Sharing, Trust, and Dedication - You and Your Sending IP

Frequently people ask me for clarification on the different sorts of IPs Marketo offers, and the pros and cons of each, so I thought I would write a post on it, and since I love analogies, that's what I am going to do here.

There are three kinds of IP that Marketo offers, shared, trusted, and dedicated.

Being on a shared IP is kind of like living in an apartment building. The upside is that it costs less than living in a house, but the downside is that you can be affected by the neighbors who share a roof and walls with you. If one neighbor throws a wild party, all the neighbors get to hear it. If someone starts a fire in their living room, the fire department evacuates everyone from the building, no matter who started it. Similarly, on a shared IP, if one of your neighbors hits a spam trap, then the entire IP and everyone on it suffers the consequences until the IP is delisted. If you get sick of having to deal with your neighbors in the Shared IP Apartments, what are your options?

One option would be to move to the Trusted IP instead. It's a shared IP range reserved for low-volumes instances with good marketing practices. It costs the same as the shared IP, but there's a application process to qualify and not everyone can get in. So it's kind of like living in an apartment that does a credit and reference check before letting you in and has a very strict on-site manager who evicts people who misbehave. The upside is, it's a nice, quiet place to live at no extra price, but on the downside, if you slip up, you may find yourself headed back to the Shared IP Apartments.

If you send more than 100,000 emails per month and you are done with "apartment living", you might want to spend the money to get your own house - a dedicated IP. With your dedicated IP house, you don't have to worry about whether or not the person on the other side of a wall has a loud party or leaves candles unattended, because you have the whole thing to yourself. Of course, you do have to spend a little extra on it, and if you leave a candle unattended and burn the place down, you have no one to blame but yourself.

If you are currently living in the Shared IP and want to make the make the move to Trusted, you must meet the following requirements: You must not be responsible for any spamtrap hits in the past year, you must send less than 75,000 emails per month, and you must adhere to best practices in your lead acquisition (opted-in leads and current customers, no purchased lists). You can find the application for Trusted IP here -

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Not applicable

I like how you explained these 3 types of Marketo IPs. If our organization is on a shared IP and some emails get suspended. Is this something that the neighbors could be blamed for or is it 100% our own fault?

In my experience, it's usually one of the neighbors' fault.  If your Marketo instance was responsible, we will notify you and ask you to go through the blacklist remediation process to purge possible spam trap leads.  Customers who trigger spam traps can be moved to a range of quarantine IPs until they do the remediation cleanup, to prevent them from damaging the deliverability of other users on the IP.

Level 3

Thanks for sharing, Roxann. Very insightful.

Level 2

If you move to the trusted IP, does that automatically help (atleast over time) to get your emails delivered to your leads again, or will we have to reach out to all of them to get our domain whitelisted?   If it does automatically help, does anyone know what kind of timeframe to expect your reputation to be restored?

Hi Dan,

Whether or not you need to revise any whitelists depends on how the whitelisting was set up - by domain, by specific IPs, or by IP CIDR range.  If you move from shared to trusted, your deliverability should go up, but you might still need to reach out to some clients to update their whitelists.

Level 7 - Champion

I absolutely love this analogy! As someone who started in the first apartment (more like college dorm) of the shared IP, moved to the trusted IP for a few years and am currently onboarding my dedicated IP, this is a fantastic way for people to look at it

Thanks for this post.  This was really helpful!