How to Whitelist Email: The Constant Contact Guide

Picture this: You’re sitting in front of your computer, email inbox open, waiting for a receipt to arrive for an online purchase you just made. The seconds crawl by, and your impatience turns to worry. Did the company receive your order? Should you try to buy the item again? What if the money is gone from your bank account, but you never receive the purchase?

Then a lightbulb turns on. Maybe the email went to your spam folder! You quickly check spam and find the receipt you’re looking for. Phew.

You can avoid a similar future situation by whitelisting your favorite email senders. That way, the whitelist emails you want to read (and receive) will go where they’re meant to — your regular inbox. And, if you’re an email marketer, you can prevent any client confusion by encouraging people who receive your company’s emails to whitelist your email address. 


Understanding whitelisting

Email whitelisting is a simple technique that recognizes specific email addresses or domains as approved contacts. Any email sent from a whitelisted address will automatically appear in your inbox rather than ending up in your spam folder. 

Whitelisting is a process similar to the contacts you use for your smartphone. Your phone’s contact list probably includes all the phone numbers of people you communicate with most frequently — family members, friends, work colleagues, and your favorite pizza delivery restaurant. Anyone who calls you is automatically identified, and you can reach out to them without needing to memorize their phone number. 

The benefit of whitelisting is pretty clear — you won’t need to worry about missing an email from a contact you want to hear from. However, there are clear advantages for email marketers, too. The more people who whitelist your email address, the higher your deliverability rates will be. Plus, you’ll have fewer spam complaints, which can degrade your sender score among email service providers.

Whitelisting vs. blacklisting

It’s important to note that whitelisting is totally different from blacklisting. Whitelisting tells your email service provider you want to hear from a sender. Blacklisting is the opposite. When you blacklist an email address, you essentially tell your provider the sender is a spammer, and you don’t want to hear from them at all. 

For businesses, it’s crucial to minimize how many people blacklist your email address. The more complaints your emails receive, the lower your sender score. If your sender score drops too low, email service providers may automatically direct all your messages to spam unless a recipient whitelists you. 

How to whitelist emails

Every email service provider uses a different interface from its competitors, so the steps for whitelisting an email address will vary for each. However, the concept remains the same. To whitelist an email, you need to add it to your approved contacts. Once approved, you’ll receive all future emails from that sender directly to your inbox (avoiding the dreaded spam folder altogether). 

Let’s look at the step-by-step process for whitelisting emails by service providers.

Whitelisting in Gmail

Gmail is one of the most widely used email service providers worldwide. By recent estimates, over one billion people use Gmail daily. So, chances are you or some of your email contacts receive emails through Gmail.

Here’s how to whitelist an email in Gmail.

  1. Click on the settings button in the right corner of your screen, which looks like a gear.
  2. Select the Filtered and Blocked Addresses tab.
  3. Click “Create a new filter” and enter the email address or domain you wish to whitelist. Entering a single address tells Gmail you want to accept emails from a specific sender while entering a domain allows any emails from that domain to arrive in your inbox.
  4. Approve your changes by clicking “Create filter.” You can give Gmail more instructions for the email, such as starring or labeling those messages.
Gmail settings filters and blocked addresses tab to whitelist emails
The “Filters and Blocked Addresses” tab is your starting point for whitelisting an email in Gmail. Image source: Gmail

If you’re using Gmail’s mobile app on your smartphone or tablet, you can whitelist emails by:

  1. Visiting your Spam or Junk folder.
  2. Selecting the message you want to read.
  3. Clicking on the “Report not spam” option.

Any future emails you receive from the sender will go directly to your primary inbox.

Whitelisting in Outlook

You can whitelist email in Outlook using these steps.

  1. Select the gear icon in Outlook, and choose “View all Outlook settings.” 
  2. Choose “Mail” then “Junk mail” in the secondary menu. 
  3. Click the “Add” button under “Safe Senders and Domains.” 
  4. Input the email address or domain you want to whitelist.
  5. Click save to approve your changes.
Junk email options in Outlook for whitelisting emails
Whitelisting an email in Outlook. Image source: Lifewire

If you’re using the Outlook mobile app, you can whitelist individual senders.

  1. Select the Office 365 whitelist email address you want to add to your contacts.
  2. Click the three dots that appear in the top right-hand corner.
  3. Select “Move to focused inbox.”
  4. A pop-up will appear. Select “Move this and all future messages” to whitelist all messages from the sender.

Whitelisting in Yahoo! Mail

Here’s how to whitelist an email in Yahoo! mail:

  1. Click on the Settings icon, then select “More Settings.”
  2. Choose Filters, then click “Add new filters.” Once there, you can type in the sender’s email address or domain name. All future emails from the sender will appear in your primary inbox.
Filters tab in Yahoo! mail to whitelist emails
Whitelist an email in Yahoo! Mail by adding a filter in your settings. Image source: Clean Email

The Yahoo! Mail mobile app has a very intuitive process for email whitelisting. Next to the sender’s email address, a “+” symbol appears. Click on the “+” and choose “Add to contacts” to ensure all messages from the sender go to your primary inbox.

Whitelisting in other email services

All email service providers let you whitelist an email if you take the proper steps.

Whitelisting in AOL Mail

To whitelist an email sender in AOL mail, 

  1. Open the message from your chosen sender. 
  2. Click on the sender’s name and select “Add Contact” from the drop-down menu that appears. 

