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Zoho Marketing Automation Domain Warm Up And Zoho Marketing Automation IP Warm Up

November 22, 2020
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Zoho Marketing Automation Domain Warm Up And Zoho Marketing Automation IP Warm Up

If you landed here, you are probably serious about Zoho email deliverability

Think about how you landed on this page. What did you search for? Was it:

The point is, you are probably serious about ensuring your Zoho emails are being delivered. Is this your first email marketing platform? Probably not. As a Zoho solutions provider, we see clients switching to and from email service providers continually. They realize their emails are no longer making it to recipients inboxes. If they migrate to a new email platform, all email will start to get delivered again, right? #Not. While researching email marketing platforms, they start reaching out to email service providers and what do you think happens? If you said the Sales person at the provider said their platform is different then others, they “work with ISPs” to ensure their email is delivered, you’d be right. Perhaps the email provider also had some awesome marketing materials and videos that confirmed you have made the right decision my switching to their platforms. The truth is, most all the providers use the same technical principles and practices. What usually differentiates them is their on-boarding team responsible for asking you the right questions and whether they offer total control of technical resources such as shared IP address pools or static IP addresses or custom domains. Salesforce markets this technical package as ‘Sender Authentication Package‘ Some large but inexpensive email service providers (MailChimp / Constant Contact) do a really bad job at working with their clients to ensure the clients have all the technical checklist completed. If you dig into their technical documentation, sometimes the information is there. As a Zoho solution provider to small businesses, we know many businesses have 1-2 people that setting up the email platform falls to. They have no experience setting up these platforms and usually do not configure their web presence so the world knows the email service provider is authorized to send emails as their company.
Warm Up IP address in Zoho Marketing Automation-1

How do you warm up the IP address using Zoho Marketing Automation or Zoho Campaigns

Unfortunately, the answer is you cannot warm up your IP in Zoho because there is no IPs to warm up. You and every other customer that uses Zoho are using a pool of IP addresses to send your email. Zoho does not make this pool of IP addresses known. Let’s say they have 50 IP addresses that send their client emails. Well, a doctor’s office Zoho client with 25 nurses is using the same IP address pool to send emails as the Zoho client that is using a 30-day trial, or a mom-and-pop bakery trying to get their business email marketing setup. At a very low level, that information is correct, but let’s hope Zoho doesn’t let the 30-day trial people tarnish our IP reputation :). I am only referring to IP warming as it pertains to Zoho Marketing Automation and Zoho Campaigns. For those of you who have used Zoho’s marketing platform, you know that every email campaign has to be approved before actually sending. This is one way Zoho tries to keep the 50 (probably more than 50, just need a number) IP addresses we all share in good standing with ISP’s. They actually have humans manually checking every email you send before it goes out. At least they have a process to keep our Zoho IP address kinda spam-free. So, the answer is, you cannot warm up an IP when sending via Zoho’s marketing platforms.

How do you warm up the domain using Zoho Marketing Automation or Zoho Campaigns

Fortunately, you CAN warm up your Domain in Zoho Marketing Automation or Zoho Campaigns. One caveat I’ll toss out there is your email domain is probably the same domain you use to send your professional one-off emails using Microsoft Outlook. Why does that matter? Well, its because you most likely already have a domain reputation and score from the major ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc).  After all, you have been sending emails from your office computers, probably for years. What about all the previous email marketing platforms you used to send out your emails? They were sent from your domain so it has a history. I am referring to what if you have a new domain name to warm up in Zoho’s marketing platforms? Let’s say you have been using the domain, maybe you should think about using a subdomain ( or a new domain altogether ( for sending your bulk emails. This way, you get a new domain to start a new domain reputation building and if you are like many email marketing provider clients, you send some salesy emails with keywords and CTA that could be classified as kinda spammy. You do not want your office emails to be related to a spammy domain, hence we use a subdomain or a new domain. Have a domain you want to view its reputation? Here is a great resource from Sendgrid. Please visit QuakeCinch’s blog post on using subdomains.
Something to know when warming your domain in Zoho marketing products is to start slow! I cannot stress this enough. How slow? For new domains try sending no more than 20 per hour. You can use Zoho batch sending to limit how many emails you want to send per hour. The last thing you want to do is have a new domain (or dedicated IP) and Boom – Send to a list of 25k plus recipients, wait 5 days, and Boom – another 25K emails. To ISP’s, that behavior reeks of being a spammer. Believe it or not, you should send regular one-off emails with your new email domain. Get a $3 a month GoDaddy email plan and set up an email address with the new domain and start sending to people like friends, family, and co-workers. Send to their Gmail accounts and other ISP accounts. Make sure they reply to you. Do this for a few weeks if possible. Why? This is how email should work, send an email, wait a little while, then get a reply. It’s showing ISP’s that you are a real person and you are starting to warm up your domain in Zoho. Below is a table of suggesting hourly sends to start with. As you can see, start very slow and warm up slowly. Once you get up into the few hundred per hour range, your emails will be flying out in a timely manner.
Warm up Domain before sending in Zoho Marketing Automation-1
One method to warm up your domain to send in Zoho is if you have web forms that are integrated into your older marketing platform or website, configure the web forms so that new submissions go to Zoho marketing platform. You will have to send two emails out, but this will ensure you are sending to valid email addresses and people that want your email. What better way to warm up a domain than that? And, you’ll be working with the Zoho product so you will learn. Another option is to find all contact names that start with an A, B, or C and import those into Zoho marketing platform of choice. You are starting slowly and sending to real people who want your emails.

