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Yesterday morning, Sydney time, our IP addresses were added by a major blacklist provider to one of their lists. We discussed the problem in more detail in our blog post to keep you all up to date. We also posted updates and answered questions on our twitter account.

We just wanted to give some more details, most importantly to let you know that the block was removed.

We are no longer blacklisted

We finally heard back from Spamhaus late last night, letting us know they had removed the listing. At that point, many of the blocking problems were instantly resolved, including Yahoo mail. However, a lot of smaller ISPs and email providers maintain their own lists, and use Spamhaus as one of their sources.

So our support team then ensured that we contacted and were delisted by all of those companies too. A special thanks to Diana, support team legend, who did a lot of that work.

The end result is that the vast majority of blocks have been resolved now. We are still waiting for some of those smaller delistings to trickle through and take effect, and expect that to happen sometime today. If your campaign is not urgent, it would be best to wait a little longer to give those providers more chance to update their lists.

Please contact us for refunds of the blocked emails

If your campaign (or your client’s campaign) was impacted, please contact support and let us know. We will add credits to your account to cover the actual blocks, and also the sending fee, so you can resend the campaign to the affected subscribers at no cost.

How can I resend to the people who were blocked?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a direct way to do this for you. You have a couple of options, depending on the size of the campaign and which domains were blocked for you.

Create a segment of the blocked domains

If you look at your campaign report, and you can see that you had soft bounce blocks from up to (say) 10 different domains, you can send just to those people. To do that, first make a list of the domains you want to send to.

Then, jump into the ‘segments’ section of your list. See our help topic on segments for an overview of the process. For this method, you’ll want to create a segment based on email addresses.

Setup a series of OR rules like

Email address CONTAINS yahoo

OR

Email address CONTAINS hotmail

Adding in each of the domains you want to resend to. This method will be the most accurate way to send to the people you know did not receive it. If you have too many domains to deal with, you’ll need to use the second method:

Create a segment of all unopened emails

This method is much faster, if you have people from a lot of different domains being blocked. Again, you would create a segment, but this time using a rule like:

Campaign (your campaign name) WAS NOT opened

If you use this method, it is quite likely you will resend to some people who did actually get your email (see how open tracking works), so you may want to add a notice to the top of your email apologising and explaining the situation.

Exporting the bounces and creating a new list

This technique is quite simple and effective as a one off resend. You can view your affected campaign, and click through to the soft bounces. If you see that most or all look like blocks, you can export the list of bounces from that page. Then create a new subscriber list, and import the file you just created. That gives you a list you can send the campaign to, and then delete afterwards.

The choice of which technique to use really depends on the size of your campaign, how heavily it was impacted and how urgent the material is. Keep in mind that you may not need to resend at all. It is unlikely that every person who was blocked would have actually opened the email, so you may decide just to send your next campaign to everyone as per normal.

These blocks were only soft bounces, so the subscribers will still be active in your list. We’d like to apologise again for the trouble this has caused, and please know that we are already working on ways to avoid being in this position again.

We’d also like to thank everyone who was supportive and understanding during this period, all of us at Campaign Monitor really appreciate it.

  • Mitch

    Awesome work by everyone at CampaignMonitor.

    The transparency, frequent updates and advice offered reflect the value you bring to this industry.

    In an ideal world this would never happen—but given the reality, I don’t think the situation could have been handled better and has left us with an even better view of CampaignMonitor than we had before.

  • Mathew Patterson

    Thanks Mitch, that is very encouraging to hear.

  • Cathy

    I submitted a support request to the CM team yesterday. The response time was very quick (thank you!) however NOBODY mentioned any type of blacklisting. I have spent the better part of today trying to figure out what is going on and on the phone with my ISP AND webhosting suppport. It sure would have been nice if your support team had told me before I wasted my day trying to troubleshoot!

  • Mathew Patterson

    HI Cathy,

    I’ve reviewed your support email, and based on what you told us, there wasn’t enough information to think it would be related to the blacklisting. So we asked you to try a few things first, but had not heard back.

    We did place information on the blog here, and link to it from withing your account too. I’m sorry you have wasted your time.

  • Jenn

    Thanks for the fast response – this is good to know for reliability and continued customer loyalty.

    If there’s a problem you guys can and do act fast and solve it!

    Great work :)

  • Oliver

    Big thanks to the CM team for the support. You couldn’t have done it better in face of this situation :)

  • Lori

    Great work!

  • Joe

    Thank you for clarity and transparency with this issue. Your efforts are appreciated.

  • Luke

    Yep thanks again for the swift resolution of this and by being transparent much appreciated I can go forward selling my clients in to this service with more confidence.

  • Andreas JARITZ

    Thanks for your quick response! I was really wondering why we had so many bounced emails!

