Recovering Google Blacklisted Domains

Yes... I cocked up my emailing last week!

Having said how good the delivery rate on my mail server was, which it still is for all sites except www.michaelwilding.com, I promptly got the domain blacklisted at Google.

What does this mean?

It looks like this:

Pretty damn bad!

In reality what it means is that all Gmail emails I send from with the FROM address as @michaelwilding.com will bounce.

Bloody brilliant.

What this means, is that for the next few weeks you may get two emails from me. I'll be sending one from my normal mailer and one from Substack.

You see, Substack actually use a different FROM address in the emails they send, which means they're landing in Gmail inboxes.

If you get my emails twice then you're probably not using Gmail, or... the recovery has begun :D

Since this has happened, I thought I'd use today's email to explain how it happened, so you can avoid it, and what to do to recover from it if it has happened to you.

A word of warning, the methods I outline below assume that you are mailing properly. They won't work if you spam people, get your domain blocked and then want to unblock it!

Let me begin by explaining how I got my domain blacklisted in the first place...

I've not been writing this newsletter for a while, a good few months. 

When you don't send emails for an extended period of time your domain and mailer reputation will gradually decline.

My mailer reputation hasn't declined because I use that for my other businesses, and it has been continuing to send large volumes of emails.

But what did decline was my domain reputation.

Being the numpty that I am, when I started the newsletter again I emailed my old newsletter list to see who was still interested in reading my emails.

This list numbered around 32,000 people.

The problem is... having not sent any emails to it for an extended period of time, the domain reputation for emails has declined and then suddenly, out of nowhere, it gets 32,000 emails sent from it.

A bunch of those emails will now be bounces and/or spam traps. Because I've not been emailing regularly, the email addresses that have gone bad aren't being removed as they go bad.

So much time has passed that some will not only no longer exist, but will have been turned into spam traps by the mail provides such as Google.

And you know what it looks like when someone emails a list of 32,000 emails, out of nowhere... 

...spam!

To be honest I've been doing this long enough that I should have known better.

But hey ho, we all make mistakes.

Since I've now demolised my domains reputation in Google, the question is... how the heck is it going to get fixed.

I can't simply go and move domains, after all this is my personal name, which means the only option is to fix it.

Fixing these things is never quick, so never try to do it overnight.

At the best it may take a couple of weeks, but you can assume there will be some issues in email delivery to the affected mail providers for at least a couple of months.

After all, the mail provider has to be sure that you're not going to be sending spam emails.

Which is why you can expect to receive two emails from me, Tuesday to Friday (if you're fully subscribed), until the issue is fixed.

That's just to make sure you get the emails!

Luckily fixing the issue isn't particularly difficult. You need to go to:

https://support.google.com/mail/answer/188131

Once you're on this page scroll down to the bottom where it links to Bulk Sender Guidelines. These are at:

https://support.google.com/mail/answer/81126

Make sure you read through these, if you're not doing any of them then this process isn't going to work for you.

If you're doing everything you're supposed to, click on the link to Troubleshooting For Bulk Email Senders. It takes you here:

https://support.google.com/mail/troubleshooter/2696779

Go through all the steps on this page and answer the questions. When you've answered all the questions you will see the option to Contact The Gmail Team.

This is where you want to be :)

Clicking on that link will bring you to this page:

https://support.google.com/mail/contact/bulk_send_new

A contact form that goes directly to the Gmail bulk email sender team. 

Go through the form and fill in the fields in as much detail as possible.

Remember, you MUST have figured out what caused the issue before you contact Gmail. There's no point in contacting them and saying you don't know what happened. Being able to say what caused the issue and how you rectified it so it won't happen again is paramount to them unblocking you.

After you've submitted your form, you'll be told that it will take up to 14 days to start seeing an improvement in your domain score.

And you're all done!

While you're waiting for your reputation to improve you should continue emailing to Gmail email addresses, but make sure they're good email addresses. Any you think that are not 100% interested in what you want and haven't recently requested you to contact them or interacted with your emails should not be sent to.

