5 min read

Did you know that nearly 85% of emails sent daily are considered spam? It’s devastating to think that you could put in hours of exhausting work writing your email, finding images and formatting your message, only to find that it didn’t even make it to your client’s inbox (and let’s not even mention the number of times you had to refill your coffee mug)! The worst part? With today’s spam filters and firewalls, you don’t even have to send out spam to be blocked or blacklisted. The cheek!

What is an email blacklist?

Being listed on a blacklist is serious, but what the heck does that actually mean? A blacklist is a list (duh) that identifies domains or IP addresses that have previously sent out spam. While spam can be seen as emails that are sent out to be harmful, it can also be seen as an email that someone doesn’t want or didn’t sign up for.

To help you understand how a blacklist works, look at this Spamhaus diagram below.

Understanding DNSBL Filtering

How to stay off email blacklists

1. Offer value to your specific client

If people are constantly sending your emails to their spam folder, you can bet that you’re probably going to make the dreaded list. So how the heck do you fix this? Make sure your readers find value in your content. Vague content sucks, so personalize your content to your specific reader and give them a clear call to action (CTA) at the end.

2. Send regularly, but not too regularly

Sending way too many emails is a big no-no. Unless you’re a daily sender like Groupon, don’t send more than one or two emails per week.

3. Don’t buy email lists

A good email list grows over time as more and more people sign up. If you have a sudden surge in your email list, it might signal that you bought it and you’re sure to be put in the spam folder. You should also regularly clean your subscriber list by removing any email addresses that bounce or old addresses that aren’t performing.

4. Format your emails correctly

We could go on for hours about the correct way to format your email, but let’s face it, you’re busy and we value your time. So to make things easier, here’s a quickfire list of formatting mistakes to avoid.

  • Don’t send attachments. Instead, link to files using Google docs or WeTransfer.
  • Too many images trigger spam filters. 
  • Use a legitimate email address without numbers. 
  • Don’t hide your email address using blind carbon copy (Bcc).
  • Test your email before sending it out. Tools like Mailchimp allow you to test your email campaign to see what’s working and what’s not.

5. Make sure your client actually wants to receive your emails

We all know how frustrating it is to have our inbox flooded with pointless emails that we’re just going to delete (after cursing the sender under our breath, of course). To avoid this, you could use double opt-in to confirm that your subscriber actually wants to receive your emails. You could also provide a way for them to unsubscribe and could even ask subscribers to add your email address to their contact list (you know, if you wanted to be extra).

So, now you know how to avoid the email blacklists:

Simply follow these 5 useful tips to avoid blacklists and your email marketing could become one of your biggest tools to increase your traffic, leads and sales. Go get ‘em!