What is a reverse PTR record?
PTR record or more appropriately a reverse PTR record is a process of resolving an IP address to its associated hostname. This is the exact opposite of the process of resolving a hostname to an IP address.
PTR is generally a concern for mail, as some mail servers will reject mail originating from IP's that don't have a valid PTR.
Example, when you ping a name mail.somedomain.com it will get resolved to the ip address using the DNS to something like 192.168.1.5
Email spam, also known as junk email or unsolicited bulk email
A junk mail folder is a virtual inbox for storing ads and often unsolicited electronic mail.
Be sure to check it regularly and every few days you should check your spam folder to make sure no important email messages have accidentally been identified as spam.
Programs within e-mail generally include customization options to move unwelcome messages to a junk mail folder automatically, but often this mail needs to be manually moved to the folder after reaching an in-box.
When e-mail from an undesirable source comes through, typically there is a block list for logging the sender’s e-mail address or extension, subject field, or content keywords and having like messages sent directly to the junk mail folder.
How to Remove Server IP Address from MSN Hotmail Block Blacklist?
If your emails cannot be delivered or sent to recipients using MSN or Windows Live Hotmail service, chance is the server which is sending the email messages may have been banned or blacklisted due to suspicion of sending spam. When a Windows Live Hotmail or MSN blocks or blacklists a host, all the mails originated from the IP address will get blocked, and returned or bounced with various error messages.
The typical bounced email messages contains the following error messages:
host mx1.hotmail.com[22.214.171.124] said: 550 SC-001 Mail rejected by Windows Live Hotmail for policy reasons. Reasons for rejection may be related to content with spam-like characteristics or IP/domain reputation. If you are not an email/network admin please contact your E-mail/Internet Service Provider for help.
host mx4.hotmail.com[126.96.36.199] said: 550 SC-004 Mail rejected by Windows Live Hotmail for policy reasons. A block has been placed against your IP address because we have received complaints concerning mail coming from that IP address. We recommend enrolling in our Junk Email Reporting Program (JMRP), a free program intended to help senders remove unwanted recipients from their email list. If you are not an email/network admin please contact your Email/Internet Service Provider for help.
There may be more SMTP reject error codes that are used by Windows Live Hotmail servers as listed on this page.
When a email host or server is in Windows Live or MSN Hotmail blacklist, not emails are delivered even to Spam or Bulk folder. In other words, the emails are not delivered at all, and thus cannot be found on Inbox nor Spam folders. If the emails were delivered, but been found on Spam or Bulk folder, then the domain or mail server is not been blacklisted by Hotmail or MSN.
Hence, the error code returned on the bounced emails should be used to confirm that the host is indeed on the Windows Live blacklist. Note that if the error code is of 400-series (421) which indicates too high volume or too large amount of emails been sent rather than spam, then the IP address or domain is not blacklist too.
Here’s tips on how to remove the IP address from MSN or Windows Live Hotmail blacklist to unban, unblock and whitelist the mail server IP address or domain again for that mails can be delivered properly and promptly.
The main task prior to applying for lifting of blacklist by MSN/Windows Live Hotmail is to ensure that the cause for the blacklist no longer happens. The main cause of blacklist is spam. In such cases, if your server has been compromised or been used without authorization to relay bulk volume of spam, action is required to rectify the issue. But a host can also be rejected or banned by mistake.
In any case, if you have concluded that spam sending issue has been fixed so the mail server should no longer be blacklisted, or that all emails originating from the host is legitimate or opt-in with opt-out feature available.
To begin the process to remove a mail server’s IP address from MSN/Hotmail’s blacklist, visit the following URL to complete and submit Sender Information for Hotmail Delivery form.
