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How to Maintain a Good IP Reputation? — Step by Step Guide

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Published on
September 10, 2022

Are you lately struggling to deliver your emails to the right inboxes? Has your email response rate gone down?

Yes. Then, this might have something to do with your IP reputation.

If you are not keeping tabs on your IP reputation, it can damage your domain authority. In addition, there is a big fat chance that your emails will end up in the spam folder rather than inboxes.

Wondering what is an IP reputation and how to maintain it? Then, let’s walk through this guide to know all about IP reputation.


What is an IP Reputation?

An IP address is a unique numeric code that locates various devices connected to the internet. IP addresses facilitate communication between devices, routers, servers, websites, etc.

How to Maintain a Good IP Reputation? — Step by Step Guide

An IP reputation is a simple measurement of an IP address’s involvement in spreading or sending malicious content. For example, email service providers use IP reputation to determine whether an incoming email is coming from a secure location or not.

So, if you are using a shared IP, you will have limited control over the content shared by other people. That is because anyone can access shared IPs in the range. Thus, maintaining a good IP reputation on shared IPs is tricky as you can’t control how other people use the IP server.

On the contrary, dedicated IPs are specifically designed for internet users. This leaves you with more control to manage your IP reputation. Although dedicated IPs are expensive, they are helpful for people who want to send regular marketing emails to connect with their customers.

In addition, IP reputation is the main thing that ISPs look at while determining the authenticity of an email message. Thus, your IP reputation can be easily damaged by connecting to phishing sites, the malware drops, spam, or other malicious.

The IP reputation works pretty simply. When a person receives an email message from a sender with a positive IP reputation, the ISPs will safely deliver it to the recipient’s inbox. On the contrary, if the sender is linked to a bad IP reputation, the ISP will reject the email or send it to the spam folder.

However, the good thing is IP reputations change frequently. So if your IP reputation has dipped lately, you can quickly fix it using the right strategies. Or, in the worst-case scenario, you have to get a dedicated IP and build your IP reputation from scratch.

How Do IP Reputation and Domain Reputation Vary?

How to Maintain a Good IP Reputation? — Step by Step Guide

IP reputation and domain reputation are two independent concepts. But they both impact email deliverability.

Domain reputation is the reputation of your email address. It is like a person’s reputation in society, associated with their past actions and partnerships.

IP reputation is associated with how ISPs see you. For example, let’s say you are sending an email from a bad IP reputation server. In that case, the ISP will see you as a threat and might not deliver your email to the inbox.

But this doesn’t mean a high IP reputation is a sure-shot guarantee of good email deliverability. For example, if you have a good IP reputation but a poor domain reputation, there is a chance that your email might not deliver correctly.

Therefore, a good IP and domain reputations are essential to improving your deliverability. Here are some vital takeaway points to remember;

  • IP reputation is connected to the specific server from where you are sending emails.
  • Domain reputation is a different variable than IP reputation.
  • IP reputation can help to improve or harm your domain reputation. If you move to an email service provider with a low IP reputation, it can also reduce your domain reputation.
  • ISPs evaluate your IP and domain reputation as separate variables while establishing your brand reputation.

How to Check Your IP Reputation?

Before improving your IP reputation, you must first determine your exact IP score. And for that, you should always use reliable tools. Here are some excellent tools to monitor your IP reputation:

Google Postmaster Tools-

Postmaster is a popular IP measurement tool that helps you understand why your emails are sent to spam. It allows senders to track data sent and received from your Gmail account. The data includes domain reputation, Gmail delivery errors, IP reputation, etc.

The following tabs are available in the Postmaster Tools dashboard:

  • Spam Rate tells what percentage of your DKIM authentication has led Gmail users to complain.
  • Domain and IP reputation tab show what Google thinks of your IP and domain.
  • Authentication data covers how much your traffic has passed authentication checks like SPF, DMARC, or DKIM.
  • Encryption helps you understand the number of your emails sent using TLS encryption.
  • Delivery Errors include multiple metrics showing authentication errors your emails had faced.
  • Reputation Levels is your IP and domain reputation score based on four levels—bad, low, medium, or high.
How to Maintain a Good IP Reputation? — Step by Step Guide


Senderscore is a robust service that measures your domain reputation and suggestions to improve it. The service uses a proprietary Return Path algorithm. So, it can represent your IP address’s overall performance against essential metrics.

