“Every ESP knows this story: Client hands over their email file; ESP sends messages on behalf of client; anti-spam warning bells go off all over the place; turns out the client provided a bad list.”
- The Magill Report

What is BlackBox, exactly?

BlackBox is a consolidated, continually updated database of nearly every poisonous email address on the open market. It is used exclusively by ESPs, in order to predetermine if a sender's list is permission-based, deliverable or outright toxic. Essentially, BlackBox is a big bad list with a heart of gold.

How do ESPs typically use BlackBox?

ESPs match a sender's list to BlackBox and score the risk in the sender's list. If the risk score is high, the ESP may (a) decline to work with the sender, (b) quarantine the list or (c) advise or rehabilitate the sender.

Conversely, if the risk score is low, the ESP may fast-track onboarding or otherwise reward the sender.

Is BlackBox used only for vetting new senders?

No. We all know that a good sender can eventually become a bad sender: therefore 24/7 account review is a necessity.

My ESP already has an abuse-prevention process. Why do I need BlackBox?

Many of the ESPs that use BlackBox already have some level of advanced abuse detection in place. Their techniques include industry flagging and preflight content reviews, as well as scoring a sender's lists against their own bad data (i.e., data that has already passed through the ESP's application). However, because BlackBox provides an incredibly large volume of constantly refreshed data, ESPs typically use our database as the foundation for all of their prevention efforts in order to stop abuse before it can wreak havoc in the first place.

What type/volume of data do ESPs receive?

Depending on the package they select, ESPs can receive a Legacy Data file, Monthly Data file and a Toxic Data file.

LEGACY DATA - 350 million aged records that have been compiled in the previous 12-48 months.

MONTHLY DATA - 9-11 million records that have been compiled in the previous 30 days.

TOXIC DATA - 10 million hard bounces, anti-spam litigators, single-validated traps and complainers.

What's the breakdown and layout of the database?

BlackBox is a blend of consumer and business emails from a broad range of sources. Currently, 63% are consumer records while 37% are business records; of these 61% are sourced from North America, with the balance spread across the globe. Consumer records typically include email address, first name, last name, zip code, source site and, in some cases, full postal address and IP address; demographic information is also available. Business records are typically limited to email address and contact name. The Toxic Data set consists primarily of email address or domain name only.

Is BlackBox a Data-as-a-Service offering?

Yes. Files can either be delivered to the ESP in CSV format and/or the data can be accessed via our web app or API.

Does BlackBox provide a risk score?

Not yet. Currently, risk scores are determined by each ESP and driven by their unique business rules.

Where does all this data come from?

We source the data from a wide variety of suppliers (ranging from well-known global data companies and niche list vendors, to email verification providers and omnipresent offshore suppliers and scrapers). As of Q2 2016, 32 unique data sources (from 22 different suppliers in 8 different countries) are part of BlackBox. All data is compiled and standardized in order to provide you with direct access to millions of new or updated records each month.

Does BlackBox have the rights to license the data?

Yes. Our agreements with our list suppliers state that (a) the supplier has rights to sell us the data, (b) the supplier must provide us with non-exclusive ownership of the data, and (c) we have unrestricted distribution rights to the data.

What's the story behind BlackBox?

In 2010, the prototype for BlackBox was created for one of today's most respected ESPs and has since grown into a global solution for senders vetting amd list monitoring which used by dozens of ESPs and relays.