In addition to developing the world’s most popular desktop operating system, Microsoft is also a major email service provider with no less than four popular domains under its wing:
Millions of inboxes are hosted under these domains, and if you’re serious about your online business, you want to make sure you can send emails to all of them.
However, Microsoft has a stringent monitoring system that looks for signs of suspicious email activity. If it thinks that something’s wrong, it blocks all messages from the sender’s IP to protect its users. The chances of ending up on Microsoft’s blacklists are not that remote, especially if you send many emails. It often happens through no fault of your own, but it’s up to you to restore normal email deliverability.
Requesting the removal of your IP from Microsoft’s blacklists is not hard at all, but you do need to bear one or two things in mind if you’re going to do it correctly. What’s more, if you know why you may end up on Microsoft’s naughty list, you can prevent it from happening in the first place.
Why would Microsoft block my IP?
Quite a few factors affect your IP’s reputation, and they differ depending on your hosting setup. However, in most cases, we’re talking about one of the following three scenarios:
- Another account is sending spam from the shared server’s IP
Shared hosting plans put you, along with dozens of other users, on the same server. You are all using the server’s IP to send emails, and if just one user misbehaves, everyone could end up with email deliverability problems.
- Your website is compromised
Instead of setting up a hosting account of their own, hackers often take advantage of vulnerable websites to set up and manage the infrastructure for their spam campaigns. They use a wide range of techniques to gain access to your account and then set up automatic mailing scripts to start sending unsolicited messages. The impact on your IP’s reputation is often pretty devastating.
- Your emails may not be correctly formatted
Sometimes, the problem is not with the nature of messages but rather with their formatting. If your emails don’t conform with specific rules and regulations (for example, an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message), they could be flagged as spam, and the entire IP might be blacklisted.
How to remove your IP from Microsoft’s blacklists?
You can’t remove your IP address from the blacklists yourself. Instead, you need to ask Microsoft to do it for you. The whole process is relatively simple, but you need to bear in mind that restoring it could be much more complicated if the IP ends up on the blacklists again. That’s why it’s best to ensure that you have addressed the problem that got your emails blocked.
Here’s a plan you can follow:
- Identify and eliminate the reason for the blacklisting
Figuring out what’s going on as quickly as possible is essential if you’re to preserve your IP’s reputation.
If you’re using a shared hosting account and you suspect that another person on the same server as you is abusing the machine’s IP address, get in touch with your hosting provider’s support team who should be able to investigate and take the appropriate actions.
Check your mail server’s logs and see if there’s anything you don’t recognize. If there is:
- block the hackers’ access by changing your passwords
- updating your web application along with all its plugins and extensions
- double-check to ensure the security hole has been plugged.
Finally, do some research into what your email must contain to meet all the regulations. The rules differ depending on the geographical region you are situated in. Still, wherever you are based, you must adhere to things like the presence of your company name and the unsubscribe option, for example.
- Request your IP’s whitelisting from Microsoft
The form that lets you post a support request and ask Microsoft to remove your IP from the blacklists is located at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/supportrequestform/8ad563e3-288e-2a61-8122-3ba03d6b8d75. Make sure you provide all the requested details – this is how you’ll ensure the regular email service is restored as quickly as possible.
- Cooperate with Microsoft’s support experts in resolving the issue
It’s vital to deal with the matter with the appropriate level of urgency. Make sure you respond to all requests for more information from Microsoft. That way, they will be able to assist you more efficiently.