A blacklisted IP address is an Email Manager’s worst nightmare.

Depending on your background, IP Blacklisting can mean different things to you. But simply put, an IP Blacklist (or an IP Blocklist) is a list that contains a combination of IP addresses and domains that are deemed spam related. These addresses and domains may have also done something to oppose a provider’s terms of service.

So, no matter how skilled your words are, they will never reach the target audience. You can have the perfect subject line, lead-in, and call to action, but it’ll be all for nothing. And that’s a frustrating list, resulting in much wasted effort.

But here’s what’s worse: the more your IP address and domain get flagged, the easier it is to get blacklisted in the future. It’s also a slippery slope that can get you nowhere fast.

Conversely, as an average person on the computer, IP blacklisting is your best friend. Spam isn’t the only thing it protects you from. Using these techniques also prevents viruses and malware attacks. Ultimately, IP (Internet Protocol) Blacklisting is a necessary evil.

However, you can learn to overcome and beat this evil as you continue to read this article.

What lands you on the naughty list?

Using an email that hasn’t been warmed up and, in turn, sending an uncharacteristically large volume of emails. Internet service providers (ISPs) work with cybersecurity companies to flag IP addresses that are guilty of this abnormal activity.
If a virus infects your PC/device, the IP address will then be listed, and that’s bad news for any emails sent from the listed address.
Having your IP or domain flagged as spam too often.
Cloud services where your vendor goes behind your back and re-uses the IP address with another customer that is already blacklisted.
Already compromised web servers and/or user accounts.
Your email list has a high hard bounce rate. This is a considerable red alarm that your recipients still need to opt-in to newsletters, cold emails, etc.
Using apps, software, or browsers that are uncommon or unknown may be deemed insecure, resulting in a blacklisting.
Sharing hosting could be a mysterious culprit as other accounts and websites may not have read this list and committed the crimes you haven’t.
Purchased lead lists that have incorrect, dead, non-existent, or spam-trap emails.
Using specific keywords that they recognize as spam.
Ignoring unsubscribe requests from recipients.
An overly complicated unsubscribe process that leads to a frustrated recipient simply marking you as spam.
Direct complaints from recipients to blacklist providers.


Some of these are unavoidable. Writing excellent and engaging copy is a challenge enough without these hurdles. So, let’s go over what you can do before or after ending up on an IP Blacklist:

The Best Preventative Measures

You may know some of these as they are a part of proper email list etiquette. Here is a list of all the things you can do to avoid the issues mentioned above so you don’t end up on a blacklist:

Revise and edit your lead list to ensure there are no typos or incorrect email addresses.
Continue to edit the mailing list based on its performance in the Email Campaign to minimize bounce rates.
Include a two-step subscription verification process for acquiring new subscribers.
Always include a simple unsubscribe option.
Honor a person’s decision to opt out of emails.
Prioritize high deliverability with engaging subject lines, personalized content, etc
Stay on top of which devices use your network in case they are compromised.
Check to see if your PC or website has viruses.
Make sure the server configuration is correct.
Have up-to-date server security.
Take a look at VPNs or proxies to avoid spoiled IP addresses.
Verify that no unauthorized traffic is going out on your behalf.
Using a static IP Address over a dynamic one.
Ask for a dedicated IP address from your ESP or SMTP relay service. Thus, you will be able to build your own sender reputation.
Employ a trusted hosting provider.
Grow the mailing list organically over time.
Use an email deliverability tool like InboxAlly.


Further Reading: 30 Experts Share Their #1 Tip to Improving Email Open Rates

How to Check If Your IP/Domain Has Been Blacklisted

The easiest method is to use online tools and services like MXToolbox to check if your IP or domain is listed on any blacklists. Simply enter your IP address or domain name into the search bar of these services. You can also first find your server IP address using the same tool.

How To Remove A Blacklilsted IP Address From A List

A happy woman working on her email campaignCourtesy of Canva/Teerapat

Step 1: Using one of the tools above, take note of which list your IP/domain has been blacklisted on.

Step 2: Visit the blacklist’s official website to understand their listing criteria and why your IP/domain was blacklisted. This often involves reviewing their policies and FAQs.

