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The Infamous "Blacklist"

The blacklist– a scary, dark hole that lives in a subscriber’s inbox.

The file that eats up your emails and never spits them out.

No email marketer ever wants their campaign to end up in this black hole. To prevent this from happening, you must first know how the blacklist functions.

Inboxes are fitted with “spam traps”–email addresses that seek out information about the original IP address or domain. These addresses are added to website subscriber lists to investigate. If the IP address or domain looks fishy, don’t check out as a credible source, or are unrecognized, the email address is sorted into a pile and blacklisted. While spam traps are traditionally used to uncover illegitimate senders, they can also trap email marketing campaigns.

Spam traps can be incredibly detrimental to a business. Bounce back rates and failed delivery can increase as your messages hit the trap, and repeated offenders can be added to blacklist databases, or could be trapped by an ISP such as Yahoo! or AOL that can block your whole domain.

To avoid any of this happening to your campaigns, three-best practices are commonly used to avoid being placed on the blacklist. We’ve summarized MarketingLand’s tips below:

  1. Confirming opt-ins: Sending a confirmation email before adding a new recipient to your list prevents all types of spam trap email addresses from being added to your list. Added bonus – it ensures that the subscriber is actively interested in your content!

  2. Address validation: Although it often requires using a third-party service, validating new subscribers emails results in fewer spam trap email addresses getting through to your subscriber list. Added bonus - new subscribers might enjoy your commitment to communicating with them!

  3. Cleaning-house on subscriber lists: Removing unengaged recipients from your subscriber lists decrease spam reports and unsubscribes. Added bonus – this increases your ROI per email!

While these preventative measures are proven effective in most cases, there is no guarantee that your email won’t be swallowed into a blacklist. Proven success most often comes with frequent subscriber list upkeep and communicating responsibly with your audience.

Happy sending!

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