Just as personal or business reputations can be tarnished, so can those of IP addresses, often resulting from spamming or other malicious activities.  Repairing the reputation of an IP address is crucial for ensuring business operations run smoothly. If you’re afraid your IP address reputation is poor, we’ve set up a guide to help you understand what you can do to build your reputation back up.

Understanding IP Reputation

Before we get into building your IP reputation, it’s important we understand what it is. IP reputation is essentially a score assigned to an IP address by various internet service providers (ISPs), email services, and blacklist operators, based on the history of the activities associated with that IP. A poor reputation can lead to emails being blocked or sent to spam folders, significantly affecting marketing efforts and business communications.

Causes of Poor IP Reputation

The first step in repairing an IP address’s reputation is identifying why it was compromised in the first place. Common reasons include:

  • Email spamming: Sending unsolicited bulk emails.
  • Poor email list management: High bounce rates and low engagement due to outdated or improperly acquired email lists.
  • Malware distribution: Hosting or distributing malicious software.
  • Being part of a botnet: Involvement in a network of infected devices used for malicious activities.
  • Web scraping, sneaker or scalper bots and other proxies used to automate buying and reselling a product such as sneakers.

Steps to Repair IP Address Reputation

  1. Diagnose the Problem

Begin by checking if your IP address is blacklisted using tools like MXToolbox, best for individual IP address checking, and/or Cisco Talos and AbuseIPDB, good for checking an entire /24 block. Unfortunately there is no easy way to check private blackmail or ISP blacklists.

  1. Rectify the Identified Issues

Once the problem is identified, take immediate action to rectify it. This could involve:

  • Cleansing email lists to remove inactive or unengaged subscribers.
  • Ensuring compliance with CAN-SPAM Act requirements.
  • Implementing proper authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
  • Updating security measures to prevent malware distribution and unauthorized access.
  1. Request Removal from Blacklists

If your IP address has been blacklisted, reach out to the blacklist operators to request removal. This usually involves proving that the issues causing the listing have been resolved and agreeing to follow best practices in the future.  This can sometimes be a frustrating task as blacklist operators tend to view blacklisted address registrants as spammers, guilty until proven innocent.

  1. Gradually Rebuild Your Reputation

Start sending emails in small batches to engage subscribers and gradually increase the volume as your reputation improves. Monitor feedback closely, paying particular attention to bounce rates and spam complaints.

  1. Maintain Best Practices

Prevent future issues by maintaining strict email sending practices, regularly updating security protocols, and monitoring your IP reputation consistently.

Best Practices for Maintaining IP Reputation

  • Regularly audit and clean your email lists.
  • Engage in responsible email marketing practices.
  • Keep your network and systems secure.
  • Monitor your IP reputation continuously.

Repairing an IP address’s reputation is not an overnight task. It requires a consistent and comprehensive approach, starting from identifying the root cause to implementing and maintaining best practices for email management and network security.

By taking these steps, businesses can restore their IP reputation, ensuring their communications reach their intended recipients and maintaining their online credibility.