Nobody wants to end up on the email blacklist.
If you’re having trouble reaching people with your email, there is a small (but not insignificant) chance you found your way onto a spam blacklist. These prevent your emails land in your subscribers’ inboxeswhich, as you might expect, will have a major negative impact on your ability to succeed with Email Marketing.
There are hundreds of spam blacklists out there, and unfortunately, sometimes the good guys get along with the bad guys. So how do you know if you’re on the blacklist? We’ve put together this brief introduction to blacklists for email marketers, including how to check and what to do if you are blacklisted.
What is blacklisting and why is it bad?
An email blacklist is a tool that servers use to decide which emails should be considered spam and which should not. You owe blacklists to why you don’t keep deleting fake promotions and financial “opportunities” from foreign princes in your inbox. They are also the reason you may struggle to reach your audience.
In essence, each blacklist acts as a filter that helps servers intercept spam and store it in the junk folder where it belongs, with various ways to separate the spam from the other emails sent. For this reason, you may also know blacklisting by its other common name: spam trapping.
In most cases, blacklists do an excellent job of serving their intended purpose. But the way they decide what is spam and what is not means that sometimes well-meaning email marketers will box too. When this happens, it is usually due to one of three different specific traps a marketer has fallen into:
- Typos fall. If the email addresses on your contact list contain a lot of typos (for example: email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org), spam traps likely assume that your list and your intentions aren’t that big. A few contact mistakes shouldn’t hurt you, but it becomes a problem if done in excess.
- Untouched traps. Another way to blacklist unsuspecting spammers is to distribute email addresses and domains that don’t really exist.
- Recycled spam traps. Beware of dormant contacts via email. Email addresses that keep coming back are flagged as spam trap addresses, which could harm you if you’re not careful.
- Use of spam trigger words. In email marketing there is certain words that will be marked as spam when used spa. Overall, they are mostly promotional by nature or associated with dubious requests and promises. So be careful the copy you use when putting your emails together.
Another way to get blacklisted is to have a lot of your contacts mark you as spam. However, this shouldn’t be a problem when you’re practicing correct list labelhow to maintain a Opt-in email list only and providing a clear space for deregistration.
How to check if you are on the blacklist
Are you concerned that you may have accidentally blacklisted yourself?
Since there are more than a hundred blacklists, it is best to use an aggregate service like. to use MXToolBox to find out if your email address has gotten to the dark side. Other helpful tools that you might want to try are the Barracuda Reputation Blacklist List, MultiRBL, and Sender rating.
Anyone who has somehow made it onto a blacklist is not entirely unlucky. Send the blacklist operator a request to remove your IP address and try not to be too defensive even if you don’t know how you got there. Some operators may remove you immediately, while others may ask you to do some things first, such as: For example, send another approval request to all of your contacts.
If your domain name or IP address is blacklisted by an ISP, you must submit a request to be removed from their blacklist (de-listed).
Here are the basic steps you should follow for the whitelisting / delisting process with the ISP in question:
- Follow the URL links and apply for whitelisting / delisting using the online form. And or:
- You should send an email to the email address provided.
Here are some common ISPs:
- Send an email to: email@example.com
- Use the subject line
(Example: Blocked 255.255.255.2555)
- Further details can be found on these pages:
- Hot Mail:
- If you’re blacklisted, visit Yahoo Postmasters
- Click on “Problems with e-mail delivery”
- Follow this url for the google page translator tool: https://translate.google.com
- Activate “Translate from Russian” and “Translate into English”
- Enter this link in the form: mail.ru/notspam/ Then and press Enter or Return.
- Read and follow the instructions on the newly translated page.
- If you’re blacklisted, visit AOL Postmasters
- Click on “Problems with e-mail delivery”
Blacklist lists [RBL/DNSBL]:
How to avoid being blacklisted
It’s much easier to stay away from blacklists than to have your address removed after it’s been flagged. Aside from avoiding falling into spam traps, there are a few other ways to keep your IP from being blacklisted:
- Maintain an opt-in list. Never email someone without their permission. An opt-in list may take longer to grow, but it’s much higher quality – and much less likely to get flagged.
- Remove undeliverable addresses. If you receive a message that an email has been returned and / or otherwise marked as undeliverable, remove it from your list. The more you send these types of addresses, the more likely you will be blacklisted.
- Check your contact list for typos. Take some time to scroll through your contact list and make sure everything is entered correctly. It may take a while, but it’s worth it to make sure you’re not sending silly messages.
- Perform routine maintenance. Clean up your email list regularly to ensure that no spam accounts, undeliverable emails, or incorrect emails got there.
- Don’t buy emails. At Benchmark Email, we always preach the importance of Building your email list about buying. If your focus is building it, you are using tactics that are safer and deliver quality. When you buy, you don’t know exactly what you are getting. Oh, too, it’s a violation GDPR guidelines.
- Check the email addresses. Marc Schenker The glorious society, a copywriting and content marketing agency, uses email verification tools to make sure the emails they’re being sent to are genuine. Some of the tools he uses include ZeroBounce and Kick box.
Want to take the guesswork out of staying away from blacklists? Use an email automation toollike benchmark email. Our software integrates with a variety of deliverability tools that can help you make sure your lists stay clean, your emails get to the inbox and, overall, you are doing everything possible to avoid being blacklisted.