Most email service providers have been offering dedicated IP addresses for nearly a decade. We didn’t think this topic was particularly controversial, but an interesting industry post presented a unique view on this practice. While we appreciate the viewpoint of that post, we feel obligated to remind our readers why we believe that dedicated IPs are important and what role they can play in your email success.

Why would a sender need or want a dedicated IP rather than a shared IP?  It all comes down to the word dedicated. In this case it means there is an IP address dedicated for your exclusive use. Only your mail is sent via this IP and this means that any deliverability problems that arise only impact you and are a direct result of your practices. This is of course in stark contrast to a shared IP where your mail is bulked along with the mail of dozens or perhaps even hundreds of other senders and deployed from the same IP. This means any issues that arise may or may not be the result of your practices – and your reputation is only as good as the reputation of the worst sender on the IP. So if one sender rents a list from a disreputable vendor, gets a bunch of spam complaints and the IP ends up blacklisted your mail is blocked along with theirs.

We agree that having a dedicated IP alone does not improve deliverability. There are no silver bullet solutions to ensure or even improve deliverability. Deliverability success is a complex mix of infrastructure, technology standards and email best practices. Taken together and consistently applied, this the only way to maintain a good reputation and the good deliverability that follows. A dedicated IP can be a very helpful tool to have in your kit – and will certainly improve your chances of long-term inbox success. Getting started with a dedicated IP does take some time because new IPs have no reputation so you’ll need expert assistance to “warm it up” but there are proven and reliable processes to get this done.

In the end, when you’re considering whether or not to invest in a dedicated IP, you need to look at several factors:

–       Do you send a lot of email on a consistent basis?

–       Do you want to ensure that the poor practices of others don’t result in your IP being blacklisted?

–       Are you willing to invest in cultivating your own sending reputation?

–       Do you need to monitor and have an accurate view of your deliverability?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a dedicated IP probably makes a lot of sense. Overall, there are few practices on which nearly all email experts agree – and maintaining a dedicated IP is near the top of the list.

Carly Brantz
With more than 15 years of experience, Carly Brantz is an email deliverability and inbound marketing veteran. As the VP of Revenue Marketing at SendGrid, Carly empowers her team to transform marketing from a cost center to a revenue generator. With a key focus on funnel optimization, Carly leads the team responsible for content creation, lead nurturing, SEO/SEM, and website optimization. An accomplished speaker, Carly shares her email delivery and revenue marketing tactics as a headline speaker on SendGrid’s international roadshow as well as other Marketing conferences.