Sendability issues... Hubspot send IP is blocklisted

SOLVE
Highlighted
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 allow list" or something like that... because THEY ARE getting individual emails sent by "Ken" and the rest of our team.

 

1 Accepted solution

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted
Solution
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.

View solution in original post

31 Replies 31
Highlighted
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?

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
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...

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
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.

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
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.

Highlighted
Regular Contributor

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

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
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.

Highlighted
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.

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
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.

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
Regular Contributor

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

blacklist.png

Highlighted
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.

 

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
Regular Contributor

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

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
Community Superstar

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

 

Note: HubSpot is a constantly evolving platform. Please check the date of each post and view all solutions in that context.

-- Visit

 

Hope that helps.

 

Be well,
Frank


Support • Web • Apps • Training

HubSpot's Hiring World-Wide!

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
Regular Contributor

It's not dedicated.

 

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

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
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!

Highlighted
Community Superstar

- see [Resources] Email Deliverability

 

Note: HubSpot is a constantly evolving platform. Please check the date of each post and view all solutions in that context.

-- Visit

 

Hope that helps.

 

Be well,
Frank


Support • Web • Apps • Training

HubSpot's Hiring World-Wide!

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
Solution
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.

View solution in original post

Highlighted
New Contributor

Weare having the same issue. we cannot send to any gmail or Office 360. Gmail make up 48K of our database. 

Highlighted
New Contributor

We are having the same issue and have been asked to contact our clients IT departments to whitelist the shared hubspot IP address - this is the "solution" we were given (lol).

 

Other suggested solution was to buy a dedicated IP address from Hubspot. 

 

We are using other platforms for communication with clients and addressed that are bouncing on Hubspot are not bouncing there. It is Hubspot's problem but somehow they put it on paying customers to resolve. 

 

 

Highlighted
New Contributor

We are experiencing the exact same issue. 

 

Our customers are complaining that they are not receiving our emails.

The range of public HubSpot IP addresses that have a 'bad reputation' have been flagged as spam and prevent our emails from being received by our actual clients. 

The 'solution' HubSpot provided us with is to purchase a 'dedicated fixed IP address' at a very high cost. 

 

HubSpot is at the origin of a conceivable known issue by using public IPs of low reputation and decides to make clients pay for the solution at such a high price. How is that possible?

Highlighted
Regular Contributor

Do you know what's the share of customers affected? If it's less than 5-10% or only specific domains then this could be considered acceptable. Very few email marketing platforms that use shared email addresses successfully deliver more than 90% of emails (see here for stats). 

 

If this affects only a subset of customers with a particular email domain or email service provider, then emails are being blocked or marked junk due to local settings or IP being blocklisted. But I hear you that asking your customers/prospects to do extra work to receive your emails is a tall order.

Have you tried asking Hubspot to move your account to a different IP (that perhaps won't be blocked for these accounts)?

Alternatively, there's the cumbersome setup of using another email tool in parallel for the affected domains/contacts. Many email tools have good integrations to Hubspot CRM, so this wouldn't be a completely disjointed experience. 

Highlighted
HubSpot Product Team

Also curious to know what impact they are seeing. A lot of blocklists may publish blocks on shared IPs but aren't actually used by filtering services so they don't cause any bounces.

 

If we notice higher than a 0.1% soft bounce rate for any blocklist then we will take action to delist the IP with that RBL (registered blocklist), and we will also work with the customer that caused them to block us in the first place. If necessary we will suspend them from emailing again to prevent it from happening again in the future.

 

In general though our overall delivery rate is always around 98% or more.

 

We have systems in plce to alert if drops occur and we take the same sort of actions to rectify the problem if that happens.

 

Dedicated Ip is great though, but only if your deliverability is better than our shared. If you do not have better contacts / engagement than the average customer on the shared then you should generally stay on the shared IPs. You also only really get value from a dedicated IP if you send over 20,000 emails per month.

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
New Member

We have had similar issues with email deliverability. The majority of our emails land in the Spam / Junk folder. We spend all this time working on email content, just for it to not be seen. Not cool, especially with HubSpot's price tag. 

Highlighted
HubSpot Product Team

@tymau16 if you are finding that your HubSpot marketing emails are going to the Spam folder you should open a support ticket to get some advice to address that. This is atypical for HubSpot users to experience. Our mean open rates for all customers is about 30%. If your portal experiences open rates less than this your domain is at risk for filtering to spam due to graymail. 

 

If your open rate is anywhere from 15% or below I would look to this post for guidance how to address that issue.

Highlighted
Regular Contributor

In our situation, a large percentage of our emails were going to recipients behind moderately to significantly strict firewalls. Their IT staff's rules for email filtering seemed to be the issue.

 

Since moving to a different provider for email campaigns, we're no longer experiencing this issue.

Highlighted
Occasional Contributor

I've been using HubSpot for 2 months and over half my database isn't "engaged" anymore...  One of our new customers wasn't getting our emails and highlighted that the HubSpot emails weren't getting through and were ending up in quarantine.  Ugh.  What provider did you switch to?  Has it solved the issue?

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
HubSpot Product Team

The most common reason why emails are filtered is due to a low historical open rate associated with that sender (typically tied to the domain that is sending) for this reason you should stop sending to the group of contacts marked "unengaged". By sending to these folks continuously over time, it drags your overall open rate downward and increased filtering (to the spam folder or other folders like "quarantine") will result. For a plan to address this issue check out my other post on Graymail.

Highlighted
Occasional Contributor

I'm not buying it.  My open rates plummeted overnight when I switched from Marketo to HubSpot and searching online it looks like this is a known issue.  

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
Regular Contributor

Have you checked Hubspot Apps Marketplace for email tools that integrate well with Hubspot? Should be easy to run a 50-50 test campaign, or use another tool for the "unengaged" segment only.  

Highlighted
Regular Contributor

Hubspot's deliverability should be solid. Could it be that the email content (eg spam trigger words in subject lines, sometimes even normal-sounding terms like "laser printer" or "special offer" can trigger junk filters) or text-to-image ratio is the culprit?

 

Hubspot has published great content on email deliverability, I've also written my own recommendations here