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The Importance of a Private IP Address in Email Marketing

Neil Anuskiewicz

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You comply with CAN SPAM. Your list is confirmed opt-in. You have spent time writing a compelling message and an inspiring call to action. Your graphic designers have designed a stunning custom email.

You then send the email to your list but find that your emails were not delivered to any of your subscribers at a major Internet Service Provider. This is a disappointing outcome to say the least, and you decide to look into the matter further in order to avoid low email delivery rates in the future.

Why did this ISP block your emails? You learn that the ISP has blacklisted the IP address that you share with numerous other customers of your Email Service Provider (ESP). Another email marketing customer sharing your IP address sent out an email blast and got too many spam complaints. As a result the ISP blacklisted the IP from which the email blast came. The problem is that this IP address is yours also.

Your email delivery rates were lower than normal because of the mistakes made by someone else. This problem was caused by factors completely out of your control.

The Problem and The Solution

You may be surprised to learn that most ESP's have a very small pool of IP addresses that nearly all of their customers share. Their large customers, however, do get a private IP address. Small businesses and non-profits typically have to share an IP or pay extra for a private one.

You should strongly consider requesting a private IP address from your current ESP or even switching to an ESP that offers a private IP as a standard feature.

On the other hand, if your deliverability numbers are already consistently high, it probably means that your ESP is already offering private IP addresses or that they they are doing a good job of managing relationships with the major ISP's.

What is an IP Address and Why Should I Care? Every machine connected to the Internet has a unique number called an IP address. A decent analogy

The big difference is that you do not share your phone number with a large group of people. You have a unique cell phone number through which you can reliably reach people you know. They know it is you calling, and not some prank caller who happens to share your phone number.

With a shared IP address, you share your IP address with other customers of the ISP. With some ESP's, each customer shares an IP address with thousands of other

When you send out an email campaign, your emails are stamped as coming from a specific IP address-similar to how caller ID shows who is calling you. It is kind of like "caller ID" for emails but you are lumped together with everyone else who shares your IP address.

The result of this situation is that ESP's are fighting a constant battle to keep their pool of IP addresses in the good graces of the ISP's, corporate networks, etc. While high quality ESP's make sure their customers are CAN SPAM compliant, recipients still can and will file spam complaints (maybe they forgot they subscribed).

If above a certain threshold of your recipients file spam
complaints (it varies by the ISP or corporate network), the ISP or network administrator adds the IP address to a blacklist and block all email originating from that IP address.

It is worth mentioning again that the better ESP's have relationships with the ISP's and do a good job of keeping their IP addresses off the blacklists. If the IP address does get blacklisted, they are usually fairly effective at getting the IP address removed from the blacklist. This process is not always quick though.

Watch Email Deliverability Like a Hawk

The important point to remember is that deliverability is key to email marketing success so watch your email deliverability like a hawk. If your ESP is not performing for you then find out why and remedy the situation quickly. Try to make changes using your current ESP first. If nothing changes, then it might be time to consider a change.

Article Source :

About the Author :
Neil Anuskiewicz is the Marketing Manager of EZ Publishing. In addition to developing custom web applications, EZ Publishing is the creator of the StreamSend Email Marketing service. The firm also has an active Email Marketing Reseller program.

This article may be reprinted in your website, e-zine or newsletter without the need to ask for permission provided no changes are made in the article and the source and author byline are included in the reprint with all the hyperlinks active.

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