How Can I Make Sure My List Is Legit?

Updated on: February 24, 2015 Category: Contacts, Email Marketing Basics

Every once in a while we are required to shut an account down for abusive sending. Why? Delivery is the cornerstone of our email business. A few bad lists can mess up delivery for everybody else who uses the Robly system.

What’s surprising to most people is that we shut down more accounts for seemingly innocent and avoidable activities that qualify as abuse than we do for blatant spamming.

Here’s a list of the most common “innocent” causes of blacklisting we’ve seen over the years.

Purchased or Rented Lists

Buying data is a very common practice in direct marketing, but in email marketing it simply WILL NOT FLY. Your list MUST be opt-in. Under no circumstances can you upload a list from a third party into Robly, and if you do it and we catch you, we will shut down your account immediately.

Old Lists

People have short memories and receive LOTS of email. If you haven’t emailed a list in more than six months, we consider it a stale list. Please do not upload stale lists into our system. We can tell if it’s an old list before your campaign gets out, and we will close your account.

Falling Into SPAM Traps As A Result of Purchased or Old Lists

SPAM traps are set by ISPs that take old, unused email addresses and sprinkle them across public pages that get scraped by SPAM bots and emailed. When emails are received at these addresses, ISPs block the IP address that the email came from. This is a very good reason to NEVER RENT OR BUY A LIST, and to NEVER SEND TO AN OLD LIST.

Trade Show Lists

It’s common to receive a list of email addresses of attendees of a trade show by the host or organizer. You MAY write them one-to-one emails. You MAY NOT send these people bulk email. If you do, no matter who you are, too many people will flag it as SPAM and your account will get closed down.

Outlook Address Book Dumps

Many small businesses manage their entire contact list in Outlook. The problem here is that while there are probably a few people in your Outlook address book who have opted-in to hearing from you, there are likely far more people that haven’t. It’s also quite likely there are quite a few to whom you haven’t spoken to in years, and others who may not even be business relationships. If you send them bulk email they will most likely report you for abuse.

Salesforce Dumps

While you can classify your contacts into lists, a Salesforce dump virtually never results in a list of only people who have opted in to hearing from you. People have a tendency to combine all Salesforce contacts into one list and dump them. Then they get flagged for SPAM and get shut down.

Organization Lists

Don’t use Robly to send bulk email to a list of members of an organization you join. These people haven’t asked to hear from you, nor are they your current customers. You are allowed to send one-on-one emails to them, but if you send them bulk email, they will flag you for SPAM, and with too many flags, your account will be shut down.

Chamber of Commerce Lists

Same idea as organization lists. These people didn’t ask to hear from you, so don’t send them bulk email.

Non-Current Lists from Old ESP’s

People sometimes make the mistake of uploading lists into Robly that include unsubscribed and cleaned email addresses. Just be careful with this one.



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