5 Tips to Avoid Being Blacklisted

Did you know that 20% of US businesses have been blacklisted by ISPs? If you land on an ISP blacklist, then you’ve been labelled as a spammer and you are then blocked from sending any emails. ISPs have strict algorithms that are built to catch spammers, but sometimes legitimate senders can get caught in the filter. Often these senders are email marketers who are not intentionally spamming customers, but are sending relevant content to recipients that have expressed an interest in hearing from them.

An interesting fact is that marketers are at the highest risk of being blacklisted around the Christmas period as promotions become more frequent. So how can you avoid being blacklisted? Check out these 5 tips below:

1. Ask users to add you

The first, and best, way to can avoid being blacklisted is to ask customers to whitelist you. This means that they have consented to receive email communications from you.

By adding your sender address to their address book, you are increasing the likelihood of your messages being delivered as ISPs will see you as a personal contact of the customer.

2. Avoid link shortners

Tools like and are great for shortening long URLs, but can be detrimental in the eyes of an ISP. A shortened link masks the original URL, which is a trick often used by spammers to hide the CTA of an email.

Not all blacklists factor this into their algorithms, but it’s still best not to use shortened links in your emails.

3. Keep an eye on unsubscribes

Monitor your contact list regularly to ensure that it’s up-to-date and all unsubscribes and bounced emails are removed.

Sending to customers who have opted out of your emails not only damages their trust in you, but it also affects your deliverability rates.

4. Check your blacklist status

There are sites such as Return Path and that can check your IP address against their databases to make sure that you haven’t been blacklisted. It is a good idea to check this status at least once a week.

5. Be aware of the latest spam news

Spammers are constantly changing the rules of the game, so ISPs have to refine their algorithms to combat this.

However, it is best to keep track of what it is they are looking for so you are aware of the latest deliverability trends, spam and security issues. This way, it becomes much easier to avoid being blacklisted.

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