5 Steps to take when your email is blacklisted


Best practice advice on email blacklisting for small to medium businesses

In an earlier blog, we discussed “4 causes of e-mail blacklisting and how to fix it“. This article covers how to get removed from a blacklist.

Your clients, suppliers or opportunities claim they never received your email. You send again, it’s still not getting through. Your emails seem to be lost in the ether. Your company has likely been blacklisted.

How do you know if you’ve been blacklisted?

There are a few websites you can check to see if you’ve been blacklisted.  However, unless you remove the source (virus and/or trojan) from your network, you’ll end up back on the same blacklist AND get penalised for appearing again.

Confirm your company appears on one of the many blacklists

More than 100 blacklists are covered with in MXToolbox. You will need to input your mail server address. (Generally, the mail server address is  “mail.companyname.com.au” but he MX Toolbox website will help you find it if you do not know.

Short-term work around

In the short-term, you can get your IT provider to configure a smart host to allow email to be sent through third party mail servers.  This gives you a temporary solution while waiting to get your IP address removed.

Find Virus and/or Trojan and remove it

Once you think you’ve removed it, scan again.  (Part two covers a tool/appliance to help with this.) THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP. If you do not remove source of the problem, before removing your domain from blacklist, it could make your blacklist problem worse!

(See blog post on “3 Security upgrades to fight and manage blacklists“.)

Remove from Blacklist

Follow instructions for getting it removed. Click on the associated blacklist in MX Toolbox where your domain is listed to get instructions on removal. As Google, Telstra and other ISPs have their own algorithms on blacklists, there is no way to get removed from these except to wait.  For example, If you are unlucky enough to get on Googles’ blacklist, you will not be able to send email to gmail accounts until Google determines your domain is safe. Google does not give enough information on removing your IP address, so you may have to wait 24-48 hours after you remove the source problem before you can send to gmail again.

Set up a white-list

imagesTIP:   I am sure you have right clicked on mail and seen options to “never block sender” or “never block domain”.  Similar to this, companies with exchange servers who receive your emails can put your domain  on their whitelist. This ensures you can always send emails to those companies where you have a business to business relationship.

You can work with other companies with whom you have a relationship to ensure you allow all mail to come straight through by whitelisting. Although this is an administrative headache, it is worth doing as a preventative measure.

Note: If you are a client of ours, you are most likely on our white list.

If you are still having issues with your blacklisted emails chat with a consultant today.


MX Toolbox has a variety of tools, including the tool for blacklists.   For high risk email users, they offer a subscription service to monitor blacklists and inform you if you have a problem.