Part of creating a business identity, is having your own branded e-mail addresses. It’s fine if your site doesn’t depend on customer service, and I’ve seen many businesses get by with a plain old contact form, eschewing e-mail IDs entirely. That’s certainly one way to go! But if you have a lot of back and forth with customers all the time, then you should definitely set up an e-mail with your domain name for various departments. It looks more professional too!
But with this, comes another danger – landing on an e-mail blacklist. This can happen in two ways:
- You get unlucky with an IP address that’s already on a blacklist
- You do something to trigger “spam traps”
As far as the first goes, there’s nothing you can do other than ask for a blacklist removal, which can take a bit of time. I personally would prefer to request another IP address entirely. From a technical perspective, it shouldn’t matter, especially if you’re using something like Cloudflare to hide your IP address anyway.
The worst part about this whole thing is that you might not even realize that you’re on a blacklist until a certain amount of time has passed. Your customers simply never receive your e-mails and you don’t know what’s wrong. As a result, they assume poor customer service, and leave a negative review. I recently experienced this from the other end when I was waiting for an e-mail response from a company, only to discover it in my spam folder weeks later!
So how do you go about removing yourself from an e-mail blacklist? To do this, we evaluate the various techniques utilized by honey pots.
1. Mass Lists are a Good Way to Be on an E-mail Blacklist
The quickest way to get on an e-mail blacklist is to copy a list of e-mail IDs from somewhere else with little to no manual intervention or vetting. These lists are:
- Usually used by hundreds (or thousands) of agencies
- Contain outdated e-mails that are now used to detect spammers
- Often contain spelling mistakes that are also used to indicate spammers
So rule number 1: No shortcuts! Get rid of that massive e-mail chain and start building your list of contacts from scratch.
2. Require e-mail Confirmation for Every Sign-Up
The clearest way to get a “clean” e-mail ID is to require the user to confirm their e-mail address. It might seem like putting the customer through an additional step, but it really helps with cutting down the spam.
Some businesses are afraid to implement this additional step because they feel that it’ll turn off people and are eager to confirm as many subscribers as possible. But this is a step that people are already used to. If they’re comfortable giving you their e-mail address in the first place, they’re already expecting to see an e-mail in their inbox. As long as the confirmation mail arrives quickly, everything should be fine.
3. Implement “One Click” Unsubscribe
I’ve seen companies make customers jump through hoops before they let them unsubscribe from an e-mail list. Even worse, is the message that goes:
“Your address has been removed from our list, but you may still continue to receive e-mails for a short time”.
No way! This kind of message is an instant “spam” report as far as I’m concerned. The receiver needs to be able to unsubscribe with a single click, and that’s it. No questions, no confirmation. Just an immediate unsubscribe.
4. Configure Your DNS for Authentication
There are a few authentication protocols you need to set up to ensure that providers like Gmail deliver your messages. Here’s a complete tutorial that will help you achieve this. Just keep in mind that you should be using a dedicated IP address for these techniques to be effective!
Getting on an e-mail blacklist is a marketer’s worst nightmare. It brings all customer services to a screeching halt. As a result, good businesses guard their e-mail reputation jealously, and you should too. Nothing can crimp your customer outreach like e-mails being discarded in the spam bin!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!