP Quickly (2022)

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Are your emails going to the spam section, and you’re not able to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns due to the low email delivery ratio? Your answer will probably be yes if you have a new SMTP server, IP & Domain. This post will help you learn how to warm up SMTP server IP quickly.

Email landing in the spam or promotion section of your audience’s mailbox is a nightmare indeed. Even if all the technicalities, including DKIM, SPF, and 10/10 score on mail-tester.com, are well-in-place, you can still get the issue.

Emails Ending Up in Spam

The best thing to do is warm up your new SMTP server IP to start sending emails in bulk. It builds credibility and reputation in the eyes of ISPs and ESPs that deliver your emails.

But what is an SMTP server, anyway? And how does it work? Let’s get to know it first.

What is SMTP Server?

SMTP is a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol that helps send bulk emails for your cold or warm conversion campaigns. SMTP does that with a sending IP address usually formatted as smtp.serveraddress.com.

SMTP Server

For example, Gmail sends out emails using the smtp.gmail.com address.

The IP address associated with your domain is usually new if you’re just starting. It will have less credibility among ISPs because there’s no history on which they start pushing your emails. 

ISPs do this to avoid spam and other malicious attacks on internet users.

Therefore, chances are your emails may not pass the criteria and get stuck in the spam section.

ISPs take email volume as a crucial element in determining spam; hence, sending emails in a low volume and gradually increasing it helps.

So you start sending fewer emails per day and increase it slowly. It’s called warming up. It’s the process of building your reputation among ISPs and ESPs.  Moreover, it also helps ISPs to analyze your recipients’ activities.

The goal here is to let your emails land directly in the inbox rather than spam or junk. The email sending acquires authentication and credibility to increase the chance of sending more and more emails. 

How Does SMTP Work?

The SMTP works as you send the email(s) from one IP to another using a protocol that does email validation transfer to the receiver. This means that SMTP acts as a critical gateway to send and receive emails.

How it works

This is how email sending works:

  • SMTP server processes your email
  • Chooses the server to send the email
  • And relays the message to that server
  • ESPs downloads it and places it in the recipient’s mailbox

The question arises if the SMTP server is just like a general server. Technically yes, but it processes data specifically for sending and receiving messages. 

Because ISPs push the emails and ESPs download them, they influence the placement in the mailbox. They can mark it spam and land your emails there.

Nowadays, many companies use email marketing as their go-to option for lead conversion. Warming up the SMTP mail server helps smoothly send emails to your audience so they can convert into customers.

How to Find SMTP Server for Your Site?

By now, you must already know that a domain or site must have an SMTP server to send emails. A web application will never send an email directly since this requires your SMTP server to authenticate before sending.

Your ISP seldom provides such a server, and you need to find a third-party SMTP service provider for this purpose. Finding an SMTP server for any site, including yours, is easier than you can imagine. 

Follow this step by step process to confirm if a domain has an SMTP server connected or not:

1. Click on the “Start” menu or “Windows key” and type “Run.”

2. Now, type “cmd” in the search bar, and you will be redirected to the command prompt application

3. Type any of the two commands ping mail.servername.com or ping smtp.servername.com

As soon as you complete this, the window will show you the server name right after the word “pinging.” This method is obvious, but you can also do this:

  1. Open the command prompt
  2. Type ‘nslookup’ and press the enter button
  3. Write ‘set type=MX’ and then hit enter
  4. Type the domain name of your site and enter

The results will show you a list of hostnames for SMTP.  Always put a period (.) before typing the domain name in the command prompt and every other time while searching for an SMTP server. Also, make sure that your site has MX records, or there will be no results.

Follow these steps to find the SMTP server address if you use Linux:

  1. Open the command prompt
  2. Type ‘dig domain.name MX’ and hit enter

You’ll immediately find the SMTP server for the typed domain name. If you didn’t get an answer from your DNS server, there’s a good chance that there’s no SMTP server set for your domain. Set it up yourself or reach out to the company’s tech support hosting your site.

Reasons You Must Warm Up an IP Address of Your SMTP Server

Whenever you create a new IP address for the SMTP, it’s crucial to warm it up. Otherwise, most of your early emails are likely to be marked as spam.

Warm Up Email and Warm Up SMTP Server IP

Here are a few reasons why you must warm up an IP address:

1. Warming up the IP ensures high delivery or success rate for your emails.

2. With an SMTP server IP warmed, you can send tons of emails.

3. Use extra features that come with SMTP service, allowing you to efficiently measure campaign stats, such as conversions, bounce-offs, subscribes and unsubscribes, and more.

