What Is a "Dedicated IP" in Email Marketing?

Meghan Keaney Anderson
Meghan Keaney Anderson



As you start to get more heavily into email marketing you may start to hear about dedicated IPs. To understand dedicated IPs and decide if you need one, you first need to know a bit about email deliverability and sender reputation.  

An email's deliverability depends largely on the reputation of the IP address that sends it. If you are sending from an IP address with a spic-and-span reputation, your emails are more likely to make it in front of the eyes of your subscribers. If your Sender Scores are lower, you may risk being filtered out by some inboxes.  

By default most email service providers, like HubSpot or MailChimp, use a collection of shared IP addresses to process and send your emails. In shared IPs, the sender reputation is defined by the actions of all companies using the same IP. Email service providers actively monitor the health and reputation of their shared IPs to make sure their emails have high deliverability rates. For example, HubSpot's shared IPs maintain scores in the high 90s, so our acceptance rate is very high.

So What's the Benefit of a Dedicated IP? 

Some high-volume senders decide they want their own IP address for email sends so they aren't sharing an IP with other companies. For high volume senders with engaged subscribers, a dedicated IP offers more control over the deliverability of their emails. Instead of having the reputation of their IP determined by the actions of many, they become the sole influence on whether or not their emails get delivered.  

In addition to more control, many customers decide to get a dedicated IP because they don't want a sender appendix like emailer.hubspot.com attached to their emails. In a shared IP all emails are sent by the email service provider on behalf of Company X. Dedicated IPs appear to come only from the originating company's email address. 

How Do I Know If I Should Get One?

Dedicated IPs are ideal for companies that send a lot of email on a regular basis, for example, more than 100 thousand messages a week. In addition, because you're the sole influence on your sender reputation, you need to be confident that your email list is fully permission-based and engaged. If you have higher than average hard bounce rates (3% or above) or irregular sending volumes, you might do better on a shared IP. The good news is most email service providers can talk through these options with you and help you decide what's best for your company.  

Want to learn more about email deliverability and Sender Score? Here are a few resources to help you dig deeper.

anatomy of a five-star email ebook


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