What are the advantages and disadvantages of a dedicated IP and shared IP?
Does it work the same way in China as it does in Europe?
Every week we go to events, we read articles, we talk to colleagues and people keep putting the subject back on the table.In our efforts to help you and make everything comprehensible, you can find the voices of two deliverability experts from the Netherlands and China here, who will shed light on this matter. Let’s start from the beginning!
What is an IP?
The IP is the address of a website or a server. On servers that send emails, you can share this IP with others or have an IP only for your domain. It is like sharing an apartment with roommates versus having you own place.
Why do companies share an IP?
Ewald Kessler, deliverability expert in the Netherlands clarifies the difference between the Chinese and the overseas situation: “To be able to properly deliver emails in China a dedicated IP is a basic requirement. There are no overseas ISP’s (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo…) that have such a requirement.”
Kinti Liang, Email deliverability expert in China, explains there are 2 reasons for sharing an IP: small budget or little email sending volume. Of course, the same as sharing an apartment, sharing an IP is cheaper than having your own dedicated IP.
The downside of sharing an IP is that you not only share the address but also everything else, like reputation, for instance. Moreover, you also share capability. The capability of the server is the same no matter you share or not. Because you are sharing it, you also need to distribute the sending volume between all the users. So, your available sending volume is less.
What is reputation and why is it important?
A sender’s reputation is a complex mix of different aspects and the sending IP is just a part of it. The sender domain becomes increasingly important in this mixture. As well as the number of unknown users, number of spam complaints, recipients engagement, etc.
Every ISP (Gmail, QQ, Yahoo….) has its own quality standards and scales to determine the good or bad reputation of a sender. This reputation is based on how important your communication is, how accurate your messages are for your recipients and your customers.
For example, if your emails are receiving complaints or the user marks them as spam, your reputation will decrease.
There are so many aspects you consider when you build your brand: corporative identity, quality of products, customer service, so this should be one more thing in your list in you care about: your branding, your reputation, your client satisfaction…
How can a shared IP affect reputation?
When you are sharing an IP (server) with other companies, you can manage your reputation but not theirs. Coming back to the apartment’s analogy, you can have your bedroom clean and immaculate, but you cannot force your flat-mates to do the same.
Your reputation affects:
● Your deliverability, that is to say, the amount of emails that are actually arriving in the inbox. So, without a good reputation, your message is not delivered properly to all your customers.
● Your sending volume capability: the better better your reputation, the larger the amount of emails you are allowed to send per day per IP.
Webpower China always recommends to use a dedicated IP, but our services are customized to our client’s needs. In Europe, the use of dedicated IPs is becoming more popular but it’s not crucial yet like it is in China. Webpower offers a public platform where you share the IP, as well as a dedicated platform where the client has their own dedicated IP.
“Of course we recommend to always use dedicated IP, because the reputation of our clients are really important for us” Kinti Liang, Email deliverability expert in China.
Opposite to China, in Europe, when the email volume and/or the frequency is lower, shared IP’s are still considered to be the best option, because using a dedicated IP can only build a reputation when there’s a significant and regular volume of email.
Two dedicated IP’s, one client: Using different IP for different communication purposes.
The number of IP addresses available is limited but it is considered a good practice to have at least 2 IP addresses per sender: one is used to send out transactional information, the other one for commercial messages.
So, even if the company reputation is affected by their commercial communication (usually lower reputation), the important information like the transactional messages will reach the inbox. In this way you can manage your reputation easier.
“If you don’t have a dedicated IP for your direct communication, it is because you don’t care enough about your brand” Kinti Liang, Email deliverability expert in China.
A third option: in-house IP
In some industries, for example in finance, data is really sensitive, they have to take care of confidential information. This kind of companies will use their own IP, and the EDM platform has to integrate with that IP. The in-house IP offers a higher security level but the company itself must manage the reputation. In this case email providers can only advise but not manage their reputation.
The IT team from Webpower China explains ‘With our dedicated IP solution we can help the client improve their company reputation with ISPs.
Like in life, our needs and situation change. Webpower, as well as Fotocasa in this TV commercial, adapts their products and services to always provide the best solution for each client, doesn’t matter if it’s a shared or own address.