Of course, you can expect them all to bounce for a period of time. 

(which is why I'm sending from two places)

If you haven't got the luxury of sending from two places, then post the situation on your social media channels and tell your followers what's happening and that they may not receive your emails for a few weeks. 

However, if you post your newsletters on your blog, or your mailing software archives them online, then you can post a link to your online newsletter in your social media accounts so that your followers can still read them even if they're not receiving the emails.

So there you have it, how to get your blacklisted Gmail domain un-blacklisted the right way :)

Until tomorrow, unless you're not a full member, in which case here's where you become one:

https://www.michaelwilding.com/join-the-online-hustle/

Michael
The Online Hustle

P.S. It's better to not get your domain blacklisted to start with. Be warned Gmail is considering the domain reputation more than the mailer IP now, and this means it's likely to start happening with other mail providers as well in the not-to-distant future!

[1 of 2] 13 Subject Lines To Boost Open Rates

It’s been a bank holiday weekend here in the UK, which means nobody works Monday. When I say nobody, I mean nobody who works in a normal Monday to Friday, nine to five job.

It feels like a lifetime since I wrote about getting a 90% open rate from your emails in this post https://michaelwilding.substack.com/p/get-a-90-open-rate

But, it was only last Friday!

And now you know all about that, it’s time to go through each of the thirteen subject line types that are going to boost your open rate.

The first step in email marketing is to get your readers to open your emails. If they don’t open your emails then they’re not going to read anything you write.

If they don’t read anything you write then guess what?

They sure as shit ain’t gonna be buying anything from you!

In forum after forum you see threads like this:

The person asking the question has got it wrong.

The first person replying to the question has got it wrong.

Why?

Because all they’re interested in is… themselves.

And do you know what everyone on your mailing list is interested in?

Themselves!

And guess what?

They’re sure as hell not particularly interested in you when they join your mailing list!

Think about it. What does everyone tell you to do to build a mailing list?

Create a lead magnet. Offer your visitors something free when they join your mailing list which will benefit them.

So why do 99% of people then think they can start email products and promotions straight away. After all, that kinda thinking is only considering yourself, not your readers.

Which is why we need to go back to the beginning and start with…

Getting your emails opened.

Once you’re getting your emails opened, then you can build a relationship with your readers.

If you’re building a relationship with your readers, then you can promote some things.

But guess what… you should only consider promoting products which will benefit your readers.

Which means the products need to be good, and you need to have tested them before you recommend them.

Anyhoo… let’s get back to getting your emails read!

There are thirteen main types of subject lines which will get your emails opened. These are:

  1. Curiosity

  2. Urgency & Scarcity

  3. Free Offers

  4. Personalised Emails

  5. Newsjacking Style

  6. Stories

  7. Lists

  8. Shocking

  9. Non-Related

  10. Benefit Based

  11. Inspirational

  12. Charitable

  13. Controversial

I’m going to go through each of these to show you how you can use them to maximise your open rates on every single email you send.

1. Curiosity

Curiosity is one of the best ways to get your emails open. Humans, by nature, are curious. It’s how click-baiting become so popular, the natural desire of people to click on a link to something which is curious.

Often it’s thought that a curiosity based subject line requires there to be a question. It doesn’t.

What it does need to do is fire the imagination and make you think about what’s going to arouse somebody’s desire to find out more.

If you’re not sure where to go to find examples, you can head to sites like BuzzFeed.

They have a limitless supply of curiosity based headlines which you can adapt to suit your needs.

For example:

Japanese BBQ Tattoo Makes $163,712.58

How A Random Coffee Cup Will Send You Traffic

Obviously the content of your email needs to link in with the subject line, but we’ll look at how to do that in another newsletter.

2. Urgency & Scarcity

Nobody likes to miss out on something. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a very real and strong emotion.

It’s the emotion that Jeff Walkers entire Launch Formula product is based on.

