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Message 1 of 3

Request for Email distribution list Advice


I have BT broadband and have been running a small (and local) planning-related campaign for many years.  Recently I encountered serious "blocked email" problems that started with the email addresses.  The problem has now escalated to the point that I no longer dare send BCC emails to the campaign distribution lists.  Details are given below.

If you are sufficiently knowledgeable to be able to give advice it would be greatly appreciated!

NB: I did email the BT Postmaster about a week ago ... no response. 




ODD Campaign

The current email Distribution List Problem

The ODD Campaign (Otley Development Disaster) was launched over 10 years ago in response to the (then) Leeds Site Allocations Plan.  It provides a free service informing interested residents about potentially unwelcome development proposals.  An overall Email distribution list of under 350 members is used to send a (typically) monthly update to all. More frequent emails are sent to particular sub-groups depending upon the state of current planning applications etc.

For many years ODD has successfully used Gmail (********** as a dedicated email account, using the Gmail Contacts “Labels” to create sub-groups as required. All such emails are sent TO: a spare email account and BCC: to the distribution list.  Typically, the text of an email will include hyperlinks and there may be an attachment.

However, recently there have been problems with all the ??? email addresses periodically being rejected as SPAM by the BT email server.

Such difficulties have now escalated, with the Mail Delivery Subsystem returning a “Message Blocked” response for each of the BT addresses in that distribution list:

The response from the remote server was:

554 Message rejected for policy reasons ( on 2023/03/13 16:13:09 GMT

More worryingly, a subsequent test email to an Outlook email address also resulted in a “Message Blocked”

The response was:

Message rejected. See for more information.

Unable to adequately understand the above, and concerned about further contagion, no further emails have been sent from the dedicated Gmail account.  Incoming emails are still arriving.

Request for Advice

The above is beyond my knowledge, but I assume some form of blacklisting has occurred.#

I need an operational solution, and fairly quickly:

  • Can the outgoing emails from the current Gmail account be made to work reliably?


  • Would it be better to switch to (an inexpensive) alternative - and if so, what?

I have looked at some alternatives. Mailchimp does appear to support lists and sub-lists, but the free version is limited to 1000 emails a month.  Assuming that this refers to the number of generated emails, this limit could be too tight at busy times.  The cheapest Mailchimp paid plan (Essentials) costs £10.80 plus VAT, this is more than I am prepared to fund.

I have not yet managed to identify an alternative option.


Alastair Watson

18 March 2023

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Message 2 of 3

Re: Request for Email distribution list Advice

Check that you are complying with the following link.

 BT Email - best practices for postmasters and senders of email | BT Help

If you are, you should re contact the BT Postmaster and request assistance. 

The Postmaster is notoriously slow at responding so keep emailing until you do get a response. 

EDIT: Having re read your post, you could also try limiting the number of BT email addresses you are sending to at one time. Perhaps split them into smaller lists so that the BT email server is not getting hit all at one time with multiple emails from the same sender which could be construed as a spam email.

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Message 3 of 3

Re: Request for Email distribution list Advice

Thanks (including the EDIT).

Emailed the BT postmaster some time ago - no response.  I assume that he/she works down the list, will it help to keep remailing?

Would get very messy to split the BT addresses (as I have sub-lists).  As my post explains, I am seeking advise on an alternative to using Gmail to sent the BCC emails.

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