You may have heard the term “blacklist” and wondered what this meant. If you’re blacklisted it means you’ve been labeled as a Spammer by the internet service providers and the penalties can be stiff.

Now you’re scratching your head and thinking, “well I don’t send unsolicited emails or bulk email messages so I’m safe, right?”

Not really. There’s still more to worry about. There are actually several types of blacklists or reasons for blacklisting. It’s important to understand the difference.

Spam Blacklists are lists of mail servers or open relays known to be used by spammers to deliver unwanted email. An open relay is an SMTP server configured so that anyone on the internet can send email through it, including Spammers.

IP Blacklist blocks specific IP addresses, message senders or message recipients as determined in the blacklists. They can be temporary or permanent.

Email Blacklists include known mail servers and addresses used by spammers. With these lists in place, access to the server can be denied and unwanted email messages are discarded. Additionally your legitimate emails may also be blocked.

DNS Blacklists are usually maintained by anti-spam organizations. They include a list of IP addresses that send unsolicited emails.

Staying Off the Blacklists

To stay off the blacklists there are a few things you can do:

– The most obvious is to not send unsolicited emails or bulk e-mails – don’t SPAM.

– You’ll also want to make sure your server is correctly configured and secure, and not an open relay mail server. This is why it’s important to make sure your website is being hosted by a legitimate provider who doesn’t host to Spammers because if you’re sharing a server, then you can be labeled as SPAM too because you’re coming from the same server. My preferred host is MomWebs

– You’ll also want to make sure your subject lines and email body doesn’t trigger SPAM filters. Occasionally run your content through a SPAM checker site to make sure you’re not triggering any filters.

– And check to make sure you’re not already blacklisted: it can happen quite unintentionally. You can check if you’re listed by visiting:

http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx
http://www.dnsstuff.com/

If you are blacklisted, de-listing isn’t easy but it’s necessary if you want to use email marketing to build and grow your business. The first step is to find out why you were listed and who listed you. Each agency has their own delisting procedure. Follow it, get back in their good graces and then follow the suggestions above to stay off the blacklists.

Getting blacklisted isn’t the end of the world but it can put a huge kink in your email marketing strategy. Best advice: stay off the blacklists by making sure everyone who receives an email from you wants it, don’t SPAM, and make sure your mail server is secure. You can also recommend whitelisting you to people who request email messages from you. This will help ensure they receive your email messages on time.

2 comments on “What Is a Blacklist and How to Avoid Being Blacklisted”

  1. Thanks so much for recommending our DNS tools! Along with the Bkacklist Lookup tool, we also have a few other tools that may be of interest including SPF Lookup, MX Lookup, Email Header Analyzer and much more!

    One of our tools that we are the most excited about is the Free Monitoring Tool. This tool will send you an alert if your server is Blacklisted. You can also configure it to send you an alert if your server goes down. We are working hard on creating an all in one tool that does all the DNS test and lookups you could ever need!

    If you have any other tools additions or feedback, please let us know.

    Thanks,
    @MxToolBox

  2. Thanks so much for recommending our DNS tools! Along with the Bkacklist Lookup tool, we also have a few other tools that may be of interest including SPF Lookup, MX Lookup, Email Header Analyzer and much more!

    One of our tools that we are the most excited about is the Free Monitoring Tool. This tool will send you an alert if your server is Blacklisted. You can also configure it to send you an alert if your server goes down. We are working hard on creating an all in one tool that does all the DNS test and lookups you could ever need!

    If you have any other tools additions or feedback, please let us know.

    Thanks,
    @MxToolBox

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