Dedicated IP Address for Email Marketing: Do I need it?
Why would spam traps affect you?
If there’s even a single spam trap in your sending list, it could affect your ability to send emails to subscribers because they damage your reputation. So, if you think there’s a spam trap in your sending list, the next question is: How did you acquire this spam address? Having a spam trap in your mailing list is an indicator of bad email acquisition practices. It also reflects poorly on your ability to maintain a hygienic mailing list. With all this, ultimately, you are going to end up with a bad sender reputation and your mails will end up in the spam folder. To avoid spam traps and to not fall under the category of spammers, maintain hygienic list checking processes and have good sources of email address acquisition in place.
Fix the problem
You can’t really know whether or not you have a spam trapin your mailing list since there is no global service or listings which are available for reference. You can only follow certain procedures to make sure you do not end up with a spam trap.
The best way to identify a spam trap is by looking at your subscribers’ engagement with your email campaigns. Since spam traps are not addresses of actual people, there won’t be any kind of engagement like opens or clicks. But, it is advisable to keep an eye on your older as well as recent subscribers, they could most likely be spam traps.
Maintaining a good list quality is the only way to avoid spam traps
A dedicated IP address can do wonders for your email program, or so you might have. But dedicated IPs come at a cost and require maintenance. So how do you decide whether a dedicated IP is right for you or not? The decision depends on several factors. But first, the fundamentals:
What is a dedicated IP?
A dedicated IP address is a unique Internet address dedicated to a particular hosting account. This IP address can be used only by a single user or account to send emails. That means the reputation of the dedicated IP is solely determined by the sending frequency and the volume of emails sent by this single user.
So then what is a shared IP?
A shared IP is one that is used by multiple users for sending emails,
That’s because the reputation of the IP, in this case, depends on the entire group of users. If an IP address is blacklisted for sending SPAM email, this will impact all senders using the same shared IP pool.
Here’s a simple representation of Shared vs Dedicated IP:
Image source: 250oK.com
How reputation of IP impacts email delivery and sender reputation?
An email’s delivery largely depends upon the reputation of the IP used to send it. If you’re sending from an IP which has an orderly, maintained reputation, then your emails are more likely to be seen by your subscribers. However, if the reputation of sending IP is low, then your emails may end up in the spam box. It’s safe to say that the actions of one site owner can affect the IP reputation of everyone sharing that IP on the server.
By default, most service providers use a set of shared IP addresses to process and send your emails.
Sender reputation is defined by the activity of clients who share the same IP for sending emails. ESPs actively keep a check on shared IP’s reputation so as to ensure that the deliverability standards are maintained.
How do I know whether I need dedicated IP?
Most of our users ask whether or not should they use dedicated IP. There’s no exact answer to it.
Use dedicated IP if..
- You send out a healthy volume of emails on a regular basis. But remember, you are the sole influence on your sender reputation. You need to be sure that your email list is permission based and more importantly double opt-in.
- Some users also use dedicated IPs to separate their transactional and marketing volumes, so that the performance of marketing emails doesn’t harm that of transactional emails.
Do not go for dedicated IP if..
- You are not sending good volumes. Your IP’s reputation might get impacted as the receiving servers are not getting hits with large volumes, keeping them in dilemma of whether or not to trust that IP.
- You’ve higher than average bounce rate in turn affecting your IP reputation.
Here are a few benefits of using a dedicated IP address:
- Dedicated address controls reputation of your website and won’t be influenced by other user’s action, whereas in shared address, your website too considered as a malicious if the IP address is banned due to spamming activity done by any user.
- A dedicated address used for email service saves your service from being blacklisted and your email will not be counted as spam mail, as long as you have a permission based email list.
On the other hand…
Even if you’re sending refined emails (it can be your transactional volume) through a shared IP, there’s no guarantee that your emails will perform well. But why?
The answer to this is “One bad apple spoils the bunch”.
In a similar fashion, if other users on the same shared IP are sending shoddy emails,
Sorry to say this, yes I am saying it. Hold on!
Performance of your emails are being heavily impacted I repeat, heavily impacted.
If you’re sending transactional + promotional volume from same ESP, it is highly recommended to use a dedicated IP for the transactional volume.
Also creating a sub-user account might prove handy in this scenario, wherein you can add different sender domains for different type of volumes you’ll be sending within a single account.
Where do I get a dedicated IP address for sending emails?
You can get dedicated IPs from your respective ESPs. Some ESPs provide an interface to buy one, some give on a request basis, whereas some provide when you opt for a sub-user feature.
What’s the cost of a dedicated IP?
The cost varies across ESPs. At Pepipost, a dedicated IP is available at just $20/month
Before closing the discussion on dedicated IPs let’s go through the highlights of the article:
- IP Reputation: Operating on a sharing IP is sharing your reputation with other companies. Whereas having a dedicated IP puts you in the driving seat from the IP’s reputation perspective
- Monitoring & Maintenance: Working on a dedicated IP helps you to keep a check on its performance and take action on any issues that surface. Regularly check your IP and domain blacklist status.
- Queue: It’s all about you when it comes to dedicated IP. Only your emails are sent through your IP, so there’s no point of worrying that someone else is sending through your IP. Hence giving your emails the priority (by default)
- Cost: You’ve to bear all the expense related to your IP
- Warmup: As dedicated IPs are fresh (in majority cases) you would’ve to go through the warmup process by limiting your sending volume for initial days.
Whether to go for a dedicated IP heavily depends upon the type and majorly on the volume of emails you plan to send through it.
Best practice is to assign different IP addresses to your marketing and transactional volume. So as to ensure that the promo chunk does not impact the deliverability of transactional emails.