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Back when it was first discovered that spammers were scraping WHOIS registrations for email addresses, private registration of domains became popular among legitimate businesses. Unfortunately, like so many other things, registering your domain privately (meaning that your domain registration information is essentially cloaked, and anonymous to the world) has been adopted and thus ruined by the spammers, phishers, and malware pushers of the world. Now, if you are a legitimate sender, having a privately registered domain will hurt your email deliverability.

Here’s why – believe it or not, despite all of the automated spam detection and filtering systems, real live humans are still often involved in dealing with the decision of whether your email gets delivered to the inbox or the junk folder (or at all). This may be because it’s a close call, or it may be because you’ve written to an ISP asking them to please stop delivering your wanted email to the junk folder.

Whatever the reason, one of the first things many email delivery and anti-spam specialists will do when presented with a “is this spam?” situation, is do a WHOIS lookup on the domain – either the sending domain, or the domain being advertised as a link in the email.

And guess what happens if that WHOIS returns nothing but “this domain is privately registered”, with no way to really determine who is behind the domain – with nobody willing to take responsiblity for the domainnobody saying “if there is a problem, the buck stops here”?

You look like someone with something to hide.

And if you have something to hide – or even look like you have something to hide – your email isn’t going to get delivered. After all, if you aren’t willing to put your name to your business, then why should you expect an ISP to deliver the email from that business.

They won’t, and you shouldn’t.

Private domain registrations. A bad idea for legitimate email sending businesses.


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