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Is my email blacklisted?

There are over a hundred of spam blacklists. Most blacklists track the reputation of the sending mail server and the sending domain name.

In this article, we will show you how to check if your email address is on a spam blacklist and we will also go over what you can do if your email address has been blacklisted.

Types of blacklists

There are 3 main categories of blacklists:

  1. Enterprise spam firewalls – these are blacklists and firewalls that are primarily used and maintained by corporate IT departments. Examples include McAffee and Barracuda (which the Doteasy Email Protection service uses). 
  2. Private blacklists – these are the internal blacklists that most major ISPs maintain. For example, Gmail uses its own internal blacklists for their spam filtering technology. Microsoft’s email filter is also privately maintained. 
  3. Public blacklist – these are blacklists that are publicly available and can be checked directly. 

Checking your email address against public blacklists

Because public blacklists are publicly available, it should be the starting point in checking if your email address has been blacklisted.

There are over 120 notable public blacklists, and being listed on just a few of them is enough to cause you email delivery problems. Fortunately, there are free tools and websites that you can use.

Checking email header of “undeliverable” error messages

When you send an email and it is being block, you will receive an “undeliverable” error message. Check the email header of the message and look for clues and codes that look something like the following:

550 Service unavailable; client host [xx.xx.xx.xx] blocked using Blocklist, mail from IP banned by xx.xx.com

553 your IP (xx.xx.xx.xx) is on our block list.

How did I Get on an email blacklist?

There are any ways you can end up on an email blacklist.

1. You are sending out monthly email newsletters to a large number of recipients (500 or more per month) from an unmanaged mailing list. By unmanaged, we mean you are not honoring the unsubscribe requests from users who want to opt out of your newsletter. 

2. You have an easy-to-guess email password and your account has been hacked by spammers. 

3. Someone is spoofing your email address. Are you are getting bounce messages for emails you didn’t send? Someone could be using your email address as the “from” address when mass mailing spam.

Just remember, all it takes is just a handful of “report as spam” clicks and your email address will end up on a blacklist.

How to remove my domain name from a blacklist?

Most blacklist databases will also provide listing reasons, so you should be able to find out why you were blacklisted. 

If you found out that your domain name has been blacklisted, contact us immediately so we can start an investigation and to try to get it reversed.

In addition, you can do the following:

  • Scan your computers and devices for viruses
  • Make sure you have all the updates and patches for your operating system
  • You may also want to change or enforce stronger passwords for your email accounts
  • If you maintain a mailing list, make sure you have dealt with all “unsubscribe” and “opt-out” requests promptly
  • If you send out monthly newsletters, make sure you include the “unsubscribe” option on your newsletters for users who want to opt out