Email marketing has a median ROI of 122% , and a well-executed email marketing campaign may increase ROI even further. At least 82% of B2B companies use email-based marketing strategies, highlighting the potential of this marketing technique.
But not every business can get the most out of this technique because your IP Address ends up in a blacklist after sending excessive promotional emails.
Having your email IP address or domain placed on an email blacklist can significantly impact deliverability and the profitability of your email campaign/program?. This becomes a real headache, especially if you are blacklisted during your most important selling seasons. For these reasons, it is essential to keep a regular check on your IP Address . Being placed on an email blacklist is a major annoyance for many marketers and business owners, and it might be challenging to recover from such an event and get back on track. It has an impact not only on the sender’s reputation, delivery, and overall email marketing success.
Let’s explore the email blacklist, what to do when you are listed, what steps you can take to get off the blacklist, and how to make sure you never get listed again.
Email blacklists are lists of IP addresses and sending domains that have been recognized as transmitting spam. An email blacklist is mainly used to keep undesired spam information from untrustworthy sources from clogging inboxes. Independent operators and anti-spam organizations keep and share these lists with inbox providers and companies who operate their email servers to block spam more efficiently. There are hundreds of email blacklists; following are some of the more well-known:
How Do Email Blacklists Work?
Every electronic communication that you send consists of a string of digits known as the IP address. This IP address uniquely identifies the server from which the email was sent. It is just like a letter that you send in the mail having a return address. This IP address is used to track the location of an email.
When an ISP receives incoming mail, it automatically verifies the IP address against an email blacklist or, in technical words, the DNS blacklist, as previously indicated. The email is rejected if the incoming IP address is on the list. If it is not on the list, it is subjected to further spam filtering before reaching the intended mailbox. In this way, a blacklist is merely one of the tools used to assess whether or not email deliverability is successful.
What Does It Mean to Be Blacklisted?
ISPs maintain the power to ban any IP address or sending domain for whatever reason they see fit. They are not required to listen to your deliverability worries or resolve your non-compliance issues.
Every time you send an email, you have your IP attached to it in the form of a digital string. Upon reaching an ISP, every email address is matched against the blacklists. If your IP address matches any email on the list, your email is automatically discarded. This means your emails will not reach their intended recipients if they are banned.
Even if it is not on the list, a few further checks are put in place by every ISP before your email reaches the recipients’ inbox. If your email message, IP and domain clear those checks, you can expect the email to land in Inbox otherwise they’ll become part of the Spam/Junk folder.
It also happens that your IP address may not be prohibited, but the originating domain may be. The domain blacklists operate similarly; the only difference is that they root out the email at a different level of the security flowchart.
How to find that Your Email is Blacklisted?
Your ISP may occasionally send you an error message notifying you that your domain or IP address has been banned. Blacklisting is generally indicated by low website traffic, high bounce rates, and low delivery rates. You have to conduct frequent blacklist checks also to rapidly resolve the root problem. If you discover you’re on a blacklist, you can request to be removed before your email marketing activities come to a standstill.
Follow these simple suggestions to find out if you’re on the blacklist:
- Search popular blacklist sites to see if your domain/IP is in the list
- Check your reputation score to analyze your email by using tools like Mail-Tester, Glockapp, and Reputation Authority. These tools check your campaigns against a spam test to get a spam score. Besides, they can also manage to check if your sending IPs or domains are blacklisted, and also if any of the URLs domains used in the content is blacklisted.
What to do if the IP address or domain name is on an email blacklist?
There are three things you must have to do immediately when you discover you’re on an email blacklist:
1. Try to find out the actual reasons behind being banned. Consider the following issues:
- Have you bought the list of emails from external sources just to target more people? Such lists are often spam traps (emails specifically given on the internet to block spam) and can lead you to the blacklist. Want to learn more about spamtraps? Read on here
- Your email campaign looks like a forced promotional message; not providing any value to the user
- Have you been using the same list of email without removing the inactive or bounced email addresses? This clearly highlights that you don’t care about the people who are receiving your emails
- Check if your email list has grown dramatically over a week. A sudden increase in the volume usually indicates the purchase of email lists from paid sources, which raises alarm at the MSPs level
- Ensure that you are taking in account the “unsubscribers” under consideration. Remove them from your email list immediately and do not target them again against their willingness as they are most likely going to mark your email as spam
2. The second effort you need to make is to request that your name be removed from the blacklist while you find the actual cause of getting into one in the first place. Depending upon the listing, you might have to fill a form or send an email to be out of the listing. Finding the right method might require a bit of research.
3. Finally, you have to take steps to avoid this happening again. It is necessary to examine your email procedures and make essential adjustments if required.
To remove your domain/IP address from an email blacklist, you need to take the following actions:
- Submit a request to your blacklist provider
- Take possible actions to improve your business strategy
- Make sure never to get blacklisted again
Avoid ending up on a blacklist in the first place
It is a universal truth that prevention is unquestionably better than cure. When it comes to email blacklists, the same rule can be implemented here. To improve your brand reputation and email marketing performance, follow the deliverability best practices. This is the best way to increase, and you can eliminate the blacklist danger while increasing the effectiveness of your email marketing. Some of the email marketing recommended practices to avoid becoming blacklisted are:
- It’s always satisfying to be sure that you are sending your email to real people, and building your email list yourself is the right way to have peace of mind. Never buy email lists because mostly, these lists have forged addresses and spam traps.
- Do not bombard your email lists with irrelevant emails. Always send professional, well-designed emails, and don’t use spammy words. Sending the right message to the right audience is the key to avoid blacklists and also to get most out of your email campaigns.
- Send a confirmation email to each new subscriber to confirm their desire to sign up and ensure they submitted a valid email address. Read more about increasing email opt-ins in our blogpost here.
- Keep your security methods up to date to ensure your server is clear of bots and viruses. Otherwise, malicious applications can use your IP address/domain to send spam emails, potentially blacklisting you.
- Don’t bother those who have opted out of receiving your communications. Delete them from your list.
- Maintain vigilance on your sender reputation and check your sender reputation regularly to check how well you’re doing and if there’s any questionable activity on your domain.
- Avoid erratic email volumes and if you want to improve your email frequency or volume, start small and gradually raise it. A good warm-up schedule goes a long way here!
- Using a reliable and trustworthy email service provider (ESP), in terms of email providers, their sending reputation has a significant influence on yours. Before you sign up for a new ESP, make sure you ask questions and that they follow best practices.
These are a few basics to protect your email IP from getting blocked. Some of these tips are easy, while others are more difficult to execute than others. Consider these factors to be insurance against getting blacklisted.