A few weeks ago, I planned a trip to Charlotte. I booked my flights, and the day before I was supposed to leave, I tried to find my confirmation email.
I couldn't find it anywhere. Panicking, I called the airline. "Ma'am, your payment was denied. We emailed you about this."
Very quickly, I learned the importance of email whitelists.
Fortunately, I was able to book another flight. However, this didn't save me from the stress or frustration I felt at the airline for being unable to contact me any other way.
At the end of the day, you don't want a similar experience to happen to your customers. And, as a marketer, nothing is more frustrating than realizing your email marketing tactics, meant to engage and delight new prospects, aren't working simply because they aren't being delivered to your prospects' inboxes.
Here, we'll explain what email whitelists are, and how you can ensure your company is on the whitelists of your email recipients.
What is an email whitelist?
A whitelist is a list of approved or safe email addresses to help a spam filter determine whether it should allow delivery. If you are on your recipient's whitelist, you can guarantee your emails will be received. If you want to make sure you receive messages from a certain person or company, you simply need to manually add them as a contact.
How To Get On Your Email Subscribers' Whitelists
To get on your email subscribers' whitelists, you can ask your subscribers to whitelist your email address.
There are a few different ways to ask subscribers to whitelist your email address. First, you might simply send the following message:
"To be sure our emails always make it to your inbox, please add us to your email whitelist."
To make it easier for your recipient, you might also want to incorporate steps to do so. To add someone to a whitelist, your subscriber simply needs to add you as a contact. To make the process simple, you can include instructions in your email, like this:
"To be sure our emails always make it to your inbox, please add us as a contact. If you have a Gmail account, follow these instructions. Alternatively, if you use Apple Mail, click here."
You can add instructions for any email provider, including Outlook, Yahoo, or Android -- this largely depends on the typical provider your recipients use.
However, perhaps you don't want to ask outright if recipients can add you to their whitelists. An alternative to the above message might simply be asking recipients to add you as a contact.
For instance, United Airlines sends the following message, asking recipients to add United to their contact list and explaining why it's critical they do so:
You might use your own flair and brand voice to craft a compelling email message. Ideally, you'd include this message in the first email you send new subscribers, since it might be frustrating for recipients who have already successfully received your emails in the past to randomly receive an email instructing them to add you to their contact list.
Additionally, you can help mitigate the possibility that your recipients' email providers mistake your emails as spam by following email marketing best practices.
Finally, if you're a HubSpot customer and your contacts aren't receiving marketing emails from your HubSpot account, there are several steps you can take to ensure your emails are delivered to your subscribers' inboxes.
Originally published Apr 19, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated April 19 2019