Email industry has been moving forward by separating spammers from phishers through segmenting them in “whitelists” and “blacklists”. Individual users and ISP’s use these lists in identifying whether your email goes to the inbox or to the junk folder. When you are added to the “whitelists”, that means your message will be delivered directly in the inbox but if you were added to the “blacklists” then that means your message won’t be delivered as you have intended to.
How to be Included in the ISP Whitelisting:
- If your email address is listed in the user’s personal whitelist (contacts)
- If your domain names, IP address, or email address is certified by third party agencies such as Habeas, Goodmail and Bonded Sender
- If you apply and get qualified for a whitelist after following certain instructions or protocols
Eudora and Outlook are just some of the desktop clients that require individual users to add people in their whitelists. Now if you want to apply for whitelisting status, AOL and Yahoo! Mai will allow you to do so. Bonded Sender data was used by MSN/Hotmailto identify whether and where to filter emails.
Though whitelisting doesn’t guarantee you that your email will be delivered the way you to but it decreases the chance for your emails to land into the junk folder. As for other ISP’s, you can check on their corporate websites for “postmaster” or bulk email information and take a look if they offer whitelisting.
AOL also has a systemwide whitelist just like Yahoo! Mail. Even if you are a whitelisted sender, this doesn’t guarantee you that all your messages will reach the recipient’s inbox. But if you belonged to the whitelisted senders who reached stricter volume and complain criteria, you might get in and qualify for an inclusion for AOL’s enhanced whitelist. Images were enabled and email messages from these senders will appear with hotlinks.
How to Apply for AOL Whitelisting:
- Go to “Conditions to Bulk Sender Status” page first and read it. Check the box that indicates that you are accepting AOL’s terms and guidelines and then press the button that says “Accept Guidelines”.
- You will then redirected to a form that will require you to provide your contact information and the IP addresses that you use in sending out bulk emails. Fill out the required fields of the form and submit it. This will also set up a feedback loop that will send spam complaints to you for action.
No one can apply for the enhanced whitelist. Only a small percentage of senders who meet limits on volume, frequency of messages sent at a time to its respective servers and spam complaints in a 30 days period will be added by AOL. Observe closely your spam complaints and email volumes. You could be in the enhanced whitelist in one day and you get be out of it the next day.
Just like AOL, Yahoo! Mail runs a general whitelist. This is in addition to individual whitelist derived from the user’s address book.
How to be Included in the Yahoo! Mail Whitelist:
- Go to Yahoo! Mails online support and look for the “Delivery Problems Page”. Just fill out the form and then submit it.
- Just wait for a minimum of 15 minutes and you will receive a detailed questionnaire that will ask you about your procedures, sending policies and other required information. Fill out the form properly before submitting it.
- There’s also a possibility that Yahoo! will not send you a confirmation if you have been included in the whitelist. If this happens, create a free account and use the address that you normally use in sending bulk emails and send a test message to the account you have just created. Check if the test went to your bulk folder. If so, use the form on the Delivery Problems page and ask for your whitelisting status.
When sending emails to your lists, you no longer have to put a line at the top of your message asking the recipients to add your address to his/her contact lists but instead:
- Include a whitelisting request right at the sign up process, site registration page or on your subscription. You need to be added into that address book even before sending out that subscription confirmation.
- Place the whitelisting-reminder email in your message to your email administration center farther down in the message.