IP address and IP reputation

Your IP reputation refers to the reputation of the IP address you are sending emails from. Every email campaign you send out will influence your IP address reputation. In this article, you’ll learn more about IP addresses and what IP reputation is about.

IP addresses

In simple terms, an IP address is the "location" from which you, as a sender, communicate with your receivers (customers) via the Internet. All emails are sent from an IP address, and you can either have your own dedicated IP address, a shared IP address, or send from an IP pool:

  • Dedicated IP address: Only one sender is sending from the IP address.
  • Shared IP address: Multiple senders are sending from one shared IP address.
  • IP Pool: Several senders are sending from a certain amount of IP addresses.

There are some different factors to look at to understand whether a dedicated or shared IP address, or an IP pool, is the best option for you. The two main aspects are volume (how many recipients you send emails to) and frequency (how often send-outs are made). An IP address needs to be kept warm by sending emails regularly to a good volume.

Senders with larger volumes (around 1,000,000+ emails per month) can use a dedicated IP address, while senders with smaller volumes can benefit from using a shared IP address or an IP pool.

Sending from a dedicated IP address

Pros Cons
Only you oversee your IP reputation, no outside factor can affect it. It's all up to you to keep up the reputation of the IP address.
ISPs generally set limitations to how many emails they can receive per minute from an IP address—you do not have to share this rate with others. If you're sending too few emails, the IP address runs the risks of getting cold which is bad for your reputation.
Comes with possibilities for allowlisting programs for certain domains.  
Better control over your deliverability as you are the only one affecting it.  

Sending from a shared IP or IP pool

Pros Cons
Good for low-volume senders because the IP-address(es) are always warm. You as a sender don't have full control of the reputation.
Multiple good senders are helping each other to keep up the IP reputation. You must share the traffic with others and when there is a lot of traffic, deliveries to certain domains can be slower.
  Continuously poor sendings from other senders can end up effecting the reputation for the IP address(es).

There will always be pros and cons with respective approach, and the setup models mentioned here cover different solutions suitable for different kinds of businesses.

IP reputation

Your IP reputation is a composite of the IP address you use for sending emails and the reputation of your sender domain. It's essentially a scoring system that communicates to Inbox Service Providers (ISPs) such as Gmail and Outlook whether you're considered as a reputable sender, a less reputable one, or potentially a spam source. Each email sent to your subscribers contributes to your IP reputation.

IP reputation is measured differently by different services depending on how well your email communication is, ergo how well your IP is scored (often from 0–100 or bad/good).

The reputation score can give you an indication of how well your IP is performing. However, it’s not the only truth when it comes to deliverability but rather an indication of how you’re performing in general.
There are factors that can either boost or lower your sender reputation.

Boosting reputation  Lowering reputation
Good recipient activity with high- and consistent open rates Poor recipient activity with low- or decreasing open rates
Low complaint rates High complaint rates
Low number of unknown addresses and bounces High bounce rates, unknown addresses, hitting spam traps
Structured sendout pattern and strategy Occasional ad hoc sendouts now and then with low engagement 


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