We are disabling warm-up for Google accounts
You might have heard about Google shutting down all email warm-up services, the news that circulated the web a few months ago. Unfortunately, Warmbots hasn’t been exempted here and we received a notice from Google to disable our warm-up features for Gmail emails.
This wasn’t an easy decision, but in order to be compliant with Google, we decided to disable warm-up for emails connected through our native Gmail integration with the effective date of 6/1/2023.
The outbound world will change in the coming months - that's for sure. And who knows, maybe the outcome will be a positive surprise for us all, forcing us to focus once again on quality over quantity. It's important to keep in mind that there are no winners or losers here, this affects the whole world of cold emailing.
We know this is difficult news to swallow, but in this article we'll discuss how Growbots is ready to tackle the warm-up-less world and help you maintain your deliverability.
Why is Google shutting down email warm-up?
Google sees warm-up tools connected via API as a violation of their terms and requires to disable such service, if companies want to keep their API access. We’re not here to quarrel with their decision so on our side it was a sad, but firm decision to stay compliant with Google terms.
Note: The warm-up will continue to work as usual for other ESPs (e.g. Outlook & custom SMTP/IMAP emails connected through the "Other" email integration).
Warm-up will be turned off for Gmail
This means that warm-up features of Warmbots will be disabled on all your Gmail accounts. It will be done automatically, you don’t have to perform any actions.
You can still use the monitoring capabilities of Warmbots. This allows you to monitor the SPAM rates of your email accounts in real time, without the ability to pull emails out of the SPAM folders.
NOTE: Warmbots for SMTP/IMAP email accounts is now working in the same way as for other integrations, so the tool is available to a broader spectrum of email accounts! Read how to connect Gmail account via IMAP/SMTP here.
Why do other companies still offer warm-up?
Some of them changed their Google authentication method from API to SMTP/IMAP. This type of integration is also available in Growbots (the "Other" integration) - you just need to make sure you have IMAP enabled in Gmail (you might need to allow users to turn on IMAP in your Google Admin settings).
When it comes to warm-up tools using Google API - they most likely either didn't get the memo yet, or are reluctant to share the news.
How is this going to affect your deliverability?
Our data team analyzed the effect of warm-up on open rates and we are not seeing a drop in open rates when it comes to emails with warm-up off. This is good news, of course!
Our early research shows that the most affected will be the new domains that haven’t been used for outbound before. What this means is that you should be very careful when creating a totally new domain and sending outbound from it. This means starting out with low sending limits and gradually, slowly building them up.
Instead of automatic warm-up
We’ve been preparing for a warm-up-less world for a while now. Here are our key tips & features that we have developed in order to adjust to the new reality:
With automatic warm-up disabled, it's a good idea to go back to good, old manual warm-up. It does take more time, but is just as effective. You can gather a list of email addresses of your co-workers, colleagues & friends (preferably using multiple different ESPs - Google, Outlook, Yahoo etc.) and create a campaign to them, while asking them to reply to your emails in a positive tone. This will build your credibility as a sender and improve your reputation.
It's also a good idea to sign up to multiple newsletters.
Multiple email accounts & domains
It was always key for us to allow you to connect as many email accounts as needed. To maintain good deliverability, it’s important to obey the daily sending limits, start small and ramp-up the daily emails gradually.
But you need scale! This is achievable thanks to the ability to connect multiple email accounts from one or, preferably, multiple domains. Spreading the volume across email accounts will be important in the warm-up-less world.
Having multiple domains allows you to maintain consistency in sending your campaigns even when one of the domains experiences deliverability issues.
Also, keep in mind that if you created a separate domain specifically for outbound, it's very important to set up a URL forwarding to your company's website. It's highly recommended, because it makes your domain more credible, which can improve deliverability.
Select all emails
At the same time, choosing all your email accounts when you have a lot of them connected, was a chore. That’s why the “Select all email accounts” option was made available to save you time - you can use it while scheduling new prospects or rescheduling existing ones:
Separate sending limits
You can now set up separate daily sending limits for initial and follow-up messages. Thanks to this setting, you’ll be contacting new prospects regularly (daily), building a positive reputation for your email account as new prospects tend to have higher open rates. On the other hand, initial messages are more likely to be marked as SPAM, so it's best to mix them with follow-ups. You can read all about this feature in this article.
Setting up your domain with all the necessary records (SPF, DKIM, DMARC, CNAME)
Setting up all the necessary DNS records was our prerogative for the last few years when new customers joined Growbots. We want to set them up for success, so we make sure you have all the right records in place.
You can find all the step-by-step instructions on how to set them up in this article.
Avoiding the most obvious SPAM triggers
There are multiple elements of your email templates, signatures and email setup which could make your campaigns be more likely to land in SPAM:
Make sure you're not using any SPAM-triggering words.
Avoid using links and images in both your email templates and in your signature.
Avoid any excessive formatting - it's best to keep the default format of your emails.
Add your phone number and physical address of your company to your signature to increase your credibility.
Use domains with suffixes such as .com, .us, .org or .net (instead of less common ones such as .info, .ai, .io etc.).
Don't use long email addresses (try to keep them below 30 characters)
Make sure to have an unsubscribe text at the end of each template.
Set up a URL forwarding to your company's website, if you created a separate domain specifically for outbound.
Add a profile photo on your account to make it look more natural and increase your credibility.
Monitoring your deliverability
As previously mentioned, for now the monitoring features of Warmbots are still available. It's super-important to keep an eye on all your emails' SPAM rates and react quickly when your reputation drops.
As for monitoring, we integrate with GlockApps and this can be a valuable tool to monitor your deliverability. We are considering automating GlockApps tests to happen weekly, if we can’t sustain the monitoring feature of Warmbots.
What else you can do to maintain high deliverability
It will become more necessary than ever to keep your outbound strategy to high standards. Please refer to our strategic advice on deliverability to make sure you're following our best practices. To name a few:
targeting the right audience,
personalizing your messages,
verifying emails before sending campaigns,
writing adequate, concise and eye-catching copy,
scaling the campaigns carefully and gradually (start at 20 messages per day & increase the limit by 15 every week).
What to do when I start landing in SPAM
When you notice your Open Rates drop and/or your SPAM rates increase, it's important to react quickly and not let your reputation drop significantly.
Here are our general recommendations on how to proceed:
Pause all your outbound campaigns (or decrease the daily sending limits significantly) being sent from this particular domain.
Review your domain's technical setup.
Review your targeting & copy.
Rebuild your reputation through manual warm-up & subscribing to some newsletters.
Consider setting up additional domains for outbound.
Monitor the SPAM rates, and once they drop to ~0% - start sending again, starting at low numbers (20-30 emails per day).
In case of any questions, reach out to our Customer Support Team via the in-app chat or at firstname.lastname@example.org.