How to avoid getting your email blacklisted
JUCRA are passionate about making sure that your business email works at all times and that you can use it to its full potential as a marketing and business tool. That’s why we offer a business email service and are constantly striving to help our clients and educate them to stop annoying email problems from affecting their productivity.
Part of our commitment to educating business owners so they can take control of their IT and email issues are these regular blog posts and today’s topic is how to avoid getting your email blacklisted. This is important, as if your email does get blacklisted you could have trouble sending and receiving email and we don’t want that! Read on for our tips and explanations about this topic.
What does it mean when an email is blacklisted?
When we talk about a “blacklist” we’re talking about actual lists of IP addresses or domains which have been flagged up as sending spam. They are here to help us all avoid spam and there are publicly available ones, as well as blacklists from large ISPs. So, blacklists are a good thing for us as a user but can be bad for our business. That’s because, if you’re on any of these lists, then your perfectly legitimate business email may never get through the spam filters because it has been mistakenly blocked.
How do you get on a blacklist?
There are a number of ways you could find yourself on a blacklist; including if people who have received your email have marked it as spam if you have a lot of emails bouncing when you send and also if your mailing list suddenly increases in size. You could also end up on a blacklist if your emails feature lots of spam words, have suspicious attachments, or contain viruses or malware.
What makes people think that something is spam?
Spam filters are essentially applying checks to messages you’re receiving and deciding whether they should accept the message and put it into your mailbox or not. Most of the time they will go via a blacklist such as Spamhaus to check whether the sender’s IP is listed before there’s a decision on what gets through. Bulk messages sent through email software such as Microsoft Outlook rather than designated bulk email programs like MailChimp or SendGrid will often get flagged, especially if your database is out of date and generates lots of bounce backs and you fall into any spam traps.
The anti-spam bible for the US is the CAN-SPAM Act, which came into force in 2003 to protect us from spam, by laying down the rules and also punishing spammers with hefty fines. It’s a good idea to educate yourself by reading this compliance guide for business and make sure you’re not doing anything which contravenes their rules.
Here in Europe, we are governed by GDPR guidelines, which differ from CAN-SPAM. The basic premise of GDPR is that you cannot send any unsolicited business mail to any private individual. The law though does not prevent companies from sending to business email addresses.
So if you wanted to send “cold call” emails to businesses here in Spain or to the UK you are allowed to, as long as it is not a mass emailing. However, you cannot send an email to private individuals trying to get them to sign up for your services. GDPR also specifies how you can get people to sign up to your database and a host of other restrictions. There’s an excellent GDPR checklist from GDPR.EU which guides you through the different aspects to make sure you know how to comply.
Our blog on business email etiquette also contains advice on avoiding spam filters, as there are some golden rules to avoid, including spam trigger words like “free” and “urgent”, unnatural text or punctuation. But overall, try and make sure you send honest and transparent emails to current contacts, allow people to opt-out of your lists, and then show them who you are and where you are and you should be OK.
How can people start receiving my emails again?
The first thing to do if you’re having problems with a specific email or person is to give them a call and ask them to safelist your domain. They can do that via Webmail, Outlook, or whatever mail client they use.
Then you need to take steps to get off the blacklist. We recommend you check whether your IP address is on a blacklist, then identify which ones and contact the list and request to be removed. Their websites will tell you how to do it and it’s usually straightforward, although they will probably ask you to do a bit of housekeeping to make sure your databases are up to date. If you use business email services like ours, this is something we will do for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.
How can JUCRA help me with my business email?
We’re so pleased you asked 😊 – we offer a range of business email services that are comprehensive, easy to set up, and affordable, starting at just 2.50€ per account per month. JUCRA’s triple-redundant, state-of-the-art mail infrastructure ensures your email is working when you need it – 7 days a week, 24 hours a day! Standard features include 100% uptime assurance, mobile device connectivity, 25GB email storage, premium anti-spam, and anti-virus protection, attachments, and much more. Take a look at our business email page on our website, or get in touch and schedule a call so we can guide you through the options.