I send out about 500,000 emails every week. I have been sending the list out for about 1 year. But in conversation, I was advised that the company sends in a shared IP manner. So my list goes out with gambling and adult emails; and that their IPs get blocked often. They have 20 IP, when I send out;they cut up my list in roughly 20 pieces and sent out randomly from different Ips. But on a daily basis -their IPs are getting blocked. And if i had emails sent from that IP -it gets hard bounced. But these hard bounces -do not get retried and my list is getting smaller at an alarming basis. I have tried emailing these hard bounces and certain "hard bounces"are a valid email. Is there a proper manner to handle these type of bounces?

In my opinion -if the company knew they had an issue that day with i.e AOL - they should go back into system and re-label those emails that bounced as -soft; and retry again the next week. Right now -all those AOL emails have been permenantly removed from my list.

  • Wolfram Alpha puts that at an average of one email every 0.8267 seconds, or 49.602 per minute. That is an insane amount of messages. – tombull89 Dec 8 '11 at 14:37
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    The Money Saving Expert email goes out to 6.8 million every week. There are legitimate email lists that big. Just trying to redefine your idea of "insane". :-) – Ladadadada Dec 8 '11 at 14:55

Although technically this is a grey-area my own view on this is far more black and white.

Ultimately you're running out of IPs because you're targetting emails to people who don't want them, they're complaining and thus the IPs are being removed from your options.

There's no real technical way around this, other than moving email provider anyway but even that is really just postponing the issue. The process to protect internet users from people like yourself is working well here, and that's obviously inconveniencing you but in the scheme of things the ratios are about right.

On a purely personal level perhaps you should consider a job in another area as I don't believe what you're doing now is benefitting humanity in any way and think that what you do professionally should be thoroughly outlawed internationally - but as I say that's just my opinion.

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    I initially reacted like this but re-reading the question it's not so clear he's sending unwanted e-mails. I think he means that the shared IPs are also sending gambling/adult e-mails, but that those are from other clients. He may be sending entirely opt-in e-mails but it's the reputation of his e-mail provider that's the problem. Essentially, it's like running a cat macro site on shared servers that also host Wikileaks. – ceejayoz Dec 8 '11 at 15:25
  • Thats exactly right....I am sending opt-in list but the bulk email company is sending other grey matter and ISP are blocking the IP and making legitimate emails hard and supressed. I had a big client not reciving my emails any more. Just want to know if this is normal manner to handle ISP blocks on a shared IP server. Seems i am being punished for the other emails going out with my emails. – Manny Dec 8 '11 at 20:35

Defining the line between hard and soft bounces is not easy and everyone seems to do it slightly differently. It sounds to me like the company you're using is not doing a very good job of it.

Because many receiving mail servers use IP reputations as a strong indicator, if not the only indicator of whether a mail is spam, it's not smart to mix customers with a good reputation and customers with a bad reputation on the same IP addresses.

You can use Senderscore to get an idea of what other mail servers think of these IP address's reputations. (Hotmail use Senderscore so this is a good indication of how well you will reach Hotmail users.) There are other reputation tracking companies around and you will usually have similar scores in all of them.

If the reputation of your email provider is poor, I would recommend letting them know and then voting with your feet. There are plenty of email providers out there and some do very good jobs.

  • Soft bounces have an error code in the 400 range; hard in the 500 range. How is that not easy? – Chris S Dec 8 '11 at 13:58
  • It varies a lot from provider to provider. The temporary/permanent split does not correlate with the 4xx/5xx split. Blacklisted IPs seem to usually generate 5xx codes - which is Manny's problem; He is not responsible for the reputation of the IPs he's sending through so if he unsubscribes these 5xx bounces he's removing addresses that actually want the email and would get them if they randomly got assigned a different IP address next time. – Ladadadada Dec 8 '11 at 15:33
  • Yes -this is the case. – Manny Dec 8 '11 at 20:37

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