Shared Vs. Dedicated IPs: Pros and Cons, Part 2

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dedicated IP definitionIn Part 1 of this two-part series, we discussed the pros and cons of shared IP pools and which companies best benefit from them. To recap, a shared IP is one that is used by several other companies or senders, and a dedicated IP is one that is owned and operated by one company or sender. After reading Part 1, you might suspect that your company’s email volume or practices warrant a dedicated IP. Let’s explore that idea.

Dedicated IPs are a great way for email marketers to build and maintain their own IP and domain reputation. Also, having a dedicated IP lets marketers control more of their own deliverability destiny in the email-marketing ecosystem. No other senders can negatively influence the effectiveness of your marking initiatives.

Many clients love this idea, but for others it does become the ‘moment of truth’– and the truth can hurt. If you’re in a shared IP pool in which other senders have more compliant sending habits than you do, then their good reputation is giving yours an assist. Moving to a dedicated IP may reveal just how much help the shared pool was. Getting a dedicated IP gives marketers the ownership of which direction the IP will take … either positive or negative.

Pros of Dedicated IPs

  • A dedicated IP address allows you to totally control your own sending destiny as an email marketer.
  • Your sending reputation will be affected by only the choices you make as a marketer. If you have excellent sending and data management practices, this is generally the best way to send emails.
  • A dedicated IP gives you more control over your email sending reputation and in return can give you better delivery rates – if warmed properly and maintaining a consistent sending management plan.
  • A dedicated IP is useful if you frequently must request white listing of your IP. Many high security industries look for dedicated IPs; so if you’re selling to a high security industry of any kind, dedicated IPs can help you get through specific filters.

Cons of Dedicated IPs

  • Not good for low volume.  If you are not sending at least 200K emails per month, it’s going to be hard to maintain a good, trustworthy reputation with ISPs.
  • You could become your own worst enemy.  As with shared IPs, you get the benefit of other senders. On dedicated IPs all success comes only from you. If you’re not following best practices – this could hurt you.
  • The IP address must be warmed up. Your new dedicated IP address will be “cold,” you’ll need to warm it with your company’s sending practices to establish and maintain a good reputation with ISPs. The ramp up time takes 45-60 days on average and cannot be rushed.
  • Higher cost for dedicated IPs. It costs email service providers a lot of money to procure and maintain IPs for customer use, and so they protect the revenue they get for dedicated IPs. By locking into a dedicated IP, you have made the decision to be in a long-term relationship; you can’t buy one, then burn and turn it if it doesn’t go as expected.

All that said, if you send high volumes of email on a very frequent basis, you should consider a dedicated IP. If you make the switch, make a concurrent commitment to best practices in regards to list hygiene and relevancy of content.

Read Part 1 of Shared Vs. Dedicated IPs: Pros and Cons

Want to read more about dedicated IP?  Visit Act-On’s Professional Services  section and read the datasheet.

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  • bri44any

    Since the success of dedicated IPs depends on actually using best practices, keeping up to date with industry knowledge becomes critical to expanding your choices as a marketer.

  • Sex Drugs

    Keeping up with best practices is a given anyway – dedicated or shared. But the definition ‘best practice’ is confusing, because what is best for a marketeer -v- what an ISP wants to see can be very different things.

    I find the ‘best practice’ chatter a blast. It’s often nothing to do with what you actually do with email, but who you are. I get plenty of emails from people like eBay, sent to addresses that have had zero engagement FOR YEARS, that require a team of hostage negotiators to unsubscribe from – yet they are pretty much ubiquitously whitelisted.

    But then as an ISP, would you fancy having eBay’s servers almost DDOS your mail servers to death if you kept rejecting or deferring them?

    Don’t believe the hype about ‘best practice’…

    • bri44any

      Maybe we’re looking at best practice differently. Every individual will practice best in different ways than other individuals, and individuals tailor their “practice” of marketing according to the type of communication they are doing. While I think blanket statement best practices should be taken with a pinch of salt, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an optimal way for individual marketers to practice. That’s something we need to continually measure and explore, and part of that exploration process is sharing what seems to work best for most people.

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