Sendability issues... Hubspot send IP is blacklisted

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Regular Contributor

We recently sent out an important email to known contacts (who regularly receive direct emails from us) from a known sender on our team, "Ken." Despite these contacts always responding to direct emails from "Ken," the marketing email from "Ken" to about 250 confirmed contacts resulted in only a 20% open rate (a minimalist email with only 2 links and 2 images). A random sample of 10 recipients found that 9 did not receive the email -- and the email was also not found in their junk or spam folder.

Our connected domain's DNS is properly set up according to HS directions, and our IT team has confirmed this several times.

Sending a test email to MXtoolbox resulted in a failure of proper TXT and DKIM settings, however, SendForensics scored deliverability above 70%.

We've been noticing a slow decline of open rates over the past  year, but this is getting really serious:
A significant percentage of 250+ people who regularly respond to emails from us, appear to be not getting a marketing email sent from Hubspot.

What steps should we consider to fix this? And please, DO NOT RESPOND with something like, "have their IT department white list" or something like that... because THEY ARE getting individual emails sent by "Ken" and the rest of our team.

 

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HubSpot Product Team

SORBS is a blocklist, which is a little different than a blacklist. They aim to put all marketing email shared IP's on their blocklist. HubSpot sends marketing email through shared IP's so they are accomplishing their aim by putting us on their blocklist.

 

Fortunately, SORBS listings cause virtually zero bounces (quarantines, spam folder placement, etc...). For example the SORBS bounce rate last month was 0.0011% of sends on affected IPs in August. This is low because the recipients that use SORBS service to filter spam are also agreeing to block third-party-sent marketing email, which many IT security professionals deem to be too aggressive.

 

They are rare, but if you are actually seeing bounces that reference SORBS, in general my advice would be to respect the security systems that the recipient put in place to protect their inbox. However, in the case that the recipient themselves expresses to your organization that they want your email, then you should--and I'm sorry for saying this--have them whitelist your portal's marketing IP's. They would need to make an exception for our marketing email as it is against their general email policy.

16 Replies 16
Regular Contributor

Add three more people, just reported this morning, that did not receive the email, and also not in any Junk or Spam folder.

 

What's going on Hubspot?

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HubSpot Product Team

If you make a list given the criteria in this post how many contacts appear on it?

 

Ultimately, if you stop sending to whatever amount of contacts that is (which have an ROI of virtually 0) your overall open rate will rise, and you will minimize spam folder placement and/or bouncing due to graymail.

 

Also, DKIM is a no brainer. In your post you mentioned that MXtoolbox failed DKIM. Please ensure that you have set up both the TXT and the two CNAME records for proper DKIM authentication, and that those values match what is in your domain manager exactly https://knowledge.hubspot.com/articles/kcs_article/cos-general/what-is-the-updated-process-for-conne...

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Regular Contributor

@paxton

I think you misunderstood the issue. (and I did mention in the opening post that our DNS settings have been confirmed seveal times)

 

These are existing contacts in our CRM who regularly receive and respond to direct emails from"ken@ourdomain".

 

A significant percentage of these contacts did not receive the marketing email, sent from "ken@ourdomain". No bounces, none in junk folders, none in spam folders.

 

Clearly, these emails are being quarantined by a firewall or enterprise spam filter... despite direct emails from "ken@ourdomain" being allowed through to the recipient.

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0 Upvotes
HubSpot Product Team

I understood that these email addresses exist.

 

Quarantining, black-hole bounces, being caught in a firewall/"enterprise spam filter", and spam folder placement are all generally symptoms of the same root issue... graymail, or a low overall open rate.

 

Your marketing/sales email has a different reputation than whatever system you use for direct emails, and if for some reason that reputation has issues the first thing you are going to want to do is remove historically low engaged contacts. Otherwise, your ability to deliver to the engaged may be compromised.

Regular Contributor

How would an email from someone with whom these recipients regularly engage, fall into a graymail hole?

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HubSpot Product Team

Very few can speak to the specifics of Gmail's algorithm for inbox placement but, in general, it all depends on a sender's overall open/click/reply rate. (average of all Gmail users)

 

If that rate falls below a certain threshold, then it will result in placement in other places besides the inbox. If it goes past some other threshold (lower than the former) it may not matter if that specific user has engaged.

Regular Contributor

Where did Gmail come into this?

 

These are corporate recipients, on a wide range of email systems.

 

In fact, the few @gmail recipients are among the only contacts who are reliably getting the emails.

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HubSpot Product Team

Any domain that uses Google suite will use the same anti spam engine.

 

Microsoft, and Yahoo, just to name a few all use similar engines.

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Regular Contributor

So here's the problem. The IP we're paying Hubspot to use for email marketing is blacklisted.

blacklist.png

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0 Upvotes
Regular Contributor

Our ticket history shows this is not the first time we've had issues with send IP's being blacklisted, and also not the first time with that specific IP.

 

Wonderful, we're paying Hubspot to have our email domain associated with blacklisted IP's... just great.

 

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Regular Contributor

On a support chat; Hubspot KNEW that IP was blacklisted, but didn't remove it from the pool of servers sending emails.

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0 Upvotes
Community Thought Leader

QQ @IVRCMO, is that IP a dedicated IP you guys are paying for separately, or a HubSpot community IP address?

Hope that helps.

 

Best,
Frank

 

MFrankJohnson-dot-com-HubSpot-Community-banner-gif-v20190817

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Regular Contributor

It's not dedicated.

 

But also not our first time having issues with that specific IP.

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New Contributor

Hi there! Was this ever resolved for you? We are encountering the same exact issue.

 

I wonder how many customers are considering switching to another ESP because of this. Thank you!

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0 Upvotes
Community Thought Leader

- see [Resources] Email Deliverability

Hope that helps.

 

Best,
Frank

 

MFrankJohnson-dot-com-HubSpot-Community-banner-gif-v20190817

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0 Upvotes
Highlighted
HubSpot Product Team

SORBS is a blocklist, which is a little different than a blacklist. They aim to put all marketing email shared IP's on their blocklist. HubSpot sends marketing email through shared IP's so they are accomplishing their aim by putting us on their blocklist.

 

Fortunately, SORBS listings cause virtually zero bounces (quarantines, spam folder placement, etc...). For example the SORBS bounce rate last month was 0.0011% of sends on affected IPs in August. This is low because the recipients that use SORBS service to filter spam are also agreeing to block third-party-sent marketing email, which many IT security professionals deem to be too aggressive.

 

They are rare, but if you are actually seeing bounces that reference SORBS, in general my advice would be to respect the security systems that the recipient put in place to protect their inbox. However, in the case that the recipient themselves expresses to your organization that they want your email, then you should--and I'm sorry for saying this--have them whitelist your portal's marketing IP's. They would need to make an exception for our marketing email as it is against their general email policy.