How to Check If Your Email Been Blacklisted (and What to Do If You Are)

From a handful of our clients we have been getting the question: “How do I check if my email address is on a SPAM Blacklist and how can I get unlisted?”

If you send emails to your client list you should be terrified to end up on one of the blacklists. When you’re on the email blacklist, you’ve got nothing. No deliverability, no credit, no opens. You’re stuck in whatever spam folder “they” decide to dump you in.

There are hundreds of SPAM blacklists, but luckily there are is a excellent tool that can help you check them quickly. This article will help you to find out if you’re on one or not and how you can fix it.

What is an Email Blacklist?

An Email Blacklist is a real-time database that uses criteria to determine if an IP is sending email it considers to be SPAM. There are several blacklists… Each list has a unique way of accepting inbound mail and determining if email is considered SPAM. They can all impact deliverability for your emails.

So, based on the data of your email address, there are three places for your email to end up. If you’re on the list, you could end up in spam or no delivery at all. When you’re not on a blacklist, you will show up in the recipents inbox.

How to Check if Email Address Has Been Blacklisted (Step-by-Step Guide)

You think you might be on a Blacklist? There are over 300 email SPAM blacklists. A handful are serious and can cause a dramatic fall off in your delivery. Most of the rest will impact delivery over a much smaller scope.

We have found a website where you can check if your email address is on a blacklist! Below is a step-by-step guide to help you.

Step 1

Go to the website: http://multirbl.valli.org/

Step 2

Select ‘Test by sending email’ from Test drop down (as shown below)

multribl-valli-org-Email-SPAM-Checker Step 1

Step 3

Click send button!

multribl-valli-org-Email-SPAM-Checker Step 2

Step 4

Copy email address so you can send an email to do an SPAM blacklist test for a specific email address. KEEP THIS PAGE OPEN!

multribl-valli-org-Email-SPAM-Checker Step 3

Step 5

Create New Message, add a simple subject line, then add a something in the body of the email. 
Choose
the specific email address you want to check and then click send.

multribl-valli-org-Email-SPAM-Checker Step 4

Step 6

Go back to the website page where you copied the email address from before. In a few minutes then refresh this page!

multribl-valli-org-Email-SPAM-Checker Step 5

Step 7

Once page is refreshed you will get a page like the one shown below. You need to focus on the section titled; DNSBL Blacklist Test Summary. You will see if your email address has been blacklisted.

If it has go down the list and select the blacklists that are colored black.

multribl-valli-org-Email-SPAM-Checker FNS Step 6
What to Do If You Are Blacklisted?

You’ll need to contact each blacklist about being removed (unlisted). Each of the major blacklist companies have information on their sites on how to be removed from their lists. Usually the process is fairly simple and straightforward, just be sure to do what they ask to clean up your emails and lists.

If you need help reach out to us.

How Could Your Email Address Be Blacklisted

Here are some things that can lead to blacklisting:

  • Email was Harvested by Spammers – If you don’t want have your email address harvested by spammers don’t show your email address on your website. Instead, use a contact form on your website so that potential clients can send you an email.
  • Spamming your Customers –  Make sure you aren’t sending spammy emails! There is a broadening definition of the word Spam in the public eye.Email spam, known as junk email, is a type of electronic spam where unsolicited messages are sent by email. Sending an email about what you do and pitching them for a sale is considered spam if done wrongly. Also, be mindful of how often you send emails. If you suddenly start sending to large lists or you increase the frequency you could see some trouble with delivery. As unhappy contacts will add you to their junkmail filter. So your emails will never make it straight to their inbox again.
  • High Spam Complaints – If the people receiving your email click the Spam button it leads ISPs to think your email content or list hygiene is bad. Even lists that are clean and opted in can have this happen, but it’s still counted as a spam complaint. The more complaints, the more likely an IP (domain name) will be on a blacklist.
  • Bad Lists or Addresses – A lot of bounced email addresses are a tip to ISPs that your list may not be opted in or current.
  • A Surge in List size – A good email marketing list will grow over time as new customers or leads sign up to receive emails. If the size of an email list grows by a lot in a short amount of time, most ISPs (and email service providers) will suspect a list has been purchased.

What to Do So Your Emails are Not Blacklisted & Placed SPAM Folders

The best thing you can do for your email marketing is avoiding a blacklist in the first place.
Here’s how to stay off blacklists:

  • Email Content – What you send to your email subscribers keeps them interested and engaged in your emails. If you’re sending out blanket emails to everyone on your list, you may get some spam complaints. Be sure you’re sending what your subscribers are expecting from you and keep the content interesting to them by personalizing the emails and content.
  • Watch Email Campaign Stats – You’re probably keeping an eye on opens and clicks, but also watch domain opens as well. If you see opens drop off significantly in a specific domain you should check your blacklist status.
  • Good lists – Never, ever buy an email list. The addresses are at the very least stale and at the worst, spamtraps. You’ll get more spam complaints and delivery issues than you’ll get business, so don’t do it. Also, keep your lists clean by removing any bounced addresses or ones that are old and not performing. If someone hasn’t opened your email in a while, you may want to remove them from the list.
  • Segment your lists – To help ensure your email subscribers are getting what they need from your email marketing, break your lists up into segments. This could mean having lists based on where your customers live, what types of products they buy, or what their interests are. This will make it so much easier to send exactly the right email to each of your subscribers.

Big Tip is Do NOT use your normal email program to send bulk emails. So NO Mail Merge.

Use a free service like MailChimp or HubSpot or pay for a service like Constant Contact.

Big Tip 2 make sure your email address can NOT be harvested and be used by spammers.

Not sure how… Need a hand? Contact us today – click here