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Unfortunately, you really can't be 100% sure if you have been black listed. You may be on someone's black list and not even know it. There are, however, ways to check most of lists.
One way is to check your server log when sending your campaigns. You will often see an email bounce notice indicating that message has bounced because you are on a particular black list.
Many of major black lists also allow you to enter your IP into a form on their site. These checks will tell you whether you appear, or not, on their list.
A useful tool, is Black List Monitor. http://www.blacklistmonitor.com - It automatically checks your IP against most of major Black Lists and tells you which ones you are listed on. It also gives you help in getting removed. All your IPs are constantly monitored for any changes, listings, or delistings.
But what is a White List and how can this help?
Many corporations and ISPs will create a white list. This is a list of trusted IP addresses that they feel confident will not send spam to their customers. If your IP is listed on a particular white list then your email messages will be delivered to destination email address. It is important for reputable marketers to work with major ISP's such as AOL to ensure that you are on their white list. For most, it can be a lengthy process, but well worth your efforts.
Other third-party email certification programs now exist. Bonded sender www.bondedsender.com is one such agency. By joining Bonded Sender, senders improve deliverability rates and differentiate their brand. Senders go through a formal application process, adhere to email standards and post a bond against potential complaints. Major ISPs such as MSN/Hotmail now check against Bond Sender's white list and allow these email to pass.
Knowing if you are on a black list, getting removed if you are and getting established on white lists is critical if you are email marketing. The more messages delivered equals more sales!
Author Karen Fegarty is with MailWorkZ the creator of Black List Monitor-- advanced service that continuously checks all the major blacklists for you, and then some. Don't be treated unfairly! Keep a handle on who may have you blacklisted. Get a free trial and find out more at http://www.blacklistmonitor.com.