Have you heard of email blacklisting? Probably not. That’s because very few people are talking about it outside of those working as web administrators. However, it is a very real problem that should concern any small business that relies on its website’s contact form to bring in customer leads.
What is email blacklisting? It’s a nasty problem that will, at some point probably affect any website residing on a shared server, which is almost all small business websites. Blacklisting occurs when someone on your shared server gets caught sending out spam. These “bad neighbors” are placed on an email blacklist, very often along with all the other sites on their shared server, which prevents them from receiving emails notifying them of contact form submissions.
If you’re like most small businesses, the contact form on your website allows potential customers to get in touch with you to receive more information about your products or services, to place an order, or to schedule service. Missing just one email because of blacklisting means you may have just missed an opportunity to gain a new customer. Depending on how long you are on the blacklist before you know what’s happening, you could miss many, many emails from potential customers.
Email blacklisting is happening more and more frequently, as hosting companies sometimes pack their shared servers with thousands of accounts. What is more, few hosting companies actively monitor the status of their IP addresses, which makes it your responsibility to know when your site has been blacklisted.
If your site is blacklisted, not only will you not receive email notification that someone has tried to contact you through your website, you won’t even know that anything is wrong. Likewise, the potential customer that tried to contact you will not know that anything is wrong. They will assume that their message went through to you, and that you simply chose not to respond. Not only does this cause you to lose customers, it can also damage your small business’s reputation, by portraying it as a company that is unresponsive and offers poor customer service.
If you’re fortunate, you will quickly notice when you abruptly stop receiving emails notifying you of contact form submissions, but then what? Then begins the process of trying to get your site off of the blacklist, which most hosting companies require you do on your own. This can be a long and frustrating process of contacting the blacklisting organizations and requesting that your IP address be removed from their lists. But, what makes matters even worse: there is no guarantee that your site will stay off the blacklist. Your site could be put back on an email blacklist the very next day!
So, what’s a small business to do to prevent email blacklisting? You could put your site on a dedicated server that is constantly monitored, which is complex, requires support, and is cost prohibitive for most small businesses. Or, you could go with a service that completely bypasses the issue of blacklisting and manages the entire process, allowing you to focus on growing your business and stop worrying about missed opportunities.
One service with a unique approach is 43Leads, created by a web development company whose clients were struggling with being blacklisted. 43Leads develops custom web contact forms and lead capture pages and embeds them into your existing website. Your forms are hosted on their secure platform and continuously monitored to maximize uptime. As leads come in, they are captured and you receive instant notification. In addition, 43Leads maintains a real-time database backup of every contact form submission that the business can access at any time.
Email blacklisting is a very real problem, and one that could cost your small business countless customers. However, the solution is relatively inexpensive and will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your will never miss out on valuable leads.