4. Finally, warming up the IP ensures that the said server is recognized as one of your trusted SMTP servers by all mail clients, which minimizes the chances of your emails ending up in spam folders.

To warm up the IP, send emails from it to your email address or other trusted email accounts from Gmail or Yahoo! Mail. You can also set up an SMTP server yourself if you want to.

How to Warm Up SMTP Server IP

Warming up the SMTP server IP address is easy, but it takes time and effort, of course. Follow these basic steps to warm up SMTP server IP and increase your email open rates.

Set Up DKIM and SPF Records

First of all, set up DKIM and SPF records depending on your requirements. DKIM is DomainKeys Identified Mail which is a standard to ensure emails are not changed in any way. While the SPF specifies the sending servers.

This is how you set up the SPF records:

  1. Identify mail servers you use to send email from your domain.
  2. Make a list of your sending domains.
  3. Create your SPF record.
  4. Publish it to the DNS.
  5. Test and confirm everything is in place.

And this is how you set up the DKIM records:

  • Generate the domain key for your site.
  • Enter the public key into your domain’s DNS records.
  • Set up DKIM signing to include the signature to all outgoing emails.

This step sets the basis of your whole build-up strategy, so be careful while creating these records for better email deliverability.

Start Warming Up SMTP Server IP

Start warming up your SMTP server IP as soon as you’re done setting up the records. Now is the time to gradually start the email rollout process and scale it.

DNS Records

In the beginning, start by sending not more than 10-20 emails a day and to your most-trusted followers. When the interaction rate is high, you can gradually increase sending the emails. 

Start sending fewer emails and gradually increase it. How will you decide on that? Well, you can always use the Warmup Schedule Generator by H-Supertools to get the optimum schedule for sending emails.

Warm up schedule generator by h-supertools

This is how you do it:

  • Go the tool
  • Enter the number of emails you want to send per day.
  • Click on ‘Generate Schedule’

Here you go! You’ll have a schedule of sending emails per day. For example, if you want to send 100 emails, it will ask you to send 14 emails on day one and move on to sending 100 emails on day seven.

It takes approximately 2-10 weeks to warm up your SMTP server. However, it depends on your requirements – the number of emails you want to send daily or weekly, and more.

Along with lowering the number of emails, you must also segment your email list. This includes arranging, re-arranging, clearing, and adding subscribers to your list. Email list segmentation also helps you increase the open rates.

Up Your Email Sending Reputation

This step requires building up your reputation as an email sender on an SMTP server. However, the process is easy, but at the same time, it’s time-consuming.

ISPs evaluate the reputation according to these factors:

  • Bounce rates
  • Spam traps
  • Content quality
  • And recipient’s behavior

So if you want to warm up the SMTP server IP, you must:

  • Ensure you’re following the best email sending practices
  • Not use any blacklisted words or do the keyword stuffing
  • Try A/B testing to monitor the behavior of your audience
  • Not send the promotional emails when warming up the SMTP
  • Add email signature and other ‘personal’ details
  • Stick to fewer than two font styles
  • Routinely filter your email senders list
  • Keep the CTA above the fold
  • Don’t use ‘No-Reply’ in the sender’s email address

That’s all for now. Let’s summarize the whole thing.

How to Check Your Email Sending Reputation

Do you want to see if warming up your IP address is helping you build reputation? There are a few services and tools that help you do that.

  • Senderscore.org by Return Path scores your email sending reputation. The score ranks from 0 to 100, 100
    being the best. It tells you how you’re performing. Typically it’s
    recommended that you maintain your sender score of 90 or better.
  • Senderbase.com tells you how your reputation is across
    all the network providers Cisco manages. The reputation score is
    grouped into Good, Neutral, and Poor.
  • Microsoft’s Smart Network Data Services provides the information about the traffic originating from your IP address
    such as the volume of sent emails, complaint rates, and spam trap
    hits.
  • Search Console gives access to your domain’s data on Google Search Console.
  • AOL Postmaster checks your IP reputation and rates it as “bad”, “neutral”, and “good”.

Summary: How to Warm Up SMTP Server

Warming up an SMTP server is essential for better promoting your brand or winning email marketing campaigns. Done with care, it won’t take more than 2-5 weeks to go over the normal process.

Follow our above-given steps to warm up your SMTP server, which requires you to slowly build your email list and gain a reputation over time. Have questions? Let me know in the comments below, I’m always all ears!


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