It is okay to ask your subscribers to whitelist you.
Repeat after me, it is okay to ask your subscribers to whitelist you.
There are many steps you can take to help ensure your email marketing campaign is delivered to your targeted audience. You can check that the email is properly signed with DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), add SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records to your domain record and reduce "spam"-like content. You can even adjust the time of day when you send the email.
All of these steps will help with getting your email into the inbox. All of these steps combined, however, will not improve deliverability as much as whitelisting - specifically subscriber whitelisting.
What is subscriber whitelisting exactly?
This is when a user who subscribes to your newsletter takes the steps to add your From (sender) email address as a known entity in their email system. Every email system has a method for doing this whether it is Outlook, Gmail, or Yahoo. Several examples are available here: whitelist samples.
So, why would a subscriber whitelist your newsletter?
The standard practice for email marketing is a double opt-in process. A subscriber who completes a double opt-in process in order to subscribe to your newsletter really wants to receive email from you regarding your product/service.
They are expecting a communication from you, and they are expecting to see it in their inbox. If your communication does not arrive when you said it would, and where you said it would, the subscriber will want to know why.
This is an opportunity to explain whitelisting to your subscriber, and what steps to take. The subscriber is looking for a way to make the communication "fit" into the expectations they have, and whitelisting will accomplish this.
Remember, communication is called a two-way street for a reason, and expecting your subscribers to participate is a good thing.
Got a question for our compliance team? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.