Email blacklisting is one of the most typical causes of email delivery issues. For all the marketers who send email campaigns, it is always a nightmare for them to see some of the emails never make it to the mailbox.

If your IP address or domain gets blacklisted, you will find a surge in hard bounces and spam complaints. This will impact negatively your brand reputation as well as low open and click-through rates.

Getting blacklisted for your emails not only ruin your email deliverability, but also tank your KPI report, and super awkward when you try to find new users. There could be several reasons for not getting your emails delivered to the users, such as soft bounce that comes with a typing error, hard bounce which means your email address doesn’t exist, or email blacklisting.

If you are dealing with any of these, you are not going to land in the mailbox any sooner. If you are continuously observing that the delivery rates are dropping every fine day, it means that either domain IP address got blacklisted. But don’t worry, in this article, we shall discuss email blacklists in detail and how to get out of them.

Table of Contents

  • What is an email blacklist?
  • Why is my email address blacklisted?
    • Email spoofing
    • Unhygienic email list
    • Hacked email accounts
    • Too many reports
    • Using spam-triggered words
  • What to do if you are on the blacklist?
  • How to avoid an email blacklist?
  • Final words

What Is an Email Blacklist?

An email blacklist, also known as a blocklist, is a domain, or an IP address blocked from sending emails to the recipients due to spam activity. Initially, people used to send emails to the users and for that reason only email address was necessary – that period was known as the wild west of email spam.

what is email blacklist

Today, email marketing has become muchly sophisticated with spam filters. It has become difficult to land in the mailbox unless you follow some email marketing best practices.

An email blacklist is also known as Domain Name System-based Blackhole List (DNSBL), and Real-time Blackhole List (RBL) the list of IP addresses and domains that are reported suspicious to send emails using the internet.

Some the organizations such as ISP (Internet Service Providers), ESP (Email Service Providers), and ASA (Anti-spam Agencies) are vigilant to detect spammer entering the network. If your IP or Domain gets placed blacklisted even once, the mailbox service provider will get alerted after receiving emails from these domain names, and IP addresses in the future.

The motive behind catching these emails is to reduce the spam, scams, or malware involved coming with them. This practice enables the users to receive legitimate emails in the mailbox to pay attention.

Why Is My Email Address Blacklisted?

As we have understood in the above lines, an email blacklist is a record of IP addresses, domain names, and email addresses that are notorious for sending spam. Email service providers such as Microsoft, and Google, as Internet Service Providers like Verizon, or Comcast use these email blacklists to take strict actions again them.

They take care of the users and feed them with the right information while blocking the annoying content in the spam folders. Many ways are there that cause a domain, IP address, or email address trapped in the email blacklist, such as:

Email Spoofing

Creating a message with a forged email address is not a difficult task these days. It can be forged quite easily. These types of messages appear from the other sender instead of a real user.

email spoofing

It means that your email address can be used by a second person to send emails with your email address, that is called email spoofing. This practice is very common – spammers and hackers do this for their malicious agendas.

For more information, read: Email Spoofing: What Is It, and How to Protect Yourself 

Unhygienic Email List

Email list hygiene is an essential element in email marketing. An email list or mailing list is a list that is used to send emails or email newsletters to subscribers. Many types of subscribers can exist in a mailing list, such as active, inactive, fake, or illegitimate.

If you don’t take care of your email list, there are many chances that you be blacklisted by the email/internet service provider.

Hacked Email Accounts

Hacked email accounts are one of the common reasons why legitimate emails are blacklisted is when hackers or spammers send spam emails. When email service providers detect a lot of spamming from an email account, they didn’t let the emails end up in the mailbox.

Too Many Reports

When we send an email campaign to the users, it is treated differently by the different users. Some users open the emails to read them, some of them click the call to action, some delete the emails even without opening them up, and others mark them as spam and don’t find them relevant. If there are too many spam complaints your email gets blacklisted.

Using Spam-Triggered Words

Every field has some certain vocabulary to communicate. The same is the case with email marketing. Landing in the mailbox is directly proportional to the language you use in the emails.

spam trigger words

Some spam words trigger the spam filters, and your emails don’t find a way to your inbox. Therefore, beware of these words and avoid using them in your emails so that you may not be caught by the spam filters.

What to Do if You Are on the Blacklist?

Email blacklisting is nothing new to the world. There are hundreds of blacklists in the world and you could be one of them. If you find yourself on a blacklist, the first thing you need to do is that don’t panic.

What will happen if you will be on the blacklist? The simple answer to this question is that you won’t be able to reach your users in the mailbox. Getting blacklisted means there is something wrong with your email marketing strategy.

If you have smaller blacklists, there is a possibility those will less likely to be used by the major ISPs, and they will drop off fairly quickly. On the other hand, if the lists are comparatively larger, the ISPs will have a bigger impact on the emails getting delivered.

Further, if your personal IP is added to the blacklist, you need to contact the IPS about the list to remove it. Every blacklist organization has some kind of rule in order to remove the IP addresses, domain names, or email addresses from the blacklists.

Those rules are not as difficult as you idealize, rather most of them are quite simple you need to follow. Just follow those instructions regarding your email lists, or your email marketing strategy.

Also, if you are using an ESP for your email marketing process, they will guide you rightly on how to fix the problem and how to get out of the email blacklist.

How to Avoid an Email Blacklist?

The first thing you can do in order to avoid an email blacklist is to make sure you stick to the strict email-sending policy. Then again, due to some error of judgment, you get blacklisted. And you can follow the above solutions to get out of it.

Now, what do you need to do to avoid trapping as blacklisted? First of all, you need to make sure that the email content is right. If you are not paying any attention to your email content, the chances get an increase to get your email blacklisted.

how to avoid email blacklist

Write engaging content in your email so that your users open them up and reply if needed. User engagement is one of the most important factors in email marketing. If you are sending the same emails to everyone, there are more chances that you will meet spam complaints.

Instead of sending generic emails to everyone, we suggest you personalize your emails according to the users’ personas in order to increase engagement. Further, oversee your email campaign stats.

By analyzing the stats, you will be able to know about the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy. If you find spam complaints, remove those contacts from the list before your next campaign.

Further, email list segmentation is a true way to send your emails to an accurate audience. Sending emails to a larger email list in a blindfolded manner can be harmful to your email marketing strategy as well as increases the chances of an email blacklist.

Along with it, build your email list to find your true users. Purchasing an email list can play havoc with your domain, or IP reputation. Last but not least, keep your email list clean of bounced, and inactive email addresses for better deliverability and low risks of email blacklisting.

Final Words

Summing up, we can say that it is not out of question to get trapped by spam filters. Email blacklist can be avoided by following the above-mentioned instructions. Along with it, you need to use an email marketing automation tool that helps you boost your email deliverability. In this regard, we suggest you use Mumara, it follows CAN-SPAM and CASL rules to keep your email from getting blacklisted. Start today!

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Eric Lee

A reader, writer, researcher, and explorer!

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