3 Tips to Avoid Being Put in an Email Blacklist


July 30, 2019


3 Tips to Avoid Being Put in an Email Blacklist

Email marketing is one of the most powerful online marketing strategies you can use to promote events, so you must pay special attention to the quality of your emails so you are not added to the blackhole of emails: the email blacklist. 

Also known as a nightmare for email marketers, in technical terms, an email blacklist is a real-time list that identifies IP addresses or domains that are known to spend spam. Knowingly or unknowingly, your IP(s) or domain(s) may become a part of it too depending on the quantity and quality of the emails you send and the addresses you send it to. 

The blacklists are categorized into two:

  • A blacklist of IP address:  This list will contain the IP addresses that are suspected of sending spam emails or other types of abusive emails.
  • Domain blacklisted: This list will contain all the Domains that are found sending spams and misleading the users.


Entering the email blacklist impacts your email deliverability immensely so it’s important to have an understanding of how the blacklists function, and what you can do as a sender to reduce your risk of being blacklisted. So let’s understand which situations can lead an email ID to be blacklisted and how to avoid them.


1- How spam complaints can affect you


What is a spam complaint?


A spam complaint is generated when an email recipient selects the spam or junk button within their email application. This complaint is recorded by the mailbox provider. They are a direct signal from recipients to mailbox providers that your emails are unwanted. More number of spam complaints means more chances of entering the email blacklists.


What is an acceptable complaint rate?

A fix is number cannot be provided for getting blacklisted. It depends on the number of spams out of the total emails you have sent. For example, the 0.1% complaint rate is considered acceptable and often seen among good senders, but the 0.5% rate is already too high. That means, if you send 5,000 emails, you should have no more than five email complaints.


How can I avoid spam complaints?


Taking all necessary steps to avoid spam complaints is inevitable to avoid any negative impact on your future email campaigns. You need to do your best to engage users so they are less apt to click the “report SPAM” button. 


  • Email Content – Yes! The email content matters a lot so keep the content interesting for the users by personalizing the content of the email. For eg; Avoid sending out too much of information with no graphics at all. 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. 
  • Reach out more to engaged recipients – Engaged recipients are people who want your emails and demonstrate their interest by signing up to receive them. They’ve also opened your messages within the last six months and possibly clicked links within them. 
  • Give out an easy way to Unsubscribe – Unsubscription is better than a spam complaint right? Provide your audience an easy way to unsubscribe to avoid your emails.  Like, instead of placing your unsubscribe link at the bottom of your message in tiny print, put it at the top as well. Don’t make people hunt for it because it’s there as a service to them.


2- How to maintain a healthy email list


A huge email list does not mean a healthy and hygienic email list. It’s important that you regularly verify your email lists to ensure everyone on your list has a valid email address and actually wants to receive your messages.

There are many tools & services available that can help you in maintain email hygiene by cleaning out inactive (cold) email subscribers from your future email marketing campaigns and keeping your remaining list warm with healthy email sending habits. Tools like Clearout can help you with email verification and validation services to assist you with that task.

Just a friendly suggestion, avoid buying email lists. The people on these lists are likely to mark your unsolicited emails as spam, and there’s a good chance that a spam trap is included in the list. Sending email to a spam trap will usually land you on a blacklist.


3- Using a Bad Server

There are times and situations when you don’t have your own SMTP server and you have to send the emails from a shared mail server. In such cases your reputation depends on that server reputation. If a sender also using that server is blacklisted, you will also be.

As you see being put on a blacklisted is not necessary the result of a spam-like sending activity. The mail server you use may become a victim of a bot or other technical problem. You are advised to do a complete research before using a shared server.


 By sending well-crafted marketing emails you can regularly check-in with your audience, increase registrations, secure sponsorships and speakers, and grow your event brand. So it is of utmost important that you keep your email lists clean and avoid having your IP and/or domain added to an email blacklist. With these three simple tips you will be on your way to building a healthy email marketing system that works for you. Want to learn more about email marketing? Check our free Event Email Marketing 101 Guide.


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