Ramp Up

Are Warm Up and Ramp Up the same?

No, refer to the here to view the differences.

Why do you need to warm-up?

ISPs are skeptics at best when it comes to deciding on email inbox placement. While authentication (DKIM and SPF setup) is important, it is not enough for the ISPs to trust you. It needs to be built gradually by ensuring high engagement in your emails. Emails coming from a new IP/domain that hasn't built a good reputation as yet, ISPs might choose to handle your emails as below:

  • Only accept a small number of emails
  • Receive emails at a slow pace
  • Put all the emails in the spam folder
  • Put the first few emails in the inbox, monitor the engagement from the initial recipients, and then determine where to put the remaining emails.
  • Block emails from you, if you try to send more than a smaller number
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Your reputation with the ISPs can take a hit with even a single bad campaign. Recovering from such a setback can take anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks.

How to warm-up?

As part of the warm-up, you will need to send relevant emails to a small volume of users who are most likely to engage. The exact amount of time required to do this will depend on the current reputation of your domain/IP and the performance of your campaigns. Below stated are some high-level guidelines:

  • Send lower volumes to begin with, increase them gradually, and throttle your campaigns. Don’t worry about scaling up initially; instead, focus on generating positive engagement.
  • Send to users who are most likely to engage positively.
  • Pay attention to performance metrics, viz. delivery rate, open rate, click rate, spam complaints, and unsubscribes. Course correct based on your observations.
  • Check your reputation on postmaster sites, and inbox placement data on third-party sites. Course correct based on your observations.
  • Monitor your performance metrics and reputation closely for the first ten days. Once your reputation is stable, move to ramp up.

Why do you need to ramp up?

After building a good reputation, you need to increase the sending volume until you reach your daily average. And that’s ramp-up! While warm-up is slow, ramp-up tends to be faster. The pace of ramp-up, however, should be determined based on the campaigns' performance and domain/IP reputation during warm-up.

  • If they're excellent, you can ramp up much faster and take some calculated risks.
  • If they're average, ramp up at a breathable pace, and progress cautiously.
  • If either of them is bad, fix it first.

How should you ramp up?

Increase your daily sending volume by 30% to 50% each day. Ensure that your performance doesn't drop and that the domain and IP reputation stays consistent.

What volume should you ramp up to?

Your intended daily, weekly, or monthly volume defines the volume you should ramp up to. For example:

User Base Peak Volume Ramp Up Plan
100K 100K Ramp up to 100K.
100K 50K Ramp up to 50K.
100K The general sending volume is 20K. Once a month, 100K. For general sending volume, 20K ramp-up will suffice. For the monthly 100K send, you will need to use a segmented strategy.

 

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IPs start getting cold after two weeks, and thus higher infrequent volumes will require special handling.

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How to control the volume during ramp-up?

Controlling the volume can be done in multiple ways:

  • Create smaller segments based on the daily prescribed volume.
  • Use control groups while creating campaigns.
  • If applicable, we will also enable back-end limits.

What is a scale-up plan? Is this different from ramp-up?

While ramp-ups are done at the time of onboarding, scale-ups address the seasonality in sales that most businesses observe. The marketing efforts, as a result, also need to follow the same cycles. In peak seasons, your sending volumes can be higher than usual. To meet the same, the email sends need to be increased to those levels. This is known as a scale-up and is done in the weeks leading to the peak.

Typically, a larger user base at such times includes lesser engaged users, and hence an integral part of the scale-up becomes segmenting such inactive users based on their last activity, inactivity, sign-up date, sign-up source, and so on. This helps avoid any negative impact of the scale-up on your domain's/IP's reputation.

If you have 90k data, but your ramp-up plan is 150k. How do you get 150k data?

  • The ramp-up plan remains the same.
  • Backend limits do not need to be revised.
  • Follow the plan till 90k and ask for backend limits to be disabled

What steps can be taken when the open rates of your emails are dropping?

  • Pause all campaigns for 3 days. Take this time to investigate the reason behind the open rates drop.
  • Test the new template.
  • Send only to email openers for the next 2 campaigns.

If things are fine, resume ramp-up. Otherwise deep dive and resolve the issues before confirming.
Note that campaigns sent only to less active or inactive users are expected to have low opens.

What steps can be taken, if you do not have data to ramp up?

  • Create Event Triggered and Flow campaigns.
  • Ramp up with “delivered” volume.
  • Make sure to set correct expectations.

How will your ramp up get completed if you cannot send campaign everyday?

Follow the below steps to complete your ramp up if you cannot send campaign everyday

  • Try sending at least 2 campaigns per week.
  • You can also send 1 campaign per week but to different users - this way the recipients will receive only 1 campaign per week but the number of ramp-up sends per week will be more. This way the ramp-up can be completed faster.
  • Use proper exclusions during ramp-up.

How should you suppress out-outs, if you cannot pull users from the old vendor for suppression?

  • When you pull opted-in data, try pulling openers first excluding suppression data in the old vendor.
  • When you pull “all users” data, make sure to exclude all the suppression data/BUC data in the old vendor, and then export the list.
  • Start with a welcome campaign first from MOE. Start multiple event-triggered and flow campaigns.
  • Ramp-up with MOE opened and delivered users.
  • Target app/site openers.

What should be your exclusion criteria?

  • EXCLUDE criteria must use OR condition in UI. Audience criteria should have an “AND” condition and exclusion criteria must have an “OR” condition.
  • Exclude suppression data
  • Exclude soft bounces (has executed email soft bounced at least 1 time in the last 60 days)
  • BUC (Hard Bounces, Unsubscribes, Spam Complaints) users get suppressed by default.

If the opener data is low, will it have an impact on the ramp-up process?

This likely means that you had deliverability issues with the previous vendor. To prevent this from affecting your ramp-up process, you can follow the steps outlined below:

  • Send campaigns for the first 7 days to openers' data only. Even if you can not increase the volume.
  • Once reputation data is available (and reputation is HIGH), then you can slowly ramp up with additional data. Send to new users first before bringing in users from the old vendor.
  • Reduce send frequency to 2 emails per user per week.
    • This is because the quality of users is unknown. So, better to start slowly and then move up if needed.
  • Send Event-triggered campaigns.

How to resolve, if your complaints rates are high?

This indicates users do not want your emails. Follow the below steps to resolve this issue.

  • Pause all campaigns for a week.
  • Review the segmentation v/s content and ensure email content is relevant to users.
  • Reduce the send frequency to 2 emails per user per week.
  • Start a welcome flow. Make sure to set correct expectations.
  • Review how the users are collected.
    • Did they explicitly sign up?
    • Were they forced to share their email ID to perform certain transactions?
    • After the email ID was collected, did you allow the user to choose their email preferences?

How should you manage your unsubscribe data during migration?

  • Sync the unsubscribes between two vendors
  • Move the users to MoEngage and don’t move them back to the old vendor
  • Sync unsubscribes regularly throughout the ramp-up duration.

Will your ramp-up be affected if you send emails to inactive users during the later half of the process when a higher volume is required?

Ramp-up should only happen until the volume you usually send to. If you usually do not send to inactive users then your volume would be lower. Hence, you need not send higher volumes. Ramp-up doesn’t mean you have to send emails to all users in your database irrespective of their activity.

 

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