I’m on a Blacklist, Now What? (Part 3)

So far, we’ve covered the definition of blacklists and how companies might end up on a blacklist. Today, I’d like to talk about what to do if you do accidentally find yourself on a major blacklist. How do you handle being blacklisted in the best possible way? And most importantly, how do you get yourself off as quickly as possible?

I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for what to do when you’ve been blacklisted.

Don’t: Do it alone

You’re definitely not the first person to ever get blacklisted- in fact, it’s EXTREMELY rare for a company to never deal with being blacklisted either privately or publicly. Especially if this is the first time you’ve ever had to deal with a major blacklisting, it’s best to get some help if you aren’t completely confident in what to say or do to get delisted. If your Pardot IP is blacklisted, we’re here to help!

Do: Let us help out

Even if you know you’ve purchased lists, which goes against our permission-based marketing policy, let us know. The more information we have on the compliance team regarding the circumstances of the blacklisting from your end, the easier it will be for us to help you get your Pardot sending IP address delisted. We’re here to work with you to make sure you don’t wind up on that same blacklist again, but we’ll need completely honest answers to all of our questions, even if that answer is “I’m not really sure.”

Don’t: Threaten or make demands

While it’s true that blacklistings do cause a lot of frustration for marketers, this is not the time and the place to show that frustration to the blacklist operator. As the saying goes, “You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” You’ll accomplish significantly more by being friendly to the blacklist operator than you will by making threats or demanding to be unblacklisted. It’s also definitely not a good idea to threaten a lawsuit, as that will only get their legal team involved. By demanding to be unblacklisted or threatening legal action, the blacklist operator hears “I am a spammer and I don’t care about following email best practices,” which not only won’t accomplish your ultimate goal of getting unblacklisted, it’ll also make it more difficult to resolve the issue!

Do: Listen and request information

The key to getting blacklisting issues fixed is to listen to the blacklist operator and ask for their insight. Remember, they have completely different data than you do, so their insight can only help you improve your list hygiene and overall emailing campaigns. Listening is in your best interest, as it can not only help you resolve the current issue, but can also help you avoid any future blacklisting occurrences.

Do: Keep plenty of data

At a bare minimum, you should be keeping opt-in data (when, how, who opted in) on every prospect in your database. Consider also keeping data on your list sources, the most recent database change, the frequency and type of all your mailings, and your list management practices. The more information you can compile and distill down to a single email to a blacklist operator, the better.

Don’t: Send a lengthy email explaining every aspect of your business

Requesting to be delisted is not a marketing or sales opportunity, so it’s simply not worth sending paragraphs of information about what you do well as a business or how great your product is. Blacklist operators don’t want to hear about what your business does or what product you’re selling, they want to know how you’re selling it, to whom, and how you’re managing your lists.

Do: Be concise

Instead of “Hi, I’m [name and title] from [XYZ company] and I’d like to discuss my delisting request. [XYZ company] is an [innovative/awesome/life-changing] company that will revolutionize the way you look at [herding cats/amish barn raising/glassblowing] …paragraphs on paragraphs on paragraphs of who you are and what you do. Keep it short and simple: “Hi, I’m [name] from [XYZ company] and wanted to discuss delisting [XYZ company’s IP] from your blacklist. Our opt-in process is [XYZ process], we only email to prospects of [x age in our database]…” et cetera. Focus on how you got listed, how you can get yourself delisted, and how you can prevent future blacklisting occurrences.

Don’t: Mention being CAN-SPAM compliant

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post , being CAN-SPAM compliant isn’t enough for the email industry. While being CAN-SPAM compliant may have you in the clear legally, it’s simply not enough to get your emails delivered to inboxes — and being legally in the clear doesn’t make you not a spammer. Saying you’re CAN-SPAM compliant to a blacklist operator will make them hear “I’m legally in the clear, so I can be a spammer and send unsolicited mail.” That’s definitely not going to help your case with getting delisted!

Stay tuned for more email marketing best practices in the last post in this blacklisting series, which will focus on ways to prevent getting blacklisted. Can’t wait that long? Check out our Email Deliverability Handbook by clicking on the banner below.