Shared or Dedicated IP for Email Sending

The effectiveness of email marketing, particularly inbox placements and deliverability, is intricately linked to IP reputation. Choosing between a shared or dedicated IP address is a pivotal decision that hinges on various factors unique to each business. Aspects such as the business size, life cycle stage, and email campaign dynamics, including sending volume and sender reputation, must be carefully evaluated. This blog unravels the nuances of shared and dedicated IPs, providing insights into their suitability for different scenarios.

Shared IP Address vs. Dedicated IP Address:

Shared IP: An IP shared by multiple senders, forming a pool of companies engaged in email marketing on the same IP.
Dedicated IP: An IP exclusively used by a single sender, dedicated solely to the company. The sender sets up this dedicated IP with the email marketing vendor.

Shared IP: Relatively less expensive as the cost is shared among all customers using the same IP.
Dedicated IP: Involves recurring maintenance costs and initial setup fees borne by the company, making it more expensive but potentially lucrative if the ROI justifies the investment.

Email Sending Volume:
Shared IP: Suitable for variable or inconsistent email sending volumes, as the cumulative volume from multiple companies helps meet ISPs’ requirements.
Dedicated IP: Ideal for consistent and large email sending volumes to establish a spam-free sender reputation with ISPs.

List Cleanliness:
Shared IP: Benefits from the good email sending practices of others on the same IP, making it suitable for those with irregular list cleaning practices.
Dedicated IP: Requires meticulous list hygiene practices, with a focus on removing unsuccessful deliveries and unsubscribes regularly.

IP Reputation & Sending Practices:
Shared IP: Reputation is influenced by the combined sending practices of all companies sharing the IP, posing potential risks if some adopt poor practices.
Dedicated IP: Critical to maintain a positive reputation through honest and clean sending practices, ensuring better inbox placement by avoiding association with less diligent senders.

Potential IP Blocking by ISPs:
Shared IP: Risks IP blockage if ISPs decide to block the shared IP due to poor practices by one company, impacting all others sharing the IP.
Dedicated IP: Costly and involves responsible sending practices; any mistakes or malpractices can result in a permanent ban, adversely affecting the domain’s reputation.
Steps After Decision-Making:

Once the choice between shared and dedicated IP is made, businesses must:
Shared IP: Clarify ESP rules for importing subscribers and inquire about acceptance sender score rates for other IPs on the shared IP.
Dedicated IP: Understand ESP offerings, prepare for IP warm-up processes for new addresses, and assess usual sending volumes and consistency for a warm IP.

Analyzing email sending needs and practices based on the shared vs. dedicated IP considerations is crucial. The decision-making process requires a thorough understanding of business dynamics, ensuring optimal inbox placements and email deliverability.