Some emails never reach their intended recipient’s inboxes. Sometimes, they hard bounce because you’re sending to an invalid email address. Other times, platforms like the Barracuda Reputation Block List (BRBL) blacklist your sender’s IP address or domain.

But what is barracuda blacklisting? Is being listed there as bleak as it sounds? How do you remove yourself from it? How do you avoid being listed from it in the beginning?

This post covers all you need to know about Barracuda Blacklisting.

What is the Barracuda Blacklist?

The Barracuda Blacklist, also known as the Barracuda Reputation Block List (BRBL), is a real-time database containing a list of domains and IP addresses flagged for sending spam messages.

It is a Domain Name System-based Blackhole List (DNSBL) built and maintained by Barracuda Networks, a multinational cybersecurity company specializing in web and email security.

BRBL works to block IP addresses that send malicious code or even legitimate emails, where recipients are spam trap addresses. It also identifies email senders within a mail server with improper configurations regarding their sending practices.

How Barracuda Determines Spam Messages vs. Real Ones

Barracuda Networks does a great job at filtering spam messages versus the real ones. In fact, its spam filter is one of the most effective in the email industry.

This is why many email administrators often use Barracuda to configure spam filters for Outlook and G Suite inboxes and for email security.

While listings happen only at the IP data or IP addresses level, being added to Barracuda Blacklist significantly affects one’s deliverability.

Related: What Is IP Blacklisting

How to Know If You’re Listed in Barracuda

Check the Barracuda lookup page to find out if your domain or IP is on the Barracuda Blacklist.

If you’re listed in Barracuda, this text appears on your reputation lookup:

The IP address is currently listed as ‘poor’ on the Barracuda Reputation System.”

Aside from that text, there are other error descriptions in bounce emails. For instance, here’s a bounce message when an email is blocked because the IP is listed on the BRBL:

450 4.7.1 Try Later; see (in reply to RCPT TO command))”

Other common email blacklist providers besides Barracuda include Spamhaus, Proofpoint, Microsoft, SURBI, Spamcop, and Invaluement.

Why Did Your IP End Up On It?

Based on the definition above, you probably already know that the main reason anyone’s IP ends up on the blacklist is that it sends spam.

Barracuda Networks designed the said database with a mechanism to list IP addresses that automatically open relays and use spam proxies.

Open relays or proxies are tools that enable email senders to hide their identities. If a sender uses an open relay or proxy, their IP address will be blocklisted.

Here are other reasons why your IP may end up on the BRBL:

  • Your personal computer was compromised by a botnet software program sending spam.
  • You’re using a mail server that’s been compromised, and another user is sending spam emails to your contacts.
  • Your mail server is incorrectly set up or doesn’t follow the best email practices.
  • Other marketers that are using the same mail server as you are also sending bulk messages that don’t comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  • A hacker has compromised one or more user accounts within the same email server.
  • You’re using dynamic IP addresses.
  • You’re connected to a network to which a spammer has access.
  • Having contact forms that are not secure

How to Remove Yourself From the Barracuda Reputation Block List (BRBL) – 2 Easy Steps

Source: Getty Images/Canva

Step 1: Address the Blocklist Issue

If the Barracuda Lookup tool reveals that they added your IP address to the BRBL, the first thing to do is to find the reason why it happened. You most likely received a bounceback notification indicating why you have been blacklisted.

These issues include:

– 535 – Authentication failure

– 420 – The message has been deferred due to suspicious content

– 421 – The service is unavailable, and the connection will be closed

– 450 – The requested command failed because the user’s mailbox was unavailable

– 451 – Aborted due to a server error

– 500 – Command not recognized

– 503 – Bad sequence of commands

– 535 – Authentication failed

Only single IP addresses are included in the BRBL

Remember that only single IP addresses are listed in the Barracuda Blacklist. If you want to be delisted and stay off it, check your server and find out why it was banned.

After finding out the reason, address the blocklist issue ad move to the final step.

Step 2: Send a Removal Request to Barracuda

After solving the underlying issue, it’s time to request removal from the blacklist.

Fill out this Barracuda Central Reputation System – Removal Request Form. They will ask for your email server’s IP address, the email address itself, phone number, and reason for removal. The Barracuda team typically processes the request within 12 hours after submitting the Removal Request.

Make sure you also provide a valid explanation and send your Barracuda Blacklist removal form correctly the first time because multiple requests are ignored. After filling in all the details in the Barracuda Central Reputation System, click Submit Request.

You can run the Barracuda Blacklist check tools again to confirm the removal.

Related: Blacklisted Email – Mistakes Happen: How to Get Off of Email Blacklists

7 Ways to Avoid Being Listed in Barracuda

Source: Pexels

Prevention is certainly better than cure. So, here are ways to avoid being listed in Barracuda and other email blacklist providers.

1. Always Obtain Consent

Email-only contacts who have given you consent to do so. We strongly recommend you use a double opt-in process for sign-ups to verify the subscriber’s intent to receive your emails.

As much as possible, don’t manually add email addresses to your database to avoid typos. This method prevents you from sending emails to non-existent emails that bounce and get your account blacklisted.

2. Keep Your List Updated

Email marketing engagement greatly affects deliverability, so it’s important to keep it updated. If a contact has not opened your emails in six months, you may want to consider deleting them.

Unengaged contacts may mark your emails as spam. So, remove them along with inactive addresses and unsubscribed.

3. Domain Alignment

Also referred to as identifier alignment, domain alignment is a mechanism that ensures the email domain aligns with the “From” header address that determines the sender’s identity.

We strongly recommend you authenticate your domain, especially for larger senders. Many mailboxes provide, and ISPs check for domain authentication. They also consider it a factor in how they treat incoming mail and whether they’ll allow such into their user’s inboxes.

4. Check Sender’s Reputation

Your email sender reputation is built over time and is tied to your domain. Therefore, if you want to avoid being listed in Barracuda, ensure that you have a positive email sender reputation. Of course, that’s not the only benefit you’ll gain.

Having a positive email sender reputation also ensures that your emails land in your customers’ inboxes. So, check how your emails performed in the past. Has your domain been previously flagged for suspicious activity?

InboxAlly is the ultimate email deliverability tool that not only repairs a damaged sender domain but also provides you with a reputation boost. Try it for free.

5. Optimize Email Content

Avoid sending email blasts that contain generic messages to prevent being blacklisted and reduce spam complaints. Instead, create a valuable and highly customized email or use different kinds of content, depending on conditions, like a list or segment.

6. Secure Your Server

Use tools to check IP addresses and set proper security measures. Doing this protects your mail servers from malware, spam traps, and bots that can hijack your email domain and IP addresses.

7. Monitor Performance

Setting up an email marketing campaign alone isn’t enough to ensure success. You also need to determine how the campaign performs and gather valuable insights. For instance, how many people clicked on the ad or opened your email?

Monitoring your email marketing performance for key metrics also helps you maintain good deliverability. Then, adjust your email marketing strategy accordingly if your performance needs improvement or is declining compared to the ranges for those metrics.

Final Words

Removing your IP address from the Barracuda Blacklist is easy as you learn the above steps. However, removing yourself from it is as important as stopping the spam activity that triggered such a listing.

Follow some of the best email marketing practices we shared to prevent you from being blacklisted in the first place.

Find out how InboxAlly can help you maintain good email deliverability so you won’t end up in Barracuda or other blacklisting platforms.