photo of sales blog author peter daniels

"How many more deals do you need to close?"

If you want us to help you close more deals for free for 30 days, click here.

Email Blacklist: What It Is and How to Avoid It

photo of Santa's nice and naughty list

If a marketer suddenly woke up from a nightmare, chances are he was dreaming about getting his email blacklisted. Not only can this negatively affect your ability to reach new subscribers, it also wreaks havoc on your current email list. As technology advances, so has the occurrence and style of fraud. As a result, ISPs have had to employ several means to protect their users from spam. This includes using spam traps, filters, and the dreaded email blacklist.

Needless to say, all these measures make deliverability rates and engagement increasingly difficult for sales and marketing professionals. Fortunately, there is some good news. Avoiding the red hand of the blacklists and spam filters is not an impossible task. As long as you maintain regular email blacklist checks. Veloxy has compiled a detailed guide on everything you need to know about blacklists. This includes:

  • What Email Blacklists are and How They Work
  • How to Find out Whether you’re Blacklisted
  • Tips to Avoid Getting Blacklisted
  • Ways to Get Out of Email Blacklists

What is an Email blacklist?

To put it simply, this is a list of Domains and IP addresses suspected of sending out spam emails. It’s a real-time database that tells people which emails should be considered as spam and avoided indiscriminately.

Email blacklists are set up in an attempt to protect users from spam and decrease deliverability of unwanted emails. The blacklists are based on several id algorithms where your email won’t even make it into anyone’s inbox.

How does an Email blacklist work?

Whenever you send out an email, the first person to receive it is the internet service provider (ISP). Your ISP has the upper hand when it comes to determining the legitimacy of your email. If your IP address is not on any blacklist, it’s given the green light straight into the recipients’ inbox.

If your IP is already blacklisted, then all emails will be treated as spam. Every single criteria for blacklisting any email is based on policies of the ISP. As such, you’ll want to draft emails according to the guidelines provided by your ISP. Otherwise, you might get flagged for some other minor reasons.

Is your Email blacklisted? How to find out.

Instead of wasting hundreds of emails or wondering whether you’re blacklisted, you have to be sure. Follow the steps below to check whether you are on any email blacklist.

Step 1: Run tests.

To check whether you’re blacklisted, enter your email in any of the following tools. Mail-Tester, Glockapps, and Isnotspam will all let you know how spammy your email is. Moreover, they’ll also give you suggestions on which changes to make.

Step 2: Check several blacklists.

This step involves doing a manual check on various blacklists to find out if your email is up there. Any of the blacklists named below are publicly available and can be checked directly. The blacklists are Spamhaus, MXToolBox, SURBL, MultiRBL, Spamcop and Invaluement. If you find your email in any of these lists, you’ll need to file a removal request and confirm you’re not a spammer. However, some of them remove email address automatically after a while.

How to get out of an Email blacklist

Removing your email from a blacklist is very easy. If any of the checks above reveal that you’ve been blacklisted, your first step should be to understand the delisting procedure for that particular blacklist or service provider. Likewise, you’ll have to introspect on the reason why they blacklisted your email and see if you can change the causal factors.

In most cases, all you need to do is inform the blacklists that you’ve corrected all problems and prove you’re not a spammer. In other cases, you have to send a removal request and wait for confirmation. However, you’ll remain under constant scrutiny even when you’re off the blacklist. The last thing you want to do is continue any suspicious activity that might attract the attention of spam filters and blacklists. You need to ensure that you know all the ways to avoid email blacklists and spam filters. Subsequently, this will save you a lot of problems in future.

How to avoid spam filters and Email blacklists

In the world of sales where one set back could mean millions in losses, prevention is always 10 times better than cure. So instead of struggling to get off email blacklists when it’s too late, why not avoid the situation altogether? Below are a few factors that will help you steer clear of any email blacklist.

I): Subscription related factors

  • Provide Double Opt In – Make it a habit of sending a confirmation email to all new addresses before adding them to your list.
  • Build your Own Email List – One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is renting email lists. Why? Because chances are the bought list will include email addresses that are either spammy or forged.
  • Include a Link to Unsubscribe – Always respect the decision of subscribers if they choose to opt out. A link or unsubscribe button should be active at least 30 days from sending the first email. According to GDPR, having a way to unsubscribe is mandatory.

II): Technical factors

  • Avoid High Bounce Rates – A hard bounce rate is one of the main reasons for ending up on an email blacklist. Use a good domain to avoid high bounce rates.
  • Increase Email Open Rates – By personalizing your emails, adding valuable content and ensuring you follow all provider guidelines, you can increase open rates substantially.
  • Monitor Email Engagement Metrics – Always keep a close watch on your engagement metrics. High open rates mean recipients are reading the emails. Similarly, it also assures blacklists you’re not a spammer.

Conclusion on Email blacklists

Other ways to avoid ending up on an email blacklist include staying away from over-eager follow ups. Likewise, manually sending too many emails at a go is likely to trigger spam filters. Ultimately, the solutions for reducing your chances of getting blacklisted are too many to include in this post alone. What’s more, they vary from industry to industry. It’s up to you to update yourself constantly with the changing email deliverability laws.

But remember, email blacklists don’t exist to make your life any harder. They only serve to protect subscribers and avoid email malpractices that would hurt sales people and marketers everywhere. In conjunction with the tips above, you’ll also need a few tools along the way.

Tools that will not only help avoid all email blacklist, but also craft better emails with higher open rates. Take your email campaign to the next level with the best email template builder –Veloxy Engage. Not only does Veloxy save you time with ready-made templates, it also adds an array of benefits. These include mail-merge, email tracking, engagement analytics, and most importantly, CAN-SPAM compliant bulk email. All these benefits means you’ll always be one step ahead of any email blacklist.

Checkout our 5 Stars Veloxy reviews in Salesforce AppExchangeCapterraG2Crowd and Sourceforge.

Get your Free eBook on How to Exceed Your Quota Faster with Email Marketing

In addition to the best subject lines and signature tricks, you'll also discover more insight on how to avoid blacklists.
Peter Daniels

Peter Daniels

Peter Daniels has written 100+ blog posts on sales. From Salesforce adoption to email marketing, and fields sales strategies to cold calling tips—Peter's is committed to helping sales professionals all across the world.

  • Blogs
  • Reviews
  • Products