The software can help you evaluate different performance metrics, such as:

  • SPF Record
  • SSL Certificate
  • Issue date
  • Domain owner
  • The expiration date of the domain and others


Senderbase is another good reputation service that distinguishes your IP reputation into three categories—Good, Neutral, or Poor. In addition, it provides data on volume history and email volume.

Senderbase allows you to search real-time data based on domain, network, or IP. For example, if you search for data specific to the website, the Reputation Details section will show data about the content present on your website. This can be a higher or lower reputation in context to your email.

You can check the Additional Information at the bottom. The Email Reputation column refers to IPs sent based on the domain. This will let you know if there is any problem with your IP reputation.

If your domain reputation is low, you can check if it’s been blacklisted by any ISPs. In addition, the software provides clear domain health checks that execute performance tests to ensure all your systems are online and performing optimally.

The report will highlight critical problematic areas with suggestions to resolve them.


TrustedSource is a reputation service by McAfee. It provides information about your domain’s email and web reputation. The software also provides details on the domain history, activation, and other associations.

Microsoft SNDS-

Microsoft offers a dynamic reputation management solution called Smart Network Data Services (SDNS). It provides insightful information on points like sending IP’s reputation, how many Microsoft spam traps you deliver, spam complaint rate, etc.


BarracudaCentral is a popular IP and domain reputation service offered by Barracuda Networks. This Barracuda Reputation System is a real-time IP addresses database that tells whether your IP reputation is excellent or poor.

14 Effective Strategies to Improve Your IP Reputation

How to Maintain a Good IP Reputation? — Step by Step Guide

The best thing about IP reputation is it is fixable. So you can quickly improve your IP reputation and deliverability with the right strategies. And if nothing works, you can also switch to a dedicated IP server. But, before that, try these easy strategies to boost your IP reputation:

#1. Use Separate IP Server for Marketing Purposes

Make it a thumb rule to keep your marketing, business, and personal email servers separate. For example, you have to send higher volume emails to different email domains for marketing purposes. Thus, marketing email servers can fluctuate often.

In addition, sending business and personal emails from separate accounts will improve IP and domain reputation for two accounts. That can be helpful when your marketing account has a low reputation, and you have to send marketing emails urgently. At that time, having multiple email servers with a high reputation will be helpful.

How to Maintain a Good IP Reputation? — Step by Step Guide

#2. Work on Warming Up Your IP Reputation

If you start sending many emails from the IP address on the first day, it will alert spam filters, and your IP reputation will plummet. Therefore, you have to warm up your IP reputation slowly and steadily.

Here are some practices to warm up IP reputation:

  • Remove all the email addresses that can mark your messages as spam or people who send malicious content.
  • Send small email batches to users who are more likely to click on your emails and engage with them.
  • Clean up your database to remove all inactive recipients to boost your click-through rate.
  • Start with high-performing campaigns that can get more clicks and responses like discount deals, personalized offers, etc.

3. Abide CAN-SPAM Complaint

The CAN-SPAM Act contains rules and regulations that protect internet users from cybercriminals. Under this act, you are refrained from using misleading subject lines or confusing content.

One of the crucial conditions under the law is that you should provide an easy-to-access unsubscribe button to recipients so they can unsubscribe to your email anytime. Besides this, many other email writing, formatting, and sending frameworks are set under the law that you should consider before sending emails.

4. Check for Malware Infection in Servers

Cybercriminals can control your email server and send out malicious spam messages without your knowledge. This way, you will not realize when your IP reputation turns from excellent to bad.

Cybercriminals often use zombie machines to corrupt your servers. When spam filters detect infected emails, they attribute them back to your zombie server, assuming that you are sending malicious emails.

Malicious actors connect to different zombie servers to create a botnet. Next, they use the botnet to spook other malicious actions such as DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, credential leaks, etc.

So, you should monitor your server for malware activities and remove them to improve your IP reputation.

