Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools that your business can utilise to help promote your brand and drive traffic to your website. But at some point it is likely that your IP or domain will have been blacklisted, if this happens it is important to know why it has happened and how to get yourself removed.
How Does Blacklisting Work?
Blacklists usually use spam trap email addresses to identify IP addresses and domains that send unwanted commercial email. Spam traps are email addresses that an operator believes shouldn’t receive any emails from marketers or any other sources. These spam traps generally fall into three categories:
Recycled Spam Traps: Email addresses that were once valid, but have been dormant for a year or more, meaning they could not have engaged with any email sent to the address.
Typo Traps: These are email addresses that can end up on a mailing list, due to an error made by the user. For example sending to firstname.lastname@example.org rather than email@example.com; in the same way that the recycled spam traps work sending excessive emails to these addresses can indicate poor list acquisition and poor list cleansing.
Pristine Traps: Email lists that have been purchased, scraped or rented could contain email addresses that have not signed up to receive any marketing emails. Again this is a sign of poor list acquisition practices and management.
How You Can Reduce Email Blacklisting
To help reduce the risk of email blacklisting then you should consider the following steps.
Confirmed Opt-Ins: When looking to build a mailing list one of the easiest ways to avoid any blacklisting is to only use addresses with a confirmed opt-in. This means that only valid email addresses that wish to receive marketing will be on your list. You will avoid all spam traps and you have increased your chances of clicks and opens.
Engagement Based Sunsetting: Another effective method is to remove any addresses from your mailing lists that haven’t opened or clicked for a period of time. This will help reduce exposure to recycled spam traps and typo traps. Sending reputation can also be improved as will spam reports and unsubscribes.
Real Time Address Validation: As soon as an email address signs up for your list immediately check for validity and typos. This again will reduce the risk of emails been caught in typo traps along with pristine trap hits. While this can be time consuming it is also extremely valuable.
How To Get Off An Email Blacklist
Even if you follow all the best practices and procedures for your email marketing campaigns and lists, you could still find yourself blacklisted. So what do you do to get off these lists?
First of all it is important to monitor your IP address closely and check if you have been blacklisted. Once you have this knowledge then you can begin the process of removing yourself from the list.
Some lists require you to do nothing other than wait for a period of time (usually 1-2 weeks), once this is up your IP will automatically drop from the blacklist.
Other blacklists will require you to complete a submission form to have your IP address removed from the blacklist. Cleaning up your list and tightening up list security before submitting the form is also advisable.
Another method is to change your ISP. In some cases the dynamic IP address your ISP assigns to you can become compromised and added to blacklists – without you having done anything wrong. Changing your IP address provider to a ‘cleaner’ alternative can help keep you away from blacklists or remove you if you have been added.