In offering a premium email delivery platform to our customers we carefully monitor our IPs for listings on blacklists (Top Blacklists – What You Need to Know.) The Marketo Privacy team maintains relationships with the major blacklists to better assist our customers in resolving these issues. When we find that one of our customers was responsible for a blacklisting we contact that customer and request some actions be taken to remediate the issue.
In many cases we find that sending an email to a spamtrap address (What Is a Spamtrap and Why Do They Matter?) caused the blacklisting. Spamtraps are email addresses that have either never been used or have not been used for a long time and are now owned by anti-spam organizations. They are considered by these organizations as a sign of poorly maintained or inappropriately acquired addresses. Based on this assessment they conclude that the marketer is sending spam and consequently blacklist the sender.
To prevent future blacklistings you'll need to review your recent activity to remove the spamtrap from your mailing. Finding the spam trap address can be difficult; they are closely guarded secrets of the blacklisting organizations and they do not share these addresses.
We describe several strategies below. The best approach for you depends on the make-up of your database and the amount of behavioral history in your Marketo system.The goal is to isolate potential spamtrap addresses and remove them. The group of addresses you select should be broad enough to capture those potentially bad addresses but small enough not to suppress a huge portion of your database.
Blacklists are not all the same - some provide Marketo with more information, some with less. If at all possible we will provide you with a date and a subject line to help you isolate potential traps.
To narrow the list of potential traps you should consider the following:
If you were able to identify newly introduced email addresses to your email program that are likely the source of the spamtrap suppress or remove those from your database so they will not receive email in future email campaigns.
If you have not identified a specific data source than you should target the inactive or nonresponsive segments of your database for potential spamtraps. Because an individual does not manage spamtrap addresses, they are generally part or a larger spamtrap network; they will generally not show any form of activity. If you have behavioral history, the best approach to take is to identify the people who are not interacting with your company - not opening or clicking emails, not visiting the web page, not attending events, etc.
Build an inactive Smart List using ALL filters:
Once you have created a smart list to identify these suspect leads you have several options.
[Leads Tab > Lead Actions > Flow Actions]
Why waste your time on inactive leads?
Set leads to Marketing Suspended = true to suppress from future mailings
Marketing suspended is functionally equivalent to unsubscribe. These leads will still be available for other flow actions, tracking, or operational emails. To avoid suppressing an active lead’s email address you can create a daily recurring batch campaign to take any marketing suspended lead who "wakes up" and engages and set them back to marketing suspended is false.
The daily batch campaign would be set to change Marketing Suspended back to false if the lead performed any specific activity in the last 24 hours like if they visit a web page, open or click a link in an email, fills out a form or has a lead status change. Here's how to set up the campaign:
Smart List (using the "ANY" filter, not "AND"):
All selectors for these filters should be set to 'any'.
Opt-In reconfirmation pass
Create and release an email to inactive list with the following sample copy: "We have not heard from you in a while. Click this link to continue to receive messages." Anyone who does not click the link within 2 weeks should be set to Marketing Suspended. For recommendations on successful reconfirmation messages search our help articles on Successful Reconfirmation.
Some mix of the above
Many of our customers take a tiered approach to blacklist remediation. If they can identify inactive, low-priority leads they may choose to immediately delete or Marketing Suspend these while reserving a reconfirmation pass for higher priority leads. If your list includes extremely high value sales targets you might consider having your sales team reach out individually. If considering this approach we recommend that you export the list and try various sorting techniques to get a feel for the leads you're looking at before deciding on the best way to segment them for different tiers of attention.
Step 4 – You’re Done! Don't forget to fill out the delisting form