IP segmentation is a popular best practice recommended by many mailbox providers to help improve deliverability. Effectively implementing IP segmentation for your email program involves careful planning and a commitment to email marketing fundamentals. When deciding how to segment your IP addresses and executing your plan, follow these best practices to help improve your chances of success.
Keys to effective IP segmentation
- Start with a simple plan: Many senders have success with separating marketing from transactional email first and then further segment later as needed based on performance. But, you need to decide what level of IP segmentation is necessary based on your specific business need and budget.
- Clean up your data: Prior to implementing your IP segmentation plan, take the opportunity to clean up your email list file of unknown users, addresses with malformed domains (Gmial.com, Yaoho.com, etc.), role accounts (sales@), disposable addresses, and unengaged subscribers. Better quality data helps you achieve better results.
- Create a transition plan if shifting email over IP addresses you already own: If you do have enough existing IP addresses, be sure to create a transition plan to shift the volume accordingly. Changes in sending behavior need to be managed so as to minimize any disruption to deliverability. Be conservative from a timing perspective to give spam filters time to adjust.
- Measure performance: Measure IP segmentation performance to determine if additional segmentation is required. Use data to help you make informed decisions. (Inbox placement, reads, conversions, complaints, unsubscribes, revenue, average order value, webinar attendance, etc.)
- Warm up new IP addresses and domains: New IP addresses and domains take 30 days on average to be warmed up properly and establish a sending reputation. Not warming up your IP address and domain can lead to long-term deliverability problems.
- Update your complaint feedback loops: Subscriber complaints are one of the biggest influences on your sending reputation and inbox placement. Be sure to update all of your complaint feedback loops with a new IP address and domain.
- Update your authentication: Ensure your Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) records are updated and are configured properly with no errors.
- Use a minimal number of IP addresses: Be careful not to use too many IP addresses as you may be perceived as a snowshoe spammer.
- Follow your plan: Sometimes email can unintentionally be sent from different IP addresses than what you planned which can skew the results and potentially cause deliverability problems. Ensure all of your email streams are accounted for and are allocated to the correct IP addresses.