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC DNS records and how do they help with Zoho email deliverability

Here are some other terms you have probably learned about while researching and trying to get the best delivery rates when sending marketing emails using Zoho. We will not go into details here but they are imperative to have correctly implemented. Again, I see so many ‘accidental techies‘ that are not IT specialists put in time and effort only to not put in place all the settings that tell the world who can send and how your business sends emails.

Let’s start with SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records. These settings tell the world what domains and IP addresses are authorized to send as your domain. I see it time and time again where a business sets up SPF records for their email service provider (Gmail, Office 365, GoDaddy, MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc) but they forget to include the IP address of their web server. If a server is sending emails, it needs to be included in the SPF. PERIOD!! Just to confuse you, if you have a pool of IP addresses a service uses to send emails on your behalf, you can add the IP block in CIDR notation. Zoho requires you to set up an SPF record before you can send emails. If for some reason the SPF record gets updated, be sure to put the SPF record for Zoho marketing platform back in because while Zoho does not continue to check your SPF record is still set up correctly, the email services receiving your emails are checking for each email.

Now to DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) Zoho settings. DKIM records are required by Zoho to send emails from their marketing platforms. This is basically a long string of characters attached to your emails when your email server sends emails. It’s kinda like a unique fingerprint that your email server uses to tell the rest of the world that when they get an email with this published fingerprint, it is from our organization.

Now to DMARC (Domain Message Authentication Reporting) settings. DMARC is not required by Zoho, but it can be powerful when implemented correctly. Many “IT Pros” do not implement DMARC DNS records. The idea is you get a report from ISP’s sent to your business designated email address. Could be your receptionist, could be the CEO, doesn’t matter but you will need to include the email address for ISP’s to send the report to. Let’s say you have your DKIM and SPF records set up correctly. Now, a co-worker comes along and they purchase a new email service without telling you, perhaps an email service that reaches out to congress, or a service that sends aggregated data, or maybe they open a CRM account with another vendor. They have not told the rest of the world that the new services are authorized to send as your domain. You will get a report from ISP’s daily, or every few days, and that report will show you someone is trying to impersonate your email domain. The action here is to add SPF and DKIM to the newly acquired email service. Another reason this DMARC is great is you can control what ISP’s do with your emails if the emails do not pass SPF or DKIM tests. If you know ALL the services that send emails on your behalf and they all have SPF and DKIM, you can tell ISP’s to either quarantine or reject emails that do not pass the SPF or DKIM tests. The reason to do this is let’s say your domain is being spoofed or heaven forbid an account has been compromised and emails are being sent via an external SMTP server. If you enable “reject” in your DMARC record, then all emails that do not pass the SPF and DKIM tests are not pushed to recipient spam folders by the ISP, they are outright deleted. Setting your DMARC Quarantine with telling the ISP to push emails that do not pass SPF and DKIM, to push them to the quarantine/spam folders of the email inboxes.  Confused yet? We could continue down the email deliverability rabbit hole, but this post is about Zoho email deliverability.

I hope this post helps Zoho Marketing Automation customers with their email deliverability. If anything, perhaps we introduced new concepts to a few or provided a different way of explaining things. Let us know if you have questions!