All email marketing platforms offer a choice of shared IP address and dedicated IP address. How do you choose and what difference does it make to your everyday activities?
Each computer connected to the web is identified by an IP address that looks like a string of numbers. The servers on which the Internet sites, email clients, and all the digital services you use are themselves computers. They each have their own IP addresses.
If you’re sharing a server to host your site or services, your IP address may be shared with many other users whose websites (or mailboxes) are hosted on the same server.
To go deeper in learning about IPs and websites, you can read this post. Here, we deal with the characteristics of the IPs in relation to email marketing.
What is a shared IP?
IPs are usually shared because their number is limited and the demand is very high. Sharing addresses is a good way to optimize resources, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But the behavior of other people sharing the server can cause problems. The improper behavior of a small group of users can influence the performance of everyone else on the server. In extreme cases, that could affect the delivery rate of the IP.
In email marketing, an account that carries out illegal activities or sends spam will eventually be identified and penalized. Because it’s impossible to distinguish between individual users on a shared server, this affects the deliverability of everyone who shares the IP.
In short, a shared IP address does not allow full control and safeguarding of your work. The actions of other users will affect your reputation, and vice versa.
Professional services such as eMailChef adopt the solution of bringing together “virtuous” users—customers who do not penalize the reputation of the IP with their behavior—on the same shared address. The good reputation of each user improves everyone’s delivery rates.
The Benefits of a Dedicated IP
While a dedicated IP address generally requires a (small) initial investment, it can deliver a lasting advantage.
A personal IP address makes you the master of your reputation. The results of your email campaign will only reflect the quality of your work, from the collecting and segmenting of contacts down to the drafting of the emails’ content and the styling of its template.
It’s a big responsibility, but you also know that no one else will affect your results. If you encounter problems, you can react immediately. If this happens, take a look at our checklist to restore your email sender reputation.
Overcoming spam filters will be easier, as will being included in whitelists—lists of addresses with high reputations. Finally, since an IP address is monitored over time, if you send many emails it will be easier for you to build a solid reputation.
IP Address Warm-up
With a dedicated IP address you won’t be able to start sending mass emails right away. You will need to gradually increase the volume of messages while the provider learns about your IP. This step is called a warm-up.
A good email marketing service like eMailChef allows its experts to manage this phase before assigning the address.
If you want to know more about the relationship between IP address and reputation, read the in-depth report: “Email marketing and spam – Reputation is (almost) everything”.