Whitelisting in Zoho Mail

Zoho Mail users can whitelist an email sender through the Settings menu. 

  1. Navigate to “Anti-Spam List,” then click on the email address tab. 
  2. Click on “Whitelist/Blacklist Emails.” 
  3. Select “Add new whitelist email” and type in the address. 
  4. Zoho will finalize the update after you tap the Enter key. 

Whitelisting in Proton Mail

If you’re using Proton Mail, you can whitelist a sender by navigating to the Settings menu. 

  1. Select the “Filters” tab and “Add new filter,” located under the Whitelist section. 
  2. Enter the email address you want to whitelist and click “Save.”

Whitelisting in Apple Mail (OS X and iOS devices)

To add an email address to your whitelist using Apple Mail: 

  1. Click on the sender’s address in their most recent message. 
  2. A drop-down menu will appear, and you can select either “Add to VIPs” or “Add to Contacts” to whitelist their email address. 

VIP contacts appear in a special email message tab, while regular contacts go right to your primary inbox.

Whitelisting in Android email clients (default client)

Android has a simple one-step process to whitelist email addresses. 

  1. View the sender’s message
  2. Click on the sender’s picture that appears 
  3. Click “Add to contacts” to whitelist their address

Whitelisting in Windows Live Desktop

Users of Windows Live Desktop whitelist instructions:

  1. Navigate to the alert ribbon at the top of an email from unknown senders. 
  2. Add the sender to your whitelist by clicking the “Add to Safe Senders list” link.

Email management and productivity

Whitelisting email addresses from senders you want to hear from helps minimize the noise in your inbox. Instead of allowing spam emails to clog up your email interface, you can relegate them where they belong — to the spam or marketing folders. You’ll only see messages from your approved senders, but you retain the option to check your other folders if you want to. 

You’ll probably find that whitelisting is a time-saver. While scanning the names of email senders and subject lines takes a few seconds — it can add up significantly over time. That’s valuable time you’ll claim back every day, which you can use for other meaningful tasks that are important to you.

For businesses, subscribers whitelisting your email address means that they actively want to read and engage with your content.

Advanced whitelisting features and considerations

Some email service providers offer additional features in their whitelisting options. For example, Google, Outlook, and Yahoo! Mail all let you create different mail folders in addition to the standard primary inbox and junk or spam folder. Those features can benefit some users and allow you to categorize your messages according to their priority level, content, or sender type.

For example, a business executive might find it helpful to establish email folders for specific workplace departments, high-priority senders, or clients. Similarly, consumers might subdivide their folders into personal messages, advertisements, and work emails. 

You can use the whitelist feature to direct your emails to specific inboxes according to your needs. Doing so will save you time and increase your productivity since you’ll only see related emails in each separate folder. 

Whitelisting is also a fantastic preventative safety measure. Hackers and other bad actors sometimes create fake email addresses designed to look like they’re coming from a known sender, but the email addresses will differ slightly. By whitelisting the correct email address, you’re less likely to see inauthentic emails in your primary inbox. Instead, they’ll go to spam.

Best email practices beyond whitelisting

Companies that use emails in their marketing arsenal want their recipients to read their content. After all, a lot of work and effort goes into creating their messages; if no one reads them or takes action on the content, it doesn’t fulfill its purpose. 

Here are a few ways to get maximum value from your email campaigns.

Write compelling copy

It sounds simple, but it’s true. If your email content isn’t engaging or fails to capture interest, readers will be less likely to open the next message you send. Carefully consider your tone, the information you provide, and whether it reflects your brand — and your customer’s interests — before hitting send.

Ask recipients to whitelist your email address

Many people may not know how to whitelist an email address or why it’s in their interest to do so. Include an encouraging prompt in your message asking them to add you to their contacts. That way, they’ll always get a message from you.

Monitor your email deliverability and open rates

You can use various metrics to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. Deliverability, open rate, and click-through rate are a few. Set a benchmark for each metric you want to measure, and see whether you meet it. If you are still waiting for your desired results, you may need to tweak your campaigns or make other adjustments.

Segment your emails

If you have a variety of clients with different needs, consider segmenting your email recipients. Segmenting lets you classify people according to their buying preferences. That way, you’re only sending them emails applicable to their tastes.

Email Whitelisting FAQs

How do I whitelist an email address?

To whitelist an email address, add the sender to your email contacts list. You can usually find the whitelisting option in the settings menu of your email service provider’s interface. Some providers let you whitelist a sender directly through the message by clicking on the sender’s email address and selecting “Add to contacts.”

What is a whitelist IP for email?

A whitelist IP is a specific IP address allowed to send you emails. When you whitelist an IP, you’ll receive all messages sent to you through the IP address. Others may go to spam unless you have additional filters set up.

How do I whitelist an email 2023?

To whitelist an email sender, click on the sender’s email address found in the message. A submenu may appear, letting you add the sender to your contacts. You can also add email senders through your service provider’s settings menu.

What means whitelisting?

Whitelisting lets you approve specific email addresses or domains that can send you emails. Any messages you receive from whitelisted senders will appear in your primary inbox. 

Encourage your clients to whitelist your email

Whitelisting email is an easy way to ensure you receive messages from people and companies you want to hear from. As a marketer or business owner, you can extol the benefits of whitelisting and ask clients to add you to their contacts. That way, they always receive an email from you, and you’ll see improved results in your email marketing campaigns.

The post How to Whitelist Email: The Constant Contact Guide appeared first on Constant Contact.

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