Blacklists contain IPs or domains which have been flagged for sending spammy emails or malicious content. Being added to a blacklist can occur as a result of spam complaints from email recipients or via automated systems that scan email content and sender activity.

How do you end up blacklisted? Your either recipients or spam traps.

Obviously, recipients can mark your email as spam. Too many reports can lead to blacklisting. Ensuring you only email users who have opted in and send relevant content can help avoid too many spam reports of this kind.

Spam traps, however, are harder to avoid. There are three kinds of spam traps: recycled, pristine and typo.

Recycled spam traps are emails that may have once belonged to your subscriber but have since been abandoned. These accounts are turned off and can be reactivated later. Those marked for reactivation become spam traps and any email sent to them becomes recorded as spam.

Pristine spam traps are created specifically to be a spam trap. These email addresses are created as a bait for list scraping services. If you purchase your list, you may be buying access to spam traps and putting your deliverability and sending reputation at risk.

Typo spam traps. Unfortunately, subscribers sometimes give you the wrong email address like instead of or instead of While you are not intentionally acting like a spammy sender when sending to these addresses, the emails will be marked as spam.

There are steps you can take to remove yourself from a blacklist. But it’s best to try to avoid being blacklisted in the first place.

Watch your use of all caps in your emails and subject lines, avoid spammy words, use spell check, avoid excessive exclamation points, keep a healthy subscriber list and never buy email lists.

Learn more about blacklisting and spam traps from Email on Acid’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Blacklisting.”

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