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4 Tools to Run an IP Blacklist Check and Ways to Resolve It

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Written by: Mailmodo

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You work hard to create valuable content for your email subscribers, hoping your subject line will win them over and they’ll read your email.

But, either your emails bounce back or end up in the spam folder.

The most likely reason? A bad IP reputation. Your IP address may be blacklisted, and hence, email servers are not accepting your emails, marking you as a spammer.

Is all hope lost? Not really. You can do an IP blacklist check and take the necessary steps to delist yourself. Let us walk you through the entire process.

Table of contents

What are IP blacklists?

Internet Protocol blacklists are databases of malicious IPs that send spam or malicious emails to users. People hiding behind these IPs don’t have email etiquette. They send random emails hoping someone will buy from them.

Since no email server wants its users to receive unsolicited and harmful emails, they maintain a database tracking all IPs they encounter. If an IP is marked as spam several times or caught in a spam trap, it’ll be moved to the IP blacklist. The emails sent using that IP will then have restricted access to the users.

Why are IP blacklists important?

An IP blacklist plays a crucial role for email marketers.

It can eliminate all the spammers who don’t provide quality content. So, you’ll have less number of people competing for your users’ attention.

But it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Even genuine email marketers like yourself can end up on these blacklists. So, you’ve to regularly check your IP and get it removed if you’re on one of those dreaded lists. Or else, you’ll be seen as no different than these spammers, and all of your hard work will go to waste. Your revenue will decrease, and you may be forced to believe that “Email marketing doesn’t work!”.

So now you know the importance of these lists, let’s discuss how to check if your sender IP has ended up in one of these lists.

How to check if my IP is blacklisted?

You can use these third-party tools and see if you're listed. Here’s how to do it.

Spamhaus

  1. Go to https://check.spamhaus.org/.

  2. Enter your IP address in the search bar and click Lookup.

A “[your IP] has no issues” message will be displayed if your IP has no issues.

However, if it shows your IP on its blacklist database, then your IP is blacklisted, and you’ve to take action to remove it.

SORBS

  1. Go to http://www.sorbs.net/lookup.shtml.

  2. Enter your IP address, netblock, or hostname.

  3. Enter the CAPTCHA code entered in the respective box.

  4. Click on Check Entry.

If your IP is blacklisted, follow the instructions in the upcoming section to delist yourself.

SpamCop

  1. Go to https://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml.

  2. Enter your IP address and click Enter.

This will show whether your IP is blacklisted in its database.

Barracuda

  1. Go to https://www.barracudacentral.org/lookups/lookup-reputation.

  2. Enter the IP address and click Check Reputation.

If your reputation is not listed as “Poor,” you don’t have anything to worry about. Otherwise, you'll have to take action to improve it and remove yourself from their databases. So here’s how you can delist yourself from these IP blacklists.

How to remove my IP from IP blacklists?

There are two strategies to remove your IP from IP blacklists:

  1. Short-term strategy

  2. Long-term strategy

Let’s discuss both of them in detail.

1. Short-term strategy

To see effects in the short term, you’ve to get yourself delisted from these IP blacklists. You have to check if you’re listed in their databases. And then, you’ve to contact them and submit a reason why you think you’re innocent and do not deserve to be there.

One thing to note is that if your IP is “slightly guilty” and sent relatively few spam emails, the punishment period will be lower. However, if you’re “highly guilty” and actively sent spam emails, the removal period will be much longer. So tough luck for you if you’re in the “highly guilty” category.

However, to accelerate the removal process, you can present your case with supporting data and increase the chances of getting delisted quickly. All in all, their goal is not to stop you from sending emails but to stop spammers.

2. Long-term strategy

The best way to deal with a disaster is to avoid it. So, to avoid getting blacklisted on these platforms, you’ve to establish and follow good email etiquette. You can start by establishing a sunset policy and removing unengaged users. Next, you can build an email cadence and keep your users happy with your email frequency.

There are many ways in which you can improve your deliverability, and we keep coming up with exciting guides for you on Mailmodo guides. So do check it out to improve your IP reputation and your email marketing as a whole.

Takeaways

IP blacklists are not necessarily your enemies, but you still need to keep your eyes open to check if you’ve accidentally become a victim of one of such blacklists. You’re unlikely to end up in one if you follow great email etiquette but unfortunately if you end up in one, you’ve to take action to resolve it quickly before things get out of hand.

One of the main reasons for ending up on such lists is having a bad IP reputation. It’s a number that ISPs and third-party blacklists provide. The higher the number, the better your email deliverability. To know more about evading this crisis, check out our guide on IP reputation.

What you should do next

Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:

  1. Talk to an email expert. Need someone to take your email marketing to the next level? Mailmodo’s experts are here for you. Schedule a 30-minute email consultation. Don’t worry, it’s on the house. Book a meet here.

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  3. Get smarter with our email resources. Explore all our knowledge base here and learn about email marketing, marketing strategies, best practices, growth hacks, case studies, templates, and more. Access guides here.