iStock_000030113816_SmallThese days, most small businesses rely on email to contact their clients. And yet, from time to time you may find that your email has been blacklisted. This means that your email address has been (whether wrongfully or not) identified as a spam email address. Your emails will not reach their intended recipients, and your lack of contact with clients can do irreparable harm to your business.

Some of the most active blacklist holders are:

  • Composite Blocking List (CBL)
  • Not Just Another Bogus List (NJABL)
  • Spam and Open Relay Blocking System (SORBS)
  • SpamCop
  • Spamhaus

In many cases, being blacklisted does not mean that you actually did anything wrong. It could be that hackers used your email address to send out mass marketing messages. But whether or not you actually committed a grievance, the steps for remedying the situation are the same.

  • In some cases, your email hosting provider will automatically drop off the blacklist after a certain period of time.
  • List holders provide forms through their website, which you can fill out and submit to have your email address taken off of the blacklist.
  • You should tighten your security to make sure spammers cannot use your server. The blacklist holder may ask you to prove that you have taken these security measures.
  • Change your mail hosting provider. This is often the most efficient way to get yourself removed from blacklists and stay off of them.

Whatever you do, hold your temper when approaching a blacklist holder about the error. Remember that they are only trying to protect the public from unwanted spam emails, and that your email may have been hacked and used without your knowledge. Approach the issue with a positive attitude, ask how you can resolve the error, and follow the instructions that you are given. If necessary, consult with an IT professional who can guide you through this process.