An Internet Protocol address, more commonly known as an IP address, is a unique set of numbers assigned to a device on the internet or local network.
When it comes to sending emails, you can use a dedicated IP or a shared IP. But what’s the difference, and which is the right choice for you?
Shared IP address
As you may have guessed, a shared IP is, indeed, just that! It’s shared and is used to send emails by you and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other senders.
In normal circumstances, sharing an IP address could be destructive. However, don’t dismiss a shared IP address for the fear that other senders might ruin your sender reputation. If you’re using a reliable vendor, you won’t be sharing the IP address with any malicious senders. Email service providers and other vendors (such as SMTP2GO) will monitor regularly how all their accounts are used, and follow strict best practices for mailing and managing lists. These requirements protect the vendor, but also protect you and all the other accounts you share an IP address with. In fact, if you are sending in low volume (under 100K), you may even benefit from sharing an IP address. If other senders using that IP have high engagement rates and play by the rules, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), will continue to put emails sent via that IP directly into the inbox.
So much so, when it comes to SMTP2GO, we don’t actually recommend using a dedicated IP on one of our lower volume plans. The reason is, you are not sending enough emails to manage its reputation. An IP needs to be warmed up and kept warm for effective results. A sudden burst of activity on an unused IP looks like spam to most ISPs, meaning they will most likely block your emails.
Dedicated IP address
If your email best practices are in place, you could benefit tremendously from using a dedicated IP. One of the main reasons is that a business with a dedicated IP is eligible to apply to be ReturnPath certified (there is a fee), which can increase inbox placement rates. However, touching back to email volume, you need to be sending enough emails to manage a dedicated IP. If you are sending at least three times per week, and each time you send, you send 5000+ emails, then a dedicated IP is most likely the right choice for you! You can find more detail about how to warm up an IP here.
What’s the difference in price?
As you may have guessed, a shared IP is cheaper than a dedicated IP. However, the price will also depend on how many emails you send per month, other features you may require, and, of course, your vendor. As a rule, senders can pay five to ten times more for an email deliverability package with a dedicated IP address. That said, if you can ensure you’ll see higher deliverability rates, your return on investment is worth it.
At SMTP2GO, our higher volume plans (100K+), include one dedicated IP. Any additional IPs will cost $19 per IP, per month. All lower-volume plans automatically use a shared IP.
If you have any questions, please contact our friendly support team at firstname.lastname@example.org, they’d be happy to help!