A Guide to Managing Blocklist Email: Challlenges to Outcomes

Created On
December 23, 2022

Your email address/ IP address/email domain gets blocklisted when email receivers actively report your IP. It is a safety measure taken by ESPs to make email a safe space for everyone. 

Although it is not desired, you may see one of your email addresses get blocklisted. If you find yourself stuck in that situation, there are a few ways you can fix it. 

In this blog post, let;t talk about what blocklist email is and how it works. We have also added actionable tips to stay out of blocklists and the best email practices to maintain the sender reputation. 

Let's dive in! 

Blocklist Email: A Brief Introduction

Blocklist email, AKA blacklist email, is a list of email addresses, IP addresses, or domains identified as sending spam, pornographic, or other malicious content. 

Although the terms' blocklist' and 'blacklist' are used interchangeably, contemporary blocklist providers such as Barracuda, Validity, and Spamcop started using the term email 'blocklist' instead of email 'blacklist.' 

Modern email service providers (ESPs) such as Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, or Yahoo block IP addresses when email recipients report them or the email open rates are very low. 

Email content from phishing sites (and contains URLs leading to malicious content) and emails with misleading content may also get blocklisted. Your email address may also get blocked if you send emails to spam traps (these are email addresses deployed by ESPs to identify and take down spam emails). 

Types of Spam Traps You Should Be Aware

Typo Spam Traps

These email addresses get saved on the email list due to the sender's typo error. For example, if the correct email address is "sattwik@domain.com" and the user accidentally writes it as "sattwik@doman.com."

If the user often falls under typo traps, it is considered a malicious practice, and the email provider flags the sender's address for poor user list hygiene or poor list acquisition practices. 

Recycled Spam Traps

Your email address will fall under recycled traps when you send emails to dormant addresses. These email ids were once valid, but with no use, they are now dormant. These addresses are used by ESPs as spam trap addresses, and they could set off spam filters. 

Pristine Spam Traps

While renting, purchasing, or scraping email addresses, pristine traps end up on email lists. If you buy contact lists from third-party email list providers, the chances of falling into this trap are high. 

Besides all these spam traps, email service providers take users' reports/feedback to blocklist emails. If many users report an email address sending unsolicited emails, the sender will be manually placed on the blocklist. 

Spam Trigger Words

Spam trigger words are flagged as fraudulent or spam by ESPs. Spam triggers are typically words or phrases that over-promise to the recipients, posing as desperate sellers or using strange formatting. 

For example, a subject line written "Like This" can land you in the spam folder. 

ESPs track down these emails and send them to the spam folders instead of primary inboxes. 

Here is a list of the spam triggers you must avoid: 

  • Buy
  • Clearance
  • XXX
  • Earn $
  • Free
  • Fast cash
  • Cheap
  • Stock Alert
  • $$$

These are just a few examples from a long list of spam trigger words. These words and phrases keep changing based on industries and target audiences. 

Smartlead can help you stay away from spam folders and keep deliverability rates high with its custom conditional spam trigger check.

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Is Your Email Address on an Email Blocklist? How to Find Out

Usually, you receive an email message informing you that your IP is blocklisted with the undelivered message. 

However, if you don't receive such a message informing you about blocklisting and you see a sudden drop in your deliverability rates, you should do a blocklist check. 

You can easily do it by going to the websites of popular blocklist vendors and checking them instantly. These platforms use lookup tools to search your IP status and let you know.

You can use platforms like: 

Here are some free email blocklist checker tools you can try: Ultratools and MXToolbox

How to Stay Away from Email Blocklist?

It is easier to stay away from blocklists rather than get your email address removed from one. It keeps your sender reputation intact, and of course, you don't have to go through the hassle of blocklist removal. 

Here are a few ways you can prevent your IP address/domain/email server from getting blocklisted: 

Maintain Opt-In List

Make sure you don't send unsolicited emails. Taking your recipient's permission is very necessary. Maintaining an opt-in list can be time-consuming, but it reduces the chances of your emails getting flagged as spam. 

Always go for double opt-in forms so your contact lists only contain email addresses that are absolutely certain of receiving your emails. 

Clean Your Email List

Cleaning an email list is as important as curating one. It helps you keep your list fresh and maintain a high IP reputation and deliverability rates. 

Remove soft and hard bounced email ids. Also, remove email addresses that have unsubscribed from your list.

Whitelist Your IP Address

Ask your subscribers to whitelist your IP address. This will reduce the chances of landing in spam folders and higher the chances of emails opening.

Use Email Verification Tools

Email verification tools such as ZeroBounce, Mailfloss, or Clearout make sure you are sending legit emails to legit email addresses. Email verification tools not only save you from email blocklists but also reduces spam rates and spam reports and detect temporary accounts. 

These tools also save time & money and increase engagement rates. 

Be Legally Compliant

It is important to abide by various internet laws such as the CAN-SPAM act and GDPR. You must provide an 'unsubscribe/opt out' button in your emails to stay compliant. Also, refrain from using misleading subject lines and 'too good to be true' offers to lure your audience. 

Don't Buy Email Lists

We know it's tempting to buy contact lists from third-party providers because you get ready-made lists and don't have to manually go through the hassle of creating one. 

According to experts, it is email malpractice, as it can lead your email to the spam folder or, worse, get the email blacklisted. 

Proofread Your Content

Proofreading your emails is necessary for better readability and to bypass the spam filter from marking your email campaigns as spam. Also, make sure your emails don't contain plagiarized content.

You can take content tools to help to rectify grammatical errors, find plagiarized content, and decrease spam scores.

You can go for the intelligent AI-powered Smartwriter tool to create excellent personalized email copies.  

Smartwriter Homepage


Always remember that it is easier to avoid getting blocklisted rather than to get a blocklisted IP removed from the list. 

ESPs and blocklist providers make email a safe space for businesses and individuals. Based on your business model (specific industry, emails sent in a day, marketing practices), take preventive measures to keep your IP out of blocklists. 

If you abide by Internet laws and follow legitimate email practices, your IP will remain secured, retaining the goodwill of your brand and sender reputation intact. 

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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  • svsv

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Author’s Details

Sattwik Das

Sattwik is a Digital Marketing professional at Smartlead. He is a dedicated content writer who focuses on juggling words to bring out meaningful content. He is experienced in well-researched and SEO-optimized content creation, content editing, and copywriting for various businesses throughout the globe. His expertise in SEO, SMM, and SMO with a touch of creativity helps businesses grow and maximize their credibility and sales.


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