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Best practices for managing a dedicated IP

In this article, we will give you our best practices for managing a dedicated IP.

Build a consistent technical setup

Consistency is the master keyword in emailing. To ensure the best possible delivery rate and inbox placement rate, it’s essential to start with a good technical configuration for your IP and senders.

Setup recommendations on a dedicated IP

Option 1: Follow a strict alignment rule (use the subdomain associated with the dedicated IP for the sender address).

  • Sender address: hello@news.company.com 
  • Domain signature (DKIM): news.company.com
  • Reply-to address: hello@company.com
  • Domain of the IP: news.company.com

Option 2: Use a different subdomain for the IP configuration and the sender address.

  • Sender address: hello@info.domain.com
  • Domain signature (DKIM): info.domain.com
  • Reply-to address: hello@info.domain.com (or hello@domain.com)
  • Domain of the IP: sub.domain.com

Confirm that your dedicated IP is configured correctly

From the Dedicated IPs page on Sendinblue, you can confirm that your dedicated IP is configured correctly by:

  • verifying that your dedicated IP is active,
  • checking your sender score and sender base information.

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Use your dedicated IP to send a high and consistent volume of emails

The reputation of an IP is established over a certain period of time, so it is essential to send a regular and consistent volume of emails. A sudden increase in volume can look suspicious for the ISPs and the inbox placement rate will most likely be impacted.

Clean your contact list

As explained above, it is extremely important to maintain a clean and up-to-date contact database. Sendinblue helps you automatically clean your database to maintain a good list. Our platform automatically blacklists contacts who:

  • unsubscribe from your emails,
  • result in a hard bounce,
  • mark your email as spam.

While helpful, this is not enough! It is also crucial that you sort and segment your contact lists to send targeted email campaigns to relevant groups of contacts.

Keep a consistent IP address and avoid using too many of them

Changing IP addresses or sending from multiple IP addresses is never a solution to resolve deliverability issues or to prevent them. 

By using many dedicated IPs and associating them with different domain names, it will be difficult for you to establish a positive reputation with the ISPs and webmail providers over time. 

Use separate IPs for different types of emails whenever possible

If the level of risk is different for the different types of emails you are sending and the volume is high enough for each type, we recommend you separate the reputation by using several dedicated IPs (e.g. 1 IP to send transactional emails and 1 IP to send email campaigns).

Do not set up many IPs thinking that it will make the warm-up process faster

With an email fingerprint, the ISPs will easily detect that your emails are originating from the same sender and platform,

If you are moving to Sendinblue with a clean contact list and a well-established reputation, the warm-up of your dedicated IP shouldn’t take long because this new IP will be associated with the positive reputation of:

  • your sender domain,
  • the domain used to authenticate your domain,
  • your email fingerprint.

If the volume of emails does require several dedicated IPs, you should add them progressively to your IP pool. This can be easily managed by assigning a weight percentage to your IPs.

❗️ Important
If you do not send any emails from your dedicated IP for 30 days, you'll have to restart the warm-up process once again.

Respect and improve your sending reputation

Your deliverability primarily depends on your reputation with the ISPs who provide inboxes, such as Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc. This "reputation" is the general level of trust granted by ISPs. ISPs can either help or hinder your ability to send emails. This general reputation is a combination of two more specific reputations: those of your IP and your sender domain.

Sendinblue only offers "fresh" dedicated IPs, which have a neutral reputation. The domain or subdomain that you have linked to your dedicated IP is usually already "known" or recognized by ISPs.

Several elements have a crucial effect on your reputation level:

Complaints

When your recipients click on "Report spam", a complaint is recorded by ISPs and shared with Sendinblue. These complaints have a negative impact on your reputation. The maximum level of complaints tolerated by an ISP is 0.1%.  Some ISPs provide information on the origin of these complaints (to know who marked your email as spam). In this case, Sendinblue automatically blacklists these email addresses.

Hard bounces

Hard bounces result when emails are sent to addresses that no longer exist or that never existed. ISPs judge the quality of your contact list by the volume of hard bounces. If your emails result in a significant volume of hard bounces, it could indicate that you are using an obsolete database, or worse, one containing automatically generated emails.

Spam traps

Spam traps are false email addresses used by ISPs to detect spammers. These email addresses are intentionally created by ISPs or are very old, non-active addresses recovered by ISPs. When ISPs detect an email campaign sent to a spam trap address, they assume that the email campaign was sent to non-opt-in contacts and the email is then classified as spam. As a result, your dedicated IP may become blacklisted.

You can monitor your reputation directly from your Sendinblue account. We include a reputation meter that is influenced by two IP reputation quality indicators: Sender Score (edited by Return Path) and Sender Base (edited by Cisco). The index in this reputation meter can change between 0 and 100, depending on these different indicators. A good reputation score is considered to be an index of 80 or above.

If you experience issues with your IP's reputation, it’s important to proactively resolve them.

Your IP address may be reported to independent blacklists, like Spamhaus, if suspected of sending spam emails. Start by checking for email notifications from these blacklists. If further action is needed to remove your IP from a blacklist, follow the instructions they provide carefully.

You may also receive notifications from Sendinblue’s Customer Care team with instructions for improving your performance.

Once you have corrected any issues, it is important to maintain low spam complaint rates. Sending targeted emails to only 100% opt-in contact lists is the best way to build a positive sending reputation.

Address the root cause of any deliverability issue before sending a mitigation request to the ISP or any third-party blacklist

Blacklisting happens for a reason, and failing to address the root cause issue will simply lead to a new block on the IP. Over time, it will become more and more difficult to convince the blacklist administrators to trust the IP owner, and they may simply refuse to lift their sanctions.

To avoid long-term issues, you must clearly identify and resolve the problem that caused your dedicated IP to be blacklisted before submitting a delisting request. 

Once there is proof from the metrics that the issue has been resolved, then you can submit a mitigation request to the ISP or blacklist portal.

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