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According to MXToolBox.com, my GoDaddy's outgoing mail server IP address is on a couple blacklists for spam and I'm not spamming anyone. Since I'm on a shared IP address with other sites, I'm sure one of them is doing causing this issue.

My research shows how you should go to all these blacklists and request to be removed from their list, but the list seems to change often, and also is likely to not fix the problem (since whomever is spamming will probably keep doing so). Rather than wait for GoDaddy to kick this guys off the server, can I just move my email hosting to something like Zoho (completely external of GoDaddy's mail servers) and solve the problem?

The reason I feel uncertain about this is because when I scan to see if my site is under a blacklist on MXToolBox, it scans the IP address of my site. However, when I sent a test ping message for MXToolBox to give a full deliverability report, it shows my outgoing IP server as something totally different than my domain's IP, and it varies slightly in the last octet of the IP each time I check. If the outgoing mail IP address is totally independent of my domains IP address, I'm curious why MXToolBox even have an option to "Check your domain for email blacklisting" is the results of such are 100% worthless? Any explanation here would be helpful.

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    MXToolBox only reports what is on the black-lists, it has no power beyond that. It does this by querying the black-lists one at a time when you enter a domain name or IP address. As well, if you follow the links, many times it will take to a removal page or give good instructions as to why you are on the black-list. Keep in mind that this happens a lot on shared hosting. Also keep in mind that e-mail uses an MX record and therefore you cannot equate it with your website unless you send e-mail from the same server. I doubt this is the case with GoDaddy. You should work with GoDaddy on this. – closetnoc Jun 21 '16 at 16:46
  • It depends on what blacklists you are on and whether this is causing any problems. Some so-called blacklists are not used by anyone, some are only used by certain mail providers. How did you send a "test ping message"? – MrWhite Jun 22 '16 at 6:53
  • @w3dk - MxToolBox has a feature where you send an email to ping@tools.mxtoolbox.com and you get a report emailed back to you. The question isn't how to get off blacklists, since that's time consuming and potentially not even effective, but whether changing mail servers (besides GoDaddy's mail servers) will allow me to solve the blacklist issue immediately. – Tony DiNitto Jun 22 '16 at 6:57
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Don't bother getting that IP off those lists. Too much effort, outcome uncertain, and no guarantee for the future.

How much mail do you send? Is that hundreds of mails per months, or tens of thousands? If it's not more than hundreds, use the mailserver of your ISP - your home cable account. Or rent another cheap mail account like mailbox.org for 1 euro per month.

You can sent mail from your webserver via their mailserver using authenticated SMTP, with username and password. It's the same as you send mail from your laptop when you're in another location. From home, on the network of the ISP, you can probably do without authentication, but from other networks, you need to authenticate to send mail.

Another option is to find a hosting service which gives you a personal IP address. Then nobody can abuse your server. The other option is probably a lot easier!

  • To clarify, when you say using another hosting service, are you talking about leaving GoDaddy's web hosting, or simply using a different mail server (eg. Zoho.com) and that will alleviate the issue (presuming that Zoho does a good job at stopping spammers, which I think they do)? Also, any thoughts on how to understand the differing IP addresses that MXToolBox finds (discussed in last paragraph of my question)? – Tony DiNitto Jun 21 '16 at 16:26
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    Leaving Godaddy for another provider is an option, but if you're satisfied with them, stay. Leaving means a lot of work. I'm talking about using another mailserver or mailservice. So when you send a mail, you now have "localhost" as mailserver. Change that to smtp.zohomailserver.com or whatever it is. Then you need a username/password, because otherwise their mailserver will refuse the connection. The differing ip addresses are probably because Godaddy uses another (set of) server(s) as firewall or load balancer, which can redirect mail traffic to different servers. – SPRBRN Jun 21 '16 at 17:55
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After SPRBRN confirmed my suspicion that requesting to get off of Blacklists was a losing game, I came up with a few other ideas to reduce my emails from going into spam.

I first noticed that my DNS TXT record for my SPF had a bad syntax, something that Google warns can create a spam designation. So I fixed it using easySPF wizard.

Rather than just rolling the dice with Zoho (or other external mail hosts), I went to different mail provider sites and looked for the mail server domains they tell you to put in your MX records in your DNS zone files. As an example, I got the servers IP in the command line by executing:

ping mail.godaddy.com

I took the resulting IP address and queried it using MXToolBox blacklist. Finding a service that wasn't on any blacklists is fairly difficult, but I then also obtained my Sender Score by using SenderScore.org.

With these 2 tools, I didn't have to gamble with switching mail services to random providers and trying them all out. Once I found an IP with low occurrences of blacklisting and a high sender score, I switched to that service and my customers all get my emails perfectly now.

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