The Best Email Warmup Schedule to Avoid Blacklists

The Warmup Inbox Team
The Warmup Inbox Team

(Note: Some have started using the term “blocklist” in place of “blacklist” because of negative associations with the word. Both words have the same meaning and can be used interchangeably.)

How Does Warming Up an Email Help Avoid Blacklists?

About 80% of emails sent each day are flagged as spam, and if a sender is a repeat spam offender, they can be placed on a blocklist. ISPs work to keep junk out of people’s mailboxes, and they cross-reference blocklists to see whether an IP address has a poor reputation.

You could have the best content on the market, but if you send out too many emails too quickly from an IP address, you could get flagged as spam. Too many spam complaints will get you listed on a blacklist, and once on an email blacklist, your emails will bounce back to you.

Warming up your inbox allows you to establish yourself as a trustworthy source to your recipients’ ISPs. The more positive interactions you have with mailbox providers, the less likely it is that you’ll end up with spam complaints and eventually on a blocklist.

Why Is Warming Up Your Email and Domain Important?

Warming up an inbox is essential for various reasons since the process comes with numerous benefits for your domain and email address. Aside from staying off of blocklists, warming up your email and domain help you:

  • Maintain and improve your email deliverability
  • Increase your sender reputation with ISPs
  • Increase the total number of emails your domain can safely send
  • Help prevent your domain from being considered spam
  • Keep your outgoing emails out of spam traps

Warming up an email address takes a fair amount of time, but it’s worth the effort. Email marketing is one of the most beneficial modern marketing tools, but it can’t work for you if you can’t get into your customer’s inboxes. When done right, email campaigns can have an ROI of up to 4400% or $44 for every $1 spent, so why take the chance of missing out on the capability your company has for growth?

How Long Is the Warmup Schedule to Avoid Blacklists?

Although you’re probably ready to start sending out mass emails to your customers, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to warming up an inbox. IP addresses are considered guilty until proven innocent, so the more time you take to establish yourself as a reputable sender, the less likely it will be that you’ll end up on a blocklist.

That being said, warming up your inbox to its maximum sending capacity should take at least four to six weeks. This means ramping up the number of emails you send each day little by little so that ISPs get used to seeing your IP address.

An easy way to start is by segmenting your contact lists and sending out more and more emails each day until you reach the desired amount of emails you want to send within a single day. As you warm your inbox, be sure to engage with anyone who sends you a message. Positive engagement shows ISPs that there’s a human behind the email address, so even if you and a coworker send messages back and forth, it’ll help you warm your inbox.

While it may take a little while to get things going, warming up your inbox can significantly help you maintain your sender reputation in the long run.

What Factors Influence Email Blacklists?

If you find out you’re on a blocklist, don’t panic. There’s usually a way to remedy the situation and repair your IP’s reputation. Blocklists were created to protect the general public from unwanted emails, and if you aren’t a spammer, you shouldn’t have any issue getting yourself off a blocklist.

Depending on the type of blocklist, operators will look for a few different factors when collecting IP addresses or domains. The most common factors that will send someone to a blocklist include:

The Sender’s Account was Hacked or Spoofed

Most of the time, when a professional email ends up on a blocklist, it’s because a spammer hacks their account and sends out a large number of malicious emails under their IP address. Sometimes, the company won’t notice that their account has been hacked until they run out of storage or one of their recipients tells their point of contact about a weird email they got from “them.”

The Sender Is Using a Dirty Mail List

If a company has a list of recipients for their newsletters or email campaigns, they must constantly update the list. Consistently sending out emails to inactive or fake email addresses can land an IP address on a blocklist and decrease the sender’s engagement rates. Additionally, if a company purchases a list of emails claimed to be “fantastic leads for the market,” then the list is likely composed of old emails or spam traps.

The Sender’s Messages Have Been Reported as Spam (A Lot)

If a sender’s emails end up in their recipients’ spam or junk folders more than their inboxes, their email provider may end up on a blocklist because of the number of complaints against the server.

The Sender Sent Too Many Emails Too Quickly

If a sender doesn’t warm up their IP address and suddenly goes from sending a couple of emails a week to a couple hundred a day, ISPs may think they’re a spammer and place their IP address or domain on a blocklist.

How Do I Know If My Emails Are Blacklisted?

There are multiple online tools you can use to check if your IP address or domain is on a blocklist:

  • Barracuda Reputation Block List: free DNS blacklist that lists emails known to send spam
  • Invaluement:anti-spam DNSBL that blocks senders who send out unsolicited mass emails
  • MXToolBox:a way to check multiple blacklists quickly and check your DNS
  • MultiRBL:free multiple DNS service that cross-references lists by IPV4, IPV6, or domain
  • SpamCop:a list of IPs that have been reported as spam by SpamCop users
  • SpamHaus:DNSBLs used to identify and track spam sources
  • SURBL:lists of websites that have appeared in unsolicited messages
  • Warmup Inbox: as a part of our platform, we constantly run checks to make sure you’re not on any blocklists

How Do I Get My Email Off the Blacklist?

Even if you’re taking as many preventative measures as you can, you still find yourself on an email blacklist. The first thing to do is request to be removed from the list. Sometimes this is as easy as submitting a request to the list provider; other times, you’ll have to prove to the provider that you’re a legitimate company and you’re working toward creating a better reputation for your email address.

Blocklist operators may ask you to complete a couple of tasks or implement a new protocol before removing you from the list. For instance, they could require that you send your subscribers a re-permission request that allows them to indicate that they want to continue receiving mail from you. Or, if you don’t have a double opt-in subscription policy, the blocklist operator may ask that you put one in place.

If there is no way to remove your address from the list and it’s affecting your deliverability, you may need to start over with a new IP address.  When setting up a new IP address, it’s essential to take steps to ensure that you don’t end up on a blocklist again.

Warmup Inbox can help you get your emails into your recipients’ inboxes and keep you off harmful blocklists. Get started for free.