We wan't to send emails on behalf of one our customer. Previously we were sending those emails using our email address. But last two times we got blacklisted in SORBS database (probably because of one email is not properly added to list, but we don't know that email address). Currently we are delisted.

Now we are going to send again some emails to same list and we don't want to get blacklisted.

So we got email address of our client, client added needed SPF records to identify our server as permitted sender. So here everything is setup right way.

Question: will it helps anyhow to not get blacklisted our server in SORBS? If I understand right, SORBS use sending IP, so than it won't help. Am I right?

  • 1
    Only ever email to people who double-opt-in to your messages.
    – ceejayoz
    Sep 2, 2014 at 18:10
  • Even tripple-opt-in email doesn't mean that over time person won't change (corporate email) or there could be much more situations, when person will be angry for getting emails Sep 2, 2014 at 18:16
  • There will always be some users marking as spam, and blacklists and ISPs understand that. If you have a good list you typically won't wind up on a spam list for a single complaint.
    – ceejayoz
    Sep 2, 2014 at 18:19
  • You can be in SORBS blacklist by one complain. Sep 2, 2014 at 18:22
  • 1
    Yes, but they collect emails at spamtraps that have no business being on your lists. Those spam traps would never have confirmed a double-opt-in request. If you're on SORBS, chances are you bought a shitty list. sorbs.net/overview.shtml
    – ceejayoz
    Sep 2, 2014 at 18:24

2 Answers 2


I would recommend you to use MailChimp. Not only they already resolved every problem you could encounter on your own solution, they did it with a simple to use tool. It's great, and gives your all kinds of reports that will help you A) Not get listed, B) See the results you got from the campaign.

If you want to go your way to develop a solution, then use SendGrid it will let you do the programming, templating and everything, but you still get the reports about how many bounced emails, how many received you got, and even who opened the email and clicked on links if any.

That's the best way to go about it. Make sure you follow the no spam guidelines and nettiquette so you don't get your account banned.

Depending on how many emails you're sending they both have free plans you can use. And your servers and domains won't get marked as spammers, since you'll be using theirs.

  • Thank you for the answer, but it's overkill to change everything just because of one email address (from many thousands from many clients during many years).. Sep 2, 2014 at 18:26
  • I personally dislike answers pointing to services because it'll make the answer useless if these services go defunct in the next few years.
    – Nathan C
    Sep 2, 2014 at 19:54
  • Well, using one of these services will guarantee a that they follow the right path and don't mess up and become spammers. It's easier to implement than if you actually give them the guidelines they should follow (and they should already know them). I'm not affiliated with any, and used both with different clients. They are really good and get things done the right way. Sending emails (transactional or marketing) and not become tagged as spam is a real problem that can yield in things as bad as server being blocked from network access by an ISP or Hosting company. Sep 2, 2014 at 21:05
  • But isn't it the same like answer to some complicated technical question "Order consulting services from well-known company"? So then all answrs could looks like this (order from / call there /buy from) depending on skills/difficulties of resolving questions? Sep 3, 2014 at 6:52
  • Well, imho, and for this case 'order the services from' beats the time, effort and cost of building it yourself. But at the end is up to you. Just as you describe in your post the outcome of not following the recommendations can be problematic. Even if you do, you still can get tagged as spammer, which in turn will make your service useless not only to the client that got you tagged but for any of the other clients you might have and your own. In the particular case of SORBS you either have one email from their trap or are in the same netblock of an offender. No other way around. Sep 3, 2014 at 16:18

Reputable email senders don't end up in SORBS even though they send thousands of messages per day. The way to pull this off is to (a) require subscribers to verify their subscription (this is called "double opt-in" in some circles, but not being "double" in this context means "not" so it's really a misnomer) and (b) take all complaints seriously.

If you don't sign up people who didn't want to be signed up, and quickly unsubscribe the people who forget they signed up, you should have very few problems.

Of course, doing this correctly over time is a significant undertaking, and may well make sense to delegate to a specialist such as Return Path, Mandrill, MailChimp, and/or etc.

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