(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 Can I Find Out If I’m on an Email Blacklist
There are various online tools that will help you determine if your IP or domain has been placed on a blocklist. Some of the best applications include:
- 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
You can use these tools to monitor whether you’ve been placed on a blocklist consistently, but if you suddenly cannot send an email, it’s highly likely that you’ve been placed on a blocklist.
Why Was I Blacklisted?
There are multiple reasons your IP or domain could end up on a blocklist, but there are four common reasons for being blocklisted.
Your Account Was Hacked or You’re on a Shared IP
When your business address ends up on a blocklist, it can be because someone else abused their Internet privileges. In some cases, a cybercriminal will hack your account or spoof messages to look like they’re coming from your IP. These instances can be hard to catch until you run out of inbox storage or someone reached out to you to let you know about a strange message they got from “you.”
Or, if you’re working on a shared IP instead of a dedicated IP, a different IP user may trigger spam filters and get the entire IP blocked. If this is the case, you may want to consider paying extra for a dedicated IP so you can control your sender’s reputation.
Your IP or Inbox Wasn’t Warm
Before you begin sending out bulk emails, you have to warm up your IP address. Warming up your IP address gives ISPs the chance to associate your email address with positive consumer interaction. It’s also essential to keep your inbox from getting cold between campaigns or warming it up a bit more to allow for a higher volume of messages.
Your Mailing List is Outdated
It’s essential to frequently update your subscriber list to ensure you’re not sending out emails to inactive or old addresses. When you continuously send emails to an abandoned address, your open rate and engagement rate decrease. Additionally, if you buy an email list to get leads quickly, it’s probable that the list will be filled with old emails and spam traps. It’s far more beneficial to gain leads organically.
Giving the people on your mailing list the option to unsubscribe keeps you CAN-SPAM compliant and keeps people from marking your content as spam. But it’s vital to honor their request to unsubscribe as quickly as possible to avoid being sent to spam by their ISP.
A Lot of Your Messages Have Been Marked as Spam
The more spam complaints your address has against it, the less trustworthy your content will appear to ISPs. It’s essential to practice good email marketing etiquette to stay off spam lists as much as you possibly can. This involves using double opt-in for new subscribers, avoiding spammy words or punctuation in your messages, and not sending too many emails to the same person.
Requesting RBL De-Listing from a Blacklist
Being removed from a Real-time Blackhole List (RBL) is often as simple as submitting a request to the blocklist administrator. Some of the popular RBLs you can request to be removed from include:
- Abuseat CBL
- Backscatter Blacklist
- Barracuda Blacklist
- Invaluement Blacklist
- LashBack UBL
- SpamCop Blacklist
- Spamhaus Blocklist
- Sorbs Blocklist
- UCE Protect Blacklist
Some RBLs, like the Truncate Blacklist, will automatically remove users from their list after a period of good behavior from the domain or IP.
How Can I Keep From Being Blacklisted?
The best thing you can do is to avoid getting placed on a blocklist from the beginning. Of course, if you are placed on a blocklist, you don’t have to throw out the IP and start all over again (unless you’re moving from a shared IP to a dedicated IP). But as long as you work to repair your reputation and keep it in good standing, you should have no issues with being put on a blocklist again.
Some of the preventative measures you can take to stay off of blocklists include:
- Verifying your domain through the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM),and Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC)
- Avoiding “spammy” language and punctuation in your content and only linking to reputable websites
- Using a dedicated IP
- Warming up your inbox and keeping it warm
- Managing the frequency of emails you send to your subscribers
- Using a double opt-in method for new subscribers
- Providing an accessible unsubscribe link and honoring unsubscribe requests
- Gaining new leads organically rather than buying a mailing list
- Updating your mailing list frequently
- Maintaining a positive sender reputation and sender score
- Crafting engaging content that gives you a high open rate and high click-through rate
- Running security checks to ensure your account hasn’t been compromised
- Staying CAN-SPAM compliant
Getting placed on a blocklist can feel like a worst-case scenario, but as frustrating as it is, it’s something that can be fixed or prevented with a small investment of time and effort. To learn how Warmup Inbox can help you keep your inbox warm and your IP and domain off blocklists, try our platform for free.
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