Email marketing has been a popular and effective way for businesses of all sizes to reach out to their customers and remains one of the most preferred and personalized marketing channels.
However, delivering marketing messages to land subscribers' inboxes has become increasingly challenging due to spam filters and email service providers' ever-evolving algorithms.
As an email marketer, you're not alone in facing this challenge. Email deliverability rates have been a long-standing issue for email marketers.
To overcome this problem, email warm-up services emerged as a solution to help businesses build their email-sending reputation quicker with automated systems.
The Silicon Valley Giant, Google, one of the largest email providers, has led to email warmup services shutdown, leaving email marketers scrambling for new solutions.
What does this mean for your email marketing strategy?
How will you maintain your email deliverability rates without email warm-up services?
In this article, we'll look at how the recent email warm-up services shutdown affects marketers like you.
And, we'll explore why Google made this decision, how it impacts email marketers, and the alternative strategies available to warm-up Google email accounts.
So, if you're an email marketer looking to navigate the changing email marketing landscape, keep reading!
Email warm-up is a process of gradually increasing the volume of emails sent from a new email account or domain to establish a positive reputation with email service providers (ESPs) and ensure high email deliverability rates.
This involves sending low-volume emails to engaged recipients and gradually increasing the sending volume over time while monitoring email metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates.
The goal of email warm-up is to establish a positive sender reputation and avoid being marked as spam or being blacklisted by ESPs.
This process is especially important for email marketers who are starting a new outreach campaign or using a new email address or domain.
Email warm-up typically involves the following steps:
Email warm-up services have arisen as a solution for marketers to automate and streamline the email warm-up process.
They provide a range of features, including email scheduling, sending volume control, and recipient engagement monitoring.
These services work by sending out emails to a network of users for the account by engaging with a specific set of emails to build trustworthiness in the sender domain.
This way will boost the likelihood that emails sent from the new email account are more likely to be delivered to the intended recipient's mailbox rather than the spam folder.
Google aims to put its users' safety first and protect them from spam by taking measures against automated email warm-up services.
Email marketers use these tools to bypass Google's security measures in order to send promotional messages that may appear organic—eventually, they are not, which leads to violating Google's anti-spam policies.
Another reason for Google to clamp down on Gmail warmup services is due to the fact that they violate Google API policies. Google does not want to allow third-party services to utilize its API in a way, as it could lead to potential security risks for its users.
Google has made it clear that it does not want email marketers to use automated tools to artificially inflate their email-sending reputation.
Email warm-up services are seen as a way to game the system by sending a high volume of emails without prior engagement or relationship with the recipients.
Furthermore, email warm-up services can be used to send unsolicited or spam emails, which violates Google's policies against spam and abuse.
And, Google strongly emphasizes the potential security risks associated with warm-up email services. These services often require access to users' Google account credentials, which can be a security risk if not properly authenticated with standard security measures.
Google is one of the most preferred email service providers by businesses because of its ease of use and value for the price. Google carries close to a 30% market share in email services for businesses with its GSuite service.
Google’s ban on Gmail warm-up services significantly impacts the cold emailing game for email marketers, as it will no longer be possible to connect Google accounts for automated email warm-ups.
However, certain warmup services like Lemwarm still offer these services to their customers by switching from API to an IMAP-based authentication protocol.
Email marketers can workaround other email service providers (EPSs) such as Outlook, Zoho Mail, and Yahoo! for automated cold email warm-ups as of now.
Google’s decision will undoubtedly impact other EPSs to crack down on warm-up services in the near future.
Email marketing has been a key component of digital marketing for decades. It remains an undeniable marketing channel for businesses to reach and engage with customers in a cost-effective way.
Email warmup services have been a popular method of ensuring successful email deliverability, but recent changes in Google's policies may restrict this practice.
However, it's important to note that email marketing will continue to exist and thrive even without email warm-up services.
Without email warmup services, email marketers would need a more manual approach to build a sender reputation.
Moreover, email marketers can still warm up their email accounts by gradually increasing their email volume over time without using warm-up services. This may take longer, but it can still lead to a positive sender reputation with ESPs like Google.
Additionally, marketers may need to invest in other email service providers (ESPs) that offer their own custom systems in place without third-party tools, such as Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Klaviyo, or Hubspot.
Another way email marketers can continue to have high deliverability rates is by building their email lists organically. This means that they will need to focus on acquiring email addresses through opt-in forms, lead magnets, and other organic methods rather than purchasing email lists.
The absence of email warm-up services for Google accounts may pose a challenge for email marketers, but it does not mean the end of email marketing.
By integrating your email outreach tools with other GTM tools, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of your GTM performance without relying on spreadsheets. Consider exploring Dataflo, a platform designed to assist founders and marketers in streamlining their reporting processes and saving time.
Google’s restrictions on email warm-up services, many popular warm-up tools have had to adjust their services or even shut down. Here's what some of the most popular warm-up tools say about the changes:
GMass: GMass, a popular email marketing tool working with over 80,000 email accounts, has stated that it will no longer offer Gmail warm-up service due to the restriction.
In the fall of 2022, Google instructed GMass to turn off its warmup system else this would cause a loss of access to the Gmail API.
