To send thousands of emails manually in an email campaign can take a full day.
There are already so many tasks to do before hitting that send button.
There is a copy to write, images to source, an email to format within your email service provider (ESP), segments to choose from, then finally, click send.
It’s almost heartbreaking when after all this work, some emails don’t even make it to the inbox, making all that work going into an email marketing campaign be wasted.
Your emails bounce because of an invalid email address or full inbox, a typo could send the email to the wrong person, or you’re blacklisted out of nowhere so your emails don’t reach an inbox at all.
However, these mistakes are bound to happen and have quick fixes.
But your email being blacklisted is serious and worse, some marketers take it lightly.
Understanding how blacklists work can help you understand how email works—and what you should avoid falling into email blacklist.
In this article, we will cover from A to Z email blacklists and answer questions like: what does it mean to be blacklisted? And how to avoid an email blacklist.
Keep on reading to discover more!
What is an email blacklist?
A blacklist is a list that identifies IP addresses or domains labeled as spammers.
Blacklists are used by internet service providers (ISPs), free mailbox providers, and anti-spam vendors to prevent spam from coming into their systems.
An individual or ESP can find their IP(s) or domain(s) on one or more blacklists depending on the amount and quality of the email and lists they’ve sent to.
You can get blacklisted for many reasons.
Here are a few reasons why you might get blacklisted:
ESPs (email service providers) can get triggered to blacklist your emails if 75% of recipients mark them as spam complaints.
Certain email servers use keyword filters to detect spam emails.
Expressions like “Money-Back Guarantee”, “Free”, multiple exclamation marks, and capital letters can be red flags to ESPs and blacklist your emails.
Poor email list management:
This usually happens when your recipients’ unsubscribe request gets ignored.
This will make your campaign keep sending emails to the recipients even after they unsubscribe, which will get you flagged as spam and worse, blacklisted.
How to find out if you’re on an email blacklist?
There are online and free tools to help you find out if your domain or IP was added to any blacklists.
All you have to do is send an email to their email ID.
The tool will analyze and sends a report back of how spammy your email is.
The report also has changes and suggestions so you can improve your email deliverability.
Check through blacklists:
If your email engagements rates are low, you have to manually check different blacklists to find out the reason why your engagement rates dropped.
Blacklists are available for the public, you can check them through your own domain name.
You can use websites like Spamhaus and Spamcop.
Why getting email blacklisted is bad?
Short answer, yes. But don’t freak out.
Being blacklisted can be a good indicator of where is your email marketing campaign is going wrong.
– Small blacklists:
Having your IP address on small blacklists won’t impact your ability to reach your clients that badly.
If you continue to send emails without raising spam complaints, the IP address should drop off on its own.
ISPs use these ones which can have a bigger impact on your emails deliverability and gradually, your business.
You need to contact the large list to remove your IP address.
These blacklist companies’ websites have tutorials on how to be removed from their lists.
This process is simple to follow and straightforward.
The process usually only requires you to perform an email list clean up and that’s that.
To check to see if an IP address is on a blacklist, you should go to MX Toolbox.
If you’re sending emails through an ESP (email service provider), the ESP will give you the steps to follow to fix the problem in your email and lists.
The ESP will contact the people who run the blacklists to get their IP addresses removed.
You should simultaneously, clean your email lists to unblock your account.
By then, you will be able to continue sending your emails.
How does email blacklisting affect email deliverability?
Keeping on sending emails with a blacklisted domain will plumb down your email delivery rates.
Most global mailbox providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook drop emails coming from a blacklisted sender domain and flag them as a spammer.
Spammer label will tank your sender reputation.
Reasons why you ended up on Email Blacklists?
There are many reasons why an email address, IP address, or domain name can end up on an email blacklist:
One of the most common reasons legitimate email users get blacklisted is that spammers hack their accounts and use them to send spam emails.
Unfortunately, marketers only notice this when they ran out of available free email storage space.
This happens when an account sends emails with a forged sender address.
These emails are sent from a source other than a legit source, spammers find this method useful.
Dirty mail list:
In your email marketing campaign, you have multiple email address lists that you use to send emails and newsletters.