How to Maintain a Good IP Reputation? — Step by Step Guide

5. Check Reasons for Hosting a Public Proxy Server

Proxy servers are a gateway between your device and the internet that passes data traffic. For example, when a user connects to a website, the data is transmitted through the proxy server. First, the data request is sent to the website, which gives a response that passes through the proxy server again.

When set correctly, proxy servers help enhance data security and improve your IP reputation. However, sometimes cybercriminals anonymize their proxies to attack your server.

If malicious actors spook your public proxy server, IP reputation software can mistake your proxy for a malicious one.

6. Define Your Public Proxy Server Policy

If you are keen on using a public proxy server, you need to set controls around it to improve your IP reputation. For instance, you should deny access to all web-based applications. This will reduce the chances of cybercriminals stealing your ID and password details.

In addition, ensure that your business email server doesn’t use a public proxy. This practice will protect your essential business information from getting into the wrong hands.

Moreover, filter out all illegitimate or malicious IP addresses from a public proxy server. Finally, you can use suitable web traffic filters to mitigate risks.

How to Maintain a Good IP Reputation? — Step by Step Guide

7. Never Send Emails to Suspicious Recipients

The best practice is to always keep to your verified recipient’s list. Never buy email lists from unauthorized resources and send them emails. This can spike spam complaints, blocks, and other adverse reactions against your IP server.

In the end, it can reduce your IP reputation and cost you big bucks. So, always verify email addresses before engaging with them. For this, you can use email verification tools like Alore. We will automatically verify email accounts so you can obtain higher IP reputations.

8. Focus on Your Email Content

Email content can influence whether your email lands in a spam folder. But it can also impact your domain reputation. For example, sending promotional or transactional email content can trigger spam filters.

For example, using lots of exclamation marks or suspicious subject lines can stimulate ISPs’ alert antennas. Thus, you should personalize your email content and refrain from using exaggerated information. Instead, write to-the-point and straightforward emails.

How to Maintain a Good IP Reputation? — Step by Step Guide

9. Don’t Send Cold Emails

Never hurry to send cold emails unless you have a warm domain and a good IP reputation. Sending out emails to many unverified accounts can impact your IP reputation.

Therefore, build a high reputation before sending marketing emails. In that way, you can at least have a medium IP reputation that can prevent your server from getting on a blacklist.

10. Use Double Opt-in Measures

Don’t just stick to traditional single opt-in practices to confirm a subscription. Instead, use double opt-in measures to connect with genuine users. Also, double opt-ins let your customers tell their ISP that they want to get your content and give them a chance to prove their email address authentication before adding to your email list.

11. Set Up a WAF

A WAF, aka Web Application Firewall, is a web application server firewall that reviews requests to weed out malicious web traffic. Some WAF filters can be used to boost your IP reputation, such as:

Geographic location

Anonymous proxies

Known risky IP addresses

12. Check Command-and-Control (C&C) Servers

Cybercriminals often use C&C servers to send commands to infected devices and servers. For example, when cybercriminals use zombie servers, they send information from their C&C servers. But ISPs think that they are coming from your C&C servers.

So, the best way to detect C&C servers is by setting up a honeypot. It is a security tool that acts as a target. For instance, you will set up a server using the same rules as your core network. Thus, whenever cybercriminals are in the learning phase, they will treat honeypot as your core network.

A honeypot will help you understand how cyber attacks work and prevent them. It will also let you find compromised servers to enhance your IP reputation.

13. Use an SSL/TLS Certificate

Secure Sockets Layer certifications are data files that help encrypt data shared between servers or browsers. Transport Layer Security is a new and better encryption protocol to protect data.

Using SSL/TLS certificates will improve security and verify your IP address. The IP address verification can come in handy to improve IP reputations. It is proof that you are not a malicious actor.

14. Be Simple

Finally, we will recommend you keep it simple. Avoid using large attachments, images, or links in a single email. Too bulky emails can whistle warning bells. So, curate simple emails to improve IP reputations when you are on the agenda.

Parting Thoughts-

IP reputation is less talked about. Not many email marketers work on warming up domain and IP reputation before sending cold emails. They are so hung up on open rates and response rates that they forget to check whether their emails are delivering to the inboxes or not.

You should not make this mistake. Instead, you should follow this guide first to know your IP reputation score and then improve it. So now, let’s not wait and start boosting your IP reputation.

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