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The Benefits of Dedicated IP Addresses vs. Shared

Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

Choosing a dedicated or shared IP address may seem like an inconsequential decision, but it can significantly impact the effectiveness of your patient engagement efforts. Learn why dedicated IP addresses are preferred for transactional and marketing emails in the healthcare industry.

dedicated ip address

What is a Dedicated IP Address?

An IP address is a string of unique characters that can be found in the headers of your sent emails. Internet service providers use them to identify the origin of the email message. ISPs use the IP address’s reputation to determine if the message is spam and should be delivered to the recipient.

Dedicated IP addresses belong to your organization and cannot be used by other customers of your email service provider. By having a dedicated IP address, the server’s reputation and delivery power are a function only of the organization’s sent mail. Dedicated IP addresses have several advantages, including:

  • No shared resources with other senders
  • Reputation management and brand safety
  • Improved email deliverability
  • Easier to troubleshoot blacklisting issues

We will discuss the benefits of dedicated IP addresses and what they mean for your organization later.

What is a Shared IP Address?

In contrast, a shared IP address does not belong to your organization and is shared among the customers of an email service provider. Shared IPs are the default option for many email service providers. Upgrading to a dedicated IP usually incurs an additional fee, so many organizations get started using a shared IP address. It is a cost-effective solution for some smaller organizations with limited or small sending needs. No IP warm-up is required since the address is active and in use, meaning it’s easy to start sending quickly. However, as organizations grow and their sending needs increase, they may be frustrated with the following:

  • Slow email delivery
  • Undelivered emails
  • Emails frequently flagged as spam
  • Blacklisted IP addresses

When email becomes a critical business channel, it’s often time to switch from a shared IP to a dedicated solution.

The Benefits of Dedicated IP Addresses for Patient Engagement Emails

Healthcare organizations that rely on email should strongly consider using dedicated IP addresses to improve trust and ensure critical communications are sent on time and are received in patients’ inboxes. If patients cannot receive critical information about appointments, prescriptions, or other healthcare needs, it will negatively impact their experience and may cause them to choose another provider.

No shared resources with other senders

When sending substantial quantities of time-sensitive emails, your sending speed may be limited by others using a shared IP address. Important emails (like password resets and appointment reminders) can get stuck in long sending queues, and you will have no control over when the messages are sent out. In contrast, you have complete control over your sending speed and resources when using a dedicated IP address (or multiple IP addresses). External users will never slow you down.

Reputation management and brand safety

Another perk of using a dedicated IP address is that you can match it to your company’s DNS records. To do this, your mail server’s IP address to send outbound emails must have a “Reverse DNS.” This is the responsibility of the email service provider (at LuxSci, we set this up automatically). If set up incorrectly or missing, you will have significant deliverability issues.

When someone performs a reverse DNS lookup on a company’s dedicated IP address, it will clearly identify the sender and provides additional information about the company. This data builds trust and improves your reputation with ISPs.

Improved email deliverability

The main reason many choose dedicated IP addresses is to improve the deliverability of their emails. If email service providers do a terrible job vetting their customers and allow spammers to use their service, bad actors can quickly contaminate reliable IP addresses. When using dedicated IP addresses, you can control the IP warm-up process and prevent employees from engaging in spammy practices. By having full control over your IP reputation, you can improve the deliverability of your emails and prevent them from being flagged as spam.

Easier to troubleshoot blacklisting issues

Though most ISPs will not acknowledge “whitelists,” senders using dedicated IP addresses can subscribe to Complaint Feedback Loop (CFL) programs to help minimize complaint rates. If you participate, ISPs will forward complaints from users about emails sent from your organization’s IP addresses.

Even if you can’t get on a whitelist, understanding when and why your IP address is blacklisted is valuable information. When using a shared IP, it’s impossible to know why it was blacklisted. Another user could have sent spammy content, used a paid list, or sent a large mailing to an old contact list. To get off the blacklist, troubleshooting the issue, fixing it, and avoiding future mistakes are essential to increasing reputation and staying out of the spam filter. It’s easier to identify which emails are generating spam complaints when you aren’t sharing IP addresses.

Conclusion

Consider using dedicated IP addresses if your organization uses email for patient engagement efforts. They provide the reliability and reputational benefits you need to execute these campaigns at scale. Contact us today to learn more about how to engage patients with personalized email campaigns.

Warming Up Your IP Addresses Automatically

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

When sending email messages, there are many best practices for ensuring optimal deliverability. One very important factor in deliverability is IP reputation. However, when using a brand new server and IP address, how can you build a good reputation? In this article, we will explain how to warm up an IP address in a way that will build a good reputation and improve email deliverability.

warm up ip address

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Analyzing a Forged Email Message: How to Tell It Was Forged?

Monday, February 9th, 2015

In our previous posting, we looked at exactly how Spammers and hackers can send forged email — how its is possible and how it is done.  Therein, we gave an example how one could send an email forged to be from Bank of America.

In this post, we will look at that forged Bank of America email to see technically what it looks like and how it differs from legitimate email from Bank of America.

What can we learn that allows us to detect forged email in the future?

The Forgery: Received.

The forged email from Bank of America was based on a legitimate email message, so that the forgery could look as close as possible to actual email from them.

In truth, the majority of forged email simply changes the “From” address and does not bother with anything else.  These forged messages are used for Spam and hope the forgery fools enough people to be worth it, through numbers.  What we are looking at here is a more carefully crafted message designed to fool filters and a careful eye.  These kinds of fakes might be used in spear phishing attacks on an individual or in more sophisticated Spam campaigns.

The the forged Bank of America email that arrived in the recipient’s mail box looked like this (the raw headers):

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Having Problems Sending Email Because Your ISP is Blacklisted?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

It happens over and over — users trying to send legitimate email messages are blocked from sending because the IP address that they are getting from their Internet Service Provider (ISP) for their personal computer (or small office) is on some major blacklist, like SpamHaus.  Comcast, for example, has been the focus of many of these issues. This message blocking often happens even if a user is sending outbound email through a legitimate email provider like LuxSci.

Users invariably ask:

  • Why is the mail blocked even though I am sending through LuxSci or some other email provider and not directly from my ISP?
  • What can I do about it?

Fortunately, there is a good reason why the blocks occur and an easy solution to them … anonymous SMTP service to hide your IP address.

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Restrict User WebMail Access by IP

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Block AccessAdministrators of LuxSci accounts now have the ability to specify exactly from what locations their users are permitted to login to WebMail.  I.e. administrators can choose to allow WebMail access only from the Office or certain other places.  This is good for general account and information security.

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