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Dedicated IP vs. Shared IP Addresses for Sending Email

The bane of every student’s existence is the dreaded Group Project.

In theory, it sounds like a productive division of labor. In practice, it’s a multiplication of headaches, especially for the person who does all the work. You know how it goes: one student does the whole assignment while the others get the grade without lifting a finger.

And uneven situations like that don’t stop after you get your diploma.

Over in the email world, you may find yourself in a similar spot if you send email from a shared IP address. At best, your pristine sending habits could help shady senders skate by with poor email habits. At worst, those shady emailers might even be dragging down your inbox placement rates.

So what’s the solution? Should you move to a dedicated IP? Is it ever okay to use a shared IP? What’s the difference? Don’t worry, we’ll answer those questions for you here. Just consider us that one member of the group who did all the homework.

What’s the difference between sending email from a shared IP and a dedicated IP?

Every emailer sends their email from an IP address. A shared IP address is—just like it sounds—an IP address shared by a pool of senders, while a dedicated IP is used only by a single domain.

Your IP address factors into how mailbox providers determine your sender reputation. This reputation helps determine whether your email makes it to the inbox, which makes it important to choose the solution that gives you the best chance at a clean reputation.

Are there risks of sending email from shared IP addresses?

The reputation of a shared IP is affected by the sending habits of everyone who emails from it.  When reputation matters, it can be risky to put your reputation in the hands of your neighboring senders. Your neighborhood’s reputation is only as good as your worst neighbor, which is why shared IP addresses can pose problems for reputable senders. While smaller emailers might not send enough email to warrant their own IP, bigger senders should consider a dedicated solution.

What are the benefits of a dedicated IP address?

If your list is clean and engaged but your inbox placement is stalling out, your shared IP might be to blame. It’s worth considering the move to a dedicated IP. After all, senders with excellent deliverability practices deserve to reap the full benefits of their efforts—you’ve earned it!

When you send email from a dedicated IP:

  • You’re responsible for your own fate. There aren’t any other senders around to negatively affect your deliverability. Your IP reputation is yours.
  • It’s easier to isolate and address deliverability issues. On the off chance something does happen to your inbox placement, you know where to look.
  • You can take advantage of additional services to better secure your deliverability. Things like getting your IP whitelisted are easier when your IP belongs to you and you alone.

What does it take to move to a dedicated IP?

Of course, sending from a dedicated IP takes a bit of work, but like that student who does the whole group project, you were probably doing more than your fair share of work anyway. You might as well get the maximum benefit from it!

First, before you start sending your email from a dedicated IP, you have to make sure your IP is warmed up. Odds are, if you’re planning a move to a dedicated IP, you send a lot of email. If an IP goes from sending no email to sending hundreds of thousands overnight, it might look a bit like spam, which means mailbox providers will get suspicious.

That’s why you have to start sending gradually, slowly ramping up your sending volume over time until you can send to your full list. If you need help with this process, you can ask an email deliverability consultant to work with you to create a ramp plan.

Ready to move to a dedicated IP address?

For reputable senders who need to send a lot of email, the benefits of a dedicated IP are undeniable. If you’re ready to move into an IP of your own, PostUp can help. Get our Deliverability Solution Guide to see how our dedicated deliverability team will work with you to make your new IP feel like home.

Melanie Angel
Editor, PostUp PlayBook

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