E-Mail Spam Blacklist: How To Check If You’re On One, And How To Get Off It

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Here’s how it works.

Spam filter buttonWhat’s potentially worse than getting lots of spam in our inbox? Possibly when email systems think you’re the spammer! And as a result, you are hearing from recipients that they are not receiving your emails.

This can be a huge problem for small businesses that are sending out everything from invoices to requests for proposals via email. The good news is the solution is typically fairly straightforwards – our experts explain.

Article Overview

What Is A Spam Blacklist?

Spam blacklists are lists of IP addresses used to keep track of servers that have been known to send out large amounts of spam (unsolicited email). These IP’s could come from your ISP (Internet Service Provider), since they typically offer email accounts and/or websites with their service plans.

It’s therefore not uncommon for spammers to take advantage of these accounts. Large ISP’s especially are more likely to harbor spammers simply due to the large number of subscribers.

IP Addresses On Blacklists

It’s important to know if the IP address (an address locator to identify your internet, web, or email location) you are sending mail from is on a blacklist, because it will impact how many people receive your emails. If you’re sending an important email to someone, you want to make sure it arrives and doesn’t end up in junk folder after junk folder.


If you’re running your own web server, you especially want to make sure your IP is not on a blacklist because you don’t want your customers getting spam blocked. This will hurt your email service reputation.


If you’re a casual user with a free email address such as Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail, you also want to make sure you received an IP block that hasn’t been blacklisted. While educational (.edu) and government (.gov) email accounts are less susceptible to being blacklisted (because their registration is restricted, so spammers have difficulty getting access to them), no one is immune. Regardless of the origin of your email account, you want to make sure you haven’t been blacklisted.

How Can I Tell If I’m On A Blacklist?

Visit the MX Toolbox Blacklist Check page and enter the IP address of your server to see if it’s been blacklisted. How do you find the IP address of your mail server? Ask your email service provider. If you’re having trouble finding out who this is, you can ask us in the comments below – just make sure not to include personal details.

Business Owners: Are You Hosting Emails?

If you’re a web designer or hosting provider and want to host your own emails, without having to deal with the headache of providing tech support to email clients that are facing blacklist issues, consider signing up for Rackspace Email. You can get it for as little as $2 per user per month. They offer 24/7/365 phone support, white-listed email servers, spam filtering using the Cloudmark system, and more.

Take the headache of having to stand by the phone and answer the same question over and over again, and offer your clients reliable email service. You’ll recognize the Rackspace name – the same company known for its high level, fully managed hosting packages. They bought the email specialist company Mailtrust a couple of years back and enhanced their service offerings with dedicated Rackspace support personnel.

Stop spam signGetting Too Much Spam In Your Inbox?

We’ve reviewed several spam fighting solutions in our experts’ guide. We cover solutions for all the major operating systems and mobile devices, free solutions as well as paid professional solutions for those with mission critical business email.

Were you able to resolve your blacklist issues? Let us know in the comments!

Tagged With: ,

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

Notify of
Oldest Most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments