Avoid Being Black Listed - Best Practice Email Guide

Avoid Being Black Listed - Best Practice Guide

We here at Konversation have some tips for you to avoid being Blacklisted. If you follow these tips, you and your subscribers will be more safe.

The right ESP

  • Choose a reputable email service provider (ESP). And send your messages from a domain name that sounds real and is white-list certified. This ensures that the IP addresses you use don’t damage your deliverability.

Use Double-Opt in Subscribtion 

  • Permission based subscribtion is a security blanket for both you and your subscribers
  • Make sure they can opt out at any time and at any stage of the process easily
  • Ask your subscribers to add your email address to their contact list (also known as whitelisting), this is a best practice.
  • Swear on your life: you’ll never, ever BCC your list.

Avoid Spam

  • Avoid spammy subject line and text in your Email message
  • Look up keywords that are associated with spam if you aren’t sure
  • Use name personalization, but not always in the greeting
  • It goes without saying: do not use the following types of words: free, porn, win, get rich quick, sales, check cashing services, free (!), opportunity – these are flagged spam words.
  • Don’t ever use UPPERCASE for any words whether its in your subject line or body – those are flags for spamming.

A Consistent Preview

  • Be consistent and try to use the same From field for communicating with your subscribers. Identify yourself honestly, be clear who you are and what your brand is. Make sure the From name’s online reputation has not been affected by spam complaints from subscribers.

Gradual Blasting

  • If you have a big list, blast it gradually, increase the % of the list you use over a period of time.

Check your spam score using Tools like Mail Tester

  • Strike a balance between images and text

Clean up your Subscriber List

  • Make sure your subscriber list is recent, clean up permanent bounces and emails that are no longer used.
  • Use an ESP that is recent and is active and highly rated by its users.
  • Include options for your subscribers to view your email in an HTML or web-based version.

Links & Documents

  • Include attachments, if and only if you want to be blacklisted.
  • Embed links to PDFs for a document, embed links in images and logos to websites, podcasts, videos, etc…


  • Rigorously test your Emails in various ESPs, inboxes and devices
  • Lower frequency of Emails sent in alternating periods (vary frequency)
  • Double check that there aren’t Emails in your list that seem like random jumbles of numbers and letters, usually their will be actual names in the Emails that belogn to real live people.
  • Run your IP through blacklisting checkers (most are free!) to see if you’re already blacklisted. You might want to do this periodically.
  • Poor code, corrupted or exported from MS Word, can increase your spam rate. The same goes for poor text-to-image ratio. Always include a plain-text version of your email.
  • Send your Email to yourself at Yahoo, hotmail, gmail and outlook to see if it goes to the spam folder BEFORE you send it out to your list.


  • Don’t format the text too much. Avoid too many colors and excessive bolding, underlining, and punctuation. Don’t use spam and phishing phrases.


DO NOT do List Remeinders: 

  • Don’t send unsolicited emails. Don’t buy lists. Replace sales talk with interesting content. Your subscribers will look forward to your emails, recognize your brand, and engage with it.
  • Don’t format text in your messages with many colors or use too much puncutation in your Emails.


Checking Public Blacklists

Checks 97 Blacklists

Further reading

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