Many information is required, such as IP addresses of outbound mail server (as seen by the receiving mail server), whether the server is dedicated or shared, problem description, error messages contained in the bounce messages or SMTP logs, ISP used, operating system used, MTA (mail transport agent) used, mailing list management software used, how are bounce messages (non-delivery reports) handled by the system, frequency of the mailings, volume of the mailings, examples of email accounts on Microsoft’s systems that are the recipients, ability to telnet to port 25 of mx1.hotmail.com from mail servers, results of traceroute to 188.8.131.52 from mail servers, example of email messages with full headers, URL of websites, how are recipients added (subscribed) to the mailing lists, option to unsubscribe (opt out), publishing of Sender Policy Framework (SPF) or Sender ID records for the IP and etc.
While not all information is required, it’s best to give as detailed information as possible in order to help Microsoft to decide if your IP address should be unblocked and removed from the blacklist.
It’s recommended to setup and configure proper SPF and PTR records in DNS for the mail server’s IP address prior to request for the removal from blacklist.
Within 2 or 3 business days, if Microsoft investigates and decides that the host is indeed do not send any unsolicited spam, you will receive an email from Windows Live Hotmail Sender Support Team which indicates that MSN/Windows Live has implemented a fix for the deliverability problem. Note that the removal from blacklist or unban/unblock process may take 24 – 48 hours to replicate completely throughout the Microsoft/Windows Live/MSN system.
You might run across the idea of warming up an IP address to improve your sending delivery performance. Warming up your IP allows you to gradually establish a good mass email sender reputation.
IP addresses start out “COLD” meaning they haven't been used to send email. It’s best to start small and gradually send to larger volumes of prospects.
IP warming is a gradual process that helps you establish a reputation as a legitimate email sender. When a receiving server notices email coming from a formerly dormant IP address, they will scrutinize the traffic coming from that IP address.
Send first email to your personal email address at yahoo, gmail and hotmail, it is expected to be received to SPAM folder, now try to mark it as safe like the screenshots show.
It’s best to start small and gradually send to larger volumes of prospects. This give receiving servers time to observe your sending patterns and behavior and allows you build a solid sending reputation.
If a previously unused IP starts sending 100.000 emails / day without any warming, recipient email servers must assume the worst that you are a spammer, and this will negatively affects your bulk email server sending reputation.
Get ready to warm up your mass email server IP address:
- Don’t start your IP warming with old lists! Having high delivery rates with your initial campaigns will help build your IP’s reputation
- Send newsletters content that your audience want.
- Remove unengaged emails.
- Send email messages at an appropriate frequency.
- It is much easier to establish a positive reputation as a new sender, than it is to repair an existing reputation.
- If your mailing patterns are infrequent -- for example, only one mail campaign per month -- avoid sending more than 5,000 - 10,000 messages per day.
Warming up IP Address
The key to warming your IP address is to spread out your initial sends over multiple days. For example, If you plan on sending 50,000 emails a week, it is recommended that you split your lists into at least four groups with limit of no more than 10,000 recipients in each list.
Email only one groups a day over the first few days. A good rule of thumb for larger ramp-ups is to start your sending at 10,000 prospects per day. Assuming your bounce rate stays below 10% and your spam complaint rate stays below 0.1% on those sends, you can safely double your sending per day over the next few weeks until your intended sending volume is reached. For example, if you want to send 100k emails a week, you should ramp up like this:
|Week||Emails per day||Total per week|
|Week 1||2,800 a day for first 7 days||20,000|
|Week 2||4,300 a day for 7 days||30,000|
|Week 3||5,700 a day for 7 days||40,000|
|Week 4||7,000 a day for 7 days||50,000|
|Then add about 3 - 5000 a day for each week.|
It is recommended to keep a consistent mail volume from one business day to another which is better than having a large volume spike on one day of the week and no email sent on remaining days of the week.
Expected bounce rates
Monitor the bounce rates of your lists and stop mailing if the bounce rate of your first one or two groups exceeds 10%. This is a sure sign that your list needs maintenance! Clean up your list, and then resume sending to the remainder of the groups.
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