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My client's emails are blacklisted because his account is on a shared server which gets blacklisted from time to time. The hoster wants him to move to an expensive dedicated server. What could I do besides moving to a new dedicated server with my own IP.

My thought to solve this is:

Moving to Google Apps email hosting to get rid of spam but the domain A records are still pointing to the blacklisted server although the MX entries are pointing to Google's infrastructure. Would this work?

Any help is much appreciated.

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This is related to my question at: – Marcus Frenkel May 2 '13 at 15:37

email is a completely different service to http. It is perfectly normal to have one pointed at one provider and the other at another.

mx records are used when receiving mail, your blacklisting is a problem when sending mail. You need to send mail using a different server and in this case google should be acceptable.

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That's not really the point... – adaptr Apr 20 '12 at 9:26
Isn't it? If anyone has read the rfc to know that mail can even use an a record then they would know that it doesn't when an mx record is present. Given that a significant number of mail servers don't support the use of a records and to always include an mx record is recommended, why would you assume that the OP was asking about that specific edge case? – JamesRyan Apr 20 '12 at 9:34
Um. RFC 5321 mandates the way DNS is used. I don't know of any mail server software that violates this simple requirement. – adaptr Apr 20 '12 at 9:56
thanks james and adaptr. i am a little confused about how dns settings with the different web services interplay and relate when an ip gets blacklisted. – mtin79 Apr 20 '12 at 12:13

If there is both an A record and an MX record at the same level, the MX record will be used to deliver mail. The A record is only used if there is no MX record.

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This is irrelevant because the blacklist has nothing to do with the dns record but the ip of the originating mail server – JamesRyan Apr 20 '12 at 9:36
Well, that's what I could gather from his question. It was anything but clear. – adaptr Apr 20 '12 at 9:56

The problem with IP address reputation cannot be solved by changing DNS records. It can only be solved either:

  1. Using a different IP address to send your email.
  2. Improving the reputation of your current IP address. This would mean sending enough good email to drown out the bad reputation from all the other customers using that IP address. Probably infeasible.

There are services that specialise in helping you to send email using a different IP address. Sendgrid and Amazon SES are two of these. You can probably also use Google to do this. These tend to be fairly cheap for low volumes of email.

This does involve more than just changing your MX records, you will need to change how your local email sending works to make it relay through a third party. The third parties will usually have instructions on how to configure most popular MTAs.

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thanks ladadadada! are you saying that sending the email via google apps instead of the hoster with the blacklisted ip domain, doesn`t solve the problem? – mtin79 Apr 20 '12 at 12:14
No, I'm saying the opposite of that. Sending via Google apps will solve the problem. However, changing your MX records to point at Google will not send your email via Google. It will cause Google to receive email that other people send to you. – Ladadadada Apr 20 '12 at 12:23
thanks again ladadadada. my understanding about mx-configuration and using google as an email hoster and how they relate to each other was not clear at all! – mtin79 Apr 20 '12 at 12:27

I think the best way is to use one of the established cloud email services, they will help you make sure that your emails are not marked as spam, because now it's their reputation on the line.

You can use your own server to receive the emails (set it as an MX DNS record) but if you're having issues sending, try out postmarkapp, sendgrid or mailjet

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hey jfoucher. thanks for the nice overview of the email delivery services. would be mailchimp in this list as well? – mtin79 Apr 20 '12 at 20:01
mailchimp only allows to send newsletters from their website, afaik, so, no, probably not – jfoucher Apr 22 '12 at 5:16

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