Our Guide to Whitelisting
You've worked hard making sure your email campaign is effective, professional, and deliverable. Yet multiple contacts aren't receiving your communications! Usually this would be down to them marking it as spam or your email domain being blacklisted, but what if those contacts want to receive your emails?
Instead of faffing about trying to fix your email when there isn't anything wrong with it, whitelisting provides an easy fix.
Whitelisting is, put simply, authorising certain email domains so content being delivered isn't blocked by spam or virus filters.
It is known as a 'deny by default' or application control approach.
Initial Actions to Take
In the event that the email address being used is correct, active and available but emails are not appearing in the recipient’s Inbox, the following steps can be taken by the intended recipient:
- Check to see if an email from the sender has gone into either a Spam or Junk folder (sometimes both can be present).
- If so, select the email and 'unblock'/'whitelist' the email address/email domain. This is done in the Spam or Junk settings (usually there is an icon for this). If the email is not in such a folder, it may have gone into ‘Clutter’ (Microsoft Outlook) or into another ‘tab’ (typical of providers such as Gmail).
- If it has been moved into Clutter, find the email in the Clutter folder and drag it to the Inbox folder. This tells Clutter that you wish to receive it. You may need to do this again periodically if you routinely ignore these emails
A good way to avoid email clutter is to open the emails when they come in, even if you don’t want to read them and move them to a folder or delete them.
Another option is to create a new folder in your inbox for these emails and then create a ‘Rule’ (if you are using Outlook) that moves messages from this sender into the folder.
You would have to remember to check the folder, but you should be able to see when there are unread emails.
If the emails are not in any of the above locations, then it is likely that the email is being blocked at an organisation level.
In that case, you need to send a request to your IT department to ‘Whitelist’ the email sending address (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) or the email sending domain (eg. @email.org.uk).
IT departments usually have server level Spam filters (such as Spam Assassin), and these have varying settings and options.
If none of the above methods work and you are still not receiving the desired communications, there are a few other methods to try.
These methods can be costly and time consuming, but they can massively reduce your stress and boost your email reach.
Create your own Whitelist
This is usually more beneficial if you are a small organisation, but creating a list of email domains and websites which you trust and have whitelisted can help you keep track.
Use Whitelisting Software
If you are a big business it is often recommended that you use a pre-configured whitelisting software. This takes much less time and manual work by yourself, and allows those who have better knowledge of whitelisting to do the job for you. The pre-configured list can be added to if more domains are required to be whitelisted.
Don't ignore other solutions!
Whilst whitelisting is a very useful business tool, remember that it is not your only tool to use for improving deliverability and email security.
Whitelisting should be used as part of a comprehensive security solution and should not be used in isolation for trusting domains!
Want to educate others on whitelisting? Download our Whitelisting PDF for easy access!