Blacklists are lists of entities or individuals that are considered malicious, untrustworthy, or unacceptable by a particular person or group. To be on a blacklist means that you and anything from you are unwelcome to the recipient, and you are often associated with unethical or illegal practices.

In the digital space, being on a blacklist means you are barred from accessing a certain platform or you send spam messages. For the latter, a blacklist collects IP addresses that have been reported to distribute spam emails. If an IP address is identified as part of the blacklist, then email platforms will send email from that address to your spam folder.

Although blacklisted email addresses do not necessarily send out malicious content, they are still viewed in a negative light. Businesses, organizations, and marketers need to ensure that their messages are not spammy to successfully execute an email marketing campaign.

How Does One Become a Part of a Blacklist?

As mentioned, email addresses do not need to be flagged for sending out malicious content to be included on a public blacklist. This commonly happens to mail-related IP addresses, especially if a company is on a shared server. 

Here are three of the most common reasons that a company becomes part of a blacklist.

  • Simultaneously sending out emails in large quantities

If you send out emails in bulk daily and servers are able to detect that you are doing so, your email address is more likely to be flagged as spammy. Some servers may even flag your emails for malicious content, which can put you on a public blacklist. 

  • Having a high bounce rate for sent emails

If you didn’t get the email addresses in your mailing list in a legitimate way, your emails have a higher likelihood of bouncing. Spam filters can often detect this, and your email address could get blacklisted because of it. 

While there is no hard and fast rule for what bounce rate percentage is acceptable, staying between two to eight percent is recommended to avoid getting included in public blacklists.  

  • Adding attachments to your emails

Email attachments are the most popular way to send out malware, making email filters naturally wary of letting them through. It is recommended that you do not add attachments to your email marketing campaigns to prevent your email address from getting flagged and blacklisted.

How Can You Avoid Getting Blacklisted?

Emails used for email marketing campaigns may be prone to getting blacklisted, but there are ways to avoid this. 

Here are the top tips for avoiding getting blacklisted. 

  • Build your email list from scratch

Doing this ensures that you gather email addresses legitimately. This means that the individuals you are emailing are genuinely interested or at the very least curious about what your business has to offer. 

Some marketers purchase mailing lists instead of building theirs from scratch, which can be detrimental to email marketing deliverability rates. Emails sent to purchased lists are less likely to reach interested customers, which defeats the purpose of the email marketing campaign.

  • Create segmented mailing lists

Creating segmented mailing lists allows you to personalize the emails that you send out to specific groups of individuals in your mailing list. By segmenting your overall mailing list, you lessen the chances of your emails getting flagged as spam. 

You can also target specific types of consumers based on their location and personal preferences.

  • Add a double opt-in function for recipients

This is in line with building your email list from scratch. Consumers can willingly opt in to your email list because they may be interested in your products or services, or they may want to stay updated with anything your brand has to offer. 

Consumers who are willingly opting into your email list are less likely to flag your emails as spam. Adding an extra opt-in feature or including a way for them to opt-out places less pressure on the consumer. It also allows them to keep making the choice of getting included in your email list, which keeps it more organic.

To ensure you’re not blacklisted, take note of your IP address. Use a free online tool to check if your address is blacklisted, and if it is, you can submit a request to have it removed from the blacklist. Follow instructions as detailed on the website where your IP address is listed, and appeal your inclusion in the blacklist.

About the Author
Jacinda Santora is a copywriter, marketing consultant, and owner of JMS Copy. She enjoys using her SEO expertise combined with experience in and a deep love for all things marketing to create high-quality marketing-related content