How to Delist from SpamCop

What is SpamCop?

SpamCop is a service that allows its users to report email sources that send unsolicited emails to them. SpamCop determines the IP address an unwanted email originates from and reports it to the relevant Internet service providers.

If a single SpamCop user reports your message as spam, your IP address is added to the SpamCop blacklist. Email management teams at ISPs and corporate IT departments who check the SpamCop blacklist frequently may then block all your incoming mail.

Moreover, if your web site hosting company sees your name on the SpamCop list they may plug up your web site, without even giving you prior notice or allowing back-up. Many hosting contracts have the respective clause about it today.

The worst thing is that you may also be affected by a SpamCop blacklisting even if your own email message is not reported as spam.

As SpamCop lists the IP address of the sending server, users of shared IP addresses may suffer from SpamCop listings. If another sender using the same service provider as you do sends an unsolicited email that is reported, you may find your email being blocked just as if you had done the fault yourself.

Why Will SpamCop List You?

SpamCop lists only IP addresses that are sending spam, it does not list email addresses or domain names. And it does not list the server for missing or incorrect DNS records.

Common reasons for SpamCop blacklisting your server are:

  1. Spam traps.

    Your server has sent an email to the spam trap addressees set up by SpamCop in the past week. Spam traps are kept in secret, no reports or evidence is provided by SpamCop.

  2. User reported spam.

    SpamCop users have reported the server as a source of spam. The bad thing is that the Spamcop reporting tool doesn’t automatically determine whether the reported email is spam or not. It is about the reporting user to decide it. SpamCop users can and do make mistakes. Thus, you can find your server listed in SpamCop even if you didn’t commit any offense.

However, sometimes you can, unintentionally, turn into a spammer when a security breach occurs and your sending account is compromised.

Compromised user accounts usually send thousands of emails. You can look at the logs of your SMTP server. If you notice a large number of logins from a hundred or thousand different IP addresses to the SMTP server, you can spot the compromised user.

It is also important to keep in mind that open proxies and open relays are on SpamCop’s list to identify and blacklist malicious senders because most of the spammers send emails through them. And if you send emails through an open proxy or an open relay server, you will be listed.

How to Delist from SpamCop

To find out if your IP address is blacklisted by SpamCop, do a lookup on the SpamCop’s lookup page.

If you are listed, no action is needed. SpamCop will automatically remove your server from the blacklist after 24 hours if there are no more reports of spam. In the lookup report, they will tell you how long it takes before your IP will be delisted from SpamCop. The time depends on the number and timing of spam reports. If a report is made after delisting, SpamCop will increase the time frame for the next delisting of your server.

Unless your IP has a very low sending reputation, you can request an express blacklist removal.

Note that if your IP or your IP range frequently ends on the SpamCop blacklist, your request for expedite removal will not be fulfilled. You must stop sending spam and wait for the listing to expire automatically. If the IP is still not removed, you can contact SpamCop and dispute the listing.

How to Avoid SpamCop Listing

The short answer is: do not send spam.

Here are things to keep in mind:

  1. Confirm email addresses.

    Avoid buying or harvesting email addresses on the Internet. You’ll secure yourself from spam traps used by SpamCop to detect spammers. For better security, use a confirmed opt-in process.

  2. Do good email list hygiene.

    Make sure you have a working bounce handling system that suppresses hard bounce and FBL emails (complaining recipients) from your list. Verify your unsubscribe link to ensure it is working and do not forget to include it in the email in the visible place.

  3. Remove inactive users.

    Analyze your email tracking statistics to identify the recipients who have not interacted with your messages for a long time. Depending on how frequently you send, it could be a period of the last three-six months. Those people could abandon their email addresses or lost interest in your emails. Whatever the reason is, it is important to stop sending to them.

  4. Monitor your sending infrastructure.

    Check your server logs and user logins to detect the system abuse and possible spam attacks.

  5. Watch your numbers.

    Monitor your data: email volume, bounce rates, and complaint rates. If you notice something unusually high, investigate the issue. A sudden spike of sent emails could mean that someone was trying to spoof your domain and send a phishing campaign on behalf of you. A spike in bounces and FBL emails means that it’s time to verify your email list and re-confirm the subscribers.

Additional Resources:

IP Blacklist Removal – How To Fix a Blacklisted IP Address
How To Remove Your IP From Yahoo Blacklist
How to Remove Your IP Address from Gmail’s Blacklist
How to Remove Your IP Address from the Hotmail/Outlook’s Blacklist

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Julia Gulevich is an email marketing expert and customer support professional at Geminds LLC with more than 15 years of experience. Author of numerous blog posts, publications, and articles about email marketing and deliverability.