An important decision you have to make as an email marketer is whether to send your email from dedicated or shared IPs. The benefits of these two types are very different. Also, IP reputation works differently depending on whether you are using dedicated and shared IPs. Above all, reputation factors are the most important because mailbox providers heavily rely on it when they are determining whether to deliver your email to the inbox or the spam folder.
Here are the advantages of each type of IP addresses:
With a dedicated IP, you can:
- Establish and be accountable for your own IP reputation. Unlike shared IPs, your emails are not grouped with other senders’ email when you use dedicated IPs. Often the other senders on a shared IP are less diligent, and if their reputation is poor, it can negatively affect yours. Having a dedicated IP allows you to monitor and control your own reputation.
- Troubleshoot the root cause of your deliverability issues more easily. With an IP dedicated to just your company’s email, you can monitor and manage your inbox placement, and identify issues with bulking and blocking so you can more quickly find and resolve the problem.
- Use multiple dedicated IPs to segment your list based on message type, engagement level, and more. With this approach, you can protect your critical mail streams, such as transactional email, from marketing or promotional email that might generate higher complaint rates or other reputation or deliverability challenges.
With a shared IP, you can:
- Establish a reputation and history with mailbox providers if you are a low-volume sender. It can take longer or be more difficult to build a reputation when you are not sending a lot of email.
- Avoid the need to warm up your IPs. Seasonal mailers would not need to go through a warm up process each year, saving time and effort.
- Save money. Shared IPs are less costly than dedicated IPs.
Making the decision to use a dedicated or shared IP should be based on your specific business needs. The ideal solution for email marketing is to use a dedicated IP because you are responsible for your own email deliverability and reputation.
Shared IPs are more suitable for low-volume and seasonal senders but are a good solution for senders without the budget for dedicated IPs.
Shared IP address recommendations
If dedicated IPs are not an option:
- Ask your Email Service Provider (ESP) what types of senders share your IPs.
- Ask about the vetting process for adding new senders and email lists.
- Be aware that senders who share the IPs affect your inbox delivery, and your reputation will only be as good as the weakest sender.