As a result, GMass announced that they were shutting down their email warmup system on January 31st, 2023.
Lemwarm: Lemwarm, another popular email warm-up service, has reported in its newsletter that it will continue to provide email warm-up service and running successfully.
In August 2022, Lemwarm changed its authentication method from API to IMAP protocol to avoid Google’s restrictions so that they can still provide email warm-up services.
Saleshandy: Saleshandy, which offers a range of email marketing and sales automation tools, has also been affected and announced that they are shutting down their Gmail warm-up service for Google accounts due to Google’s clamp down. Saleshandy’s other ESPs email warm services are still functioning as usual.
In a blog post, the company wrote that it is working on alternative strategies to help Gmail users warm up their email accounts and maintain good deliverability rates.
Woodpecker: Woodpecker, a popular email automation tool, has also had to adjust its services to comply with Google's terms of service. In a blog post, the company stated that they no longer offer the automated warm-up feature for Google accounts.
Warmup Inbox: Warmup Inbox, a dedicated email warm-up service, hasn’t made any public announcement yet about Google’s clamp down.
It still provides email warm-up services to Google Accounts for its existing and new customers. Instead of using Google’s API, Warmup Inbox connects via the second-factor authentication and application-specific password method.
Instantly.ai: Instantly.ai, a relatively new entrant to the email warm-up market, has also not made any public statement regarding Google’s restriction on Gmail warm-up services.
We spoke with their chat support, who confirmed that they hadn’t been affected by Google’s regulations and will continue offering warm-up services to Google accounts.
Here are some alternative strategies email marketers can use to improve their email deliverability rates.
Use Warm-Up services built with IMAP: An alternative strategy to warm up Google email accounts is to use a warm-up service built with IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) instead of Google’s API.
Look for a service that uses a secure IMAP connection and has a good reputation for helping to warm up email accounts.
Remember that IMAP-based warm-up services may require you to provide login credentials for your email account, so choose a reputable service that prioritizes security and privacy.
Use other ESPs warm-up services: If you have access to other email service providers (ESPs), you can use their warm-up services to warm up your Google email accounts.
Some ESPs offer warm-up services as part of their email marketing packages, and they may be able to help you warm up your accounts more quickly and effectively than you could on your own.
Be sure to research the ESP and their warm-up services before using them to ensure they are reputable and align with your email marketing goals.
Embrace manual warm-up: While email warm-up services can be helpful, when no longer available, you can also warm up your Google email accounts manually.
This involves gradually increasing the volume of emails you send over time and monitoring your email deliverability closely.
Start by sending a small number of emails to your most engaged subscribers and gradually increase the volume over several weeks. Pay close attention to your email deliverability and adjust your strategy as necessary.
Here are a few strategies that can be employed to help maintain deliverability and protect the reputation of a domain.
Take advantage of Google’s Postmaster Tools: Postmaster Tools, a tool from Google that can help you monitor outgoing emails and improve your email deliverability rates. It provides valuable insights into how Google is handling your emails, including data on spam reports, delivery errors, and feedback loops.
Refraining from using spam trigger words: Certain words and phrases are commonly associated with spam emails and can trigger spam filters. Avoiding these words in your subject lines and email content can help improve your email deliverability.
Personalize your emails: Personalized emails are more likely to be opened and engaged than generic ones. Use the recipient's name and other relevant information to draft your emails more relevant and personal.
Focus more on engagement: Engage your subscribers consistently with relevant and valuable content. This will help to improve your email deliverability and increase the chances of your emails getting opened and read.
Sender reputation monitoring: Monitor your sender reputation regularly using tools such as Sender Score or Barracuda Reputation Block List. This can help you identify and resolve issues affecting your email deliverability rates.
Email list hygiene: Use verification tools like ZeroBounce, or Snovio to clean your email list and remove invalid email addresses.
Clean your email list regularly by removing inactive subscribers, bounced emails, or email addresses that have marked your emails as spam.
This technique can improve your email deliverability rates by ensuring that your emails are sent to engaged and active subscribers.
Avoiding attachments when unnecessary: Attachments can increase the likelihood of an email being marked as spam, especially if the attachment is large or contains certain file types. Only include attachments when necessary, and consider using links to share files instead.
Including a link for recipients to opt out of your emails: Providing an easy way for recipients to unsubscribe from your emails is not only a legal requirement but also helps improve your sender's reputation by reducing the number of spam complaints.
As email marketing continues to evolve and adapts to changing industry regulations and consumer preferences, it's crucial for marketers to stay informed and be proactive in ensuring their email campaigns are successful.
While email marketers may have to adjust their strategies for Gmail, they can still use email warm-up services for other ESPs to maintain their email deliverability rates.
Chances are high for other ESPs to commence following Google’s trend to clamp down the automated warmup services as they artificially inflate the email sender's reputation.
However, monitoring these services and ensuring they comply with best practices is important to avoid being penalized by Google's spam filters.
Email marketing, like every other form of online communication, is constantly evolving and dynamic. Email marketers who remain committed to providing value to their subscribers with relevant and meaningful content will also reap the benefits—building relationships with customers and growing their businesses in the process.
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