When an email server is suspected of sending out spam, email service providers begin blacklisting either its IP or its domain. Once an IP or domain is blacklisted, emails originating from it will end up in the “spam” folder rather than in the recipient’s inbox. Getting an IP blacklisted can be extremely damaging to an online marketing campaign, but there are things you can do to avoid it.
This post will first show you how to check if your IP is on a blacklist, and then more importantly, how to remove it to restore healthy email deliverability.
Is your Domain or IP Blacklisted?
If you aren’t getting the response you expected from your email campaign, your IP address or domain could be blacklisted.
Domains can get blacklisted if there are too many spam complaints—or if the email appears to share the hallmarks of unsolicited promotion. ISPs may block users from accessing blacklisted websites and may prevent them from receiving an email from blacklisted domains or IP addresses.
There are a number of blacklisting sites available which store email blacklists, letting you search through email blacklists, add to the email blacklists, or get yourself removed from email blacklists.
How can you check if your IP is Blacklisted?
You won’t get a notification that your IP is blacklisted. Instead, you’ll need to take action to find out. Here are a few ways you can tell:
- Check a blacklisted site directly. Many blacklists are openly available, such as net. If you want to see whether your domain is being blocked by a specific site, you can search by that site either the IP address or domain.
- Use a dedicated blacklist tool. You can perform a blacklist check on the MXToolbox. There are a number of free, online tools that you can use to check domain and IP address blacklists. There are a number of blacklists so each tool may not have access to all of them—you should check on more than one site.
- Check your metrics. If your open rates have gone from 30% to 5%, you know something has happened that goes beyond the content of your emails. While this isn’t definitive, it’s a good sign that something along the way is causing your emails to be dropped. This could be blacklisting, failed authentication, or other issues.
- Send test emails. Send test emails out to a list of known email addresses and see how many of them are received and whether they end up moved to the spam folder. Test emails will show not only whether emails are being delivered but how they’re being delivered.
- Use an email monitor. A built-in email monitor, such as the MassMailer Email Monitor, will check blacklists automatically when you send emails—providing you with the fastest, most actionable information.
How can you remove yourself from a Blacklist?
Of course, if you do find yourself on the IP blacklist, you need to get yourself off the list.
To get unblacklisted, you must first determine what happened to get you blacklisted. It could be, for instance, that you’re failing SPF or DMARC authentication, and consequently, your emails appear to be suspicious. From there, you need to go to the blacklisting site and ask them to be removed. Some offer a self-service removal tool and others require you to go through a removal process; regardless, if you haven’t already fixed your email deliverability problems, you’re likely to get blacklisted again within a short time period.
If are a Salesforce CRM user, and if you want to monitor whether your IP address is blacklisted, you can use the MassMailer Email Monitor. MassMailer will also help you improve your email deliverability, so you can avoid getting blacklisted again. Try a free trial of MassMailer today.