A Shared IP Address Isn’t Always So Bad (RT: @allwebemail:)

Initial article by Karen Scharf on May 6, 2009 at 12:09am…got this from a tweet from @allwebmail.

Karen Scharf tells us more about IP reputation and breaks it down very well for all readers on her article for Smaller India.

Why Shared IP
The idea of a shared sending IP is not a new one for ESPs but this whole IP reputation is relatively new to many marketers.
Additionally most marketers do not wat to hav to care about it, after all that is what an ESP is for.
Some ESPs will give you a dedicated IP address from the start and call it a selling point, which is not always a good thing as you do not know how warm it is!

IP Credit Rating
IP reputation is like a credit rating, having bad a credit history is better than having no credit history at all as at least the creditters know what kind of risk you are. The same thing applies to IP addresses with ISPs.

A brand new IP which has never sent email would get an almost immediate credit rating, after the first few sends, just to kick off and as we all know many early sends are full of bounces which will the give the IP an immediate bad rating. Also it is far easier to take an IP from good to bad than it is to go from bad to good. Also really spammers will buy a domain spam from it until it is blocked then run away and do it again, so ISPs react quickly in assigning reputation.

Green IPs
Any decent ESP will know all about this and be able to sell you a green IP (pure360), which they have warmed up and green already, and give you responsibility over your own IP reputation but this is not always the best thing for campaigns as one wrong move and you’re out.
Most ESPs could put you a shared range with other senders and they would then monitor the complaint rates of everyone and the reputations of the IPs and move your sends around to consistently get in the inbox. That way the marketer has not got to care about it.

If you have some transactional emails like double-optin emails, welcome messages, triggered emails, whitepapers, on-line receipted etc. this will benefit from a dedicated IP as this can be safelisted more than marketing IPs as receipt in some levels is legally required, has guaranteed permission and ISPs will gladly safelist it for you, if you know who to ask.

Lead Generation
If you are doing lead generation emailing, as a list owner or broker, the rules change and as you are a high risk sender and will have more complaints. Most ESPs will not put a lean gen on the same range as a double-optin media publisher as the lead gen would negatively affect the deliverability of all IP addresses. One thing that lead gens have asked to me is why can’t they just keep buying new IPs when their IP rep goes bad, my reply is always email is about permission, if people mark you as spam so much that you can’t send an email you may well be a spammer and ESPs will not just throw IPs at you as it is wrong. Anyway, lead gen is something I could prattle on about for a while, I won’t do it today as I want you to read Karen’s article after this so you’ll need to be awake!

Certified Sender
Another need for dedicated IPs are to get Sender Certification, like SenderID and Goodmail. All require good sending history on dedicated IP(s) before they will consider you.
So if your sending is good and confirmed opt-in but your volumes are very high and Hotmail and Yahoo, for instance, are not liking it, you can buy your way in. As Hotmail and Yahoo are putting up more of a fight lately over volumes, SenderID is more preferred to Goodmail, as Hotmail and Yahoo are liked with Return Path for things like their feedback loops where last time I checked Goodmail was more AOL related – feel to correct me if I am wrong there I have not looked into Goodmail for about a year but I have done some stuff with SenderID and it does work ion Hotmail and Yahoo.

Check out Karen’s article and see what you think…read on