Most email marketers know the importance of IP warm-up. But what about a pre-warmed IP? A pre-warmed IP can save you time, but how will it affect your deliverability?

It’s important for email marketers to understand pre-warmed IPs so they can avoid making mistakes that can jeopardize their ability to inbox.

I have to add a disclaimer here that every email marketing case is different, and you should consult a deliverability expert to help you with this process.

In most cases pre-warmed IPs should be avoided and only used under certain conditions which we will get to below.

But first, what is a pre-warmed IP?

What is a Pre-Warmed IP?

A pre-warmed IP is an IP that has already sent some emails and gained some reputation.

Most ESPs (email service providers) use shared pool of IPs to send emails for small and low volume senders. An ESP can then take an IP from this shared pool and allocate it to a client to use as a pre-warmed dedicated IP.

If you plan on using this IP to send millions of emails right away, your emails will get as flagged as spam and likely get blocked by ISPs as well.

Let’s have a closer look at the reason for this.

Why Pre-warmed IPs can be dangerous

ISPs (internet service providers like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.) look at a variety of different factors to determine your reputation. Although IP reputation is definitely an important factor, it is not the only one. Domain reputation is another critical factor in deliverability, and regardless of how warm your IP address is, if your domain is new and has not established reputation, your deliverability will definitely suffer.

Using a pre-warmed IP can be tempting to save time from a new ESP but to achieve optimal deliverability and high performance you will have to go through the warm-up process for your domain and IP.

The other reason, email marketers need to be careful with pre-warmed IPs, is that ISPs can detect sudden changes in sending volumes from an IP.

If an IP was used to send 10,000 emails per month and the volume increases dramatically to 30,000 per month, then the ISP will flag this as a suspicious behavior.

Warming up your own IPs can be a lengthy process, but not following the warm-up procedure can highly increase the likelihood of jeopardizing your deliverability.

When Can you Use a Pre-warmed IP?

The only case that you can possibly use a pre-warmed IP and have some benefit is when you have to add additional IPs to an existing IP group where you already have established a solid domain and IP reputation. In this case you can introduce a pre-warmed IP to your group of already warm IPs. This would still cause some minor friction in the beginning but over time, the ISPs will recognize the traffic from new pre-warm IP as part of already warmed IP group.

As you can see it’s important for email marketers to be aware of the pitfalls of using pre-warmed IPs. It is more important for email marketers have a deliverability specialist that can help with the particulars of each situation.

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