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Feb 21 2013

Email Marketing: How Do I Get My Email Off The Black List?

Last week in our email marketing series, I explained what a black list is and why you don’t want your email to end up one. However, even honest email marketers who follow all the rules still find themselves on a black list. This can have a detrimental effect on your business and stop vital email communications. Therefore, it’s important to address the issue quickly and get your email back on track.

How do I know if I’ve been blacklisted?

If you notice that a majority of your emails are being bounced back or are undeliverable, that could be a sign that you’ve been blacklisted. The best thing to do is talk to your Internet Service Provider. Our One Step email was once blacklisted, and we immediately got on the phone with Cox Communications to sort the whole thing out. There are also websites that allow you to enter your domain name or IP address to see if you’ve been put on any of the major blacklists. Mailbox Tools in one example of such a site.

How do I get off a blacklist?

Again, your first attempt should be to contact your Internet Service Provider and see if they can help you get off a blacklist. If they can’t, your second plan of action should be to contact the lists that you’ve been put on. Ask why you’ve been blacklisted and ask them to take you off. In some cases, its the blacklist’s fault for being over aggressive and they will take you off. In other cases, you, the email sender, has inadvertently done something wrong and you must make corrections before being taken off the list.

How do I prevent being blacklisted in the future?

  • Keep your list up to date. Sometimes simply sending emails to an address that is no longer in use can get you on a blacklist (that’s what happened with One Step.) Keep on eye on which addresses are receiving and opening your emails, and which aren’t. If you notice that an address hasn’t opened your emails in the past few months, it’s a good idea to delete that address.
  • Don’t send unsolicited emails. Sending emails to people who didn’t ask to get emails from you is a sure fire way to  get your emails marked as spam and your IP address put on a blacklist.
  • Make it easy to unsubscribe. This may seem counter intuitive. You want people to be subscribed, so why would you make it easy for them to unsubscribe? Because if people can’t easily figure out how to unsubscribe, they will simply mark the email as spam, which could land you on a blacklist.
  • Remind people where and why they signed up. Sometimes people forget signing up for emails, and so when they receive them they mark them as spam. In every email, remind people when and why they signed up.
  • Send quality content. People value information more than ads. If you send emails that are valuable to your recipients, they will not only keep their subscription but they will probably take action and do business with you. Pay attention to the needs, questions and desires of your customers and send emails that address those.

Now we want to hear from you. Have you ever been blacklisted? How did you resolve the issue? What tips do you have for staying off an email blacklist? Feel free to comment below!

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