Heck, it’s what pretty much every single company in the world tries to play on!

You start by creating a feeling of excitement about something that will be happening soon. Then, when it starts happening, you tell people that they’re going to have to take action quickly or they’ll miss out on the thing they’ve been waiting for so excitedly and expectantly.

Yes, it also works in subject lines.

For example:

[Email 4 of 5] The next email is going to be your last chance

1957 gone, only 43 left!

3. Free Offers

Yup, it’s true… everybody likes something for nothing.

I mean damn, that’s how we build email lists to start with isn’t it!

If you can offer something that’s usually paid for, for free, then you’re going to be onto a winner.

But a word of warning, don’t do it too often or you’ll both devalue your brand and product, and won’t be able to sell anything that’s not on offer because your audience will just wait until you do an offer again.

The type of subject lines that use this are:

FREE ACCESS for the next 6 hours only!

Holy s**t, I’ve never given this away FREE before

4. Personalised Emails

I don’t use these, primarily because I don’t collect people’s first names when they sign up to my newsletter.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t work!

And the simple fact is… if you do collect first names from your readers when they join . your mailing list, then you can use them occasionally in your subject lines to get a better open rate.

Everybody likes to be addressed personally, it creates a feeling of being written to individually as opposed to being sent an email that’s gone to thousands of people.

For example:

John, I think you’re gonna like this…

WAIT Michael, Don’t Open Another Email Until You Read THIS

5. Newsjacking Style

Newsjacking was made popular by David Scott who, I think, coined the phrase.

It’s the art of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story. Here’s what David says about it:

As journalists scramble to cover breaking news, the basic facts—who/what/when/where—are often fairly easy to find, either on a corporate website or in competitors’ copy. That’s what goes in the first paragraph of any news story.

The challenge for reporters is to get the “why” and the implications of the event.

All this is what goes in the second paragraph and subsequent paragraphs. That’s why the newsjacker’s goal is to own the second paragraph.

If you are clever enough to react to breaking news very quickly, providing credible second-paragraph content in a blog post, tweet, or media alert that features the keyword of the moment, you may be rewarded with a bonanza of media attention.

Using the same concept in your email marketing is also very effective. Of course, with emails you’re unlikely to be as timely as a blog post, although it is possible. However, you can use the general trend of what’s happening in the news in your subject lines to connect with your audience.

Here are a couple of examples:

How Trump Forced Me To Earn $1,073,654 This Year

The Royal Baby Is Causing A Marketing Revolution

6. Stories

Stories are the bread and butter for any writer. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fiction writer, factual writer, journalist, script writer, copywriter or email writer.

The one thing that links all writers is the need for a good story.

You can ALWAYS use stories in your emails with great success. It’s one of the few types of subject line types and content types that is almost impossible to overuse.

Which, considering most types can be easily overused, is pretty nice to have.

Creating open loops, which we will discuss in detail later, is the best way to drive opens from your emails, but it’s not a necessity.

Below I’ve written a couple of examples of story type subject lines showing both an open loop type and a standard type of story.

Oh my god… I nearly died in the jungle!

It was only after last week, that I realised…

7. Lists

Feeling like we’ve achieved something makes us feel good.

You get those days when you feel like you’ve done and achieved nothing. Going home you feel a bit depressed, like you’ve not succeeded.

But then you get the days when you manage to do everything you intended and more.

Those are the days when you feel invincible!

Lists allow people to achieve. By allowing people to achieve, you are also allowing them to feel good about themselves.

Which is why, subject lines containing lists can be oh so very powerful.

A bit like these:

10 Ways to Earn Money Online Today

6 Steps To Building A 100k Mailing List

Phew…

We’re half way through the thirteen subject lines that are going to boost your open rates, and we’re going to finish the rest tomorrow.

Make sure that you grab the link to this blog post so you can come back to it later for reference.

But you can start using these in your email marketing as of… now!

Michael

The Online Hustle

P.S. If you like reading my newsletters, please hit the like button and share it with your friends.

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