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Additional IP warming when IP routing is in place for the Branding and Deliverability configuration.
Due to an expansion on a new market, a new business unit had the requirement to set up an individual IP that should have been used for their own marketing activities. The challenges were few:
- Adding a new IP to the existing email backend configuration without impacting the current setup.
- Warming the new IP according to the Deliverability best practices.
- Educating the end users to utilize the new configuration.
Having the new IP warmed and the new business unit being able to use it for their next monthly marketing campaigns.
Adding a new IP to the existing email default configuration involved the intervention of the Oracle Operations team via a Support Service Request. While the new IP was provisioned, the default From and Bounce back email address domain to be used by the new business unit were agreed. The IT department configured the authentication keys (Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) for the new domain, and the correct set up was tested by using the free-tool MXToolbox.
In addition to the above configuration an additional service ‘Oracle Eloqua Premium Branding and Configuration Cloud Service’ was required at a cost to allow IP routing.
As the new IP was provisioned in a cold state, a plan for IP warming was put in place. First an analysis of the average of emails expected to be sent in the next month was done as this information would have influenced the IP warming plan and ramp-up process, we focused on the campaign volumes and the number of the ISP-hosted email addresses. We followed the advice for the warm-up schedule and ramp schedule contained in the document in Topliners – Global Deliverability group ‘Deliverability _IP Warm Up Guidance.pdf’ see images below:
We started with low volume campaigns and did not sent any large campaign in the first three weeks, we targeted in our campaigns the most engaged recipients (most active contacts in the last 3 / 6 months). As email assets we created emails avoiding complicated HTML code or a large number of images.
After each campaign launches we monitored the KPIs especially bounce rates (we wanted to be sure that they were as per the recommended rates of less than 2% for the hard bounces and less than 3% for the soft bounces) plus the open rates and click-throughs rates. To monitor these KPIs we used three Insight reports:
- ‘Email Analysis By Email’ to check open rates, click-throughs and bounces rates metrics;
- ‘Email Bounceback History with Messages’ to have a better understanding of the reasons of the hard and soft bounces;
- ‘Email Unsubscribes Overview’ to monitor the SPAM unsubscribes for complaints.
During the warm-up period we made also use of Return Path's Sender Score to monitor the reputation of the new IP, however we relied more on the information we had from the Insight reports metrics to monitor the email deliverabilty. The reason of this is that we were aware of the evolution in the industry that makes the reputation score as a single metric to evaluate a good or poor deliverability is outdated (for further information on this topic refer to the article in Topliners ‘The Demise of the Deliverability Reputation Score’).
Before starting the new IP warming a basic training was put in place remotely and with the help of a custom training guide with the purpose to educate the end users that would create future emails assets in choosing the correct settings for the emails to avoid impacting the deliverability of each business units and their respective IP addresses since they had multiple Bounceback Addresses and Virtual MTA to choose from, due to the IP routing.
At the end of the warm-up and ramp-up period each business unit was using their own IP for their marketing activities with no impact to the deliverability of the original brand.
Marketing Cloud courses useful for this project: