Nick van Dijk
More than once a day, someone asks us for a dedicated IP address for their account. And we get it, dedicated IPs have been romanticized over the years to be the ultimate solution to every deliverability problem, right? There's more to the story here - the reason we almost always say 'no' to this request.
Every domain on the internet is connected to an Internet Protocol (IP) address. It's the way we find websites on the Internet, but also determine where an email is sent from. Typically, when using an email delivery system -like ours-your one of many sharing a few IP addresses. In some cases -unlike ours-, that means you also share your IP address with people that have other, sometimes illegitimate, intents. So, the odds of you ending up in the inbox is also determined by how 'good' your neighbors are.
If people on the shared IP send out a lot of spam, there's a high risk this IP address ends up on a spam filter. The spammer drops the IP, moves on the next one, but you're left with an IP that has a low reputation. In Dutch, we have a saying: "A great neighbor is better than a friend that's far away" - and that definitely applies to IP reputation. So, when sh* hits the fan, it makes sense to fall for the charm of a Dedicated IP.
Why? Well, a dedicated IP address is an IP address that's dedicated to your email domain. No one else can send from this domain except the domain that you allow for. Often provided as a 'bonus', you pay a bit of money and, voilà, you don't depend on others to maintain your reputation with inbox providers and spam filters.
But there's a catch.
When you want to start sending your emails through a dedicated IP, you are responsible for the reputation of that address. This also means that you will have to build everything yourself from the beginning. When your provider has to 'warm up' this IP for you, it's not dedicated anymore... New, dedicated IP addresses are completely "fresh" - they have no reputation with the inboxes you're trying to deliver to. It doesn't necessarily mean you're not getting anything delivered, but you have to build and maintain a reputation with them to guarantee delivery.
Starting from scratch, you need to send a lot (read: millions) of legitimate emails every single month. Stop sending and you'll water down your historic reputation, send a batch of spammy emails and your reputation gets a very big hit. Every single slip-up is your responsibility to fix.
The real reason many providers offer dedicated IP as a product is mainly to shift responsibility. Using their platform is costly as it is, but they tell you to use a dedicated IP to avoid the mess they made of their IP pools. And one dedicated IP is risky, as shown above, so you need at least two.
Getting a dedicated IP address to get away from spamming neighbors is a solution to a situation that shouldn't have happened in the first place. Our solution? We make sure that the IP addresses we use are of such high quality, and thus reputation, that you as a sender do not have to worry about it. Curious? Click the IP addresses in this SenderScore report.
Furthermore, we examine our new customers' activities, make sure they implement email authentication (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC), and stick to email sending best practices, such as the Code Email. Plus, we continuously monitor for blocklisting, high spam complaints/bounces, and other indications of misuse of our platform.
Are you desperately looking to solve your email deliverability issues? A dedicated IP is _probably_ not the answer you're looking for. Though it sounds like the perfect solution to a difficult - costly problem, it's way better to avoid the problem than to solve it. Want to learn more about how we do that? Reach out to me!