How do I troubleshoot when my message has been bounced by an ISP due to my content or URL being blacklisted?
When you send a message to an ISP (Internet Service Provider) or an ESP (Email Service Provider), their spam filters check your message to make sure that it does not contain any spam. ISPs may also check with other databases that maintain lists of URLs (webpage links) and content that have been used by spammers before. Such lists are called "blacklists".
If the content in your message triggers the spam filter of an ISP, then your message may not reach your subscriber and may get bounced back to us. In that case we send you a notification message. It will usually contain the error message which will provide clues about which URL/content was responsible for the rejection of your message.
Our system that sends you the message is known as BRDS (Bounce Re-Delivery System).
We are including some tips here so that you can troubleshoot such issues on your own.
Here is an example of a log, which contains the bounce error. This log is contained in the email that we sent to you via BRDS when your message bounced:
The log should give you enough clues to troublehsoot on your own. In case it doesn't, please follow the steps mentioned below to find out which common blacklists used by ISPs contain the URL that you used in your message. If the URL is not important and you don't plan to use it in your subsequent messages, then maybe you don't need to troubleshoot further.
Visit these sites and check if your URL is blacklisted:
5. Here are some more resources that you can explore:
Usually the bounce error message will give you hints about which URL and/or blacklist was used to check your message.
In case you have determined the blacklist due to which your message was rejected, you will then need to follow the procedures listed with the blacklist company to get your URL/content removed from the blacklist.
If the URL that is causing the problem is not yours, then we recommend not to use it again. If it belongs to your organization, then you will have to report it to the blacklist company directly.
If the bounce error message indicates that the problem is with the content of your message, it may give you hints about which words to avoid using in your message.
How does a URL end up on a blacklist?
A URL can end up on a blacklist when it has been used by spammers or was used in a message that was reported as spam by many people.