In the email marketing industry, sending spam or unwanted bulk messages can tarnish the brand of any organization. This may prompt mailbox providers to filter their messages to spam folders or to place them on email blacklists.
In this article, we’re going to explain what an email blacklist is, how to avoid being placed on one, and how to tell if you’ve been blacklisted.
What is email blacklist?
An email blacklist is a list of IP addresses or domains that a blacklist operator has caught sending email to accounts that do not voluntarily subscribe to their email program. Simply put, a blacklist is a list of IP addresses or domains that are known spammers. Most mailbox providers reference several email blacklists to determine a brand’s sender reputation and decide whether they will let them send email to their account holders.
some blacklists, like spamhausare reliable and widely trusted, so if a brand is on any of these blacklists, it is because of their sender reputation, other blacklists, such asno solicitadoare less reliable and trustworthy, so if a brand is on one of these blacklists, it will not affect the sender’s reputation as much.
When referencing blacklists to determine the deliverability of a brand, mailbox providers measure their influence based on credibility, not just whether they are listed on them.
How to avoid email blacklist
Name an intelligent email team leader in HubSpot jess swazi once told me, “The easiest way to get off an email blacklist is to never receive it in the first place.” In light of this Yoda-esque wisdom, here are four best practices for avoiding email blacklists.
1. Email only email contacts who have subscribed to your email program – and never email contacts scraped from websites, third-party sources, or purchased contact lists.
One of the easiest and most important steps you can take to avoid email blacklists is to email people who have actually subscribed to your email. because in a world where only 8% people believe the information given in the advertisement to be trueThe best way to build a contact database is the hard and honest way — systematically collecting email addresses.
Plus collecting and emailing contacts who haven’t subscribed to your email program in the first place is a one-way ticket to getting blacklisted. This is because most of the operators have already been blacklisted ancient spam trap In third-party sources, abandoned websites and purchased contact lists.
2. Clean out your email lists regularly.
Having a large email list may sound like a great idea, but they do more harm than good if they’re made up of many unrelated contacts, so it’s best to look over your email list and purge it of any inactive email addresses. Is good.
Most mailbox providers determine whether you are truly a reputable sender and worthy of a high deliverability score by keeping an eye on any inactive email addresses that have been converted to recycled spam traps and any IP addresses or domains Ding who sends them emails. In your database, any contact that hasn’t subscribed to your email program or opened one of your emails in a year is likely a recycled spam trap.
To avoid sending emails to recycled spam traps and getting blacklisted, run a re-engagement campaign with your inactive contacts. It’s up to you to decide how long before a contact opts out of your email program to consider them inactive, but if they don’t open your re-engagement email, that’s a signal to remove them from your list.
3. Never manually enter email addresses into your database or mass email those contacts.
After industry events, some sales teams collect business cards from prospects, manually plug each contact’s email address into their database, and send them a mass marketing email.
It can also be a one-way ticket to getting blacklisted because those contacts never opted out of receiving messages from your email program. Chances are they’ll never open them. In fact, they may flag them as spam, which will reduce your deliverability and increase your risk of being blacklisted.
Manually entering email addresses into your database can also increase the chance of typos, resulting in emails being sent to addresses that don’t exist. This will increase your email bounce rate, which will reduce your deliverability and increase your risk of being blacklisted.
To avoid these issues, connect with each of these prospects through their personal inbox and direct them to an offer, landing page, or form where they can opt themselves into your email marketing list.
4. Validate the email addresses of your new customers.
Speaking of typos, sometimes people will try to subscribe to your email program but make a typo when entering their contact information into your form.
Unfortunately, mailbox providers will bounce any email sent to addresses that don’t exist – reducing your deliverability and increasing your risk of being blacklisted. To avoid this subtle but powerful blacklisting trigger, email address verification tools such as kick boxOr zero bounce To validate each email address you collect from your subscription forms.
How to check if you are on email blacklist
Sometimes, an ancient or recycled spam trap can slip through the cracks and get you blacklisted. Fortunately, your email service provider will usually notify you when this happens, but if you want to be absolutely sure that your IP address or domain is not on a blacklist, use a blacklist-checking tool, such as sender score Or mx toolbox,
There are other ways you can check whether you have been blacklisted or not:
Check your email metrics.
A good sign that you may be blacklisted is if your open rates drop drastically. For example, falling from 40% to 5% in a short period of time is definitely a sign that something is wrong.
Send test email.
Send test emails to known addresses and see how many of them are received and if they end up in spam folders.
Use an email monitor.
email monitor, eg massmailer email monitorAutomatically check blacklists and offer a wide variety of services and features – such as:
- predictive delivery metrics
- Blacklist and Whitelist Monitoring
- email client preview test
how to get rid of email blacklist
If you send email through a shared IP address at one of your email service providers and it gets blacklisted, it is your email service provider’s job to remove the shared IP address. However, a domain sending spam from a shared IP address may blacklist the entire shared IP address, so if your actions blacklist your shared IP address, your email service provider may need to cancel your subscription or require remediation. have rights.
On the other hand, if your dedicated IP address or domain ends up on one or more email blacklists, it is your job to remove it. Unfortunately, there is no universal solution for getting your domain unlisted – you need to follow a different protocol for each blacklist to get out of it. However, there are two general best practices for delisting that are good starting points for any email program.
1. Follow email best practices.
To get off most blacklists, you will need to work directly with the blacklist operators and prove to them that you are indeed a trustworthy sender. You can do this by following email best practices for a specific period of time. Some email best practices are:
- Avoiding the use of no-reply email addresses
- send personalized emails
- with compelling CTAs
- A/B Testing Content
2. Permission Pass Campaign
Another way to get your domain unlisted is to run a permission pass campaign. When you get blacklisted, your email service provider will pinpoint the campaign that triggered it – allowing you to identify email lists in their database that contain spam traps. Once you have this list, you can run a permission pass campaign, where you re-send engagement emails to contacts on the list who haven’t interacted with your email in a long time.
These contacts are most likely spam traps that triggered your blacklisting, so make sure you’ve removed all accounts that aren’t associated with your Permission Pass campaign. Otherwise, an emotional attachment to a large yet unengaged email list may never let you delete it.