Email marketing is an excellent and effective process for many reasons. It gives you many opportunities to interact with your followers, who become loyal to your business because of the frequent contact. This justifies that by the end of 2023, email marketing revenue will reach 11 billion.
But what’s the benefit of using email marketing channels if your emails are not being delivered? This is why it is crucial to understand the facts and consequences of email blacklisting. If your domain is blacklisted, both the IP reputation and the domain reputation can influence your sender reputation.
So, in this article, we will discuss domain blacklisting and share the best practices for its prevention.
Table of Contents
Consequences of Having your Domain Blacklisted
Have you ever found yourself on an email blacklist? It may lead to the loss of many important opportunities, and your reputation may be damaged. In this section, we'll explore the consequences of having your domain blacklisted.
A. Reduced email deliverability
Your emails sent from a blacklisted domain may be marked as spam or not delivered at all by email service providers (ESPs). This can hinder your ability to communicate with customers, clients, or users, decreasing your email deliverability rate.
B. Increased likelihood of emails landing in spam folders
There are chances that ESPs and mailbox providers will divert or block your emails. It can lead to reduced engagement for your emails. This situation will ultimately cause low sales and profit for your business.
C. Negative impact on the sender's reputation
Having a blocked website can damage your reputation and affect your email deliverability. As a result, it makes it harder to reach the inbox of your intended subscribers even after the blacklisting issue is resolved.
D. Loss of trust and credibility with recipients
ESPs and security systems consider blacklisting to be a malicious activity. As a result, even if you are removed from the domain blacklisted lists, your reputation may still be affected. It will lead to ongoing deliverability challenges. Your customers or email recipients will no longer trust you or your services.
Causes of Domain Blacklisting
With the immense number of emails sent and received daily, which is approximately 347 billion, it is impossible to check if an email is spam. But what are the causes of a blacklisted domain? Let’s read to find out.
- If the recipients of your email flag you as spam, then the ESPs think their prospect is genuine and give value to the opinion. Even if your list is clean, 'the marked as spam' button counts your address as a spam complaint. The more complaints you receive, the higher the chances are that you will land on the domain blacklisted list.
- It triggers spam signals whenever you send close or identical emails to many people. Emails that are not personalized are often categorized as spam because there is no valuable content for the recipient to read.
Role of email authentication and authentication protocols
Email authentication is a crucial component of email security. But why should you follow the authentication email protocols?
- Email authentication enables recipients to confirm that the sender of an email is who they say they are. This prevents malicious actors from impersonating trusted sources, like banks, reputed websites, big businesses, or government agencies.
- By verifying the authenticity of senders, authentication protocols can reduce the volume of emails that reach spam inboxes. SPF is an email authentication protocol. It specifies the authorized senders sending emails on a domain's behalf. It uses DNS records to state the allowed sending IP addresses. When receiving servers check SPF records, they can reject emails from unauthorized sources.
Effective email authentication requires adopting one or more of these protocols, depending on the specific needs and goals of the organization. Implementing these protocols helps protect both the sender's and recipient's interests, ensuring email communication remains secure, trustworthy, and reliable.
Detecting Domain Blacklisting
Do you know there are 4 billion email users who mail daily? So, even if 0.01% of them blacklist your address, the results will be huge, and you will not even get the notification.
But you can check your reputation through various tools. These tools and services are available to help you monitor and maintain your domain's reputation. These services are designed to detect and alert you to potential threats, vulnerabilities, or blacklisting issues that could harm your online presence.
One widely used tool is Google Safe Browsing, which offers an API and a web-based interface for checking the reputation of your domain. It scans websites for potentially harmful content and phishing attempts, helping you keep your visitors safe.
These tools provide comprehensive insights into your domain's reputation and potential issues, allowing you to proactively address any concerns and maintain a positive online image.
