An essential issue in email deliverability is white listing. A high percentage of sent emails worldwide is spam. ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) try to protect their customer’s inboxes using filter mechanisms and very strict rules. This helps distinguishing wanted mails from the unwanted, but the system is not waterproof. Different permission-based emails are labelled as spam dishonestly.
What is white listing?
ISP’s or inbox providers use white listing as a way to distinguish the best senders from the others. ISP’s create different requirements and rules to which the email senders have to pay attention to. If senders react positively on these parameters, their IP-address (specific address code from which the email is actually sent) can get on the white list of the ISP. Being on this list contains different deliverability advantages, such as easy passing spam filters and increasing send volumes, over non-white-listed senders.
It is very important for email marketers to get on this list from every ISP. Being on this list increases your chance on high delivery rates enormously. If your IP-address is not added on a white list, or is even on a blacklist, the chance is high that the message will be blocked or routed to spam folders or junk mail.
How do I get on these white lists?
Many ISP’s and inbox providers offer a formal white listing program, but it is not easy to get on these lists. Participating in these lists requires a lot of engagement and you constantly have to control your reputation.
Why is white listing hard?
White listing seems to have several benefits for the senders, as well as for the ISP’s. Why is it so hard then? Different aspects make it harder to get on these white lists.
Examples from this issue are that the initiative is up to you, many ISP do not manage their inboxes, most white lists do not have public accessibility, etc.
Elements that help you (or make it harder) to get on these white lists more quickly are the using length of your IP-address, your spam complaints history, the volumes you are sending, your bounce rates and your reputation management.