why is IP marked as SPAM?

by monere
25 replies
Hi,

My company is sending monthly newsletters to its database of... I don't know.... 20,000 members, and some (I haven't counted how many, but a notable number anyway) of the recipient's emails send us an automated reply stating that the IP we're sending from has been marked as SPAM, and that the recipient can not receive the newsletter.

Now, I checked our IP (I'd prefer not to mention the IP, for security reasons) in various blacklisted IP checkers found on Google (I used 3-4 such checkers) and none of them says that the IP is blacklisted anywhere.

So... what's the issue then? Why don't our newsletters go through. Normally, if there were only several out of 20k newsletters that wouldn't get through we would be OK with it. But each month there are more (like last month I think there were 5-10% of newsletters not going through, and that's a considerable amount of failures to ignore) of such messages coming through, and we don't know what is wrong.

Can someone please explain what's causing this, and also how to fix it (if it's something that we can do from OUR end)?
#marked #spam
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    You've been blacklisted. Try a 3rd party like Aweber. I'm guessing the list is legit & you're not sending out spam.
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    • Profile picture of the author monere
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      You've been blacklisted. Try a 3rd party like Aweber. I'm guessing the list is legit & you're not sending out spam.
      Where can I see that I've been blacklisted? Please give me a site or something that shows that our IP is blacklisted, because I told you that I used 4 various checkers and none of them says that it's blacklisted.

      Now, I wish I could tell you that the list is legit, but I'm not sure if it is. I am saying this because there is no newsletter subscription form on our website, and hasn't been one for the last 2 years since I'm with this company. It's true that they have been having these subscribers since longer than 2 years, so they might have had a subscription form back then. But in all seriousness, I'm not trying to protect my company, I simply don't know how they got them.

      Now, I know about Aweber and the alikes (Mailchimp, Getresponse, etc.), but I'm not sure that autoresponders is what we need. We only send emails one per month in one go, and autoresponders do much more than we need. Do you know of something simpler (where we pay for one monthly broadcast for example), but which also doesn't block our messages? If there is none, I will consider using aweber, but I thought I should ask first
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      • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
        Originally Posted by monere View Post

        Where can I see that I've been blacklisted? Please give me a site or something that shows that our IP is blacklisted....
        If you carefully inspect the entire bounce message, this is generally disclosed.

        Originally Posted by monere View Post

        Now, I wish I could tell you that the list is legit, but I'm not sure if it is. I am saying this because there is no newsletter subscription form on our website, and hasn't been one for the last 2 years since I'm with this company. It's true that they have been having these subscribers since longer than 2 years, so they might have had a subscription form back then. But in all seriousness, I'm not trying to protect my company, I simply don't know how they got them.
        This could be problematic, obviously.

        Even if every subscriber was added with their permission, if they haven't received anything in over two years, few people will remember granting such permission, and so the list is still nearly useless.
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        • Profile picture of the author monere
          Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

          Even if every subscriber was added with their permission, if they haven't received anything in over two years, few people will remember granting such permission, and so the list is still nearly useless.
          No. We've been sending this newsletter once every month, or so, with 2-3 times during winter holidays, and people are always buying through the newsletter. So, the list is not that useless. The thing is that more and more emails bounce with each send, and we already reached 10% (or close to that, cause we didn't actually count the bounced emails), and this is worrying that our IP got indeed marked as SPAM. SO, obviously we want to avoid this, while still being able to send the newsletter. Which is why I'm inquiring about available options
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Aweber has a spam checker that tells you if there is anything spammy in the mail you are sending.

        They have an unsubscribe feature at the end of every email - does your current email go out with that?

        The mail will be coming from a completely different IP as well.

        Or you could get the whole IP address changed.

        But here's the thing.

        A list of 20k people "should" convert to roughly $1 for each person per month in profits somewhere in the funnel. That should more than cover any AR fees. If they are not making enough to support a proper AR to have the list, they probably shouldn't have it.
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        • Profile picture of the author monere
          Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

          Aweber has a spam checker that tells you if there is anything spammy in the mail you are sending.

          They have an unsubscribe feature at the end of every email - does your current email go out with that?

          The mail will be coming from a completely different IP as well.

          Or you could get the whole IP address changed.

          But here's the thing.

          A list of 20k people "should" convert to roughly $1 for each person per month in profits somewhere in the funnel. That should more than cover any AR fees. If they are not making enough to support a proper AR to have the list, they probably shouldn't have it.
          I'm with you here Jill, but unfortunately I'm not the one deciding if we will use aweber (or other ARs), or something else. I've been tasked with finding an option to "still send the newsletter without having our IP blocked" (the quote of my manager, the one who told me to do research about this issue).

