Using a dedicated IP address for your email marketing can be a great tool for improving your email deliverability… But is it right for you?
If you’ve been around email marketing field, then you’ve probably heard some discussion around the topic of email deliverability (a.k.a. The ability of your emails to end up in your contact’s inbox rather than the spam folder). And it’s tough to have a discussion about email deliverability without talking about sender IP addresses.
Many email marketing services allow you to choose between using a shared IP address and a dedicated IP address to send your emails. This decision is one of the big debates in email marketing when it comes to deliverability.
If you’re stuck deciding between the two, or you just want to know a bit more about the subject of dedicated IP addresses for email marketing, this article is for you!
Why does IP address matter for email marketing?
For those unfamiliar, an IP address (i.e. Internet Protocol address) is a numerical identifier assigned to a network-connected device (e.g. a laptop, cell phone, or server) that is used to facilitate the sending and receiving of information over the internet using the TCP/IP communication protocol. This also includes the simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP), which is the protocol used to send emails between different SMTP servers.
One of the main factors that email inbox providers like Gmail use to determine the quality of an incoming email is the sender reputation of the IP address from which the email originated. In other words, your IP reputation is key in making sure you have good email deliverability.
What’s the difference between a shared and dedicated IP?
As mentioned above, many email marketing software tools let you choose between a shared IP and a dedicated IP for sending your emails… But what does that mean exactly?
- Shared IP: You send emails from a server that is also sending emails for other users. The IP reputation is therefore determined based on an aggregate look at all of the sending activity from all users.
- Dedicated IP: You are the only sender on your IP, meaning the reputation is determined solely on your sending behavior.
Although it might seem like dedicated IP is always the best option, that’s not actually the case. For low-volume senders, it might not be worth the pain because dedicated IPs require a fair amount of work to set up. You also have to be very careful when you first start sending since your dedicated IP has no previous history or reputation with email inbox providers.
This warming up process for dedicated IPs is essential if you want to ensure that you stay in the good graces of email clients receiving your messages. Learn more about warming up a dedicated IP from our tutorial on the topic.
Meanwhile, email marketing service providers like SendinBlue usually work very hard to manage the reputation of their shared IP addresses. That means monitoring the performance of all users and making sure they meet minimum standards that prevent negative effects on the deliverability for others.
For many email senders, it might be better to forego the hassle of setting up a dedicated IP address and just stick with a shared IP.
When should you choose a dedicated IP address for email marketing?
Shared IPs for sending emails may be easier for many, but sometimes they just don’t cut it. If you have more advanced needs.
The main reasons that you would need to use a dedicated IP address for sending your emails include:
- You consistently send a high volume of emails
- You want to take full control of your sender reputation and deliverability
- You want to completely associate your emails with your domain rather than that of your email marketing service provider
The first on the list is the most common reason for using a dedicated IP address to send emails. That’s because email clients like Gmail and Yahoo are super aggressive about monitoring incoming messages, and you need to send a lot of emails consistently if you want to build up enough credit to become a trusted sender with them.
Luckily, all Premium plans on SendinBlue with 350,000 emails per month and above include a free dedicated IP to start owning your own deliverability.
Inbound Marketing Manager @SendinBlue. I love helping SMBs and eCommerce businesses reach a larger audience by writing on digital marketing best practices and advanced techniques. In my free time, you can probably find me skateboarding or tinkering in an overly-complex spreadsheet. 😉