Ultimate Guide on Setting Up a Cold Prospecting Domain (And Why It's Vital)

Brandon Pizzacalla
October 11, 2022

You don't want to use your main company domain to send cold emails because there is a chance that your emails start to be sent to spam. Imagine if you could no longer communicate with customers or investors!

We recommend setting up a separate domain that is used solely for cold prospecting. If you set it up properly, and use targeted and personalized email messaging, you shouldn't ever go to spam. But it's important to save and protect your main domain.

However, you can't just buy a new domain and start sending cold emails. In this article, we'll show you how to properly set up a brand new domain and get it warmed up so that you can start cold prospecting.

You may need the help of a developer to complete this task. If you'd rather we handle it for you we offer a domain setup and management service - just ask!

We'll cover the following items in this article:

  1. Buying and properly setting up a new domain
  2. Warming a domain manually
  3. Warming a domain using GrowthGenius instead

1. Buying a New Domain

The first step in the process is buying a new domain and getting it properly set up and verified.

  1. Buy a new domain from your favourite domain registrar. We use Namecheap.

    We recommend buying a domain that's on-brand, yet does not contain any keywords from your main domain. For example, our main domain is www.growthgenius.com but we might purchase www.getGGlead.com as our prospecting domain.
  2. Sign up for a Google Apps account for your new domain

    You must use a paid business Google Apps account. The free account will not work!

    Simply follow the instructions from Google. If you haven't dealt with domains and DNS records before, consider recruiting the help of a developer.
  3. Setup your SPF, DMARC, and DKIM records

    When properly set up, these records tell email servers that you are "verified" and improve your ability to hit the inbox. 

    a) SPF Record:
    - Type: TXT
    - Host: @
    - Value: v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all

    b) DMARC Record:
    - Type: TXT
    - Host: _dmarc
    - Value: v=DMARC1; p=none

    c) DKIM Setup
  4. Setup domain forwarding.

    Just in case someone types your prospecting domain into the URL bar you'll redirect them to your actual website.

    These are set in the DNS records.

    a) Record 1
    - Type: URL Redirects Record   
    - Host:  WWW   
    - Value: http://(main domain)

    b) Record 2
    - Type: URL Redirects Record   
    - Host:  @   
    - Value: http://(main domain)

  5. Check that everything is set up!

    - Google's tool should show a green checkmark at the top.
    - Mail Tester should have a score of at least 8/10

2. Warming Your New Domain Manually

Properly warming a domain build credibility. It shows that you are sending emails that other people want to read and reply to. Building that trust early will mean that you will soon be able to send cold emails and hit the inbox.

You will need 100 real people that you can email from your new address, all of who will open and respond to your emails. Ideally, these people have email accounts with a variety of providers (Gmail, Yahoo!, private servers, etc). 

It's important to have a large number of people and a variety of providers because that is the best way to build reputation and trust for your domain. You need to show evidence that you're a real person and that you're sending emails people actually want to read!

Here's the process:

Day 1 - 3: 

  • Send 5 emails to 5 new people each day.
  • Each email should be unique and most emails should get a reply (you might need to let these people know what you're doing so that they do respond)

Day 4 - 12:

  • Send 10 - 15 emails to 10 - 15 new people each day until you hit 100 people

Day 13 - 20:

  • You should have received a bunch of replies from all of your contacts. Spend these days replying back to those replies. Spread your replies out somewhat evenly.

Day 21 - 45:

  • There's no magic day when we know your domain is warmed up. But somewhere between day 21 and 45, you should be warmed up.
  • During these days continue to respond and interact with the contacts that have replied to you.

Once "warmed up"

  • Now you can start cold prospecting! But hold up...
  • You need to ramp up your cold prospecting slowly, while at the same time continuing to have conversations with the 100 people above
  • During the two weeks of cold prospecting, you should be sending only 10-15 cold emails per day.
  • After the first two weeks, you can slowly ramp up your daily email sending rates.
  • By the second month, you can likely be sending 50 - 100 emails per day.

3. Warming Your New Domain using GrowthGenius

We've built an automated peer-to-peer email warming system within our platform. You can turn it on with one click.

Here's how you do it:

  1. Go to the Email Warming page in your account (sign up is required)
  2. Enable email warming
  3. Set "maximum daily emails" to 40
  4. Set "ramp up" to 10

You'll be ready to send emails in 1-2 weeks!

Watch out for:

  • More emails suddenly going to spam! If this happens, reduce the number of cold emails you are sending per day by 50% and increase the number of conversations you're having with the 100 contacts above.
  • Sending emails to lists you found on random websites. These lists may have honeypot email addresses, which are set up to capture people who are sending mass emails. If you hit this honeypot address with an email you might be blacklisted immediately and most of your emails will hit spam.
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