          I (as an internet marketer) am already using an AR (so I know the value of such services), but like I said, I can't decide for my company to go with an AR, or something else. I just gather as many options available, put them in a nice excel spreadsheet with all the pros and cons and sometimes next week (not necessarily on Monday, but next week) we will discuss the options (with some words of advice from myself, too, obviously), but the final call will be my manager's (obviously). As for the money, I have no access to the sales volume to know how much we're making through the newsletter sales, but I hear my colleagues talking and they are making money through it. But still, as a company I assume they do have money to invest into an AR/broadcasting service, at least that's logical to happen

          Oh well... I'll wait for a few more replies and if I don't find something right to the point I'll go find some email/newsletter broadcasting services and some good ARs, put them in an excel spreadsheet and go with that. I've done my job in what concerns me.
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      • Profile picture of the author ioZoom
        Originally Posted by monere View Post

        Where can I see that I've been blacklisted? Please give me a site or something that shows that our IP is blacklisted, because I told you that I used 4 various checkers and none of them says that it's blacklisted.first
        Enter in your IP here: https://hetrixtools.com/blacklist-check/
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  • Profile picture of the author Melody
    Have you checked the email addresses of the returned emails? You can be blacklisted by a particular ISP, such as Road Runner or even a free mail provider (i.e. Google) and it will not always show up in the lists. It can also take several weeks for the lists to update, so keep monitoring them - you may eventually show up, and it is usually fairly easy to get removed - each list has it's own instructions.

    But moving forward - using an AR service is probably the best way to go - not just to make sure the recipients actually get the newsletter - but to make sure the company does not get nailed for an FTC violation of the CAN-SPAM act. The best way to do that is send out newsletters with VALUE - drive the readers back to your website for a free download or coupon, and register them to your AR through the process. Make sure that you remove any dupes from the old list as people register to the new one.

    It will take some time - but you will also wind up with a good, clean list, and a list of real potential customers rather than a list of potential spam complaints and FTC fines.

    Melody
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    • Profile picture of the author monere
      Originally Posted by Melody View Post

      Have you checked the email addresses of the returned emails? You can be blacklisted by a particular ISP, such as Road Runner or even a free mail provider (i.e. Google) and it will not always show up in the lists. It can also take several weeks for the lists to update, so keep monitoring them - you may eventually show up, and it is usually fairly easy to get removed - each list has it's own instructions.

      But moving forward - using an AR service is probably the best way to go - not just to make sure the recipients actually get the newsletter - but to make sure the company does not get nailed for an FTC violation of the CAN-SPAM act. The best way to do that is send out newsletters with VALUE - drive the readers back to your website for a free download or coupon, and register them to your AR through the process. Make sure that you remove any dupes from the old list as people register to the new one.

      It will take some time - but you will also wind up with a good, clean list, and a list of real potential customers rather than a list of potential spam complaints and FTC fines.

      Melody
      Everybody recommends autoresponder

      I'm not sure we can send newsletters with value because we are an ecommerce company (we commercialize industrial electronics, like converters, temperature and humidity thermometers, regulators, multimeters, etc.) so there is no typical newsletter that we send. We just include the products on offer at that time and send the newsletter, and our clients (who also activate in the same industry as us) usually know what each of those products do, or if they need them. We don't have to write any typical (internet marketing type of) newsletter so that we provide value. The value is in the products.

      Anyway, good point about checking the emails. I admit we didn't really look to see what they were saying, we just saw that "your IP has been blocked by the recipient because it's marked as SPAM" (or something along these lines), and we got busy freaking out, so we didn't have much time to actually look what it says in those emails
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      • Profile picture of the author Melody
        Value in your case could coupons/discounts, a giveaway of some kind, or even a brief comparison of the different types of products available in a given category.

        There are LOTS of ways to market tangible products - my husband runs 3 ecommerce stores, and every newsletter features new products and always offers a time-sensitive special offer of some sort - and it works!

        Good luck!

        Melody
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        • Profile picture of the author monere
          Originally Posted by Melody View Post

          Value in your case could coupons/discounts, a giveaway of some kind, or even a brief comparison of the different types of products available in a given category.

          There are LOTS of ways to market tangible products - my husband runs 3 ecommerce stores, and every newsletter features new products and always offers a time-sensitive special offer of some sort - and it works!

          Good luck!

          Melody
          Yeah, that's how we do, too. I mean, with the discounts and freebies (although we can't really offer too many freebies, due to the nature of our products). But we are offering discounts, that's how we make the newslette sales.

          Also, your husbad runs 3 stores?? WOW! And we're having troubles maintaining one
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          • Profile picture of the author Melody
            Originally Posted by monere View Post

            Yeah, that's how we do, too. I mean, with the discounts and freebies (although we can't really offer too many freebies, due to the nature of our products). But we are offering discounts, that's how we make the newslette sales.

            Also, your husbad runs 3 stores?? WOW! And we're having troubles maintaining one
            AND - he's 71!!! We have both been full time online since the early 90s.

            Melody
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            • Profile picture of the author monere
              Originally Posted by Melody View Post

              AND - he's 71!!! We have both been full time online since the early 90s.

