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In this guide I'm going to explain why it's common for mail servers to get blacklisted, and what you can do if your own server has been blacklisted. For instance you can request a delisting from a blacklist.

What is a blacklist?

Depending on who you ask, most people who attempt to track the global level of spam being sent, estimate anywhere between 80%-95% of all email transmitted daily on the Internet is spam.

That means that simply relying on manually going through all of your own email, is not the most efficient method for weeding through spam messages anymore these days.

As such there are public blacklists of mail servers that have been relaying spam. This allows other mail servers to check if an email is from a server's IP address that might have possibly been flagged for sending spam in the past.

For instance you can use our blacklist check tool to check if your server is currently listed on any public blacklists.

Why is my server on a blacklist

It's not uncommon for a mail IP address to end up on a public blacklist, especially on a shared server. It could be due to overall volume of mail coming from that server, or messages seem to have characteristics of spam in them.

Another common cause is email forwarders. If you have forwarding to, if is spammed, our mail server could forward that onto Yahoo.

Their servers might see our mail IP address as relaying the spam message to their server, even though it wasn't the originating server of the spam.

Working around blacklisting problems

We monitor email queues for signs of delivery issues with major email providers. If you're having an issue emailing a certain provider and you need to get a message sent out urgently I would recommend following the steps in my guide on sending mail via Gmail when server IP is blocked to still get your message out in a timely manner.

After that, typically you'd want to request to have the mail server's IP address de-listed from any blacklists that it's currently on. In order to do this you can read my guide on requesting a delisting from a blacklist.

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Related Questions

Here are a few questions related to this article that our customers have asked:
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n/a Points
2014-05-17 4:15 am

People get this when they try to email me or when I email my self it's not 100% of the time

Please fix it 801-521-7000

 A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its

recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

17,717 Points
2014-05-19 8:36 am
Hello Philip,

Thank you for your question. Since this is a common error when an email address is mis-spelled, I recommend checking the spelling first.

There are many reasons an email might fail, they must be handled on a case-by-case basis. We would need to see the full failure message to troubleshoot the issue.

Our bounceback parser tool may help review the returned message.

Since this is our public forum, you would have to contact Live Tech Support, if you do not want to post the full returned email online.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

n/a Points
2014-10-01 10:00 am



I am a freelance website design and have a server where I host some websites. one of my clients is experiencing their emails (not marketing broadcasts) hitting reciepients spam filters and not successfully landing in the inbox.


They have been told that because they have the website's address on the email footer, that my server is the reason why their emails are not getting through.


I dont host any emails, it's literally just for hosting some WordPress websites.


I've run a blacklist check and my web server is listed, but its on a small listing (not one of the major ones). 


Could this be the cause or are they looking for an excuse because their mail server has been blacklisted?

11,186 Points
2014-10-01 10:05 am
Typically, being listed on a blacklist would lead to an overall rejection if the recipient uses that blacklist and not simply go to the spam folder. Unfortunately, the specific reasoning that the message is being send to the recipient's spam folder would only be known my the recipient's mail provider, but it is usually due to something in the content of the message, or that email address/domain being flagged somewhere on their server. Try sending the message with different content, as well as from other email addresses on the domain to better identify what may be causing it.
n/a Points
2015-08-04 1:39 pm

Because I have VPS will I be less likely to have trouble sending emails?

5,036 Points
2015-08-04 11:40 pm
Hello Karen,

Are you getting bounce back emails when you try to send these emails?

Best Regards,
TJ Edens
n/a Points
2015-08-05 12:43 pm

I haven't begun to use it yet. The question is general in nature. Am I less likely to get black list problems b/c I have vps?

26,137 Points
2015-08-06 9:12 am
Hello Karen,

Since you're using your own IP address for the VPS, there is definitely a lower probability that you server would get blacklisted. As long as you're not sending out lots of email that don't meet the CAN SPAM standards, then you shouldn't have a problem

I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

Arnel C.
n/a Points
2015-08-06 7:26 pm

Thanks, Arnel!

I didn't know VPS used my IP address. How does InMotion Hosting know my IP address?


17,717 Points
2015-08-06 8:00 pm

Thank you for your question. If the email for your domain name is hosted on our servers, our System Administrators actually assign the IP that is used for transmitting email.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,
n/a Points
2015-08-07 12:10 pm

Oh, Too cool! You mean I have a specific IP address because I use VPS. So cool. I didn't realize that's how it works. 

Thank you so much, John Paul. :-)

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