Therefore, based on the reputation or blacklisted domain consequences, you must find out how to act appropriately. So, read the ways to find out:
1. Use a blacklist checker website
Using the blacklist checker website, you can perform a quick check. These websites do a thorough scan with a list of databases and let you know whether your domain is listed there or not.
2. Send a test email
Before sending emails to your actual audience, it's better to first send a practice email to a test recipient who's like your real audience. If the practice email doesn't go through, it might mean your email is blocked.
3. Monitor metrics
Using email tracking software can help you check for signs of blacklisting, such as high bounce rates or bounced emails. Also, you should look at the sudden drop in open rates; this is another sign of blacklisting.
4. Take action
If you discover that your domain is blacklisted, investigate the cause of the blacklisting, resolve any security or compliance issues, and request removal from the blacklist if necessary.
Steps to Remediate a Blacklisted Domain
Having your domain blacklisted can be an extremely frustrating experience. It can impact the overall website traffic, search engine rankings, and even the chances of email deliverability. If you face such issues, taking some action immediately can help you remove your domain from the blacklist. Read on to find the steps.
A. Identifying the source of the issue
Once you confirm that your domain has been blacklisted, identifying the reason for the blacklisting should be your next step. Some common reasons for blacklisting are sending spam emails to your customers, the presence of malware on websites, or even issues with a security vulnerability that hackers are exploiting.
B. Cleaning and verifying your email list
If your domain is blacklisted because of a malware issue or malicious content, it is better to scan your website or servers on time to detect any infections or compromised files. Therefore, you can remove all the malicious content and even perform a thorough and complete cleanup.
C. Resolving technical issues
Once you identify the reason for blacklisting, search for technical issues such as malware and patching security vulnerabilities. You can even address these with email-sending practices. However, depending on the issue, you can talk to your hosting provider or website developer to solve it.
D. Requesting removal from blacklists
After fixing the problems, you can request their removal from the blacklists. Each blacklist provider follows a unique removal process. So, you have to follow the instructions provided by the specific provider who has blacklisted your domain.
In most cases, you will get a removal form and provide all the necessary details, mentioning the steps you have taken to solve the issue.
E. Implementing email best practices
Implementing continuous monitoring steps can help you detect and respond to suspicious activities in real-time. This can help you reduce the chances of future blacklisting. Regular security audits, updates, and the use of email list management software also play an essential role in this case.
Preventing Future Blacklisting
Practicing some good email habits can help you stay away from domain-blacklisted territory. Here are some ways to ensure you stay away from the blacklists:
A. Maintaining a clean email list
It is advisable to use email marketing tools or an email virtual assistant to check the legitimacy of your email list and update it regularly. For subscribers who have not engaged with you for the last six months and who remain unresponsive, you must remove them from your email list.
Also, check for inactive, invalid, and temporary email addresses before sending out the email campaigns. By doing so, you can maintain better email hygiene.
B. Complying with anti-spam regulations
Complying with the anti-spam regulations ensures that all your subscribers are real individuals and search for promotional offers, new offerings, or newsletters. Also, make sure you are not violating any kind of anti-spam law.
The best way to achieve this is by offering a sign-up form to your subscribers. This popular double opt-in method reduces complaints about some email spamming and lowers the count of opt-outs.
Moreover, adhering to professional email etiquette is paramount for effective communication. Ensure your email content is clear, concise, and tailored to your audience. Personalize your messages, use a professional tone, and promptly respond to inquiries or feedback to foster a positive and professional email communication environment.
C. Monitoring email-sending practices
Ensuring your emails reach the right subscribers' inboxes is necessary. This way, you can avoid being flagged as spam and ask your subscribers to move your email to their inboxes. So, follow the best practices to avoid being blacklisted and be on the whitelist.
It is not a good thing to end up with a blacklisted domain. Once you detect its source and find out the reasons behind email blacklists, take the necessary precautions to stay away from such a situation. Also, by following the proper inputs, you can ensure that you will not land on a blacklist and keep your domain's sender reputation positive and intact.