    Go on guys! you’re doin a great job

  • phil reid

    THANKS guys for staying on top of this!

  • John

    I vote for the CM guys and gals to run the entire Internet!
    Just imagine the improvement…

    : )

  • Juan Ruiz

    I rely so much on your services. I’m glad to see that you guys have been open about what happen, the problem and provides us with a solution.

    This gives me more confidence to keep using your services.

    Thanks!
    -Juan

  • Jake Holman

    Well done guys, handled this so well. To anyone doubting, these issues happen to a lot of ESPs more often than you think (sometimes they’re small enough to sweep under the carpet) so CM monitor haven’t done anything wrong.

    Blame should be placed on the irresponsible sender, which I’m sure has been dealt with rather swiftly!

  • Paolo Nobile

    I am sorry to say that I am not happy with the work you’ve done – this time. Having read this post and asked for further info to the customer service, info which I did not find in here, I received the link to this post again.
    Then I sent a second message and received the same identical reply. It seems to me that I experienced a different problem: I had many recipients put in the hard bounce list, even today after many hours after the problem was “worked out”. I had to export the hard bounces list as long as the soft bounces one and then add – again – custom fileds, fill in the custom fileds, etc., in order to re-send my campaign (I am still working on it). But that’s ok.
    What I did not like is receiving the same reply having asked info about something not explained here.
    My humble opinion.
    Thanks.

  • Ben Sellers

    It is so nice to work with team of people who know how to communicate ‘the truth’. I think you are all extremely professional and could not have kept us all more up to date if you had tried.

    All my team are big fans of Campaign Monitor and are seriously thinking about producing a re-branded version and driving more sign-ups

    Big up and keep up the good work ;-)

  • Stig Morten Myre

    Hi Paolo,

    Sorry to hear you’re not satisfied with how we handled this situation. From here, it doesn’t look like we’ve sent the same email twice, so I’m not sure how that happened. We certainly didn’t mean to send you a useless reply.

    I’m actually looking into your campaign right now, I think we might be able to save you some work with your particular issue.

  • Paolo Nobile

    Stig, thank you. I have sent you some other details by email. I think we can work it out definitely.
    CM has a great team !
    Again, thanks.

  • Jim Starace

    Thursday May 14, 11:00 am EST and Earthlink still has Campaign Monitor black listed. Many of my clients can not even receive a test email.

    I am trying to be patient and wait out the delisting, but this is causing me to loose money and customers. arhhhhhh!

  • Diana Potter

    Hi Jim,

    I’ve personally spoken to Earthlink more than a few times about this. They report that the block was removed on all of our IPs a couple of days ago it’s just taking forever to trickle out to all of their servers. From looking at our bounce logs mail is being delivered to earthlink.net addresses, just not all of it. It’s definitely frustrating but unfortunately it’s just a matter of time right now. We’re so so sorry about the issues. If we could speed up the process we would but, unfortunately, it’s out of our hands at the moment.

  • Ron Modzelevich

    Thank you for the excellent communication! Our server was compromised a few weeks ago and we had the same problem of getting de-listed; it was a super-major pain in the butt. CM has proven to be the very best, I consider our organization to be blessed to have found you.

    Thanks for all the great work and stability.

  • NetHawk

    Campaign Monitor once again has done a great job. Thanks to all of you. While we’re at the topic of resending mails: this has been something I would have liked in the past. Sometimes, when I analyze the bounces, I see that someone has obviously mispelled a domain. So I correct this, but would also like to send the mail again, just like I can resend a already sent campaign. Something like: create a segment of all softbounces automatically or create a segment out of handpicked recipients. Or whatever you guys will certainly come up with a good solution…

  • seo

    We wish for peace.

  • seo

    Campaign Monitor once again has done a great job. Thanks to all of you. While we’re at the topic of resending bygiveamuscularmySomething like: create a segment of all softbounces automatically or create a segment out of

  • seo

    Campaign Monitor once again has done a great job. Thanks to all of you. While we’re at the topic of resending mails: this has been something I would have liked in the past. Sometimes, when I analyze the bounces, I see that someone has obviously mispelled a domain. So I correct this, but would also like to send the mail again, just like I can resemaynd a already sent campaign. Something like: create a segment myof all softbounces automatically or create a segment out of handpicked recipients. Or whatevaer you guys will certainly come up with a good solution…
    We wish for peace. itineffableattractiveinandJumpthethetheorpersonkinship

  • Paul

    As others have said, it’s great to see your transparency over this issue. When you manage to find a way to avoid getting blacklisted in the first place, would you mind sharing that with the community? My company offers web hosting and we have a pro-active approach to detecting and delisting but haven’t really found a satisfactory way to avoid blacklisting in the first place, beyond educating clients

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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