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An Update on Blacklists

According to Al Iverson, Spamhaus has really taken the place as the leader at the forefront of the spam blacklist movement. Their lists are still widely used and anybody on the business end of a Spamhaus listing will find significant negative deliverability issues as a result. Al's own testing shows that the Spamhaus lists are very accurate, block much spam, while very rarely (if ever) impacting legitimate mail, and I suspect many large ISPs use the Spamhaus lists for this very reason.

Other lists that are used less often but may still impact your ability to deliver mail are NJABL and SORBS. NJABL (“Not Just Another Bogus List”) is usually known for being responsibly run and is used by a significant number of sites to block mail. SORBS is a more aggressively run list from Australia. It may not always be easy to resolve a SORBS listing. These are the ones Al recommends checking, as far as IP-based blacklists (DNSBLs) are concerned.

He also recommends checking your “from” domain, bounce domain, image link and redirector domains on the two Domain/URL based blacklists: SURBL and URIBL. You can check both of those here: http://www.rulesemporium.com/cgi-bin/uribl.cgi

Note that if somebody is a B2C sender with an average list composition, then blacklists shouldn’t be your biggest worry. Blocking by the top ISPs (AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, Juno, Earthlink, etc.) is generally more likely to cause greater issues, or happen more often, than a third-party blacklisting of a sender’s IP address.

Anybody working with an ESP to send their mail should ask their ESP what they are doing to monitor, discover, and resolve blacklist issues.

Source: Email Insider

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