Improve SMTP Reputation - Learn to Warm Up And Improve Your SMTP

This article is intended to offer a solution to warm up or improve your SMTP reputation. Whether using ClickFunnels Transactional Email or an External SMTP Email Integration, these steps should help improve your reputation. You would want to improve your SMTP reputation to have better deliverability of your emails to your customers.

Important Note: Our support team is unable to assist with any third-party SMTP integrations and sending reputation. 

Prior to getting started, you will need to have the following:

Step 1: Complete Your SMTP Integration

  • Each SMTP Integration has its own requirements when it comes to setting up records. If you wish to ensure you have the best deliverability, it's essential you set each of these records properly.
  • In general, you'll need to set your DKIM and SPF records for proper sending.
  • Make sure to review your SMTP provider instructions here for details on setting these records.
  • These records are essential to improving your deliverability.

Important Note: If you wish to learn more about how these records work and what they affect, please review our SMTP FAQ article here.

Step 2: Warm Up Your SMTP

  • To avoid a negative reputation, you will want to warm up any new SMTP integration.
  • This typically involves a slow rollout for your new email efforts or the segmentation of an existing list.
  • We strongly recommend a slow warm-up process. However, you can also take a more aggressive approach.
  • Here's a look at the two options.

Option 1: The Slow and Steady Warm-Up

  1. Regardless of your list size, we recommend this method.
  2. Begin by subscribing only to your email and a few trusted friends or business associates.
  3. After sending your email, go into your inbox and white-label the email (or add them to your "safe senders).
  4. If there is a link in the email, make sure to visit it. 
  5. For extra points, you might even send a response to the email.
  6. For example's sake, we'll say this initial email is sent to 10 people.
  7. The day after, you select 50 emails that have been responsive in the past and send out another email.
  8. Each day, you very slowly increase the number of emails by doubling them.
  9. However, as the number increases, you want to consider tapering it for the best results.
  10. This might look something like this:
  11. As you warm up in this fashion, make sure you are getting positive engagement.

Important Note: It's recommended you view our SMTP FAQ article for some specific factors that can hurt your deliverability before warming up your list.

Option 2: The Aggressive Warm-Up

  1. Here, you might have a large existing list you wish to warm up on a new SMTP.
  2. To begin, you will start sending emails to existing list members.
  3. Each day after the first, you will increase the number of emails sent by as much as a factor of 10.
  4. For instance, if you have a list of 1,000,000 subscribers, you might start by sending it to your 1,000 most engaged subscribers on day 1.
  5. On day 2, you can send to 10,000 subscribers. 
  6. 100,000 on day 3.
  7. And finally, on day 4, you can send to 1,000,000 subscribers.

Important Note: We do not recommend warming up a list this quickly unless you are importing a highly engaged list from another autoresponder service. Even in that case, a slower warmup would be recommended.

Step 3: Restore A Damaged Reputation

  1. If you notice your deliverability has been low or if your Reputation score has decreased, it's important you take a step back and reexamine your sending strategy.
  2. To begin, you should stop any automated email sequences you have in the queue.
  3. Next, it's recommended you go through your list and filter out anyone who has not engaged with you in the last 30 days.
  4. In some cases, you may consider sunsetting your list (completely removing those who have not engaged with your emails.
  5. From there, you should look for a segment of your list that has consistently opened, replied, or clicked on links in your email.
  6. For the next few days, you should start sending emails specifically to this segment of the list.
  7. Over the course of a 4-week period, you should increase your sending from there, always keeping a close eye on engagement metrics.
  8. Since it can take a full 30-day period for the reputation to be restored, it's essential you slowly increase back to earlier levels prior to your reputation being damaged.

If you have any questions about this, please contact our support team by clicking the support icon in the bottom right-hand corner of this page.

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