Step 3: Address the reason for the blacklisting. This could involve tightening security measures, cleaning your website of malware, removing spammy content, or resolving email-sending practices.

Step 4: Find the “delisting” or “removal” process on the blacklist’s website and follow it. This usually involves filling out a removal request form and may require providing details on how you rectified the issue.

Step 5: After submitting your request, monitor your status. Removal times vary by blacklist and can take anywhere from a few hours to several days. Use the same tools as initially to check if your IP/domain has been removed.

Further Reading:

Barracuda Blacklisting – What It Is and How to Remove Yourself From It

ZEN Spamhaus Blacklist – What It Is and How to Remove Yourself From It


A lady working to get her IP removed from a blacklistCourtesy of Canva/Eclipse Images

As we’ve explored, prevention, regular monitoring, and proactive remediation are key to ensuring your emails continue to reach their intended recipients without hindrance. In this journey, InboxAlly emerges not just as a tool but as a vital ally, empowering you to optimize email deliverability through intelligent strategies and insights.

Remember, in the realm of email marketing, your greatest asset is a clear line of communication with your subscribers. Let InboxAlly be your guide to maintaining that connection, ensuring your emails always find their way home.

Frequently Asked Question – Blacklisted IP Addresses

What is IP Blacklisting?

IP blacklisting is a method used to filter out illegitimate or malicious IP addresses from accessing your networks. This action prevents emails sent from the blacklisted IP or domain from reaching their intended recipients, as email servers refuse to accept communications from these sources. Being on a blacklist can significantly impact email deliverability and sender reputation, making it important for email managers to avoid and address blacklisting issues promptly.

What Causes an IP/Domain to Get Blacklisted?

An IP/domain can get blacklisted for several reasons, including sending a large volume of unsolicited emails, harboring a compromised website that sends out spam or malicious content, and failing to maintain a clean email list, leading to high bounce rates and spam complaints. These activities signal email providers and blacklist operators that the IP or domain may be a source of spam or malicious content, prompting them to take action to protect their users.

How Can InboxAlly Help Prevent Blacklisting?

InboxAlly is designed to enhance email deliverability by promoting best email practices and helping users avoid common pitfalls that lead to blacklisting. By optimizing email campaigns, managing email lists properly, and ensuring that emails do not trigger spam filters, InboxAlly plays a crucial role in maintaining a positive sender reputation and reducing the likelihood of being blacklisted.

What Should I Do If My IP/Domain Is Already Blacklisted?

If you find your IP/domain on a blacklist, the first step is to identify which blacklist(s) have listed you and understand their specific listing criteria. Next, address the underlying issue(s) that led to the blacklisting, such as securing your network against malware or improving your email list management practices. Finally, submit a delisting request to the blacklist operator, providing details on how you resolved the issue and why your IP/domain should be removed from the blacklist.

How Long Does It Take to Get Removed From a Blacklist?

The time it takes to be removed from a blacklist can vary widely, from a few hours to several days, depending on the specific blacklist’s policies and the nature of the blacklisting issue. Some blacklists have automated processes for removal once the issue is resolved, while others require manual review. Being proactive in resolving the issue and communicating effectively with the blacklist operator can help expedite the delisting process.

Courtesy of Canva/Pro-Stock

What Are the Consequences of Ignoring a Blacklist Notification?

Ignoring a blacklist notification can lead to severe consequences for your email deliverability and overall communication efforts. It can result in a significant drop in email open rates, damage your sender reputation, and ultimately diminish the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Timely addressing blacklist issues is crucial to prevent these negative outcomes and ensure your emails reach their intended audience.

How Often Should I Check My IP/Domain for Blacklisting?

It’s advisable to check your IP/domain for blacklisting regularly, at least once a month, to ensure any potential issues are quickly identified and addressed. Regular monitoring helps you stay ahead of deliverability problems, maintain a healthy sender reputation, and ensure that your email communications reach your audience without interruption.

What role does a mail server play?

A mail server is responsible for sending and receiving emails on behalf of your domain. When it comes to email deliverability, the reputation of your mail server is crucial. If your mail server’s IP address is blacklisted due to spam or malicious activity, other servers will reject emails sent from it.