The downside is that you have to regularly check that your email list doesn’t have inactive, fake, or invalid email addresses that will generate no engagement.
Too many outbound emails:
If your sending pace goes from sending one or two emails per week to sending more than a hundred emails in a single day, your ESP will suspect that you’re a spammer.
If your ESP flags you as a spammer, it will blacklist you and ban your email address from sending more emails until you complete an email blacklist removal.
How to avoid being blacklisted?
The best thing you can do for your email marketing is to avoid a blacklist in the first place. Here’s how to stay off blacklists.
What you send to your email subscribers keeps them interested and engaged in your emails.
If you’re sending out blanket emails to everyone on your list, you may get some spam complaints.
Make sure you’re sending what your subscribers are expecting from you and keep the content interesting to them by personalizing the emails and content.
Aside from your content, be aware of how often you send emails.
If you start sending thousands of emails out of nowhere, you are trapping yourself with trouble.
Watch email campaign stats:
Aside from open and click rates, watch domain opens as well.
If you see an open drop-off significantly in a specific domain, you should check your blacklist status.
Don’t buy an email list. Most email addresses are spam traps.
You’ll get more spam complaints and delivery issues than you will land clients.
Also, regularly clean your email address lists by removing any bounced addresses or ones that are inactive and invalid.
Remove the email addresses that haven’t opened your email in a while.
Segment your lists:
break your lists up into segments to make sure that your email subscribers are getting what they need from your email marketing.
Segmented lists are based on where your subscribers live, what types of products they buy, or what their interests are.
This will be so eye-opening in your content strategy.
Use double opt-in for the email subscribers
The double opt-in technique is when you do a two-step verification to be added to a newsletter.
The subscriber will receive a confirmation email of their subscription with a link.
Double opt-in gives you an extra security measure to block fake emails and be sure that the subscribers are real users and not bots.
The extra signup step assures that your subscribers are interested in receiving your emails, when you create a newsletter, send promotional offers, or inform them about new offers.
This reduces email spam complaints against your business.
It also reduces the risk of people unsubscribing from your list of emails.
Using double opt-ins will guarantee you more qualified leads, establish stronger relationships with new subscribers, and improves the delivery of your emails.
Attach an unsubscribe link
Include an unsubscribe link in your emails.
If you don’t, you are violating anti-spam laws, and this can get your domain blacklisted.
You have to know about the anti-spam laws if you do not want your emails to get blacklisted.
Include an unsubscribe link in your emails will not only keep you adhering to the laws and regulations but also increases your subscribers’ UX.
You will be 110ù sure you are sending your emails to only the interested subscribers.
Include an unsubscribe link in your emails and display that it is way more important than anything else.
Your subscribers should feel the right to unsubscribe from any emails which they are not interested in.
Clean the email lists routinely
Incorporating an email verification service for your email list will help you detect latent spam traps and avoid getting blacklisted.
You need to regularly update your email list by removing inactive and invalid email addresses to filter out spam traps.
You can also check your subscribers’ email addresses that are free from typos, spelling errors, and invalid email ids.
Email validation services and double opt-ins can also prevent such errors.
Keeping a clean email address list will help you avoid spam traps and increase email deliverability.
Optimize email content
Sending email blasts and collective junk emails may lead to increasing spam complaints and can also get your emails to the blacklist.
-Personalize your email content by incorporating leading email marketing software into your workflow.
-Customize emails by using a drag and drop email editor to personalize the layout and design of the email.
You can insert images, text, buttons, calendar invites, HTML snippets, and polls into your email copies.
Email editors have advanced options for you to include dynamic content.
You will have the chance to exhibit different types of condition-based content such as a particular section or list.
Customized content will interest your subscribers enough to save your email from being flagged or blacklisted.
Secure the server
To protect the email server from getting hijacked by bots and malware, you need to set up security measures and tools to verify IP addresses.
Bots and malware can send fraud emails and blacklist you even if you do white hat methods of email marketing.
Use an IP search tool to make sure your IP address is not being used by anyone else.
Regularly update the security protocols of the email server to protect your address from being blacklisted.