In this article, we discuss how to remove your server IP address from Hotmail’s email blacklist.
Unlike other blacklists placed by Hotmail is easier to solve. Below are the steps where you can remove your IP from Hotmail’s email blacklist.
Make sure your server is not sending spam, that you authenticate your email, and then submit the Hotmail Blacklist Removal Form. Before requesting removal, please go through the checks mentioned below.
The process involved in Hotmail blacklist check
Before sending the IP removal process, you have to make sure that your email is blocked by Hotmail. Unlike public email blacklists, Hotmail does not provide you with a direct link to where we can lookup. Hotmail provides IP reputation feedback through its sender service. You can send a mail to your Hotmail email account to get the details. If your server IP address is blacklisted by Hotmail, then you will receive a bounce-back mail with reason.
You can see bounce-back message similar as mentioned below:
If your mail landed in spam and did not receive a bounce back, then you might need to check for SPF/DKIM (Sender ID authentication) record. You can follow the below steps if you receive a bounce-back mail where it clearly mentioned that your server IP is blacklisted in the Hotmail server.
Below are the Microsoft email domains and all use the same blacklist methods.
You can follow the same steps even for country-specific domains blacklist like hotmail.co.uk.
Hotmail Blacklist Removal Process
1. Why Does Hotmail Reject Emails?
If there is any unwanted activity from your server, then Hotmail will reject your mail. There are many reasons for Hotmail blocks your email. Here we discuss the most common reasons.
Your email volume changed significantly or quickly
You are sending email to unknown users
There is spam originating from your server
Your Email Authentication fails
Your DNS is incorrect
Finding the Problem
Check server mail logs to find out what is the reason for the Hotmail block.
Check the email logs for the below string.
Also, check the mail log. You will see a similar message (bounce back) as mentioned.
You need to check the first time that Hotmail or Outlook.com blocked your emails. Once you identify the initial block, analyze the emails prior to that (prior 24-48 hour period). Check for any unusual activity.
One reason for Hotmail blacklisting your email is a security breach, either a compromised account or an application sending spam mails. Spammers use compromised accounts to send bulk emails to Hotmail.com and related addresses. Check the mail log for any unusual login attempts done with any particular email accounts. You can either block or suspend those email addresses.
2. Authenticate Your Email
You have to check and make sure that email sent from the domain/email account should include Sender ID authentication. Check for the below records and update proper SPF and DKIM records.
You can use the following tool <mail-tester.com> to check the SPF and DKIM status of your domain. You will also get the RDNS and other information from the same tool. You need to send a mail to the email address mentioned in this tool to check the status.
3. Check Sender Reputation
Check sender score with the tool “https://www.senderscore.org/”. Just try to keep your sender score above 70
4. Outlook Postmaster Services
If you are sending bulk mail regularly to Outlook.com or Hotmail.com addresses, then you may need to enroll in their postmaster services. There is another feature called Junk Mail Reporting Program (JMRP) where you will get detailed reports when an Outlook or Hotmail user flags your email as spam.
5. Hotmail Blacklist Removal Form
You can fill in detail in the following form to get your server IP delisted from Hotmail’s blacklist Hotmail Blacklist Removal Form.
Make sure you are providing the entire email header in the form so that the Hotmail team can analyze the email header and process your delist request. You can follow the below URL to get the complete header of the mail.
Also, mention the precautionary steps you have taken to avoid bulk mail and sender authentication. Normally, within 24-48 hours you should receive a mail from Hotmail about the delisting process. Usually, you will get with reply message like the below.
Not qualified for mitigation
We have implemented mitigation
If you receive mail as mentioned “Not qualified for mitigation”, reply to the same mail asking for clarification as to why your IP is not qualified for delisting. You should receive a reply from the team with the actual reason and what needs to be done next.
Below image shows Hotmail Blacklist Bounce Codes with detailed information: