Protecting yourself from listbombing

Deliverability Podcasts
Table of Contents
  1. Main takeaways
  2. Links
  3. Stay in touch

In episode 4 of the Deliverability Defined podcast, my co-host Melissa Lambert and I talk about listbombing, how it can damage your sender reputation, and how to protect your deliverability.

Protecting yourself from listbombing

Listbombing can be a touchy subject because most people think it’s personal. However, it doesn't really matter which email service provider you use or what your website is about—hackers will generally attack any list through any form on any provider that they can find.

That said, there are ways you can protect yourself from their malicious methods. Even though the sender isn’t the target of the attack, the sender will bear the brunt of the negative outcomes for the health of their list if not caught early enough and dealt with appropriately.

In this episode, we talk about what listbombing really is, why attackers use this method maliciously, how to spot when you’ve been listbombed, and more!

Main takeaways

  • Listbombing is what happens when email addresses are added to a form on the internet maliciously. It is usually done in order for attackers to gain access to protected accounts without being noticed or to flood specific servers with requests in order to take it down. In either case, the sender is not the target of the attack but they are caught in the crossfire.
  • Having a confirmation email in place is a good first step to preventing listbombing. Forcing the subscriber to confirm before adding them to your list gives them the opportunity to simply not confirm if they didn’t subscribe knowingly.
  • Even if subscribers don’t mark your emails as spam or complain about being on your list, if they don’t engage with the emails you send, that will hurt deliverability and sender reputation, too.
  • Using reCAPTCHA on your forms and leveraging double opt-ins are the best ways to protect yourself from listbombing. They’re also great best practices in general.

“Listbombing is one of the biggest generators of spam complaints we see and that any ESPs see. Because you're seeing a bunch of email addresses added to your list that don't actually want to be there, you end up with people marking your emails as spam.” ~ @alyssa_dulin


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Alyssa Dulin

Alyssa is a Deliverability Lead located in Nashville, TN. She loves helping senders reach the inbox of their subscribers. Outside of work, Alyssa enjoys traveling, indoor cycling, and spending time with family.

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