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Possible Solution To Email Blacklist Problem

edited September 2012 in Other / Mixed
I vaguely remembered seeing something about email blacklist problems, so when my projects started not working as well, the possibility of this came to mind. I have been reading through everything that I could find about it on the forum here, BHW, etc. I have been using Hotmail accounts and, after checking them, they are flagged pretty bad. I have lots of them, so I will swap them out - this is not a problem.

While reading through the problems (and feature suggestions because of this), I just had something else come to mind. It is somewhat related to this (because it is email) and it is a feature (little-know trick) that I am using for other purposes. Since I just learned about it, I figured others might not know about it. And I was wondering if anyone else had tried using it in SER. If so, does it work. If not, could it be used to help alleviate this problem.

The trick I am talking about is using an email address like

The actual email account is However, there is an "industry standard" that lets you add a plus sign and anything else you want to the email before the at sign. The email is still delivered to the main email box just like normal.

As far as I can see, the only question is what email address is reported to the spam sites. If it is the entire email (including the plus sign, etc), then I think there is a good chance this tactic would work. You could just change the text after the plus sign and keep on trucking. As far as all the sites are concerned, you would be using a new email address.

Even if this works, it would still be nice to have the "automatic email blacklist check" feature request built into SER. If SER found that the email was flagged, all it would have to do is change the text after the plus sign.

I just wanted to mention this to see if anyone has experience with it (or has tried it with SER). I am going to start a test run right now with it. I will post the results back here when I find something out.


  • This sounds interesting. Keep us informed about your results.
  • Its very interesting indeed
    hope it works out
  • Never heared about this, but it's interesting. But I think some forms will block this because they validate an email and don't accept the plus sign.
  • SvenSven
    Just tested this on my own email provider. It is not working. And I don't think it will on most servers. If anyone with hotmail/gmail can test it on there emails please?
  • The only trick I know is that gmail doesn't make a difference between and and Which industry standard should this be?
  • Bytefaker...Can you be specific as to sites (or types of sites) where you think it won't work?

    Sven...what is not working with your provider?

    I have been running all my projects this way for a day now and everything seems to be working fine.

    Here is how to set it up...

    1.) In the "Data" section of your project, put your email as...
    2.) In the "Email Verification" section, put your email as...

    As far as all the websites are concerned, it is a different email address. Registration and submission work fine like always. But all the emails get delivered to the "base" email account. SER still processes all those emails fine.

    I have checked the blacklist hits on several of these emails. The emails do get reported to these services in the format I have had a couple hits on some of these emails already (to be expected) and that is how they show. Just to be sure, I checked the base email (, and none of them were listed on the services at all.

    When the blacklist hits become high enough to be a problem, all I will have to do is change the "word" in the email address in the "Data" section. No new email account will need to be created/verified/spam filter changed/etc.

    BTW - I tried this with Hotmail, Gmail, and my own self-hosted domain. They all work.

    It looks like this is working great. If anyone can show me any downside (or places it will not work), I would like to hear it. It would be cool if SER could automatically change the "word" after the plus sign on a scheduled basis. We may never have to worry about email blacklists again.

  • SvenSven
    Well it might work for hotmail and others, but it didn't work for my own email provider. And there is still the problem of sites who might not like the + sign in emails (invalid format error message).
  • I've tried it with a own hosted domain as Sven said. And as Sven said, a lot forms are validated really exact and they don't allow a + sign in the email adress. In my eyes this would be a possible solution, but it's a dirty hack and no longterm solution AND it leaves a footprint.
  • SvenSven
    The latest version has the ability to use more than one email account now.
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