The Value of Email Whitelisting and How To

There are many steps one can implement in order to improve the deliverability of email campaigns, ensure that emails are as inbox friendly as possible and enhance sender reputation. Getting subscribers to add your email address to their address book is a fool-proof way to ensure that your campaigns consistently reach the recipients inbox. This is referred to as email whitelisting.

An email whitelist is essentially a list of senders and/or keywords that have been identified and recognised as safe, meaning that these particular email addresses will continuously be granted access to the inbox. This system supports ISPs decision to either permit reliable email messages or refuse ones considered to be spam, and is highly regarded. It is for this reason that as an email marketer you want to make sure that your subscribers believe you to be a trusted sender, and subsequently mark you as one. In short, there are several benefits to this:

  1. You will be better recognized by the ISPs that you are sending to.
  2. It reduces the chances of your mail being regarded as spam and landing in the junk folder.
  3. It ensures that images are downloaded automatically, allowing for proper rendering and ideal viewing.

So, let your subscribers know the value of adding you to their address book, along with simple instructions to do so, as sometimes it may feel more complicated than it actually is. Following this process will allow subscribers to seamlessly add you to their safe sender list and will ensure that all of your future mail is deemed acceptable and will be delivered to their inbox.

Address book strategies
Simply ask outright to be added to the recipient’s address book. A good start would be to attach your contact details to your very first welcome mail, but you can also do this in the sign up process or place a safe sender option creatively in every mail you send – although TotalSend does automatically provide an email whitelist option in all campaign footers where recipients are provided with step-by-step instructions for email address book additions for particular ISPs and spam filters that they may be using.

As an email marketer however, the best thing you can do to get to a user’s inbox consistently is to simply send mail that recipients want to receive. This means that the aim of any campaign is to ensure that they’re continually evoking positive reactions from those recipients. Positive reactions that you should be aiming for include opening, replying to or forwarding an email, clicking on links and of course, adding the sender to their address book. Here are some of the best ways to get whitelisted:

  1. Make sure all your subscribers have opted in to receive your mail. You need to consistently make sure that everyone who receives your mail actually wants to read it. This will ensure a good reputation and help improve your chances of being added to address books.
  2. Also consider the HTML design best practices of your email campaigns. Ensure that the text and layout looks interesting and worth reading.  This will entice readers not only to open the email but to actually read and be intrigued by the content, eventually clicking through to your site/landing page, and hopefully looking forward to receiving further communication from you. If this is the case, they will be happy to add you to their address book.
  3. Another thing to consider is ensuring that you have not included anything in your mail that can cause your email to be flagged as spam, which could potentially land your mail in the junk folder. However, if you’re already added to the recipients address book, the chances of landing in the recipient’s junk folder are reduced drastically. Either way, always follow email best practices to steer clear of the junk folder, but if you do happen to win your subscribers over, then this is less of an issue.
  4. Another step you can benefit from is to always test before you send. One thing that can easily lose the respect of a recipient, is a misspelled word in a subject line or an incorrect price shown. This might just reduce your chances of being added to their address book before you’ve even begun building a relationship with them. It is also absolutely essential to check that your HTML email looks good, is user-friendly and works on as many devices as possible. So always make sure you’re testing your campaigns… test, test and test again.
  5. Then lastly, by monitoring campaigns, you’ll be able to recognise whether your list is up to date or becoming stale. Adopting a sunset policy with your subscriber lists may also improve overall delivery of your email campaigns, as you’re not subjected to outdated addresses, which could potentially cause you to hit spamtraps. This should improve the chances of your mail appearing in inboxes and reduce the chances of blacklisting, as well as the number of email bounces. By simply ensuring this, the possibility of being added to subscribers’ email address books increases tenfold.

Essentially, you’re ensuring maximized deliverability and successful email marketing results, in addition to avoiding the junk folder. So it‘s imperative that you take time in the beginning to work on these tactics to maintain reputation, relevance and engage appropriately with your target market.