What to do when your emails stop arriving

What if your email suddenly stops arriving? You can still receive messages, but your outgoing email will simply disappear. Not surprising if you think about a blacklist. Why do you actually end up on an email blacklist? How do you get rid of it again? Are you actually on a blacklist? Email never ‘just’ stops arriving. In most cases, you will have been having delivery problems long before then. These problems are not always caused by blacklists.

What is an email blacklist?

Blacklists, also called blocklists or blocking lists, are lists of email domains and IP addresses.

You first want to be sure whether it is actually an email blacklist. You can perform that analysis quite quickly if you have insight into your email bounces. Bounce notifications quite often tell you what type of bounce it is and what the reason for that bounce is. Typically, that message gives you information in the form we display in our timelines:

hard bounce event in Flowmailer

You can also simply check whether the IP address you are emailing with has been blacklisted. This can be done, for example, via this tool.

Being on a blacklist is not good, but sometimes it has less impact than you think. There are many blacklists. Only a few are used so often that listing has immediate major consequences. The Flowmailer team is happy to help you make that assessment.

Not on a blacklist, but still having problems? In addition to blacklists, the major recipients mainly use their own reputation system. With such a system, the chance of ending up in the inbox depends on your behaviour as a sender and how your recipients interact with your email. Do you hardly cause bounces and is all your email read? Or do people mark your messages as spam and leave them unread? A party like Return Path gives you an insight into that reputation through Sender Score. Do you score below 90? Then something is really going on.

What now?

Are you on a blacklist, or do you have a low reputation score? Then it’s time for action. The cause always lies with the sender. Have you perhaps accidentally sent a lot of spam because WordPress was not up to date? Or was your email marketing campaign actually unacceptable? Maybe you never processed bounces or complaints and just kept emailing the same addresses?

First, you have to remove the cause, otherwise solutions are always short-lived. Start with the following steps:

  • Make sure you know what’s going on. To get started, create an account at senderscore.org. Doing this will give you some hints as to where to look for the problem. The tool also indicates which factors have the most impact on your score. Are you on a blacklist? Then that list often offers its own site where more information can be obtained.
  • See if anyone else is causing problems. It is of course possible that you use a shared environment. For example, consider sending via the mail server of your hosting provider. If other customers of that provider misbehave, it could affect your shipping. In these cases, please get in touch with your hosting provider. If this doesn’t solve anything, then there is generally no other option than to look for another solution.

Once the cause of the bad reputation has been removed, the reputation will recover automatically. That may take several weeks of ‘good behaviour’. Blacklisting also happens automatically. You can also request “delisting” via the list’s website itself. Be careful with this, because repeated blacklisting is becoming increasingly difficult to remove!

Delivery with Spotler Flowmailer

Sending emails with Spotler Flowmailer quickly removes a lot of the problems. The Flowmailer platform has a very high reputation score. We work with completely correct shipping authentication and automatically prevent unnecessary (repeating) bounces. In case of acute delivery problems, we will work with you to find a solution. This way you can be sure that your email is delivered properly.

3 tools to check whether your email has been blacklisted

Bad behaviour is never rewarded. Of course, we adhere to the law and email best practices, but ultimately only the recipient’s opinion is important for inbox placement. So make sure that your email is not seen as unwanted. Because you can get rid of a blacklist, but a bad experience will stick with a customer for much longer. Do you have problems with blacklists or your reputation score? Please contact us!