Warmup Campaign

This guide will help you understand:

This use case is part of Engagement’s Plug&Play initiative. Plug&Play offers impactful use cases like this one, which are ready out of the box and require minimum setup on your side. Learn how you can get Plug&Play use cases or contact your Customer Success Manager for more information.

What this use case does and why we developed it

Problem

With email campaigns, the number one goal is to reach the customer's inbox. The issue is that you cannot send too many emails to too many new contacts (that have never received an email from you before) at once. This is because you want to avoid getting greylisted or blacklisted, in other words you want to avoid bad email sender reputation.

Solution

In order to establish a good email sender reputation, it is recommended to gradually increase the number of emails sent to new contacts over your new IP, in other words, email IP warm-up.

After migrating to our services, our clients would hence need to warm up their email IP in order to start sending email campaigns. This would require hours of work on their part as well as support and consultancy.

We developed the Warmup Campaign UC to give you an easy way to warm up your email IP on your own, instead of requiring constant support and various scenarios for different emails sent.

To illustrate the effectiveness of this UC, Bloomreach Engagement client Benefit Cosmetics used these best practices to improve open rates by +12% and revenue per email by +76% in under two quarters.

This use case

This scalable Warmup Campaign achieves the optimal sender reputation by limiting and gradually increasing the number of emails sent to each internet service provider.

With this UC, you are able to easily deploy the Warmup Campaign and simply monitor it.

What is included in this use case:

  • 2 variants of an automated warmup email scenario.
  • Customer segmentation based on the email list health.
  • Detailed report looking at the deliverability data.

1. Setting up the use case

(1) Check the prerequisites

The following event tracking is required:

Customer attributes tracked

  • email

Events tracked within the project

  • Purchase event with event attributes:

    • purchase_status: success
    • Total_price
  • Consent category

    • Newsletter (in case you are tracking it with a different name, make sure to change it within the scenario)
  • Emailing engagement data information is imported as event or customer property. It should be information about the last_open and the last_click of the customer, based on their behavior in the previous emailing platform.

Address any discrepancies if needed.

(2) Import the historical engagement data

The campaign uses an Email List Health segmentation which segments subscribers based on their engagement recency. For this to work, it is required to import historical email engagement data from previous email providers.

  • You can do this either by importing "campaign" events with relevant "status" and "timestamp" attributes; or by importing "last_engagement" property with the most recent timestamp. Both options would work with the prebuilt segmentation.

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Note

More information about these events/attributes can be found in the tracking document provided to you after project kickoff.

Find out more about importing data in our guide.

(3) Choose the variant which fits you best

You need to add your own email content/design to the email node of the warmup campaign. There are two types (variants) of scenarios here. They both work on an assumption that they will be sent every day, to speed up the warmup process:

  • Variant 1 is a warmup that uses one special email campaign dedicated to the warmup process. You can set up the content in the beginning and then you do not need to adjust the scenario in any way. It will pick a different set of subscribers every day. This variant uses a catalog to get correct volumes for specific days and providers. This variant uses a volume split per provider - e.g. Gmail receives emails at a different pace than Hotmail. Please see section 3a for more details.

  • Variant 2 allows more flexibility in the campaigns. You can select a different email content (copy+creative) for each different day of the warmup. This means you can use your normal daily newsletter creative + copy for the campaigns. You can edit the email templates while the scenario is running, but DO NOT stop the scenario as there are follow-up rules set. This variant is not focused on each provider separately, but sends general total volume daily. This scenario keeps reusing the subscribers from the previous days and adds new ones to fulfill the daily warmup volume.

Import warm-up plan as catalog for Variant 1

In Variant 1, the scenario uses catalog “warmup” to calculate the correct volume for a specific day and provider. Catalog needs to contain the following headers with examples listed below: “item_id”, “day1”, “day2”, etc. Item_id would be e.g. “Gmail”, “Microsoft”, “Verizon”, “Other” etc.

Provider selection might change for different markets, e.g. in Germany you might include gmx.de & web.de instead of Verizon domains. Please, make sure to update the segmentation and catalog header too.

item_id

day1

day2

day3

day4

Gmail

100

100

100

1000

Verizon

500

500

500

4000

...

...

...

...

...

(4) Adjust the assets and scenario

Adjust the reports and segmentation to your project

Make following changes that will reflect your project settings and tracking of the events:

  • Email list health (customer segmentation) - adjust the correct consent by specifying “consent_category” in all segments. This applies if your project has multiple consents allowed.
  • Email domain segmentation (customer segmentation) - adjust to match the top domains in your project.

