De-blacklisting Domain Name For SockFancy

Warm Email Marketing
Apparel Manufacturing
Open Rate
Email Deliverability
Stefan Lewinger
Co-Founder and CEO

After 2020, digital sales became dominant across the world. First, people had to do online shopping because of quarantine restrictions, then they got used to the comfort and convenience of simply entering a website, picking items they like, and hitting “Buy”. This is why all apparel sellers realized the importance of email marketing as well as the need for a reliable expert that can help them out with marketing campaigns and fix their mailbox issues.

SockFancy is a US-based e-store specialized in selling exclusive socks with an option to order a pair of socks with a customized print. The company embraced the potential of digital marketing, never failing to intrigue potential customers with new offers and subscription options. This is why SockFancy relied on email marketing as a solid way to spread promotions and advertise its products. 

Breaking point

SockFancy was prompted to contact Folderly team after seeing a decline in the response rate for SockFancy email marketing campaigns. The client wanted to improve his campaign's performance and get a better email marketing ROI - but in order to do that, he needed to get to the root of the problem. 

Our team was glad to help. Once the client scheduled a call, we met, discussed the key problems, and mapped out a plan of action.


1. Domain health analysis. We used Folderly domain health audit to investigate the client’s domain. The complex audit revealed the following:

  • Blacklisted domain name. The domain audit tool automatically scanned all the available blacklist databases and found the client’s domain name. It meant that the emails sent by SockFancy were falling into spam folders for a long time.

When your domain goes to a blacklist, it means that it has lost its credibility and you’re no longer considered a safe sender. The longer you stay blacklisted, the harder it is for your to recover your domain reputation. This is why you must make checking blacklist databases your habit. 

  • Unfitting DNS settings. The client had an issue with the SPF record. It didn’t feature all the mail-sending services SockFancy worked with, which instantly rose suspicions among email service providers.

Your SPF record is your domain’s license. It serves as the proof of your credibility because it allows email service providers to quickly check your sender data and verify that the email you received was, indeed, sent by you. A proper SPF record must include all the services you use to send emails, however, adding mechanisms and modifiers on your own is a complicated task, especially if you’re new to email marketing. If your SPF record isn’t generated correctly while you keep sending emails, email service providers will start marking your domain name as suspicious, ultimately getting it blacklisted. 

  • Lack of warm-up campaigns. While the client wanted to pick up the speed with the campaigns, the domain wasn’t ready to increase the volume of emails. It needed some more preparations before being able to send more messages on a regular basis. 

Email service providers are very sensitive to sending limits. If you suddenly go beyond your sending volume, they feel threatened because such an abrupt change of behavior can signify that your domain was overtaken by a spammer. This gets you all kinds of negative attention, from a drop in Sender Score to getting blacklisted. 

2. Troubleshooting. To fix the performance of SockFancy campaigns, we focused on two things:

  • Adjusting DNS settings. We generated a new SPF record with Folderly SPF record generator to make sure that it included all mechanisms and modifiers necessary for the perfect synergy with mail-sending services the client worked with. Additionally, we worked on adding a BIMI record to increase brand recognizability.

A BIMI record is a relatively new addition to DNS records, but a very useful one. It’s a true life-saver for brands who want to get recognized even before their recipients open their emails. This record allows you to add your company logo and make it visible right in the receiving inbox, reducing the risk of phishing and increasing email service providers’ trust. 

  • Warm-up campaigns. To remove the client’s domain name from blacklists and increase its capacity, we started running warm-up campaigns. We built a constant schedule for sending emails, wrote simple templates, and started sending them to loyal email addresses according to the schedule. This was our solid routine for several weeks. 

Domain warm-up allows you to get a domain name out of the blacklists and prepare your domain for powerful marketing campaigns. Since warm-ups build up trust, it removes the very constraints that prevent you from accelerating your email marketing activity. However, all good warmup campaigns need time and patience. 


Domain name de-blacklisted. After a warmup period, we ran several domain health audits and saw that SockFancy domain was no longer found in any blacklist database.

This change signified that we managed to regain the email service providers’ trust and were ready to continue with email marketing campaigns. 

  1. Open rate went up. Before reaching out to Folderly, the average open rate for SockFancy emails was around 14%. After warmup campaigns and troubleshooting, the client resumed marketing activities and saw a 52% increase in the open rate. That was clear evidence that SockFancy emails were landing in recipients’ inboxes as originally intended.
  2. Amount of closed deals doubled. In 3 months of our work with SockFancy, we saw a good close rate growth. Before working with Folderly, the client used to close around 30 deals per week. After joining efforts with Folderly, the client started closing up to 70 deals each week. 
  3. Increased number of mailboxes. Having started out with only 3 mailboxes, the client managed to register and use 35 mailboxes after working together with Folderly. The domain health has improved up to the point it could sustain so many mailboxes. Moreover, the client ended up needing only 15 mailboxes, sending a small batch of cold emails from each one and getting every email delivered straight to the recipient’s inbox. 

Key takeaways

  1. Getting blacklisted isn’t the end. Even though seeing your domain name on a blacklist is scary, it doesn’t mean that you’re doomed. The trust of your email service providers can be regained by resuming a stable and transparent sender behavior. After several weeks of sending emails to credible addresses with respect to your sending limits, your domain name will be automatically removed from blacklists.
  2. Give your product the visibility it deserves. Your business needs its spotlight, so you must always know how your domain works. Don’t hesitate to use record generation tools or ask for a consultation when fine-tuning your DNS settings: if you get everything right from the get-go, you will be able to get to the most fun part of email marketing as soon as possible.
  3. Get a tool for monitoring domain health. The early stage of any deliverability-affecting issue is hard to catch with a naked eye. To make sure that you’re always able to prevent your emails from going to spam and your domain name from getting blacklisted, you need a tool that will run all necessary tests and inform you about the measures you should take to keep your Sender Score high.
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