Choosing the right IP address is one of the most crucial decisions if you do email marketing for your business. Dedicated IPs are good to have. In this article, I will explain about choosing the right IP for your marketing needs.
When striving to build a successful business, it is essential that you find ways to reach your target audience with key messages about your brand. This is a challenge that businesses of every size face, and the vast majority are choosing to tackle it by marketing across digital channels. In particular, email marketing has become the go-to for an increasingly large proportion of businesses. It’s easy to see why. With well over 4 billion email users worldwide, the possibilities are virtually limitless with email marketing.
However, achieving success through email marketing is not a facile task. On the contrary, there is a multitude of variables to take into account before attempting to roll out a campaign, many of which are technical. Your IP address is a perfect example of a small technical detail that can have a major impact on the success of your marketing efforts. As such, it is imperative that you choose the right kind of IP address for your business before embarking on your email marketing journey.
A Simple Breakdown of IP Addresses
To effectively explain the difference between IP types, we should quickly outline the role of IP addresses in general.
An IP or Internet Protocol address is a string of four numbers ranging between 0 and 255. These four numbers create a unique sequence that functions as an identifier for a device or website and enables a user to send and receive data across networks.
When discussing the use of IP addresses in email marketing, they generally fall into one of two primary categories: dedicated IP addresses and shared IP addresses.
How Do Dedicated IPs and Shared IPs Differ?
The names of these two types of IPs offer some indication as to the difference between them.
Dedicated IP addresses are ones that are used by individual senders. These senders are provided with their addresses by ESPs (Email Service Providers) that off email-sending services. The owner of a dedicated IP is the only sender who can use it.
On the other hand, we have shared IPs. As the name suggests, these are IP addresses shared between senders. That means that multiple domains can send outbound marketing mail using the same IP.
So, which is right for your business: a dedicated IP or a shared one? Let’s compare.
Dedicated IP addresses have their own pros and cons. The benefits of using a dedicated IP are as follows:
- A stronger brand Identity: Since your dedicated IP address is mapped to your domain alone, it allows you to differentiate your brand from other senders at the domain level. This can help you to establish a strong brand identity as you scale your business.
- More control over reputation: As the only sender using your dedicated IP address, you can protect your sender reputation from external influences, thus maintaining high deliverability.
At the same time, dedicated IPs are not without their drawbacks:
- They require warming. As a dedicated IP won’t have any sending history when it is assigned to you, you will have to establish sending patterns and work your way up to your desired volume and frequency. IP warming can be a considerable time investment.
- Increased responsibility: Since you are the only one using a dedicated IP, your actions will make or break your reputation, so the stakes are high.
- The cost: Dedicated IP addresses aren’t the cheapest option around, and as the sole user, you are responsible for all associated costs.
There are advantages and disadvantages to shared IPs. The following are some of the benefits of using a shared IP:
- Cost-effectiveness: Since multiple users make use of a shared IP, the associated costs are much lower, making it a good option for those on a budget.
- You can benefit from reputation pooling: As shared IPs group all senders together, everyone’s reputations are pooled. In some instances, this may help increase your deliverability so that you can reach user inboxes more consistently.
Conversely, the downsides of using a shared IP are:
- A lack of identity: Sharing your IP address with other senders means that you won’t be able to make yourself stand out from the crowd at the domain level. This may become a concern for you as your business grows larger.
- You can suffer from reputation pooling: Reputation pooling can sometimes be a double-edged sword. Although ESPs do their best to keep a handle on the reputation IPs, there is a small chance that another sender’s behavior could affect your ability to reach your audience.
Shared IP vs Dedicated IP Comparison Table
|Shared IP||Dedicated IP|
|Multiple people using the same IP.||Only you use your IP.|
|Lower Email Deliverability as any other person might be sending spam emails from the same IP.||Higher Email Deliverability because only you use the IP. This ensures you no spam emails are being sent from this IP.|
|Already Warmed up.||Need IP Warming.|
Making Your Choice
All in all, both dedicated and shared IPs have their uses, and it all depends on your situation and the specific strategy of your business.
If you send out high volumes of marketing emails on a regular basis and are looking to establish your brand name at the domain level, then a dedicated IP might be the best option to help you you’re your business to the next level.
On the other hand, if you send out copies on an inconsistent basis and have yet to build a strong reputation for your organization, then the more forgiving shared IP can help your business to find a firm foothold in its industry.