Home / Industry

Reactivation Campaign: Shared vs. Dedicated IPs

Within the digital messaging industry, an opportunity will sometimes arise for an email marketing manager to send a re-activation campaign to dormant email addresses, in order to galvanize subscribers who don't respond to your messaging.

From a deliverability perspective, some people feel that putting such a reactivation campaign on a shared IP address is OK. However, others feel that a dedicated IP is more effective, because it does not involve sharing IP space with your other, more reputable senders. In a shared environment, the cursory damage that might occur includes junking or blocking by ISPs due to old addresses that turn into recycled spam traps. Hitting a spam trap is not fun for any deliverability administrator and could have time-based ramifications for your more active senders.

To us, it's not so much about shared vs dedicated, but more about volume and how long the inactive subscribers have been dormant. For example, if a client has a small number of inactive subscribers (say 100) that haven't opened in 6+ months, then sending them a nicely crafted email saying, "this is our last communication" and throwing in an incentive to get them to engage should cause minimal fallout in a shared IP scenario.

Now, it's an entirely different situation if you have 200,000 subscribers that haven't had any activity in over a year. In that case, I would recommend taking a small control group and continuing to send to them as normal, probably on your dedicated IP. Remember that cadence matters to ISPs. Then, take a small random sample of the reactivation campaign and send an incentivized email. This email constitutes the true reactivation campaign to a segmented list. (Don't forget to segment your inactives.) By doing this, you will find common denominators in your inactive pool that could shed light on the stillness. You may give each segment its own VirtualMTA for granularity. At that point, you can compare the control to the test group. If the test group does the same as the control, then you will have to decipher the benefits of moving forward.

Let's assume that the subscribers you sent to in the test group have not shown any engagement. Then, in accordance with email etiquette, you would send them an "if-allowed" — one last email asking them to confirm their email to opt back in to your list. The "if-allowed" would be really geared toward the subscribers that haven't engaged or opened or clicked in over a year, as six months is most likely not enough time to accurately gauge subscriber engagement.

The deliverability risks of old addresses that are turned into spam traps or syntax errors are just too great for anyone sending off of a shared pool. The easy way out is to send the reactivation campaign from a less reputable dedicated IP, but we don't recommend this strategy either. It will probably do more harm than good.

If and when the time comes for you to reconfirm these addresses, to be safe, you could implement the process discussed earlier, and send them from a dedicated IP address, segmenting by domain and other parameters, and using VirtualMTAs for each segment. Think of the dedicated IP as an insurance policy, ensuring that you will not interrupt the flow of email from other good senders on your shared IP.

In these situations, there are no hard and fast rules. Email is a process and, after the send, listening to the stillness becomes your greatest asset. The goal is to come up with a smart plan for testing in order to pinpoint subscriber issues. Play with the segmentation; then, rinse and repeat. Staying proactive and always testing in your sending environment will help diminish the inactive roster. Stay patient and, ultimately, you will be able to see clear benefits from your campaign.

Evaluate PowerMTA (Free Trial) — PowerMTA compliments your technology stack whether it's on premise or in the cloud. Increasingly, cloud based senders and enterprises are integrating PowerMTA with other front end applications for maximum delivery and granular controls. Learn More


About Port25 – Port25, A Message Systems Company, provides highly focused email delivery software that addresses the ever-expanding needs of client communications and digital messaging apps. Port25's flagship product, PowerMTA™, has a global footprint, with over 4,000 installations in more than 51 countries. Learn More

Related topics: Email


Don't miss a thing – get the Weekly Wrap delivered to your inbox.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Dig Deeper


Sponsored by Verisign

DNS Security

Sponsored by Afilias

Mobile Internet

Sponsored by Afilias Mobile & Web Services

IP Addressing

Sponsored by Avenue4 LLC

Promoted Posts

Buying or Selling IPv4 Addresses?

ACCELR/8 is a transformative IPv4 market solution developed by industry veterans Marc Lindsey and Janine Goodman that enables organizations buying or selling blocks as small as /20s to keep pace with the evolving demands of the market by applying processes that have delivered value for many of the largest market participants. more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Government Guidance for Email Authentication Has Arrived in USA and UK

ValiMail Raises $12M for Its Email Authentication Service

Port25 Announces Release of PowerMTA V4.5r5

New Case Study: Jobtome.com Replaces 30 Postfix Servers with a Single PowerMTA

An Update on Port25 and the Future of PowerMTA - One Year Later​

Encrypting Inbound and Outbound Email Connections with PowerMTA

V12 Group Sustains Customer Satisfaction by Deploying PowerMTA for Launchpad Platform

PowerMTA Now Offers Scheduled Delivery Control

DKIM for ESPs: The Struggle of Living Up to the Ideal

To Where are Bounce Messages Sent?

An Open Source Perspective on Commercial MTAs

Five Essential PowerMTA Configuration Tips

What's New With Port25's PowerMTA v4.5

New Feature in PowerMTA v4.5: IP Based Rate Limiting

Case Study: Emergency Response Systems Rely on Timely Messaging Through PowerMTA

Port25 Announces Next Major Release of Its Email Delivery Solution, PowerMTA

Case Study: How PowerMTA Transparent Deliverability Metrics Paves Way for Email Service Provider

Case Study: MailChimp Achieves Efficient Execution and Reliability with PowerMTA

Case Study: Emma Swaps Its SMTP Infrastructure for PowerMTA to Handle Growing Mail Volume

Case Study: Email Service Provider GetResponse Scales with PowerMTA