Yes… I cocked up my emailing last week!
Having said how good the delivery rate on my mail server was, which it still is for all sites except www.michaelwilding.com, I promptly got the domain blacklisted at Google.
What does this mean?
It looks like this:
Pretty damn bad!
In reality what it means is that all Gmail emails I send from with the FROM address as @michaelwilding.com will bounce.
What this means, is that for the next few weeks you may get two emails from me. I’ll be sending one from my normal mailer and one from Substack.
You see, Substack actually use a different FROM address in the emails they send, which means they’re landing in Gmail inboxes.
If you get my emails twice then you’re probably not using Gmail, or… the recovery has begun 😀
Since this has happened, I thought I’d use today’s email to explain how it happened, so you can avoid it, and what to do to recover from it if it has happened to you.
A word of warning, the methods I outline below assume that you are mailing properly. They won’t work if you spam people, get your domain blocked and then want to unblock it!
Let me begin by explaining how I got my domain blacklisted in the first place…
I’ve not been writing this newsletter for a while, a good few months.
When you don’t send emails for an extended period of time your domain and mailer reputation will gradually decline.
My mailer reputation hasn’t declined because I use that for my other businesses, and it has been continuing to send large volumes of emails.
But what did decline was my domain reputation.
Being the numpty that I am, when I started the newsletter again I emailed my old newsletter list to see who was still interested in reading my emails.
This list numbered around 32,000 people.
The problem is… having not sent any emails to it for an extended period of time, the domain reputation for emails has declined and then suddenly, out of nowhere, it gets 32,000 emails sent from it.
A bunch of those emails will now be bounces and/or spam traps. Because I’ve not been emailing regularly, the email addresses that have gone bad aren’t being removed as they go bad.
So much time has passed that some will not only no longer exist, but will have been turned into spam traps by the mail provides such as Google.
And you know what it looks like when someone emails a list of 32,000 emails, out of nowhere…
To be honest I’ve been doing this long enough that I should have known better.
But hey ho, we all make mistakes.
Since I’ve now demolised my domains reputation in Google, the question is… how the heck is it going to get fixed.
I can’t simply go and move domains, after all this is my personal name, which means the only option is to fix it.
Fixing these things is never quick, so never try to do it overnight.
At the best it may take a couple of weeks, but you can assume there will be some issues in email delivery to the affected mail providers for at least a couple of months.
After all, the mail provider has to be sure that you’re not going to be sending spam emails.
Which is why you can expect to receive two emails from me, Tuesday to Friday (if you’re fully subscribed), until the issue is fixed.
That’s just to make sure you get the emails!
Luckily fixing the issue isn’t particularly difficult. You need to go to:
Once you’re on this page scroll down to the bottom where it links to Bulk Sender Guidelines. These are at:
Make sure you read through these, if you’re not doing any of them then this process isn’t going to work for you.
If you’re doing everything you’re supposed to, click on the link to Troubleshooting For Bulk Email Senders. It takes you here:
Go through all the steps on this page and answer the questions. When you’ve answered all the questions you will see the option to Contact The Gmail Team.
This is where you want to be 🙂
Clicking on that link will bring you to this page:
A contact form that goes directly to the Gmail bulk email sender team.
Go through the form and fill in the fields in as much detail as possible.
Remember, you MUST have figured out what caused the issue before you contact Gmail. There’s no point in contacting them and saying you don’t know what happened. Being able to say what caused the issue and how you rectified it so it won’t happen again is paramount to them unblocking you.
After you’ve submitted your form, you’ll be told that it will take up to 14 days to start seeing an improvement in your domain score.
And you’re all done!
While you’re waiting for your reputation to improve you should continue emailing to Gmail email addresses, but make sure they’re good email addresses. Any you think that are not 100% interested in what you want and haven’t recently requested you to contact them or interacted with your emails should not be sent to.
Of course, you can expect them all to bounce for a period of time.
(which is why I’m sending from two places)
If you haven’t got the luxury of sending from two places, then post the situation on your social media channels and tell your followers what’s happening and that they may not receive your emails for a few weeks.
However, if you post your newsletters on your blog, or your mailing software archives them online, then you can post a link to your online newsletter in your social media accounts so that your followers can still read them even if they’re not receiving the emails.
So there you have it, how to get your blacklisted Gmail domain un-blacklisted the right way 🙂
Until tomorrow, unless you’re not a full member, in which case here’s where you become one:
The Online Hustle
P.S. It’s better to not get your domain blacklisted to start with. Be warned Gmail is considering the domain reputation more than the mailer IP now, and this means it’s likely to start happening with other mail providers as well in the not-to-distant future!