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Email Blacklist: How to Check for Blacklisting and Get Yourself Removed

If your emails are being marked as spam, you might be on an email blacklist. This means your email address or server is flagged for sending spam. This can harm your communication or business by stopping emails from getting to people.

What Happens When I'm On An Email Blacklist

There are some negative effects that could come from being on an email blacklist such as:

  • Emails Don't Reach Recipients: Your emails may be blocked or sent directly to the spam folder, significantly reducing the chances that your intended audience will see them.
  • Delivery Rates Drop: Overall email delivery rates plummet, meaning a large portion of your emails won't even make it to the inbox.
  • Reputation Damage: Being on a blacklist can harm your sender reputation, making it more likely for email service providers to mark your future emails as spam.
  • Increased Bounce Rates: You'll likely see an increase in email bounces, as servers reject your emails based on your blacklisted status.
  • Loss of Business Opportunities: Poor email deliverability can lead to missed opportunities, as important communications with clients, customers, or prospects are interrupted.
  • Time-Consuming Removal Process: Getting removed from a blacklist requires identifying the cause of the blacklisting, resolving these issues, and then contacting the blacklist operator to request removal.
  • Potential Legal and Compliance Issues: If your emails are being marked as spam due to non-compliance with email regulations (like GDPR or CAN-SPAM), you might face legal repercussions or fines.

How To Identify The Blacklist You Are On

How do I remove my email from the blacklist? To get removed from the blacklist you have to know who exactly is blacklisting you. Several organizations maintain email blacklists. Blacklists are then implemented by email filtering software on the email servers that subscribe to the list.


How To Check Bounce Back Messages

Usually, the best way to identify which blacklists you are on is to read the bounceback message of any email that was rejected because of a blacklist. These messages are meant to give you information on why your email was rejected. The wording will not be the same in every message, but you may see some text like the following example:

"Connected to 198.23.53.39 but sender was rejected.
Remote host said: 550 70.89.23.142 is blacklisted at ix.dnsbl.manitu.net"

This means that the IP address 70.89.23.142 is blacklisted by ix.dnsbl.manitu.net, and the email was rejected on that basis.

These two Bluehost guides below provide step by step on the following:


Use A Blacklist Checking Service

You can use a 3rd party service to check if your IP address is on any blacklist. However, most services are not able to check every blacklist. You may still need to rely on a bounce-back message to identify any blacklist you may be on. The following link will take you to a popular 3rd party blacklist checker.


Methods To Getting Removed From Email Blacklist

Getting removed from a blacklist usually involves contacting the organization that has your IP address blacklisted and following their procedure for removal.

Note: Each organization will have a different procedure. The following are some links to the blacklist removal procedures for some common email providers.

Prevention

Once you are off the blacklist you are going to want to make sure you don't get blacklisted again. Here are a few tips to help prevent blacklisting and best practices for email reputation management:

  • Security is key! Use strong passwords and monitor your server for malware. Nothing can ruin your email reputation like a compromised email account or malware sending bulk spam from your server.
  • Don't send too many emails at once. Some services may block you based on the number of emails sent out. The best practice is to limit bulk mailings to smaller batches and send individual emails out with a few-second delay between them.
  • If you are sending bulk mail out, consider using a service specializing in sending bulk email, such as Constant Contact.
  • Make sure your legitimate emails don't look like spam. You can use a reliable mail tester to test your email and get recommendations.
  • Make sure your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records are set correctly for your domains.

We know spam is an intrusive annoyance, whether it's via snail mail, text messages, or email. Spam can appear in various ways, including phishing (pronounced like the word 'fishing').

Protect your email, IP, and domain names' reputation even further by viewing this Bluehost blog and Bluehost's guides below with step by step solutions and information.


Summary

To ensure your business or organization can communicate with your clients and followers by sending emails without bounceback messages, you want to maintain a positive email reputation to prevent being blacklisted and email deliverability issues on your VPS or Dedicated server. This guide will help you to understand what is an email blacklist, how to identify the blacklist, how to analyze bounceback messages, use a blacklist checking service, and potential methods to fix an IP on your VPS or Dedicated server should become blacklisted.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
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    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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