Changing ESPs? Follow these steps to help make the transition go smoothly

If you are only considering changing ESPs or if you have already made the decision to move to a new ESP, notify your Account Manager or Relationship Manager as soon as possible so you can get more information and so you have time to properly plan the migration.

Proper planning and execution is vital to minimize disruptions to your business during the transition. Warming up new IPs and domains is not always a simple process. How it is executed can be determined by the complexity and nuances of your email program including sending volume, frequency, IP & list segmentation, number of email streams, number of brands, and list quality.

Step 1: Notify your Account Manager or Relationship Manager

If you are a Gold Plus or Platinum level service customer, your Account Manager will guide you through this process and work with the Certification team to add your new IPs.

If you are a Silver Plus, Gold, Certification-only, or self-service customer, please follow the steps below.

Step 2: Notify the Certification team

If you are a Certification customer and you do not notify or have an Account Manager or Relationship Manager, please notify the Certification team about your ESP change plans.

  • If you are increasing the number of IP addresses or domains and/or you anticipate the warmup taking more than three months (most warmups can be completed in 4-6 weeks on average), contact the Certification team at A Certification Specialist will work with you should your service level need adjusting.
  • If you are only replacing the current number of IPs and domains and not increasing send volume, you can contact the Certification team once the IPs have been allocated to your account by your new ESP. Proceed to the next step.

Supporting resources:

Step 3: Choose an ESP

For specific questions you can ask an ESP during your due diligence process, refer to the Return Path blog: How to Choose an Email Service Provider.

Supporting resources:

Step 4: Acquire your new IP address number(s) and domain name(s) from your new ESP and/or hosting provider.  Don’t start your warmup yet!

  • If you are a Certification customer, be sure the IPs are dedicated. Only dedicated IP addresses can be added to your Certification account.

Step 5: Add your new IP to your Certification account.

If you did not notify the Certification team in Step 2 above, please be sure to add your IPs to your Certification account prior to starting the IP warmup process. The Certification team will add them to your account and work with you if there are any issues with compliance.

  • Contact the Certification team by sending an email to: Be sure to include your business name, your name and contact information and the list of new IPs you wish to add to your account.
  • New IPs undergo infrastructure checks from the Certification team to ensure they are in compliance. These checks often surface issues that could cause problems during the IP warmup which you can fix before the warmup begins.

Step 6: Set up your new IP and domain with the Return Path Product Suite

Start collecting data on your new IPs to help spot potential issues with your deliverability and sending reputation during and after the warmup process.

  • Contact your Account Manager to add your new IP to Reputation Monitor
  • Set up the seed list for Inbox Monitor with your new ESP
  • Add any new domains to Inbox Insight
  • Set up your custom and special tags for tracking within Email Client Monitor

Step 7: Warm up new IP and/or new domain

Warming up your new IP address or domain is extremely important and can have a negative effect on your deliverability if not managed correctly. Contact your Account Manager or Relationship Manager if you are interested in receiving a managed IP warmup service with a Return Path Professional Services consultant.

Prior to warming up your new IP, confirm that the new IP has been added to your Certification account by checking your Certification dashboard in the Return Path Product Suite or by reviewing your Daily Performance Report (DPR). During the warmup process, your new IP will receive Certification benefits as long as compliance thresholds are met.

If you prefer to warmup your new IP or domain on your own, the articles below can provide general guidance to help you warm them up successfully.

If you are a Certification customer and have any delays during the warmup process, please keep your Account Manager, Relationship Manager, and/or the Certification team updated to help prevent potential suspensions of your new IPs. Delays sometime happen, so keeping the Certification team updated can help the process go smoothly. Contact the Certification team by sending an email to:

Step 8: Notify the Certification team when the warmup is complete and the old IPs have zero volume.

Contact the Certification team by sending an email to: Let them know that the warmup is complete so they can remove the old IP addresses from your account. Be sure to include your business name, your name and contact information, and the list of old IP addresses you wish to remove from your account.


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