How to Warm Up My Domain Before Email Outreach

woodpecker domain warmup

If you’re a reader of the Woodpecker blog, it’s not news for you that you need to warm up an email address. It’s actually one of the first things you need to do before you start email outreach. But an email address isn’t the only thing that needs a bit of prep. We need to warm up a fresh domain too.

Warming up a domain resembles warming up an email address. Yet, a newly registered domain warm-up takes way longer than that of any mailbox. Don’t worry though. The steps you should take to warm up your domain before cold outreach are pretty similar to the ones you go through with a new email address.

I’ll walk you through them in this blog post, but you also have another option: to warm up your email domain automatically with Woodpecker Warm-up & Recovery

How to warm up a new domain

If you’re more of a video learner, let Julia walk you through the process of warming up your email domain:


When you start sending cold emails without warming up your domain first, you risk burning it. And once this happens, your emails will stop getting delivered.

You see when your emails stop reaching the inbox, you can blame

  • your copy,
  • prospect base,
  • email address configuration,
  • IP address,
  • a domain.

While you can control your copy and prospect base, plus recover your email & IP address, a burned domain is pretty useless for sending emails. Whoever had an email on your domain, that user will also have a problem. Even if they don’t do anything wrong.

There are some steps you can take to improve your domain reputation. However, they rarely work for domains that weren’t warmed up in the first place. Treat them more as ways to prevent deliverability problems rather than the actual steps that will rescue your domain.

Important: There’s a connection between blacklisting a domain and blacklisting a mailbox. So make sure you follow every deliverability check before you send your campaign to prevent getting into spam. Here’s the list of things to keep an eye on:

14 Deliverability Checks to Carry Out Before Sending Your Cold Email Outreach >>

Why does the domain warm-up process take so long?

Warming up an email domain takes much more time than warming up an email address. We should spend at least three months before it’s ready for outbound. Why’s that?

Domain reputation

Every domain has its own reputation. What kind of a reputation a domain gets depends on many factors. One of the factors is its age. You can check how old your domain is here.

Reputation is something that is earned over time. It doesn’t happen automatically. What’s more, when you register a new domain it’s treated as suspicious. Spam filters check domain’s age and when it’s younger than a month, they will mark it as suspicious. It’s done by default. And when you send messages from a suspicious domain, your messages are treated as suspicious too. So it’s better to wait at least three months before you start sending out cold emails.

Can’t I use my company domain?

In some cases, like when you reach out to your current customer base to contact them, you may use your company domain to send emails. It has a good reputation. It’s been there for a while. You don’t need to spend time on warming it up.

But you shouldn’t use your company domain to get leads. It’s not a good idea. You may run into troubles and burn the main domain that you use every day for business. Watch out. Even a good copy doesn’t prevent you from getting blacklisted.

It’s better to keep it safe, register a new domain and warm it up so it’s ready for email outreach.

What are the steps of warming up an email domain?

Once you registered a domain, you need to properly warm it up. This process will take about three months.

However, there are a couple of things that may prolong or even disturb the domain warm-up process

  • a suspicious frequency of email sending (for instance, sending 100 emails the first day)
  • a low quality of addressee list (a lot of bounced emails)
  • setting up more than 1 email account

Therefore, sending massive campaigns to untargeted prospects with many follow-ups is a sure fire way to a bad sending reputation. To earn a good one, take it slowly. Just follow those 4 steps.

Important notice about domain name

Keep in mind that the name of your new domain should be consistent with the name of your main one. A domain name appears in your email address. An email address is a part of your message. Choosing a domain name that’s not in line with your main website is confusing.

For that reason, we set up as a domain we send outbound emails from. It refers to our main domain — The email address for outreach looks something like [email protected].

STEP 1: Set up an email account – no more than one

Set up a new email address that you’re going to use for outbound. Learn the sending limits set by your email provider which will tell you how many emails you can send a day.

After 1-2 months you can add another email address on your domain if you want. It’s important not to rush anything. Keep the domain warm-up process slow to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Info for G Suite users

If you use G Suite trial version, you’ve got your limit set on 500 emails. You may want to upgrade to premium to increase your limits. But you have to pay for 6 months upfront to send more than 500 emails a day.

More on that here: What are Email Sending Limits for various email hosts? >>

STEP 2: Configure your email address

First, you need to take care of MX record (mail exchange record) which is used to gather replies. Set up the from line and a signature. Then get onto technical configuration. Set up SPF & DKIM, plus DMARC records. All of those are crucial when it comes to sending and receiving email.

STEP 3: Send a handful of emails manually

The safest way to warm up a new domain is to send emails by hand. But don’t do it in the same week you register a domain. Do it in the second or third week. And start warming up your email domain by sending only a couple of emails every day.

And since the quality of email addresses plays a huge role here, send them to addresses you know. They can be your emails. Or emails of your friends who will gladly reply back. It would be best if the addresses were set up at different email providers, such as AOL, Yahoo, Yandex, Gmail, Outlook, etc.

Reply rate matters a lot, especially to Gmail.

Try to reach out to business emails. If you can ask your friends to give you their business email address. Ask them to respond and you reply back like you would do normally when you exchange any other correspondence.

It’s important to make it seem natural. The frequency and volume of emails you send during the domain warm-up process should seem natural, so don’t use any automation at this point. Even those which send emails at random intervals, such as Woodpecker.

The email content plays a role too. Write like a human being. Don’t copy and paste some text you found online. No “lorem ipsum” types of messages. Make it simple and conversational.

STEP 4: Prepare a test campaign in Woodpecker

After you check your reputation, log into Woodpecker and send your first automated email campaign. You need up to twenty email addresses that you trust will not bounce. In an ideal scenario, those addresses belong to your friends and colleagues, so you know they are real and you’ll get a reply.

You can send a test email at Woodpecker to an email address you generated at Mail-Tester. It will assess your email copy, so use the email copy you want to send in your actual campaign. There’s more about it in the blog post about warming up an email account.

How to Warm Up an Email Address Before Cold Outreach >>

Summing up

An email domain needs some time to get properly warmed up and be ready for outbound. So don’t rush the process. Don’t send massive campaigns and don’t set up multiple email addresses on your domain.

Remember that when you send massive campaigns even if your domain is old and has a good reputation may burn your domain. Take it lean and you should be alright.