Don’t get your email junked, get whitelisted!

We now have our own, up-to-date whitelist instructions, ready to link to from your campaigns. View them here.

Concerned about your email campaign getting unintentionally stuck in your subscribers’ junk mail filters? Perhaps you should consider adding a link to email whitelist instructions in your campaigns. This allows your subscribers to add you to their “Safe senders list” (or similar), guaranteeing that your email will pass their filters, time and time again.

Why should my subscribers whitelist me?

Despite your best efforts to make your campaigns as inbox-friendly as possible (and our constant efforts to keep everyone on the good side of ISPs), sometimes our campaigns either get flagged as potentially spam, or hidden away in a junk mail folder somewhere. The majority of the time, it’s because we’ve accidentally done something to offend a particular email client - and this is where whitelisting steps in.

In short, whitelisting improves deliverability. It also reduces the chance of your email getting unnecessarily flagged as junk in the inbox. Most of your subscribers probably don’t want to miss an email from you, after all!

How do I add whitelist instructions to my email?

By adding a simple link to instructions like…

You’re receiving this monthly newsletter because you signed up via our site. Ensure it keeps coming.

… keen subscribers can pacify their sometimes-hyperactive junk mail filters and give your newsletter a wide berth. Thanks to this handy email whitelist instructions generator, this can be as simple as entering your campaign details, then adding the resulting instructions to your own site. As the instructions are provided as a simple HTML page, so you can copy, paste and restyle them as you see fit:

Whitelist instructions

Once you’ve added instructions to your site, you can link your email campaigns and templates to them. The whitelisting process only needs to be completed once per sender.

As the email whitelist generator provides instructions for most of the major email clients, it’s useful information for your subscribers to refer back to, next time they have a campaign to whitelist. Finally, many thanks to Fire Mail for the excellent example and Email Delivery Jedi, for providing this dead-easy Whitelist Email Instructions Generator.

Don’t forget to also get your email domain authenticated to ward off those pesky spam filters. It only takes a few minutes to set up and it’s something we recommend doing for every “from email address” domain you use.

Posted by Ros Hodgekiss

4 Comments

  • Nickolas Simard
    29th September

    Even though this is something obvious, I never though about offering whitelisting instructions! Now, I’m thinking about it… ever since yesterday my IP address was banned from my own server! *laugh*

    Thanks for the instructions generator, handy tool!

  • Ros Hodgekiss
    29th September

    Glad you found that tip to be useful! Haha, well sometimes the darndest things can trip off spam filters, so it’s better to be safe than sorry :)

  • Mickey Wong
    2nd October

    Good information, Ros. Getting subscribers to whitelist you should be an integral part of your opt-in process and email marketing. Yet it’s often overlooked.

    It’s good practice to start asking subscribers to whitelist you on your thank you or confirmation page immediately after they sign up. And also on post-order confirmation pages so important emails, such as receipts and invoices, aren’t lost in customers’ junk folders. Then continue reminding them in email campaigns, such as using your “Ensure it keeps coming” example link.

    Consider also the language you use when asking people to whitelist you. More tech savvy folks will understand what “whitelist us” means. Whereas for other audiences, you’ll get the message across better by using every day language, such as “Add us to your address book”. Plus give them a good reason why of course!

    Using just text whitelisting instructions is common and has been the norm for quite some time. But consider including screenshot images and even videos as well to show subscribers what to expect and exactly what to do.

    You might want to check out a new whitelist instructions generator:
    http://www.whitelistnow.com

    WhitelistNow shows video as well as text instructions. The best part is, subscribers can whitelist you in popular email clients with just a couple of clicks.

    One problem in the past with whitelisting is you never knew if people did it. Well, WhitelistNow gives you stats so you now know when people have whitelisted you. This means you can test things like offering an incentive to increase response.

    As the Email Experience Council stated in their recent Best Practices for Email Deliverability and Inbox Placement report, “The best deliverability comes when the subscriber (and not the ISP) whitelists you as a sender they trust”.

  • Ros Hodgekiss
    5th October

    Hi Mickey, thanks for the detailed comment. I didn’t know about Whitelist Now - the service certainly looks useful, so I’ll keep it in mind for the future. You learn something new every day in this business! :)

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