              Melody
              Well... did I say WOW yet?
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  • Profile picture of the author mmrahman5737
    You may did some illegal works from this IP, so your IP is in black listed. If your IP is in the black listed, you may not access to some site. In this case they will show you where your IP is in the listed. They also tell you to contact with the site, where your IP is in the listed. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
    You haven't stated who actually owns the IP address. If it's exclusively yours, then the spam complaints are only in reaction to your own content, and so you really need to take a close (and honest) look as to why that may be. As mentioned above, there are tools which identify which aspect of a given mailing might be triggering this. If it's a shared IP, then you're also dealing with the behavior of the other entities which are using it to mail.

    We're very happy with Mailgun, which is a mailing service (without an autoresponder), and they offer both shared and dedicated IP addresses. But this is not a panacea; if your own newsletter is in fact the problem, all this would do is move the problem, not solve it.
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    • Profile picture of the author monere
      Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

      You haven't stated who actually owns the IP address. If it's exclusively yours, then the spam complaints are only in reaction to your own content, and so you really need to take a close (and honest) look as to why that may be. As mentioned above, there are tools which identify which aspect of a given mailing might be triggering this. If it's a shared IP, then you're also dealing with the behavior of the other entities which are using it to mail.

      We're very happy with Mailgun, which is a mailing service (without an autoresponder), and they offer both shared and dedicated IP addresses. But this is not a panacea; if your own newsletter is in fact the problem, all this would do is move the problem, not solve it.
      The IP is given by our ISP. I really wished I was good at all this IP/servers/networking stuff, cause we also have our own server, it looks like it's more things intertwined, and unfortunately I'm not very good at these things, and moreover, I don't have access to all of them, so I can give you more details.

      All I know is that our website (while on a .ro domain name because we are a Romanian company operating in Romania) is on our own servers, but when I check this domain's IP it appears like it's residing in Virginia, USA, but then, when I check the subdomain's IP (we have the CRM software on a subdomain, and this software is how we send the newsletter through), so, the subdomain's (and implicitly the CRM's) IP is Romanian.

      So many weird things.... or maybe I don't understand (and I usually don't) how servers work... I don't know.

      I told you, I've only been tasked with researching options for continuing to send our newsletter and I'm doing just that. It's my colleagues' job (they are more knowledgeable than me) how they integrate everything
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      • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
        Originally Posted by monere View Post

        ...when I check the subdomain's IP (we have the CRM software on a subdomain, and this software is how we send the newsletter through)...
        So this is likely the IP in question. This will be confirmed by carefully inspecting the content of the bounce messages.

        It actually shouldn't be that difficult to integrate your CRM software with a service like Mailgun. It's possible that this has already been done before.
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        • Profile picture of the author monere
          Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

          So this is likely the IP in question. This will be confirmed by carefully inspecting the content of the bounce messages.

          It actually shouldn't be that difficult to integrate your CRM software with a service like Mailgun. It's possible that this has already been done before.
          Yeah, I'm putting on my priorities list to check those bounces thoroughly when I get to the office on Monday. Also, thanks for the Mailgun suggestion. Gonna check that service right now
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  • Profile picture of the author monere
    also, I think we are using splendidCRM (enterprise membership level) as our CRM software, so this is how we're sending the newsletter through (if this matters)
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  • Profile picture of the author Regional Warrior
    Monere

    Try looking at Infusionsoft it has a 4 step process before you send out a campaign or newsletter works fine for us
    Jason
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    • Profile picture of the author monere
      Originally Posted by Regional Warrior View Post

      Monere

      Try looking at Infusionsoft it has a 4 step process before you send out a campaign or newsletter works fine for us
      Jason
      OK, thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author VPN Center
    i will recommend you try sending changing your ip address with a vpn software
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    We had a mail problem with IP blacklists for a specific project we were working on and we started running our outbound through mailchannels MailChannels
    They made a real difference for the situation we were in.

    You can check them out for yourself.

    I'm not one for promoting BS that doesn't work so if this helps one legitimate business owner out there then this post may have some value.

    Best regards,

    Ozi
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  • Profile picture of the author takticz101
    You may have been doing somekind illegal stuff on the net. Thats why they blacklisted you. Getting a new ip address with vpn will help.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by monere View Post

      No. We've been sending this newsletter once every month, or so, with 2-3 times during winter holidays, and people are always buying through the newsletter. So, the list is not that useless. The thing is that more and more emails bounce with each send, and we already reached 10% (or close to that, cause we didn't actually count the bounced emails), and this is worrying that our IP got indeed marked as SPAM. SO, obviously we want to avoid this, while still being able to send the newsletter. Which is why I'm inquiring about available options
      If you're getting too many bounces, especially "hard" bounces (like 'no such address'), the receiving ISP may have you marked as a spammer. One way to handle this is to delete all 'hard' bounces from your database.

      Unfortunately, your location may be working against you as well. Eastern European countries, especially those in the former Soviet bloc, have garnered a reputation for favoring hard cash over complying with spam laws.

      You may want to switch your email to something like Amazon's email service if you don't or can't go to a full-blown autoresponder/CRM solution. That way, the emails are coming from Amazon's servers, not your own. You can learn more about the various options by downloading the various guides available for free on the Kindle marketplace.

      Oh, and the "gotta use an autoresponder service" mantra has been ingrained since Aweber became the first EMS to offer recurring commissions.
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