Pardot Knowledge Base

Getting Started with a Dedicated IP Address

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2016 | Print this Article
Congrats, and welcome to your new dedicated IP address! We know you're excited to start sending emails, but there are a few steps you need to take before you start emailing your prospects. This article will walk you through getting your dedicated IP set up and ready to roll.

Getting Started

Warming your IP is the biggest component of getting your dedicated IP address, but before you can start ramping up, you'll need to take care of a few things:
  1. Whitelist your new sending IP on your corporate receiving server. For more information on whitelisting, see this article.
  2. Check your SPF statement: If you are using or in your SPF statement, no changes need to be made to it. You can check your SPF statement by navigating to Admin > Overview, scrolling to Email Sending Domains, then clicking on Error or Verified to view your SPF statement. If or are not in this statement, you will need to have your IT team update your SPF record.
  3. Get ready to warm your IP: Segment out your best and most active contacts. Don’t start your IP warming with old lists! Having high delivery rates with your initial campaigns will help build your IP’s reputation. See this article for help with keeping your lists clean.

Warming your IP Address

The key to warming your IP address is to spread out your initial sends over multiple days. For example, If you plan on sending 40,000 emails a week, we recommend that you split your lists into at least four sublists with limit of no more than 10,000 recipients in each list. Email only one sublist per day over the first few days. A good rule of thumb for larger ramp-ups is to start your sending at 10,000 prospects per day. Assuming your bounce rate stays below 10% and your spam complaint rate stays below 0.1% on those sends, you can safely double your sending per day over the next few weeks until your intended sending volume is reached. For example, if you want to send 200k emails a week, you should ramp up like this:
Week Emails Per Day Total Per Week
Week 1 10k per day x 4 days 40k
Week 2 20k per day x 5 days 100k
Week 3 40k per day x 5 days 200k
Week 4 50k/day x 4 days 200k
Week 5 66k per day x 3 days 200k
Week 6 100k per day x 2 days 200k
Week 7 200k per day x 1 day* 200k
*We recommend keeping your sending schedule at 50k/4 days to avoid having your emails throttled by recipient ISPs. Having a consistent mail volume from one business day to another is better than having a large volume spike on one day of the week and no email sent on remaining days of the week. Monitor the bounce rates of your lists and stop mailing if the bounce rate of your first one or two sublists exceeds 10%. This is a sure sign that your list needs maintenance! Clean up your list, and then resume sending to the remainder of the sublists.

Doubling Established Mail Volume

Say you’ve already established your sending volume at 10,000 messages per week. What if you want to send to 20,000 a week now? We recommend that you increase your sending gradually over a month. See the below table for how to ramp email sending over a month from 10,000 emails per week to 20,000 emails per week. If Established Mail Volume is already at 10,000 messages/week:
Week Emails per Week
Week 1 12.5k
Week 2 15k
Week 3 17.5k
Week 4 20k
  • We do not recommend attempting to more than double your mail volume in a month on an active IP.
  • If your mailing patterns are infrequent -- for example, only one mail campaign per month -- avoid sending more than 10,000 messages per day.


What does it mean to “warm up” an IP address?

IP addresses start out “cold” -- meaning they haven't been used to send email. IP warming is a gradual process that helps you establish a reputation as a legitimate email sender. When a receiving server notices email coming from a formerly dormant IP address, they will scrutinize the traffic coming from that IP address. Volume tends to be the best indicator of reputation, so it’s best to start small and gradually send to larger volumes of prospects. This give receiving servers time to observe your sending patterns and behavior and allows you build a solid sending reputation.

Why do I need to warm up my dedicated IP address?

When you start sending email from a previously dormant IP address receiving servers and ISPs have no way to check or assign your sending reputation. If a previously unused IP starts sending 100k+ emails per day without any warming, servers assume the worst -- that you are a spammer, and this negatively affects your sending reputation. It’s important to make warming up your dedicated IP address a priority so you can start off on the right foot and have the best possible deliverability.

Can I switch between IP addresses during the warming process?

Sorry, but no. There's not a good way to switch between a shared and dedicated IP. There's also no substitute for a proper IP warm up. Taking the time now to build a solid sending reputation on your dedicated IP is well worth it.

Need more? Start a conversation with other Pardot users in our Success Community