Commentary

Sending Email from a New IP Address

Today's panel on Reputation and Deliverability touched on one area with some practical advice for marketers: setting up a new IP address (or changing ESPs). Ideally, Sender Reputation should be portable, said George Bilbrey of Return Path. Unfortunately, today it doesn't work that way. Many marketers have learned the hard way that you need to "warm up" a new IP before the volume is high. The acceptable volume and how long it takes to prove the IP reputation varies by ISP. Craig Spiezle of Microsoft notes that total portability may not be ideal, as senders will want to keep your reputations separate for transactional or other mail streams. Craig said that you can add your IP to your existing network and jump start the reputation of new IPs. But he reminds senders that it's like a credit score - just because you have a good credit score today, if you get a new job, your score dips until you prove your new situation is stable. Richard Gringas of Goodmail noted that authentication across a full network can be a nightmare until we have a unified platform for recognizing what email is trusted. Waiting for a global solution may just defer the problem - he recommends starting where you can. George concurred, saying the best practice today is authenticate everything. For highly sensitive or frequently spoofed mailstreams, try including information that could only be known by you (but isn't so sensitive that it puts personal information at risk) - like the last four digits of an account number. Miles Libbey of Yahoo! advises focusing on consistent messaging across channels. He says focus on the meta issue of relevancy and content, and the relevancy you create with your email program will improve your Sender Reputation. JF Sullivan of Habeas recommends getting a holistic view of all your mailstreams, including (and maybe especially) affiliates. He says it's likely your company may already be sending from a variety of IPs and domains today.
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