In an understandable attempt to bypass all that annoying spam, emails that onliners want to receive are getting lost in the shuffle. Newsletter subscription requests are not being completed, password reset and important emails are not getting to their intended parties.
Whitelisting, Allowed and Approved Senders
Your "whitelist" is the list that contains the email addresses of those you do in fact want to receive email from. Some services require the accepted addresses be in your address book to be added to the whitelist.
Other software/services call this list the "approved" or "allowed senders" list and require you manually add those you want to accept email from to your list. Regardless of what this feature is called, it is clearly not being utilized correctly and in many cases, at all.
What can be done about this? A little user education and Email Whitelist Etiquette is in order!
How to Setup Whitelists
When signing up for an online newsletter, mailing list or website service, immediately add their email address or dot com to your approved or white list. This will ensure that emails will get through with the information you requested or confirmations necessary for you to acknowledge your request.
- AOL: Place the domain name in your address book.
- HotMail: Place the domain name within your "safe list". You can locate your safe list by clicking on the "Options" link next to the Main Menu tabs.
- Yahoo!: If the email you requested ends up being filtered into your "bulk" folder, all you have to do is open the email and click on the link next to the "From" field. Or highlite it and click Not Spam.
- Gmail: Add the email address to your contacts.
- Outlook: Actions in the top tool bar > Junk E-mail in the drop-down > Select the Add Sender to Safe Senders List option.
- Other ISPs and Providers: To prevent desired emails from being sent to trash, try adding the email’s “From” and “Reply to” address to your address book.
When You Initiate the Request
If you initiate the request, it is your responsibility to promptly add the other side’s email address or dot com information to your whitelist. This extra step will reflect that you are courteous and tech savvy!
Before getting upset because you perceive someone didn’t respond, check to see if their email was inadvertently deleted or sent to your Trash or Junk folder. Then, upon finding these emails in your Trash or Junk folders, add their information to your whitelist/approved senders straight away.
Too many onliners become belligerent about a supposed lack of response when in fact a response was sent. Because they didn’t clear the way with their whitelist for the email to be accepted it was diverted to trash or not allowed through.
Make sure you create a response or thank you page that clearly requests site visitors and subscribers to add the required email address to their whitelist right then and there. If onliners know the address to expect email from, the chances are greater that they will add that address to their whitelist and your email will get through.
By learning how to whitelist and getting in the habit of doing so with each new request or contact, the emails you do want will have a better chance of landing in our inbox.