There are a few reasons why your Gist account may have been blocked from sending emails.

High bounce rates

If any email you send via Gist acquires a hard bounce rate violating Gist’s acceptable threshold, it is likely that further sending of email will be blocked.

Remember that the acceptable threshold for bounce rate on Gist is 5%.

Here are a few common reasons why an email might get recorded as a hard bounce:

  • The email address of the user is invalid
  • Subscriber has since canceled the email address
  • The domain associated with the user’s email is now non-existent

High spam complaint rates

Gist automatically keeps track of your sending patterns, including spam complaint rates from your subscribers. When we see a high spam complaint rate we may automatically block sending for the account to prevent any further emails from causing more spam complaints. It’s important to remember, subscribers mostly lodge complaints because they didn’t receive the content they originally opted in for.

Spam complaints can be caused for many reasons, but here are a few of the more common reasons:

  • If the user has not given you the email address themselves
  • Even if the user gave you their email, they did not give you explicit permission to send email communication
  • They are receiving content that they have not opted in for
  • Opted in a long time ago and haven’t heard from you since then
  • Have not received an email in some time

To summarize, subscribers report spam because they aren’t getting what they wanted from you.

Spam is whatever the subscriber perceives it to be so it’s important to go through each step of the opt-in process to make sure there’s no room for any misunderstanding when someone is registering for your emails.

Explicit permission not obtained

At Gist, we require that every subscriber has given explicit permission to receive what you will be sending to them.

Some of the common mistakes made when building a list, but not gathering explicit permission

  • Customers are not subscribers by default.
  • A list of tradeshow attendees
  • Addresses collected via a ‘Free Report’ lead capture model
  • Users registered their emails on a different website
  • Requiring an email address to get to the next page, view a video, etc.
  • Past customers or trial users

Sending email to purchased lists

Another common reason an account can get blocked or banned is if you are sending email content to purchased lists, or lists of subscribers that have not directly opted in to receive email content from you.

Please understand that Gist should only be used for inbound email marketing. This means that the subscribers receiving your email content must opt-in to you in some manner – whether through lead generation forms, or through live-chat, a third party integration, or through product signup.

If any of the above conditions are not adhered to, accounts may be blocked or banned from sending emails and messages through Gist.

Content not supported by Gist

As an Email Service Provider (ESP) responsible for sending large amounts of emails every day, we must manage and enforce our Terms of Service (ToS). We do this to ensure our shared brand and email reputation is always excellent and to always ensure high email deliverability rates to all of our customers.

Any content related to the following is not acceptable as per Gist’s terms of service:

  • Illegal goods
  • Sexually explicit material and/or sex advice
  • Adult-related
  • Dating/escorts
  • Drugs or pharmaceutical
  • Credit/debt-related
  • Stock, Forex, or any similar trading/market content
  • Gambling/Betting
  • MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) or network marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Loans or mortgage
  • Nutritional or herbal supplements
  • Make money online and work from home
  • Free product or sample giveaways
  • Claim your money/benefit/assistance
  • Property/real estate listing notifications

Keep in mind that these restrictions are not exclusive to Gist's sending standards. The email industry as a whole has labeled most of these industries as higher risk, and hence we are in general unable to make exceptions due to the high-risk nature of those industries. However, please note that if you acquire people's email addresses legally and with their permission using a double opt-in process, then we do not have a problem with your account unless we receive spam complaints from your users.

As long as your communication is not spammy or unrelated to your users' expectations, we will not ban your account automatically. if your business belongs to one of the industries listed above, but you do not send emails that are considered as spam, you can reach out to our team and we'll be happy to discuss your case one-on-one.

Also, if your account is blocked or banned on Gist for any reason, here are the steps that you need to follow in order to get your account working again.

1. Check if you have explicit permission to send emails to everyone your list. If you did not segment your users correctly, you may be sending the right email to the wrong recipients or those recipients who are not interested in your email content. 

2. Prune your email list - check and verify that the email addresses that you have right now are correct and valid. Some email addresses usually change or are closed over time, and they might result in your emails getting bounced. You can do this on the Gist People page. Just select the filter 'Has hard bounced' and delete all the users that appear on the page. This is a crucial step that should not be overlooked in any case.

You can also verify your email list for expired or fake email addresses using third party tools like or before you import your list into Gist. 

Once you complete these steps successfully, reach out to our team on chat so we can work with our ESPs and get your account unblocked.

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