In the internet industry, it is taken for granted that everyone understands what an IP address is, the purpose it serves and how important its reputation is in the delivery of digital mail into a user’s inbox. Each information technology device uses an exclusive number, an Internet Protocol standard (IP), which allows it to communicate with other devices. In effect, it serves the same purpose as a brick and mortar home address for the sending and delivery of mail. While an IP address is necessary for the sending and delivery of mail, the IP’s reputation affects the acceleration or delay in delivery of this digital mail.
Many consumers are using the top Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, like Yahoo, AOL, Gmail and Hotmail to receive and open their mail. These ISPs have very stringent guidelines that dictate what qualifies as legitimate mail or Spam, which is unsolicited or offensive mail that is in violation of the Can-Spam Act of 2003. When the IP reputation is strong and healthy, based on responsive users receiving relevant mail which they have agreed, or “opted in” to receive, delivery into the inbox is going to be both more effective and efficient. Once an IP’s reputation suffers, as a result of sending unsolicited mail or sending to inactive and unresponsive users, mail will start hitting the spam folder. Email marketers, or mailers, fear this as it can result in these ISPs rate-limiting how much mail they can send off of an IP or the ISP completely blocking them from sending any mail.
Mail being sent from an IP with a poor reputation has far greater ramifications than a mailer having delivery issues. Major brands place their trust in networks or email marketers to ensure that their brand is being delivered solely to consumers who wish to receive advertisements from them. When campaigns mailed off of IPs with a bad reputation continue to land in the spam folder, there can be a lasting negative impact on the brand.
There are some key factors that determine an IP’s reputation:
- Quality and age of data.
- Complaint ratio, which ideally should not be higher than 1 complaint per thousand emails sent.
- User engagement – are you mailing the right content to the right data?
Ultimately, IP reputation has an impact not just on the email marketer, but on consumers and brands. For email marketers, working with a knowledgeable consultant, acquiring good data, keeping complaints under the ISPs threshold and building high user engagement will ultimately help maintain IP reputation and facilitate higher inbox rates. Brands concerned about building their reputation with consumers should seek out partners who are equally invested in protecting and growing their brand.
If you are ready to learn more about the importance of IPs or if you’re interested in learning about the wide array of affiliate based services Madrivo offers, contact us today!