How to Get Off an Email Blacklist (By Avoiding It In The First Place)
In the MLB, or Major League Baseball, players who have used performance enhancing drugs have also tainted their careers. Even if they slugged the most home runs in the history of the game, like Barry Bonds did, or won the most Cy Young Awards ever, like Roger Clemens did, their accusations of steroid abuse will most likely block their path to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
For years, many baseball players abused steroids, and it sparked an aggressive campaign to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from the game.
In 2006, the MLB set up a drug policy that suspends first time drug violators for half a season, second time drug violators for an entire season, and third time drug violators for their entire lives — three strikes and you’re literally out.
In the email marketing industry, sending spam is a lot like using performance enhancing drugs in the MLB. Any organization who is a known spammer has tainted their brand. And mailbox providers will suspend brands from sending emails to their account holders if they consistently send spam.
These suspended brands are on lists called email blacklists, and they can tarnish your sender reputation in the eyes of mailbox providers worse than steroid use can taint a once-presumed Hall-of-Famer’s career in the eyes of the Baseball Hall of Fame voters.
However, not all blacklists are created equal. Some blacklists, like Spamhaus, are credible and widely trusted, so if a brand is on one of these blacklists, it’ll heavily impact their sender reputation. Other blacklists, like Lashback, NoSolicitado, and Spam Cannibal are less credible and trusted, so if a brand is on one of these blacklists, it won’t affect their sender reputation nearly as much.
In other words, when referencing blacklists to determine a brand’s deliverability, mailbox providers weigh their influence by credibility — and not just if they’re listed on them.
How to Avoid an Email Blacklist
A wise email deliverability consultant at HubSpot named Jess Swazey once told me, “The easiest way to get off an email blacklist is to never get on it in the first place.” In light of this Yoda-esque wisdom, here are four best practices for avoiding email blacklists.
1. Only email contacts who have subscribed to your email program — and never email contacts scraped from websites, third-party sources, or purchased contact lists.
It seems obvious, but the easiest and most crucial step you can take to avoid email blacklists and getting a Scarlet “S” slapped on your brand’s breast pocket is emailing people who actually subscribed to your emails. Because in a world where only 4% of the public believes marketers practice integrity, the best way to build a contact database is the hard and honest way — collecting email addresses organically.
Plus, if you decide to scrape contacts from old, expired, or abandoned websites, third-party sources, or purchased contact lists, most blacklist operators have already placed pristine spam traps, which are email addresses …read more
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