So your worst fears have been realized and you are on a blocklist. What now? Tempting though it may be to trigger DEFCON 1, this is not the time for panic or anger. In “blocklist” (link here) we talked about the actions and behaviors that resulted in your inclusion on a blocklist, and now we will look at the ways in which you can get yourself removed.
As a quick recap, a blocklist is a list of IP addresses identified as sending spam, or URLs that spam emails have been known to drive traffic to. Managed by anti-spam organizations like Spamhaus, these lists are shared with inbox providers who rely on them in their efforts to block spam. There are hundreds of these lists and though some of the smaller ones will have little to no effect on you, the larger ones will nix your plans as effectively as rain during your Memorial Day barbeque.
If you are questioning what right a blocklist has to add your name in the first place, let me be the one to disabuse you. High spam complaints and bad email lists lead ISPs to conclude that your email hygiene is poor. Blocklists are a serious business that you ignore at your peril, however, a few smart moves on your part can get your email removed, and your company back on track. Each blocklist has different unlisting requirements, so you will need to check to see which apply to your situation. Any request to be delisted will need to be accompanied by proof that you are a legitimate business, (not a spammer), and an ability to demonstrate that you have fixed the problem that landed you there in the first place. It’s a two-pronged strategy: cooperation with the operators and a demonstrable change in your practices to prove your trustworthiness.
While good email practices are the tenet for all good marketing campaigns, and the simplest way to stay off a blocklist, another option to kick-start your rehabilitation is to run an opt-in campaign. Your email service provider will be able to identify the email marketing campaign – and therefore the email list – that triggered the block. Once identified, it is possible to ask for permission to send the contacts on that list a re-engagement email, and armed with that feedback, you can clean your list.
Some blocklists automatically delist you after a period of time. View it as a form of probation; if you desist in the behavior that got you blocked in the first place, you will be removed from the list. It is also possible to request to have your domain or IP address delisted, but do not make the mistake of thinking that you can simply “start again” with the same email list under another domain name, or you will find yourself back at square one.
Always remember, never forget: multiple entries on an email blocklist will be very hard for your brand to overcome.
Before you heave a sigh of relief (is that all? No problem!), please do not underestimate the long-tail effect of being blocklisted. Getting off a blocklist is relatively quick work, but rebuilding your reputation as a safe-sender takes time. Why? Consider this. Remember the effort you expended to build your domain name from scratch? Well, this journey is not dissimilar, bar one small, but pertinent detail; instead of starting from a place of neutrality, you are now on a negative footing, with everything to prove. If you have been unfortunate enough to have been blocklisted, embrace your need to improve your policies to avoid it happening again. Analyze thoughtfully, act consciously, and learn deliberately.
Do not trust your campaign to luck. Email marketing cannot rely on great copy or eye-catching design, it requires planning and great strategy. At Partner In Publishing we recognize that email is a powerful marketing tactic, and the single most effective and economical way to reach prospects. PIP has executed thousands of vetted emails and marketing programs that have generated hundreds of leads for our partners. If you need our experience to keep you off the blocklist, please contact us HERE.