Customizing the nodes within the scenario
Check the nodes within the scenario and make sure that all the events / customer attributes are matching your tracking:

  • In the first condition node, select the correct consent category from your project.

Update the email(s) design in the scenario
Open the email nodes within the scenario and prepare it accordingly. Make sure the ‘Design’ as well as the ‘Setting’ tabs are both fitting your needs.

Design> Editor > Visual (parameters) editor:
Customize the email so it reflects your brand and communication style as well as your project settings.

  • Main fields - Subject line, Sender email etc.
  • Visual aspect - adjust colours, logo, header, footer etc.
  • Content

Find out how to visually edit your email campaigns in our guide.

Design > Settings
You can check the following:

  • Recipient - choose who will receive the email.
  • Frequency policy - how many messages can a customer receive. IMPORTANT: make sure that frequency policy will not impact the volumes sent per day. Recommendation is to set ‘unlimited’ for warm up.
  • Consent Category - helps you manage the purposes of communication. Make sure that the consent is the same as in the first condition node in the scenario.
  • Link transformation
  • Transfer identity
  • Custom headers

(5) Test the email

It is highly important to test the use case before deploying it.

A quick preview is available directly in the web layer file:

  • Design tab - onsite preview to see the preview on different devices
  • Test tab for a larger preview
    • Go to Email previews to view how the email displays for different agents.

You can also check the email and how it is set up by using the ‘Send test email or preview link’ functionality. We recommend testing on different browsers and devices.

It is highly important to test the use case before deploying it. It enables you to make sure that everything is set up correctly before hitting the real customers.

A quick preview of the email is available directly in the email node:

  • TEST tab > Overview - go to ‘Preview for’ if you want to see a view for different customers (e.g. if you use personalisation in your email)
  • TEST tab > Email previews - to access previews for different devices
  • Send test email or preview link’ - enables to send the email directly to chosen email address

We recommend testing on different browsers and devices.

(6) Run the scenario

Once the testing is over, configure the email to match the desired settings in the Settings tab and click on the ‘Start’ button to launch the scenario. Double check the consent category, frequency policy or anything else you may want to customize within here.

(7) Evaluate on a regular basis

The use case comes with a predefined evaluation dashboard. Check the evaluation dashboard regularly to spot any need for improvements as soon as possible.

2. Suggestions for custom modifications

You can always try to personalize the emailing as much as possible using Jinja.

3. Evaluating and interpreting the dashboard

The dictionary below is helpful for understanding metrics in the evaluation dashboard and their calculation.

Key metrics explanation

The goal of the warm-up use case is to warm-up the sending domains in a way that recipient servers (gmail.com, hotmail.com) will start delivering emails into the inbox. Key metrics here are delivery rate and open rate. Delivery rate tells us if the emails were delivered to the server (not rejected because of e.g. invalid email address) and open rate would give us some insight into inbox placement. If it is too low for a certain provider (e.g. 5% open rate on Hotmail, while Gmail is reporting 20%), the most common cause is bad inbox placement - emails going into spam.

Firstly, please use the report “Emails sent per day - check” to confirm that you are following the plan and sending the correct volume on each sent day.

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As a second report to look at, use “Email reporting - last 14 days” to look at multiple metrics reported per day - mainly delivery rate, open rate, hard bounce rate, soft bounce rate and spam complaint rate. In case there are no issues in the warmup, you do not need to use other reports.

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If any of the metrics do not meet your expectations or benchmarks, please look into the “Email reporting - last 14 days - combined with recipient domain” to understand which domain is underperforming - usually, the issue is with a specific provider, not with all providers at once. Use this report to identify which provider is reporting lower metrics like delivery rate or open rate.

If you see a higher soft bounce rate or hard bounce rate, please use the reports “Hard_bounced messages [last 48 hours]”/”Soft_bounced messages [last 48 hours]” to look at error messages reported from specific providers. These error messages might help you identify the issue - e.g. content is flagged as spam, invalid email addresses or that you have been placed on a blocklist.

Emailing metrics

There are two types of metrics in the evaluation: non unique and unique ones. The non unique ones are counting the number of events that have occurred and the unique ones count the number of customers that have made the action. Example: one customer will open the email three times. Non unique open metrics = 3, unique open metric = 1. Unique metrics are marked with ‘U.’.

Ecommerce Benchmark for emailing metrics:

  • Unique Delivery rate - 99% and above
  • Unique Open rate - 20% and above
  • Unique Click rate from opened -15% and above

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